“You do not get laid in Everlane,” says the company’s own founder. Maybe that’s true: You don’t lay pipe in Everlane, but instead you make regular contributions to your 401(k), call your grandmother once a week, roast seasonal root vegetables and donate to NPR.
God, are their clothes boring. But so is pretending I need to look interesting and fashionable at my 9-to-5 every day. It’s fine that these clothes have no personality: They are basics for a basic man. Yet somehow, despite their overwhelming simplicity, there’s something about the clothes that make the Everlane man identifiable.
The brand, which does most of its sales online, seemed to almost be a way to “hack” the problem of dressing. Combine any of its tops and bottoms, and bam, you’ve got an outfit in which you can at least go out in public. The problem, though, is that men don’t like to shop for clothes online as much as women do. Forty-four percent of men prefer to shop in-store in order to physically touch a product before buying, compared to 33 percent of women. Meanwhile, only 22 percent of men shop on their phones, compared to 40 percent of women. As such, womenswear contributes to a “much bigger” portion of sales for the brand, Everlane’s founder Michael Preysman told Business of Fashion.
But in the last two years, the once exclusively online brand has expanded into physical retail, albeit only in the major cities of L.A., San Francisco and New York City. Which, of course, means the brand has also made a push for a bigger grab of the menswear sector. For men, the brand now offers essentially every staple except for socks. Beyond every possible style of plain T-shirt you can imagine (heavyweight, v-neck, breast pocket, no breast pocket), they also offer a range button-ups seemingly designed for such activities as business meetings and apple picking, four different types of chinos, a “transit” backpack and recycled cashmere sweaters.
Notably, none of these items have any sort of visible label on them. Not even an embroidered decal on the lower corners of the shirts, or a small tag on the back pocket of the pants. Unlike brands like Dickies or Carhartt, at first glance, then, there’s no way to tell that a guy is, indeed, wearing Everlane. But he could be, and that possibility alone is enough to distinguish the brand.
Everlane’s pieces are more polished than the kind of white tees you might buy in a six-pack from Walmart, and the price reflects that. One Cotton Crew Tee goes for $18, but comes with a 365-day guarantee, a pledge of long-lasting comfort and stability. To spend a bit more on a basic, non-status item that’s promised to last a bit longer is demonstrative of a maturity that the, say, American Apparel hipster bro might not possess. And certainly, Everlane’s transparency regarding factory conditions and production costs rival the emotional honesty one would receive from, say, a rolled-up beanie-wearing skater. Perhaps I may not immediately be inclined to fuck the Everlane Bro, but surely I could see myself finishing off a Ken Burns docu-series over some homemade pumpkin curry with him.
It’s all down to the fact that with that maturity and transparency, ideally, comes stability. “Each item seems to say, ‘I’m happy always being the M in Fuck, Marry, Kill,’” says Cooper Fleishman, MEL editor and self-identified Everlane Husband.
And isn’t that the best one to be?