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WHAT TO WEAR TO: THE GREAT AMERICAN CHEESE SURPLUS

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WHAT TO WEAR TO: THE GREAT AMERICAN CHEESE SURPLUS

by Steve Gottschling

Men’s magazines often focus so intently on their readers’ self-advancement that they forget how much of a public service menswear can be. Your stack of GQ magazines might have told you all about proper fit, for example, but they probably neglected to mention the ways your wardrobe can save the livelihoods of a bunch of cheese farmers you have never met.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that, thanks to the strengthening US dollar, fewer overseas buyers are importing our cheese, leaving stateside cheese farmers with massive stockpiles that have proven impossible to move. Farmers face financial ruin unless someone steps in to stabilize demand. But who will shoulder the burden?

Storing the surplus won’t work. Only some types of cheese can be frozen for long periods, and even then, those cheese wheels will watch from their freezers as the farmers outside lose their houses and their savings. Some of you might know what it’s like to grow up with financially struggling parents. Imagine the cheese feeling that same helplessness, except multiplied by its lack of arms, legs, and any vital organ not made from coagulated milk. We only achieve real success when we give the cheese what it wants: fresh air and a taste of adventure.

We must therefore squeeze cheese-eating into every facet of our lives, to bring it with us on life’s little journeys. Luckily, menswear’s abundance of pockets makes this easy. Most men’s lifestyles simply do not require enough objects to fill every available pocket. Even if we asked the stuffed-pocket fetishists at Everyday Carry to line up against a wall for a rather fascist pocket inspection, we would probably spot one or two internal jacket pockets still sewn as shut as the day they left the factory.

In other words, while women let out a sigh of relief every time they spy a pocket hiding amongst a rack of dresses, pockets for men are like New York luxury condos. They were certainly designed to be used, the owner might remember buying a few of them, but no one can guarantee they were ever actually inhabited.

Now that summer is peeking into view, and wearing a jacket invites either sweat or the suspicion that the wearer is secretly The Punisher, our cheese-eating mission grows more challenging by the day. But no one said public service is easy. Here is your NMWA-approved outfit for keeping cheese demand steady:

Eidos Field Jacket. Four pockets on the outside. Two on the inside. To maintain your tailored appearance, store the bulkier blocks of cheese in the lower pockets and fill the upper pockets with the shredded and grated varieties. This allows the cheese in the upper pockets to mold to your chest and give off the appearance of well-developed pectorals.

Monitaly Herringbone Pants. The usual four pockets, plus two extra pockets at the thighs. Stuff these with tiny wrapped gouda cheeses. You can toss them to anyone on the street who looks like they deserve it.

Sage de Cret Pocket T-shirt. One tiny pocket. This is where you store your best gruyere. Save it for when the bouncer at the club has wrinkled his nose at all the fivers you passed his way. Seriously, cheese bribes are the best bribes.

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