Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Today I present to you an index for measuring #menswear douchiness. Authored by a long-distance runner I am friends with (now a grad student studying LAZRS and OPTICZ), the index is titled the, “Menswear Douche Index”, or the MDI for short.

The formula is as follows:

(Current US Poverty Line x number of accessories^2)/(your income)

So the formula works as shown:

The more accessories you wear, the higher your MDI.

The less you make, the higher your MDI.

For the first part of the formula, I propose this: those who earn more in society have a lower “place” than those who earn less. An individual who cannot afford his lease but buys bespoke is generally looked down upon in society. You know how people say things like, “but he’s Tom Cruise, he can get away with it”? They drive you nuts too? Well, let us allow them to have their way in this formula and set the first part of the formula as such.

The categorization of accessory and necessity is a matter of taste. For a #menswear community, let us take necessity as a shirt, tie, blazer (with a TV folded white pocket square), trousers, underwear (all underwear counts as necessity, let’s not get into it), socks, (okay, I guess for the watch heads) a watch, and shoes. Necessity changes depending on the weather as Bean Boots are acceptable in the rain and now, a polo without a jacket is acceptable in the summer, and a parka with gloves and hat is acceptable in the winter etc; I expect you to use good judgment on this one.
Accessories would be second watches, bracelets, sunglasses (in a nightclub), pens for people who don’t write anything down, flowers pinned to the lapel, a scarf in the summer (it’s called sunscreen, your parents slathered it on you when you were little, and you won’t die from it) suspenders that are shown (it’s like underwear on the outside), and anything that does not fall under necessary. This categorization is difficult and requires you to think about the reasons why a person might be carrying an umbrella or wearing those glasses. Wouldn’t reason be subjective? Such is attempting to quantify a qualitative practice. This formula applied to the #menswear world finds itself to be highly subjective so the MDI requires a fair and unbiased eye in order to maintain its objectivity.

Let’s do a quick run through with this pic from Scotty-Who-Thinks-He’s-A-Hotty-I Guess-But-In-All-Honesty-I can’t-Think-Why-Not.  Let’s say that this guy’s income is $60,000. I have not idea if this is anywhere close to accurate. If you haven’t noticed, sometimes I just make shit up. The poverty line for 1 person is roughly $11,000. Alright, now let’s count accessories.


Earrings (1). Fur-collar (2). Those pants (3). Some might throw more or less articles into the accessory category but this theory is currently poorly developed. 1,2,3. Three accessories.

($11,000 x 3^2) / $60,000 = 1.65

So with an income of $60,000, this guy’s MDI is 1.65 which isn’t horrible, I guess. Maybe. I don’t know. I haven’t actually taken any relevant data because no one will tell me how much they make in a year. And everyone I know is unemployed. So whatever.

            At the time of the formula’s creation, the creator and his friends saw a high MDI as a sign of douchiness. However, I am now under the impression that it’s just the complication and presumption of your dressing quantified. If you are able to fully embrace the number and become the number, then I would consider you a successful MDI measurement. If you aspire to the simplicity of 0, then there is a low expectation of the kind of person you have to be. If you aspire to the outrageousness of 8, then perhaps you need to aspire to be a great, flamboyant, and have – dammit – an actually interesting personality.

But perhaps this: rather than using your income as a number in the MDI, why not use your personality as the second factor? While this would be more than suitable, how would you quantify your personality? I know that I’m the most likeable out of all the people in my community so my MDI has to be very low. Wait, is likeability even transitive to personality?

As I step back and look at how this formula would function in society, I have to admit that it is completely worthless and looks to be the sort of thing that would stifle the creativity and joy of putting clothes on in the morning. However, as you put on your clown suit of Belvest, Brioni, APC, Quoddy, Red Wing, J.PRESS, and Rick Owens, may I suggest you step back and do a few calculations? A little math in the morning never hurt anyone. And you might realize that you have a higher number to project to than you once thought.



  1. Thank God. I saw that guy and was blown away by his douchiness. The MDI is high with this one.

  2. How is this not the most popular mens wear blog????

  3. I like it, and most of the time it will work perfectly but the problem is that if you don't currently have a job, your MDI will be through the roof. I currently find myself in the category of unemployed student, and so with the $11,000 poverty rate, 0 income (living off loans and grants) and 3 accessories (watch, bracelet, ring), my MDI would be 99,000, inadvertently putting myself near the top on the International Douche Watch List.