The Rise Of The ‘Lumbersexual’

Flannel, boots, jeans — all the marks of … New York?

Yesterday’s urban male wore a slim-cut pair of pants, perhaps a button-down shirt with a narrow tie. He kept a clean shave, and generally looked tidy. His look was coined “metrosexual.”

The “metrosexual” precursor to the “lumbersexual.” David Beckham was described as “the biggest metrosexual in Britain” in a 2002 Salon article that helped lead to the term’s popularity

Today, the metrosexual is a disappearing breed being quickly replaced by men more concerned with existing in the outdoors, or the pseudo-outdoors, than meticulous grooming habits.

He is bar-hopping, but he looks like he could fell a Norway Pine.

Lumbersexual or metrojack? source

He looks like a man of the woods, but works at The Nerdery, programming for a healthy salary and benefits. His backpack carries a MacBook Air, but looks like it should carry a lumberjack’s axe.

He is the Lumbersexual.

Seen in New York, LA and everywhere in between, the Lumbersexual is bringing the outdoor industry’s clothing and accessories into the mainstream.

Whether the roots of the lumbersexual are a cultural shift toward environmentalism, rebellion against the grind of 9-5 office jobs, or simply recognition that outdoor gear is just more comfortable, functional and durable, the Lumbersexual is on the rise.

Andy Colle, actual Lumberjack at the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show (lumbersexual role model); photo WKnight94

Let’s have a look at the spectrum of the Lumbersexual. On the beginner’s end of the spectrum, here’s Ryan Gosling dabbling in the Lumbersexual look while arriving on the set of a Hollywood film. Notice the Jansport Pleastanton, a leather lumberjack-style pack complete with laptop sleeve, and the RedWing 875 work boots.

Not fully embracing the full lumber in Lumbersexual, this cleaner, still slightly urban look, we suggest, should be described as “MetroJack.”

The MetroJack has even been seen wearing pieces inspired from mountaineering. He might be wearing a Patagonia heritage jacket, or some technical Cordura nylon pants that look great in the low light of the bar, but also provide protection from a chain-saw blade. The MetroJack’s reasonable grooming habits increase his likelihood of finding a MetroJill.

The “Vermont” retro-mountaineering glasses are among the best selling models from Julbo this year
The look appears in its most extreme form on the runways of Paris

On the other side of MetroJack is the advanced LumberSexual.

This man embraces the look with an unkempt beard, nothing tight, plaid, maybe even plaid on plaid, and an appropriate level of disaffection

He looks like a hardened outdoorsman but his flannel feels soft to the touch. He will open your beer with an omni-present Buck knife. He is a master of the retro Instagram filter. His flannel is coated with a waterproof DWR coating. His laid back style has been honed with more effort than he would like you to know.

He looks good. He is all around you. In fact, if you are reading this far, he just might be you.

Actual lumberjack — going pro with work clothes and a Stihl saw

Want more? Check out author Tom Puzak’s follow up to this article, Lumbersexuality: An Exploration.

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Contributing Editor Tom Puzak, a former attorney, found himself more interested in his bike than filing copies in triplicate. Now as GearJunkie's resident "bike junkie" he makes less money but enjoys a more creative work atmosphere. Puzak is based out of the Minneapolis office.

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