Constant. Sartorial. Wonderment.

Zeitgeist? Party of one? Your table is ready.


Tap water will be fine, thank you. And, yes, The Zeitgeist would also like the bread basket. The Zeitgeist has made its peace with carbs. Well, perhaps The Zeitgeist could be tempted by a glass of chardonnay. No, the cheap one. Right. Thank you.

Ah, indeed, The Zeitgeist has had a chance to look over the menu, and The Zeitgeist would like the mixed greens to start . . . actually, no, make that the Roquefort tartelet. You only live once, right? Ha, ha. Although, The Zeitgeist is a little different. Life for the Zeitgeist is more like being reincarnated every goddamn minute of the day. Know what The Zeitgeist means? You’re just settling in for a little shut-eye, and then . . . zip! Ice age! Mass extinction! Revolution! Industrialization! Woodstock! Moon shot! Watergate! Punk rock! Ayatollahs in Iran! Russians in Afganistan! Oh, you know that song? Yeah, it’s The Zeitgeist’s favorite. Billy Joel is amaaaazing. It’s like he really gets it, you know?

Anyway. Then The Zeitgeist will have the pumpkin ravioli. Yes. Good. Glad you think it’s a fine choice. The Zeitgeist is The Zeitgeist after all. Oh, and could you bring The Zeitgeist another fork? This one’s got some, like, gunge on it. That would be great. Thanks. Whenever you get a chance.

Distressed vinyl gown with lace-up platform boots and cubic headdress. Be the now.


J. Cruel Decor: Buddoiserie

As a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Kurtz thought of themselves as having an “Eastern” inclination. Their goal was Nirvana; their path was the Middle Way; their drink was sake; their collars were Mandarin; his weekly massages that she didn’t know about were Thai. They favored lounges where giant gold Buddhas loomed over the bar. They had Tantric sex on their tatami floors. They believed in the healing power of jade. He wore a bracelet of sandalwood beads and a goatee. She wore a necklace made from human ears . . . but only around the house.

Pre-war classic six. Accesible by raft, dugout canoe, or the 4/5/6 line. Starting at $1,300,000.

The Autobiography of J.Cruel


J.Cruel’s youth . . .

Sounded like: a Hummer’s engine turning over in the seniors’ parking lot, surf crashing, mall music, someone preaching the gospel, tires on the 5, seagulls, Gwen Stefani, coyote howls, tolling bells (they toll for thee).

Smelled like: yoga mats, Hot Dog on a Stick, sagebrush, oranges, Obsession by Calvin Klein, chlorine.

Looked like: red tile roof, white stucco, grass in a desert, ocean horizon, strip mall, palm tree, trucker hat.

Tasted like: fro-yo, fish tacos.

Felt like: a second skin of stretch denim from ankles to sternum . . . oppressive yet comforting.

Super-slim fit denim bodysuit with adjustable spaghetti straps and center back zip. Like your past, you will never escape it.

A Clockwork von Trapp


Maria was gone, but he knew she’d be back.  Where else could she go?  The nuns wouldn’t have her.  They knew better than that.  She might head for the hills, but the hills were alive with his spies. Perhaps she had found someone else’s curtains to massacre, someone else’s children to turn into dimwitted, harmonizing automatons. If she had, he would know soon enough. And then . . . well. How do you solve a problem like Maria? You do whatever it takes.

So long.  Farewell.

Wool/cashmere onesie in Ludovico gray. Bowler hat and cable-knit toreador’s cape sold separately.

Arlo Weiner is a J.Cruel Man


It’s rare that we stumble upon a style icon so precocious that he’s not even into his double digits. We are pretty sure we were wearing socks on our hands at that age. (Trend for Fall 09! Les Mani-Chaussettes!) So it is with great pleasure that we intoduce our first J.Cruel Man: Arlo Weiner. Mr. Weiner is the eight-year-old son of Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, and the pedigree is evident. Join us for a gallery of great moments in style for this J.Cruel Man. 

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The Salem Bargain Hunt


My name is Goody Rebecca. I hath spent the summer months in penitence for a foolish daisy chain. This harlot wreath did add years unto my purgatory. What to do? You would be surprised to see me today, hair braided and tucked in a neat cap. Yes, I do toil in the field now.

What do I know about plowing? Not much. Daniel Putnam hath given me this task so that I might pay off my eternal debt in the yawning hellmouth of the beyond.

I lean far over my work, prideful in the new stitching in my shirt hem. Plowing is devilish work. Instead I dream of stitching a bit of lace to my cap like Lucy, the whore of Rhode Island.

I lay my head against a rusty plow and began to murmur holy words. Daniel does hear my whispering. 

“Goody Rebecca,” he said “did you just ask the Lord ‘What art oxen?’

The adventures of Goody Rebecca continue in Paul Rudnick’s “Confessions of a Pilgrim Shopaholic” from this week’s New Yorker. 

Translations: Vince


Sometimes we realize that fashion can be hard to understand. A reader once alerted us to a shopping review in The New York Times’ formidable Style section. She found the review dense, confusing, and devoid of any actual information about clothes. As a public service, we the editors took it upon ourselves to offer up a translation of these reviews. It’s a little service we like to call J.Cruel Into English™

In this week’s edition of Translations, we advise Cintra Wilson on a good lawyer, one who can a get her a restraining order from the jumpsuits that haunt her dreams. The store: Vince. The place: The Meatpacking District

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