TIME fashion

In Defense of That J-Crew Gingham Shirt

Op-ed gingham style

Updated 12:05 p.m. ET

Listen up, folks: That blue checkered J-Crew gingham style shirt everyone’s making fun of today? Stop it. That shirt is wonderful.

The frock-mockery started with an Instagram account that’s posting images of various men (and women, and even babies) wearing the very same J-Crew shirt. There’s often something on Instagram or Tumblr that people are making fun of, from men who sit with their legs too wide on the subway to guys who hate shopping. This new one’s admittedly pretty funny on first glance: Hey, look at all these dudes wearing the same shirt!

Here’s the thing: yeah, that shirt’s popular. And yeah, I own one! But there’s a good reason for that: It’s a pretty classic American shirt great for all occasions, it almost never goes out of style and it’s super easy to pull out of my closet and match with a whole bunch of different pants and shoes so I look decent with minimal effort, which is really the apex of men’s fashion for me and probably lots of other dudes (It’s all about efficiency.)

So the shirt is fine, folks.

But fashion issues aside, there’s another problem with this Instagram page — it’s totally a form of cyberbullying. It seems like whoever’s running the account is either taking creepshots of men wearing a gingham shirt while unaware their photo is being taken or grabbing such images from elsewhere on Instagram or the wider web. Either way, this isn’t cool — because while it may be all in good fun to whoever’s running the account, the page isn’t laughing with the men rocking the gingham shirts, it’s laughing at them. And nobody, whether man, woman or adorable tiny baby, deserves to be Insta-shamed about their wardrobe.

Update: Taylor Lorenz over at the Daily Mail interviewed the creator of the Instagram account, who seems to be doing it less as an insult and more of a tribute to this fine piece of apparel. Carry on, good sir!

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