By now, even the casual observer must be aware there is a storm brewing. Across America, men are trading in their tight pants, horn rimmed glasses, and single speed bicycles for flannel pants, shaggy beards and work boots. The storm is not just hitting the mountain west, not just in Boulder, Portland and Seattle where the people understand style. As chronicled here, men between the ages of 18 and 30 are changing their style to look like a "lumbersexual."
There is only one problem with this. Not all men with flannel shirts, relaxed trousers and the bulge of an axe in their backpack are smooth-palmed pretenders actively choosing a style to better represent their domination of the outdoors. While the lumbersexual chooses to let his beard grow ragged, wear flannel and dress like an old time logger to prove something, some of the people who look this way are not choosing a style. Some are just living the good life, choosing their "style" out of necessity, as a matter of survival.
When the winter winds whip through Washington, a beard keeps your face warm, a raised collar on your Free-Swinging Flannel keeps your ears on, and that strong smell is the musk of man, the receipt for a job well done. Without a slightly haggard appearance, a flannel shirt and pants that allow them to work, these men would get nothing done. It's awful hard to pull choker cables or run a yarder with skinny jeans on.
Others who have a #lumbersexual appearance may not work as loggers; instead they work as rebels against the nine to five by ripping through white pine on the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series. While competitors like Dave Jewett, Laurence O'Toole, Nathan Waterfield and Stirling Hart may sometimes be mistaken for models in their work boots and flannels, they are actually ferocious lumberjacks. Cut two holes in a springboard pole and climb seven feet in the air with a six-pound razor before cutting a log in half in 45 seconds? No problem at all. Run a chainsaw made from a snowmobile engine; done. Rip off a 19" wood cookie using only a piece of steel and man-made horsepower; give me 14 seconds.
Don’t assume they know the closest source of free-range coffee or how to roll up a yoga mat mid Sun salutation. These men, and the rest of the contestants on the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series, are fierce athletes and competitors. They look like fearsome, hairy, manly men because that is what they are. Know that all who wear flannel and look a bit feral are not mere #lumbersexuals. A select few are #lumberjacks, #loggers, and competitors, not selectors of a style. These are the real manliest of men who walk among us.