Shirterate: Queer Eye for the Straight Startup Bro

July 11, 2014

12:07 pm

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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Ronald Barba is the senior writer and assistant editor for Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". He also likes to cook things; you can check out all the noms on his Instagram. Email Ronald (ronald@tech.co) or tweet @RonaldPBarba. You can also subscribe to him on Facebook or find him on Google.

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