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Men Dressing Badly


Royal blue Bonobos, Shawl Ragg cardigan, sockless…and handsome backpack

It’s 2013 and the state of dress among American men is appalling.

Gentlemen, what’s happened to us?

When did shirt-tales untucked make a 50 year-old guy look hip? When did Bonobos replace dress pant make trousers as au de rigueur? When did shaving your head make you look bad, as opposed to odd? When did dressing like a teenager make you appear to be cool?

The answer? NEVER!!!!!

C’mon, guys. We look like shiitake!

Face it, boys. Compared to the fairer sex, we are embarrassing ourselves.

Why? Maybe it’s the divorce rate and guys grow up without mentorship when it comes to dressing in public. Perhaps it’s the economy and we can’t afford to buy good clothing. It might be the complete lack of fashion direction focused on any male over the age of twenty.

We’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s about liberalism. How does a political perspective impact the way one dresses? Hear us out.

Liberalism is about self-esteem, right? And we would think that self-esteem is shown by, among other things, wanting to have an attractive, pleasing appearance, especially for women. But the modern liberal self has gone beyond that. Attractiveness or beauty represents a standard that is external to, and so it’s an imposition on, the self. So the truly free self expresses itself through disregard for appearance. The typical liberal American announces his true “I” by being an eyesore.

Big thinking…but it’s a big problem.

Guys put away your politics when it comes to your wardrobe. See yourself as the world sees you, not as you envision yourself on Entertainment Tonight or other mindless media. But how?

Get a uniform. Not an actual uniform but consistency in dress. For men over 40 that probably means a well-made and fitted blazer, over a crisply laundered shirt (tails in, please), paired with tailored jeans (not the Wranglers you buy at Target) and very good shoes. It’s simple. It works even for style mavens like Mickey Drexler, CEO of JCrew.

Mickey Drexler…we need you now. You made us love Gap in the 80’s. We forgot about Brooks Brothers…and worshiped at the altar of Gap’s tasteful coolness.

But you’ve left us behind at JCrew. It appears that you see Michele Obama way more appealing than a bunch of guys (about 60 million male consumers between 25 and 55).

Mickey – help us out. We’re drifting and it’s not good.

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