Monday, September 04, 2006

Men - A Fashion Faux Pas?

In my time as a columnist, I’ve written about many things. I’ve discussed world and local events, and the trend toward “butt advertising” where young girls (and some women who should know better) feel compelled to wear shorts and sweatpants sporting such phrases as “Princess,” “Bootylicious,” and my all-time favorite, “Notre Dame Mom.” And I’ve written about Red Hatters (and gotten more kudos than criticisms, by the way) and rude video-camera parents. But now it’s time to discuss real summertime fashion gaffes. Men. No, men aren’t out of fashion. But it seems that some men have a collective gap in their sartorial sense when summer hits. My dad, with a real talent for turning phrases, had a good rule of thumb for clothing. He used to say, “That outfit looks like they tried to squeeze 5 lbs. of sausage into a 3 lb. casing.” Skin-tight is a no-go for more than 90% of the male population. Unless you’re the next centerfold for Cosmopolitan, don’t be painting on your pants. Same with shirts so tight the buttons strain. It’s just not a good look. Buy bigger and just admit it. We’ll understand, believe me. Baggy pants don’t look good on anyone either, no matter what your age or physical condition. We don’t want to see your skivvies. Belts are good things. And anyway, how can you walk when the crotch of your pants is hanging somewhere around your knees? Pajama pants? Well, let’s dissect that. Pajama – bed clothing. Not to be worn outside, no matter how buff-and-tough you think you are. And yes, people really do see when you dash out to get the paper. Put a robe on. Better yet, get dressed. Ratty t-shirts make good rags. Period. If you must keep that t-shirt from college or your first concert, find someone to make a quilt or pillow out of it for you. Or learn to do it yourself. Hey, it’s done on a sewing machine, which is a power tool of sorts. Otherwise, the shirts are shop rags, guys. Same goes for any t-shirt that may have been white once in its life. Pit stains, food stains, tears and rips…they’re outta here! Tank tops are ok in certain circumstances. Those stretchy undershirts that go by a variety of names not necessarily printable here are not outerwear. Ever. Golf shirts and khaki shorts are very nice. But not with black socks that go half-way up your calf and dark shoes or sandals. Ditto with the white-socks-and-sandals gig. Try deck shoes or woven leather sandals. If you’re going to do flip-flops or sandals, do yourself a favor and have a pedicure. No, it’s not girly. It’s good for your feet. Please. No Speedos. Enough said. Wear sunscreen. Do us and yourself a favor. Beet red only looks good on…well, beets. If you wear a hat, please take it off when you’re listening to the national anthem, you enter a building, you’re in the presence of women (we love that), or you’re saying the pledge. By following these simple fashion tips, you can avoid (a) sunburn; (b) looking really dorky; and, (c) people pointing at you and whispering. Trust me - your favorite people will thank you for this attention to detail.

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