Under The #Influence With Four Pins

Not Available Lead
Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

Not Available Lead

The resident swag lords of the best menswear website on the Internet school you on the basics of the alphet-bet.

Which one is more relevant: emerging streetwear/sportswear (KITH, John Elliott + Co.) or classic menswear-minded fashion (blazers, chinos, button-downs)?

This really depends on which rose-colored lens you’re looking at the fashion world through. If you see things through a Four Pins-tinted pair of glasses, which you should obviously be doing, then the street-ier side of things is more relevant. But I’d say that a combination of the two sides is the most relevant “look.” There’s nothing swaggier than blending both sides of the aisle, pairing your trousers with sneakers, or busting out the casual, unlined blazer in the right situation, and pulling it all together. I think the coolest dudes are those who don’t necessarily stick to one particular style, but are able to throw in elements from many different influences to make a good look. Also, as popular as sweats are right now, I don’t think they’re going to stick around forever as a defined aesthetic. Meanwhile, tailored gear has stood up for hundreds of years and designers continue to produce it to great success. For that look to go away, society, not just fashion, is going to have to change. — Skylar Bergl

Yo listen up, I wanna stunt on ’em h8erz ya feel me? But I also wanna let ’em know I’m still their boy like a true frenemy lawd. I’m all about subtle stuntin’ nah mean? Since Jon Moy is like the ultimate subtle stunt, but also, like, a little strug, I’m asking you: What is your advice homeboi? Also, I know summer is like the next big thing and all, but what about winter, fam? I mean, Yeezus is trying to get us more into the future and I dig that shit. We gotta get Marty McFly on this motherfucker! Lemme know if you feel it man.

Wow, that is a fucking intensely worded question, my guy, and entirely the opposite of “subtle.” The key to subtle stunting is not going overboard. Despite the batshit nature of this question, I applaud your desire to shit on all of your friends’ entire existences. So walk with me while I lay out the path to subtly demonstrating that everything they do, you do better and more expensively.

First, don’t limit your stunting to clothing. The lifestyle flex is one of the subtlest stunts known to man. Lifestyle flexes include (but are not limited to) cooking regular meals with incredibly expensive organic products. “Oh hey, Chet, thanks for inviting me over for some of your homemade macaroni and cheese. Do you make a béchamel? I make my mac and cheese starting with a béchamel using seven different French and Italian cheeses. You can’t get the same bubbly crust if you don’t use a mélange of cheeses.” STUNTED. Chet won’t use his stove for a week.

Generally, the subtle stunt involves luring your friends into a false sense of their own dopeness. Let them walk into the trap believing they are actually capable of stunting on you, only for you to slam the door with a simple response. If your friend shows up to brunch with the newest Jordans or whatever, make sure you’re wearing the Hender Schemes. But before everyone comments on how expensive they are, mention that they aren’t all that comfortable and are a pain to keep clean. Not only did you just flex on Greg’s newest purchase, you also expressed knowledge of luxury goods that can only come with actually owning the aforementioned luxury goods.

Remember: No one is safe from the subtle stunt. I make it a point to wear the most expensive outfit I own every time Sallie Mae tries to recoup some student loan money from me. — Jon Moy

Is it possible to wear shorts without looking entirely swagless? If yes, how?

Yeah man, it’s super easy to wear shorts without looking entirely swagless. All you gotta do is not be an entirely swagless organism. You do this by wearing shorts that aren’t too short and aren’t too long and are just a tad bit baggy and you ALWAYS sag your shorts a little bit. Also, I’m pretty sure it’s a scientific fact that shorts look better when you wear long-sleeve shirts or sweatshirts with them. Hopefully you have sexy ankles. Sexy ankles are key to pulling off shorts. GET STARTED ON YOUR ANKLE WORKOUTS. — J.M.

Are man leggings still cool? Were they ever?

There is a time and place for everything. I think man leggings are cool, but considering all the commenters hate me, that doesn’t mean much, does it? My man leggings do have to meet a few criteria: They’re tapered to hug the calf and ankle, but not the thigh, thus not putting a stranglehold on your precious family jewels, and they’re made of not very technical fabric. Running tights are their own separate category and need not apply here. I own two pairs of Han Kjøbenhavn “tights” as they’re officially titled, but one is an indigo-dyed cotton and the other is a black, scuba-like fabric with a ridged texture. Because they don’t have the sheen that elastane running tights have, they look more natural as I mob through the wild streets of New York.

Whether they’re “cool,” or ever were, is neither here nor there because they’re decidedly different from the norm. You know the moment you give them a shot, a friend or a stranger is going to point out that you’re wearing not-jeans. So, after all that, the answer is “meh.” They’ll always be cool to the dudes who like them and make them work but SUPER EFFEMINATE to regular people. Just like everything else you try to wear in front of your basic friends. The only words of wisdom I have if you try to wear them: Make sure you get your calf raises in, broheim. — S.B.

I’m in a social-media conundrum. Kids (read: Cool Teens™) these days are on Instagram straight flexing their fits, but my own IG is an aspiring art project. Should I maintain separation of ’gram and tweet, or ’gram the fire threads and stunt on the haters?

Sounds like you’re having what we in the biz like to call a “personal brand identity crisis.” Regardless, the operative word here is “personal.” Your brand, your call. However, I am going to assume that by asking this question you’re not so much seeking answers as you are validation for your current system of keeping the ’gram dedicated to your “art project,” whatever the fuck that’s supposed to mean. But I’m not here to throw Jerry Saltz in your wound.

I know that taking two art history classes in college does not qualify me to judge your prospects as an artist. Talent aside, I’m all for continuing with the status quo, this coming from the guy who tweets a dank meme about Papa John and then immediately turns around and pops a fire ’gram of the newest sneakers he’s copped. Sure, that may not really do shit from a personal brand synergy standpoint, but I’m inclined to think that people follow who they follow on Twitter and Instagram based on their content, and not how they paint some overall portrait of the user. I mean, nobody is following an Instagram model with a booking email address in her bio for all the gems she’s surely not dropping on Twitter. — Lawrence Schlossman

From a thirsty, single female in New York: Why do finance bros wear puffer/quilted vests over button-downs? Who is responsible for this? Can they be charged with war crimes?

Finance bros—or really, basic bros living anywhere—simply have a different set of priorities than the guys and one female (i.e. you) who read Four Pins. There’s money to be made, money to be spent, happy hours to crush, and chicks to trick into coming home with them.

That busy schedule doesn’t really leave a lot of time to study up on alphets, jawnz, and kicks. It’s hard to pin the blame on just one person or thing. Society, the bros, the chicks they wish to surround themselves with, and of course, their own personal tastes, are all equally responsible for the stylistic and aesthetic failings of these men. But—and here’s a novel thought for you—why should we spend an iota of our own precious time worrying about that fact? There have always been and always will be swagless and swaggy citizens of the world. End of story.


This feature originally appeared in the August/September issue of Complex.

Illustration by Joonbug

Latest in Style