No one asked for fashion advice from Mike Cernovich, the prominent far-right internet troll. But then again, no one asked for Cernovich to push Pizzagate, write that “date rape does not exist,” or spread misinformation about Hillary Clinton’s health.
So here we are. The 41-year-old former lawyer and YouTube personality posted a sartorial manifesto on Tuesday in the form of a 25-tweet-long thread.
“I will start posting outfits for men to wear,” Cernovich began. Those with any self-preservation skills would have clicked away from the tweet so fast they risked bruising a finger; the rest of us scrolled on to see photos from ghosts of “Cernos” past.
“I will post some lewks of Cerno throughout the years,” he wrote. “Each served a purpose at a specific time. Remember a Women notice [sic] shoes immediately.”
Cerno attached a picture of himself at what appeared to be a party, holding a drink and wearing aviators, a bland gray cardigan, and dark wash jeans.
The chick magnet shoes he was referring to were a standard-issue pair of black boots. The look was completely devoid of any personality that would presumably draw women in. (First, said ladies would have to get over Cernovich’s years-long history of sexism and rape denial.)
The newly minted critic went on to tweet, “With fashion you must ask—what reaction do I want?” A pink floral-printed shirt, chinos, and brown mules “softens my image and makes me more approachable,” quoth the man who once wrote, “Misogyny Gets You Laid.”
The modern day Carrie Bradshaw nobody asked for but we might all deserve repeated many times in his column that heterosexual men should dress boldly. “The biggest fashion mistake straight men make is being afraid of colors,” Cernovich wrote. “They blend in rather than stand out. I always stand out.”
One shot showed Cernovich kicking back at an outdoor restaurant, with a mug of beer and a plaid button-up Donald Trump, Jr. might gravitate toward.
“Most men are invisible dressing like they are in Maoist China,” Cernovich mused. The solution? “Always wear patterns / colors.”
The provocateur seems to fancy himself a poor man’s Roger Stone, toting the Dirty Trickster’s more-is-more fashion philosophy through mid-priced brands. (Stone dresses in suits from Savile Row; Cernovich looks like he’s headed to an Olive Garden birthday party.)
Cernovich rallies against “cargo dorks” and men who wear flip flops. Despite his penchant for tight, fitted jeans, “shorts are allowed,” as long as they are pastel-colored and hit just above the knee.
Cernovich told The Daily Beast that he decided to play fashion blogger when he tweeted “Show me a man in cargo shorts and flip flops, and I’ll show you a man who isn’t serious about life” earlier this month.
“It was just a joke, G-rated, but I got nasty, nasty emails from people,” he said. “So OK, fuck all these people, I’ll do a fashion thread because a fashion thread from me would be something that everyone would love to hate.”
But it wasn’t completely a joke. “A lot of people would get some good tips from it, too,” he said. “I’m never being fully serious [on Twitter], but do I think I actually look good in those pictures? Yeah, as a matter of fact I do. That kind of self-confidence triggers people.”
Both fashion and news sites have lampooned Cernovich’s thread. Esquire’s Jonathan Evans wrote, “Conspiracy Ghoul Mike Cernovich Doled Out Some Hilariously Bad Fashion Advice on Twitter,” and Splinter’s Sophie Weiner called his suggestions “deeply cursed.”
Though Cernovich has faithfully retweeted or posted these stories on his Instagram stories, he told The Daily Beast he is not offended by the reaction.
“When I look at how a lot of the people who dunked on me dress—they were very slovenly, and if I clicked on their accounts, their outfits are very boring. Very, very conventional,” he said.
Growing up, Cernovich would turn to Esquire and GQ for fashion advice. Esquire lambasted him on Tuesday. “My response to them would be that they work for advertisers and their job is to sell people on as many accessories as possible, rather than keeping focus on what looks good,” he said. “Their job is to say, you need 15 different accessories, or these $499 shoes. My job is to help people look nice.”
Aaron Schock, a disgraced GOP representative from Illinois spotted partying with gay men at Coachella—and making out with one man—despite his anti-gay voting record, looks “very nice” in his festival garb, according to Cernovich. “Gay men are more risk-taking, and that’s what good fashion is about.”
J.Crew shoppers in the greater Los Angeles area, be warned: you might see Cernovich perusing your local outlets’ racks soon. He told The Daily Beast that the chain is his go-to, along with Nordstorm’s semi-annual sale and the Dutch fashion line Scotch & Soda.
He used to shop at French Connection, but his wife Shauna Gee found the UK-based retailer too “over-the-top,” or, as Cernovich put it, “Euro-trashy.”
Despite his self-proclaimed sartorial prowess, the father of two told The Daily Beast that he is not a frequent shopper. “I don’t ever clothes shop now because I have two daughters,” Cernovich explained. “The last time I went shopping my credit card was declined for fraud because I haven’t made a clothing purchase in about a year. ”
Jonathan Evans, fashion director and author of the Esquire piece, told The Daily Beast over email that he sees Cernovich’s “lewks” as living somewhere in between the lands of “Standard Bro” and “Middle-Aged Guy Trying to Look Younger.”
“Some of his outfits are merely meh, but he has a tendency to go with suited looks that I’d generally classify as try-hard,” Evans wrote.
While Evans does not think there is anything wrong with the idea of tweeting out clothing advice, he does see Cernovich’s recommendations as overly prescriptive.
In his words, “Doling out these kinds of fashion mandates is outdated, and making it all about rules is downright boring.”
Cernovich will not be bothered by Evans or any other detractor. “People make fun of me to signal their ‘in group’ status,” he said. “‘Look at us, we’re the cool fashion people, look at this scrub he’s definitely not.’ It’s all high school.”
Through it all, there is something that Cernovich has in common with the “cool fashion people.”
When asked for his opinion on cargo shorts, Evans cautioned: “Use at your own discretion. And maybe risk.”
Cernovich’s take? “Cargo shorts are worn by a lot of different people. Some people fish, and it’s utility. But it became sort of Guido hip a few years ago to wear cargo shorts and white shoes, and those people really do think it looks cool. It doesn’t. Shorts look better above the knee—everybody agrees with that.”