The curious Instagram subculture of “Outfitgrid”



In December 2012, Dennis Todisco dropped a Supreme hoodie, a pair of red and black Jordans, and a set of sweatpants on his floor and organized it into a ghostly still life. He took a photo of this outfit and posted it on @Outfitgrid, an Instagram page he had just started. With this, a social media phenomenon was born. Over the past nine years, @Outfitgrid has exploded into one of the leading men’s style pages on Instagram. He has over 777,000 subscribers, including musician / gorpcore hero John Mayer, rapper Pusha T and former NBAer Nick Young. These followers are 75% of the men, the majority of them being between 18 and 24 years old (and 25 to 34 years being the second largest group).

Outfitgrid is a fun way to share what you wear: Following Mr. Todisco’s model, subscribers submit their own posts about the scrupulously featured outfit that day using the hashtag #outfitgrid or by tagging the account. The photos evoke the preteen tradition of dressing up before the first day of college with one key difference: On Outfitgrid, you’ll spot swishy Stone Island pants and Jil Sander t-shirts instead of outfits from mall brands like Aeropostale and Volcom.

Each evening at 8 p.m. EST, Mr. Todisco, a 33-year-old man living in New York City and sole judge of the count, chooses a “winner” from among the hundreds of entries for the day. There is no secret science in his selections: he just goes with his instincts. The winner sees their photo reposted on the @Outfitgrid account. That’s all, that’s all they earn. There is no monetary prize, no trophy, just bragging rights for the day.

Participants cherish this fleeting glory. Every past winner I spoke with could instantly report how many times they’ve won. Michael Avelar, 43, a creative consultant in Los Angeles, has won 44 times in the past six years. His stretching dexterity led him to an occasional hobby as a struggling gridders trainer. Mr. Avelar instructed knowledge of the pieces to lay and even shot full Outfitgrids for other followers. (He doesn’t charge for his services.) On the day of our conversation, he had just finished preparing and filming a grid for someone else, delicately setting a yellow shirt with yellow Nike’s against a concrete floor. The shot took him almost an hour to straighten up.

If asking someone else to fold, arrange, and photograph your clothes seems painfully absurd, remember, this account is a contest. In its comments section, subscribers complain and sometimes complain about Mr. Todisco’s choices. But past winners say most of the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. “It’s a very uplifting community,” said Trevor Lloyd, 30, a biomedical equipment technician in Atlanta, who just scored his first victory with a pair of Travis Scott Jordans, shorts and a branded t-shirt. of ultra-niche Hidden streetwear. “If you receive a good compliment [in the comments], it could change your whole day. (Although the account is heavily male, any time Mr. Todisco chooses a female diaper, many reviewers ask him to select more in the future. Ms. Todisco said he “likes[s] seeing women contribute ”and that“ Outfitgrid is about sharing style and for me that is not just about sex. When it comes to the messages of men against women, he added, “there is no preference or advantage. I like to show love to everyone. “)



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