When you think of fashion “Dos and Don’ts,” you probably picture a hapless woman in skin-tight jorts and a belly shirt, shamed in the back pages of Glamour, her eyes obscured with a black bar.
But being a “don’t” can have a frightening alternate meaning. Vice magazine has released the second volume of its popular Dos & Don’ts franchise, which grew from a hilarious column on its website, into a successful book. It is the raunchy, sweaty, drug-addled (and, well, much funnier) cousin of the don’ts found in women’s magazines.
To the untrained eye, Vice’s dos and don’ts somehow blend together—you are just as likely to find a naked old man wearing nothing but a bandanna and a pair of socks in the “Do” pages as you are a pair of cute girls in short dresses. The Don’ts, on the other hand, offer everything from a baby asleep in a stroller to a model in a pair of assless jeans. “Why’s everybody making a big deal out of Winkers all of a sudden?” that caption reads. “French ex-model junkies have been on that shit for years.”
According to the book’s editor, Thomas Morton, “What separates a Do from a Don't usually comes down to the classic fashion intangibles of ‘pulling it off’ and ‘owning it.’” He continues: “Context and dedication are pretty key, too. The floor-length Hellraiser bondage coat that goes perfectly with a Burning Image shirt and 18-hole Docs in the basement of Tokyo Rose doesn't have quite the same effect paired with Old Navy bootcut jeans in line at Jamba Juice.”
And unlike the Dos and Don'ts of the recent past, the book’s five authors have no qualms about humiliating their subjects. (Shockingly, many of the photos are user-submitted.) Next, Morton says, they’re working on tracking down and interviewing several old Dos & Don’ts for a “How Are They Now?” feature. Allow us to be the first to say: good luck to them all.