Saturday, 19 March 2011

Ok, what's it all about....

Roll up your sleeves, EVEN with short-sleeved check-shirts.
So you know you should be wearing something, but not sure what.  Legally you realise you have an obligation to cover your manhood (despite the impressive bodily results of your covert switch to low-carb beer): good; this is a start! However, you also have this niggling awareness that there may have been some developments on the men’s fashion scene since the momentous assimilation of the camouflage cargo pants into the civilian clothing scene, but you’re not sure what they are.  At this very early stage of this blog can I take an opportunity to validate that radical principal that you have up to now been living by; yes, ‘there is more to life than following current trends in fashion’.  You’re right; both football AND 64inch 3D TV’s are also very important but you were really fecking stupid to trivialise men’s fashion because improving your dress-sense can:
  1. Provide you with confidence
  2. Create a sense of identity
  3. Allow you to be taken seriously in a range of social and professional contexts
  4. Help you to pick up
  5. Help you to pick up
  6. If you have actually managed to pick up (despite your unvaried wardrobe of baggy blue jeans and rip-curl t’shirts), an improved dress-sense can get you some credibility with your lady (male) friend and her/his gossipy mates.

In all seriousness; a healthy (yes; still masculine) interest in being clothing-current is not about being on the superficial pursuit of cool but about communicating a message that you are still relevant i.e. you haven’t given up on life and resigned yourself to a life-long relationship with clothing merely defined in terms of comfort.  A word of caution:  there is a fine line between that surprisingly comfy t’shirt that came as a promotional item with the last slab you bought, and a Slanket (blanket with sleeves).  Heed my warning: this is a steep path of rapid decent!

Well without sounding like I’m prescribing some sort of communist aesthetic (although; it could really work this season), this blog is going to be about interpreting current and sub-cultural trends into some style suggestions that can be taken on-board without you receiving too much revving by the guys and work/pub/footy/salsa class.

Note: I can not, however, promise zero revving. Any true Australian with an innate understanding of cutting-down the ‘tall poppy’ will understand your mates’ less than subtle suggestion that you are whipped/soft/have a other than sporting appreciation for Beckham is all based in  jealousy because, you look great!

Now despite your belief that a discussion on what to wear (fashion) is something that could easily be encapsulated into a textual space equivalent to a classified add; I need to tell you in-fact the topic is endless!  So let me know if you have a specific situation/scenario/clothing crisis you want me to discuss, otherwise I will drive this discussion like my 1979 Ford Escort Van; in wild and erratic directions.

Yes; I am subjective….biased.  And who am I to say what is the fashion faux pas and the fashion triomphe?  Well, admittedly (to the despair of my parents) I am a woman who has had more than a momentary interest in both fashion and men for as long as I can remember.  From my first crush at the age of 5 on Tyrone next door and my first teary protest about the same age to the tartan skirt and cowboy boot combination my mother attempted to have me wear to a kindy party, I have been consumed by both men and clothes.  I know what is in trend and I know which guys look good.  So although I couldn’t possibly argue my advice is infallible; I’m a pretty sure thing for steering you fellows (out there in a clothing wilderness without a TomTom) in the right direction before you find your own way…..

So lets begin!

The Fundamentals: Number 1.  The check shirt/button to the collar.

So I know its hot, but sorry; I’m asking you to reconsider the priority of being a few degrees cooler (a la a pair of Stubbies and Wife-beater (for any non-Australasian readers )) to trade-up to a style-look that is easy to wear and suits most.  I need to take this opportunity to introduce the first of a few fundamental elements you need in your wardrobe:

1.    A check shirt.

This shirt would not work with blue denim. 
Coordinate check-shirts with blue in the pattern
with BLACK SLIM-CUT denim.
Now I realise you have probably read this and within seconds leaped like a gazelle to your wardrobe* and set upon your flannel shirt that was your solution to nudity throughout the Nirvana years, but alas; no, man!; this is not the check shirt I am referring to.  It is summer; so consider a short sleeve (or roll right up a long-sleeve) cotton (small-checks) check shirt. 

However, here is the difference between looking like a twat and looking ‘en trend’ and that is button to the collar.  Yes; I know (you big sook!) it’s hot and you are ‘choking to death’, but you will get over it and here’s a revelation for you; women are ALWAYS in either discomfort and/or excruciating pain to look half-decent.  You CAN endure a button-up collar to not look like you just took a wrong turn on your way from a B&S ball.

The stretched-collar 'T'. 
Experiment with washing yours though...
Now, my padawan; I offer a little reprieve for you wingy defeatists who are already thinking that this whole putting more thought into what you are wearing than just establishing whether your shirt is inside out/tag to the back.  Instead of buttoning to the collar you could wear a t’shirt under a semi-open check shirt.  HOWEVER, only if the under-shirt (t’shirt/singlet) is either a faded black or white and stretched-out at the collar.  NO high/elasticized collars and can I suggest that V-necks have seen their ‘look-at-how-many-hairs-I-have-on-my-very-manly-chest’ day.  Think: a t’shirt/singlet that looks like you are the lead singer in an indie rock band and a frenzied young thing; completely tanked on her first full-strength beer has grappled for your neck and just caught the collar of your t’shirt and hung from it until security carries her outside to puke.  That’s the way the collar should look on the t’shirt/singlet you brandish under the check shirt….

A great example of contrasting fabrics and colours. 
Don't try and match your clothing elements
(without creating a clothing version of a technicolour yawn)!
Try a THIN tie if the bow is not for you.

The check shirt can also take you into the evening with a skinny (or ‘I’m sorry cows’ even a thin leather) tie.  The trick to this is no worrying about clashing.  The semiotics behind this outfit is despite the totally emasculating process involved in the hour it took you to work out your shirt/tie/trouser (shorts!) combo; the complete mix-match of fabrics/patterns is supposed to communicate a cute; eccentric; boy-next door naivety that will completely sucker in the women (desperate to nurture)…before you then unleash ‘the player’ upon their poor unsuspecting hearts.  Yes, I have too have been a victim to this sinisterly contrived ensemble…

Next blog: Denim...what to wear if the thought of skinny jeans makes your eyes water.

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*(or ‘pile of clothes’…yes, I am a heterosexual woman who has dated many men with this system of organising your clothing ie pile for ‘worn’ once; pile for ‘worn twice’; pile for ‘need to wash’; pile for ‘need to iron’;  and the largest pile of all: ‘comfies/gym’ ie tracky-dacks, ripped to shreads, Rambo-style, freebie shirts from team-building days at work)