Consider the Lobstersexual

From the “lumbersexual” to the “lobstersexual,” the nation’s hottest fashion trends originate here in Maine.

By Brian Kevin
Illustration by Christine Mitchell Adams

We couldn’t suppress a shock of recognition this winter upon opening our laptops and suddenly reading everywhere about the rise of the “lumbersexual.” You somehow managed to miss this? Coined in October by Tom Puzak of the outdoor blog Gear Junkie, the term is a portmanteau of “metrosexual” (a well-groomed, style-conscious urban male) and “lumberjack” (you already know what that is). It describes a new generation of fashionable city-dwelling guys who’ve given up body waxing and tailored shirts in favor of facial hair, flannel, and work boots. “He is bar-hopping,” wrote Puzak, “but he looks like he could fell a Norway pine.”

In the ensuing months, the Internet ran wild with the new moniker. “Is ‘Lumbersexuality’ Bringing Masculinity Back?” asked The Huffington Post. Cosmopolitan, predictably, offered a primer: “Are You Dating a Lumbersexual?The Atlantic, just as predictably, ran a vaguely scholarly think piece (“Lumbersexuality and Its Discontents”) about the frontier ethos and historical symbols of masculinity. The trend even spawned its own dating site: Lumbermatch, for bearded, plaid-clad men and the women who love them.

Hey, we figured, we’re the state that invented lumberjacks. This is where all those boots get made, and what is Renys if not the world’s foremost flannel emporium? Not to mention the fact that Mainers have been setting the bar for facial hair for centuries — have you seen the mustache on Joshua Chamberlain?

But here at Down East, we are not content simply to take credit for existing fashion trends. No sir, we are trendsetters. And so we give you the “lobstersexual,” the next made-in-Maine men’s style phenomenon. Expect to see this look in 2015 on the streets of Los Angeles and in your hipper Brooklyn bars.


Brian Kevin

Brian Kevin is Down East's managing editor.

12 Comments

  • March 5, 2015

    Barlett Chuck

    Not just Maine but all over the USA/Canada “Legacy Brands” are changing focus and product lines. Filson Company of Seattle Wa…(LLBean of the west coast?) Woolrich Pa, Orvis & Johnson Mills Vt, Carhartt SC …new lines, new management, new ownership. Brands sold but Brand names endure. Filson calls it the new “Seattle Fit” opposed to traditional line now called “Alaska Fit”. Same initiative…outfits for urban/suburban adventures ..slim fit…they are selling watches now too… off shore production to China as well…quality may not be the same with new management and ownership initiatives. Change is inevitable, market share growth is the goal with these legacy brands, but quality and integrity of products can suffer. ROI (Return On Investment) managed initiatives can change the standards for quality and integrity. Much more these days spent on marketing communication and merchandising in the price to consumer equation. Glad my LL Bean boots are over twenty years old same for my Malone and Filson Bibs, when kids come home to the mountains I need to check the inventory as it may migrate to NYC and Philly for metro wear…luck I am a 50R 42W xxl guy…not 32″ slim or 40R Jacket.

  • March 5, 2015

    william skrobacz

    real lobstermen don’t drink starbucks!

    • March 5, 2015

      RodDogg

      The hipster is looking pretty mean though.

  • March 6, 2015

    madisontruth

    More shallow branding, courtesy of another 15 minute trend.

  • March 6, 2015

    Cherry Sullivan

    Those who wear “oil gear” and boots on the ocean as they make a living, are neither impressed nor excited that weak minded posers are playing dress up.

  • March 6, 2015

    B4JawsIV

    I think people might be missing the satire here…

    • August 26, 2015

      jaythestingray

      What is this satire of which you speak?

  • March 6, 2015

    KtheRad

    This is the greatest. Consider my day made!

  • March 6, 2015

    PandaBearLiLi

    Nice try, but Lumberjack is pretty much synonymous with “Canada” not Maine, especially in regards to who invented it. We used the word and had the people first, you just adopted it. *Apparently* the first use of the word is actually from my home town of Cobourg, though that’s hard to prove. Wikipedia is suspect at best.

    • March 9, 2015

      Andrew Flynn Jones

      Cobourg really? I always thought it more old lake town and port than a forestry center.

  • March 6, 2015

    Mike Bradley

    This look is not complete without a bucket of bait being dumped on their head.

  • March 6, 2015

    kitty

    and tucking pants IN boots? Feet full of sea watah.