As a single gal, I do tend to look around me for available men. Going from the plethora of cholos, Jersey Shore-via-Juarez, and biker guys in Albuquerque to the Northwest, I’ve noticed a difference between the kinds of men you find in these different regions. So I thought I would put together a quick, observational guide to Northwest Men.
Hi, Jortsy! Hipsters are becoming commonplace in the US, but I think Northwest boys do it with flair. Their love of recycling gives lots of opportunities to scour the local thrift store for good finds. The long-lasting love of plaid in this region make it plentiful. A rainbow of plaid is available from the Nirvana era, just hanging around waiting to be worn. Their ability to ride a bike around town means that their shoes do not have to be practical, but can be kind of falling apart.
2. Eco Warrior
If you need your recycling taken out, this is your man. He will wear a Columbia Sportswear fleece, winter or summer. The only thing that will change is his socks–Tevas without socks for summer, Tevas with woolen socks for winter. He will tell you stories about his rock climbing, survival training, and ocean kayaking if you walk past him in R.E.I. The eco-warrior is one with the earth; he considers himself a modern-day Grizzly Adams/Bear Grylls hybrid, with better toys. He will often wear a stupid knit hat with earflaps. This species is generally in a relationship; his vegan girlfriend knitted the hat.
3. Nike Sellout
You wouldn’t think this guy was a corporate sellout, but the corporation is Nike, and this is corporate casual for them. He’ll be dressed in athletic gear from head to toe, and will proudly wear the logo. His “kicks” will be absolutely untouched by use. Generally this is because he has a desk job at Nike in Beaverton. He’ll try to interest you in conversation about all the perks they have out at the Nike campus. He may actually say “Just do it” while trying to appear ironic. Disclaimer: My ex-boyfriend was a Nike Sellout. He’s a sound engineer whose clothing looks like a runner’s. He only runs to the remote control.
4. Rat Pack Retro
The number one purchaser of porkpie hats, the retro guy likes his clothing–and his drinks–with a twist. He comes in several different varieties, but he always has one foot in the past. He likes a Bettie Page sort of dame–he’s seen all her movies. His lingo might be a little dated in his attempt to be throwback. Accessories are his friends–bow ties, hats, suspenders are all in his wardrobe. Done well, it’s adorable; done poorly, it’s Swingers, circa 1999.
5. Emo Eastern European
With a high percentage of Eastern European immigrants, you may find this species of man hanging out in a coffee shop. With his deep-set eyes and pale skin, his natural look (along with his possible post-Communist cynicism) lends itself to a fashionable emo look. In neutral colors and sharp jeans, he’s east meets west. If you’re a sucker for an accent, start a talk with this guy. But be prepared to date the whole community if you date the man. He also may be taken. Look for a girl in a short skirt talking to him very quickly.
6. The Nonconformist, aka Pierced and Tattooed
This freespirit uses his body as his canvas, starting at the age of 18 (or younger), documenting each phase of his life through his ink. May have a tribal tattoo. May feel like a d-bag for having said tribal tattoo. Will likely have some huge, organic-looking plugs spiraling out of their ears. Likely pierced in many other places, too. Word of advice: don’t stand behind the Individualist in the TSA checkpoint at the airport. I used to see a dude about town with his entire head tattooed. If his hair was shaved, you could see a whole tribal tattoo on his head. He used to make clogs. True story.
7. Holy Sh*t, What the H is That?
Also known as the Extreme Hipster. This not-as-rare-as-I-would-like creature delves into the world of anti-fashion. He seems to believe that the more of a hot mess he looks like, the more hip he is. He will often have hair that looks like he hasn’t washed it for three days, then slept on it, then let a dog lick it into place. He is not afraid of stains, smells, rips and clashing colors. Though this species is most often single, BEWARE. He is not willing to be your fixer-upper, and he may steal accessories from your closet and wear them in such a way that you want to burn them later.
If you are ever single at Christmas in the Northwest, now you know what you’re dealing with under the mistletoe.
Most pictures come from the amazing Local Style Report.