Issue: October 2010
Feature: “Project Upgrade: Jersey Shore Gets Pumped”
Gentlemen’s Quarterly, we meet again.
The October issue has some real good stuff. “Getting Made the Scorsese Way” is an interview with basically everyone involved in the making of Goodfellas. Even if you haven’t seen the movie (shame on you), it’s a must read.
But that’s not what I’m concerned with this month. Normally, I enjoy GQ’s fashion section. Other than the occasional scarf that costs half my paycheck, its editors suggest clothes I can actually afford. This month, though, they were hit-and-miss.
In “Project Upgrade: Jersey Shore Gets Pumped,” they suggest new gym gear for Vinny, Pauly, Mike, and Ronnie, but they’re really trying to help out their readers. I hate seeing the guy working out in the Ed Hardy pants and the black wifebeater as much as the next guy, but does this really deserve a six-page spread in GQ?
Here’s a section-by-section rundown:
“Arrive in Style” (what to wear to the gym)
“Come winter, don’t be the bro shivering to the gym in gym shorts.” Actually, come any season, don’t be a bro at all. They suggest a $395 Burberry windbreaker to wear over a cheap jacket. That’s an unnecessary $375 I’d rather keep in the bank. When you go to the gym in the winter, wear a jacket and sweatpants like a normal person.
“Put Your Track Pants on a Diet” (did they really recommend pants?)
They say to wear pants “that you can wear for stretching and lifting when it’s cold.” But last time I checked, gyms were indoors. Do not wear sweatpants when you workout—or jeans, or overalls. They’ll restrict your movement and get gross with extra sweat. Stick with shorts.
“GQ Endorses” (what shoes to wear)
Finally, we agree on something. The Nike Free Run sneakers for $85 are actually a terrific choice. If you’re going to spend money on one thing other than your membership, it should be shoes. Sandals, work boots, slip-ons, and Chuck Taylors are forbidden. I’ve noticed a few guys going barefoot when they workout. It’s disgusting, but they could probably kick my ass, so I’ll allow it.
“Compress Your Mess!” (what to wear beneath your shorts)
Please wear compression shorts. They keep your balls in place. Thumbs up, GQ.
“Portable Gym Lockers” (what gym bag to carry)
You only need a gym bag if you go to the gym in your street clothes. No, you don’t need to bring the latest Franzen novel or the New Yorker with you. You’re going to work out. Leave everything else in the car. GQ suggests two ridiculously high-priced gym bags ($115, $275). I think the third option ($17) will hold my clothes just fine.
“Go Hands-Free with Your iPod” (what to do with your iPod)
You don’t go to the gym to run, right? Otherwise you’re wasting your money. So, this section, where GQ suggests waterproof headphones and a t-shirt with an iPod pocket, is pointless. If you can work out without your iPod getting in the way, you’re not working hard enough. Also, I’m not really sure why Ronnie is wearing a wool hat in the photo.
“Slim, Sculpt, and Tone Your Shorts” (what shorts to wear)
When you go to the gym, you work out in shorts. That’s it. While I’m loath to agree with GQ here—and anyone who grew up in the Northeast knows why—they make a good recommendation with lacrosse shorts. If you can bear something shorter, go with soccer shorts and enjoy the clean conscience that comes with wearing them.
“Lift in a Tank Top—Not Underwear” (please—no tank tops)
Back when I was a college athlete (I know, I know, break out the violins), we had a lot of rules in the weight room, but the only one that mattered was “no sleeveless shirts.” You’re not cool, and they don’t make you look bigger. No one wants to see your barbed-wire tattoo or your armpits. GQ recommends a “tasteful geometric tank.” There’s actually no such thing.
So, GQ didn’t totally botch this section. The shoe recommendation was spot-on, and I‘m praying that more guys start wearing compression shorts because of GQ‘s recommendation. But, really, a page probably would’ve sufficed. When you go to the gym, wear a t-shirt, compression shorts, shorts, and a nice pair of sneakers.