The Case for Coordinating Your Outfit With Your Boys


New York has always had duos, cliques, and groups. In the Sixties you might be at a party somewhere and Andy Warhol would walk into the room with whoever was part of the Factory crowd that week. Hanging out downtown in the aughts meant you’d likely hear “I think that’s one of the Misshapes,” the trio of DJs, at some point in the night. Sometimes people are lumped together by a place or a common theme in their work.The Ramones and Television had little in common save for they both played at CBGB, but because of that, they wind up forever with the same label.

The abundance of people to see, events to attend, bars to drink at, and parties to check out all within the same night is one of the things that keeps drawing people to New York. But even with all the things going on and conversations being had, as the author Oliva Laing wrote in her book The Lonely City, “You can be lonely anywhere, but there is a particular flavour to the loneliness that comes from living in a city, surrounded by millions of people.” It’s not so much that the members of Team Cozy Boys were lonely or in need or friends, but as anybody can tell you, there is strength in numbers. Walking into a room with one, two, or three other friends can make things easier.

Jake Mueser, the founder and creative director of J. Mueser, gets this. On his own, he’s easy to spot in a room with his 1990s lounge lizard Nick Cave-era hair and the impeccable tailoring he designed. But when you see him out at a party for a brand launch at Dante in the West Village or a low-key Fashion Week party in Chinatown, more likely than not he’ll show up with any number of his crew, which he says came together through “a blend of menswear and social life.” This includes Wm Brown Magazine founder and editor Matt Hranek; Pete Middleton, founder of nuevo westernwear brand Wythe; Emilie Hawtin, former J. Crew editorial director who is now collaborating with Muser on the brand Clementina, writer, and modern-day jet setter Zach Weiss, and a few others. Mueser has been friends with a few of these people for years, but he mentions that during the pandemic, when he hosted smaller, more intimate gatherings for his brand, a “small kind of group” formed out of that. “When the world started opening back up, we’d brought all these people together, so it just sort of made sense.” He says that these days, his shop serves as sort of the starting point for a night out. People will meet there, maybe have a drink, then head out to whatever event together. But while Mueser’s group haven’t given themselves a name or an Instagram page Team Cozy Boys are, well, Team Cozy Boys.

And since standing out takes more work than ever these days, sometimes it’s good to be seen with people who compliment your style. Last summer, Brock Colyar introduced readers of The Cut to “a gang of TikTok bros in their mid-20s who have decided to call themselves the ‘East Villains.’” Not long before that, I confirmed that LeeRock Starski and Tashawn “Whaffle” Davis hang out in real life—two people I’d never met but I’d noticed share an obsession with late-1970s and early-1980s outer-boro NYC styles (think: Sugar Hill Records, Spike Lee’s Crooklyn, Kangol, old Adidas, ringer t-shirts). When I ask Davis, he also mentions other friends he likes to go out with, like the photographer “Sola” Olosunde and Brianna Jones, whose own social media is filled with looks that could have you thinking they were taken before a night out at Paradise Garage or Studio 54. Then there was the foursome I’ve come to call the Brooklyn Strangers, a quartet I saw casually walking down a street in Clinton Hill one Saturday night, all four of them in Wrang

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The Case for Coordinating Your Outfit With Your Boys

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