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People who go to Starbucks every morning know exactly what they’re getting: melted ice cream that is somewhat coffee-flavored, adequate Wi-Fi, not entirely revolting bathrooms, and baristas in green aprons.
None of that will change, but the company’s new “lookbook” of acceptable employee clothes does allow certain tweaks and twists on each barista’s personal brand—within tightly prescribed parameters, of course.
But the permitted shirts, shoes, and skirts are not what we’re interested in. No, we’re going to skip to the part about headwear.
I know what you’re thinking: “No bucket hats?! Guess the ’90s really are dead.” But also: “Oh my god, fedoras.” Yeah, fedoras. You know them.
The fedora is meme shorthand for so many things, but perhaps most succinctly, it conveys the attitude of a male with poor hygiene, a Reddit addiction, and the firm belief that women keep putting him in the “friend zone” while dating assholes despite the fact that he’s a “nice guy”—which is a thin cover for immature and often repellent ideas about gender roles.
So, how are Starbucks baristas and customers feeling about this dress code development? You could say that feelings are “mixed.”
if I walk into Starbucks and my barista is wearing a fedora I’m leaving immediately
— jaime (@kodakblew) July 25, 2016
STARBUCKS: Good news, you can wear fedoras
STARBUCKS: Then call customers SJWs and they’ll hurl coffee at you
— Mike Tunison (@xmasape) July 25, 2016
But let us not lose sight of the other abhorrent hats Starbucks is encouraging its employees to wear at work, any of which would look right at home atop the head of a man who claims that the new Ghostbusters movie ruined his childhood.
There’s the newsboy cap:
I had a dream someone told me to go kill myself but to make matters worse they were wearing a hideous newsboy cap
— E (@Emmys) May 4, 2016
The trilby, frequently confused with the fedora, much to the angst of those who prefer it.
“It’s not a fedora you cuck it’s a trilby” – Thing a real man said, not a character in a hack sketch about MRAs
— Twiττer’s Good Boy (@twitersgoodboy) June 25, 2016
The Panama hat, which apparently has a reputation all its own.
Older guy in torn jeans and a Panama hat beside me at Starbucks is taking belts of vodka from a thermos/ blasting classic rock from a laptop
— Dan Fletcher (@dvfletcher) April 16, 2016
There’s the awkwardly formal bowler.
Never thought I’d be pleased to be in Starbucks, but they are playing Joy Division, Love Will Tear Us Apart! I doff my bowler hat!
— Mr Benn (@therealmrbenn) April 14, 2013
And, finally, the sort of slouchy knit beanie prized by that douchey guy in your MFA program.
Anyway, congratulations to Starbucks baristas on the chance to alienate customers before they even make it to the counter. As for everyone else, well: There’s never been a better time to quit caffeine.
H/T Washington Post
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'