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Shirterate: Queer Eye for the Straight Startup Bro

shirterate-the-awl

As a gay man working in the startup space, sometimes it just gets to be a little too much of the same thing – the same guys wearing the same old stuff: the startup t-shirts, the untucked button-downs paired with jeans, and the innumerable variations on your standard plaid. (Although, to be honest, I myself am a culprit of wearing such things – I’m currently wearing some J.Crew critter shorts paired with an Nvite shirt…it’s comfy, guys, so #whatever). Sure, this space is known for our lax (read: wholly nonexistent) dress codes, but, I mean, sometimes it helps to look a little bit put together, especially if you’re the founder of the next big thing and are going to be featured in next month’s Wired or tomorrow’s edition of The New York Times.

“You’re a rich white man…You’re used to being listened to. But while you’re jabbering away, all anyone can see is your garbage shirt that you bought for twenty bucks and have been wearing all year, shoved nastily into your shiny off-the-rack suit. Why would you do this to your brand?”

In a play of social commentary, The Awl has “launched” new startup Shirterate (pronounced Shirt-ayr-a-té…obvi) which aims to address the fashion faux pas committed by the startup world’s rising (white, male) stars. Created by former Gawker editor and The Awl cofounder, Choire Sicha, the startup concept targets the oft-committed fashion crimes committed by startup founders – from untucked button-downs to ill-fitting suits – but also alludes to the predominant white bro culture in the tech startup space. The site notes that the company is really trying to bridge the disconnect between wealthy VC-backed bros and their antithetically poor clothing choices, using an elite team of gays with great fashion sense. Sicha (who is gay himself) writes:

“I’ve assembled a crack team of homos that understand how shirts are supposed to look, and where pants are supposed to stop, and what belts are. We’re not for everyone. We’re only for rich men who have the good sense to pay for good taste.”

Really great stuff here. Check out Shirterate yourself. Sadly, they’re not accepting Bitcoin…yet.

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About the Author

Ronald Barba is a staff writer and the East Coast reporter for Tech Cocktail. Formerly a DC native, he's now based in New York City. He reports on the Boston, Chicago, D.C., and NYC tech scenes. He's especially interested in venture capital, M&As, and tech/business trends. Aside from startups, Ronald is interested in philosophy, cognitive science, politics, social justice, pop culture, and all things geek. He reads Murakami and Barthes, and alternates binge watch sessions of 'Doctor Who' and 'The Mindy Project'. Got something to say? Then email me (ronald@tech.co). Follow me on Twitter: @RonaldPBarba. Subscribe to me on Facebook. Find me on Google.

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