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Your wardrobe should always revolve around you, not the latest trend
August 4, 2014 3:35 PM   Subscribe

Dressing your age: 20s, 30s (part 1), 30s (part 2), 40s, 50s, 60-plus. All links men's fashion.

Bonus link

The Clothes Every Guy Should Own, from Mr. Everyday Dollar
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (321 comments total) 81 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is a great idea. Unfortunately I scrolled through my age bracket and it's all the same exact body type.
posted by crapmatic at 3:40 PM on August 4 [23 favorites]


Huh. I came across this series today oddly enough, looking for guides to 1940 hairstyles.

My safe best is to always dress as if I might equally go to an academic talk or have to break into a cemetary. Action Librarian.
posted by The Whelk at 3:41 PM on August 4 [53 favorites]


This is a great idea. Unfortunately I scrolled through my age bracket and it's all the same exact body type.


Agreed. And frankly, many of these looks would look ridiculous on a non male model body.
posted by stenseng at 3:43 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]


Don’t Wear These: Extreme Scoop T-Shirts

IF NO OTHER ADVICE IS FOLLOWED, THIS ADVICE MUST BE FOLLOWED.

PLEASE.

Please.
posted by obfuscation at 3:44 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]


They explicitly tell one to stay skinny.

Jeez -- how come no one ever told us this before????
posted by allthinky at 3:44 PM on August 4 [21 favorites]


The Hat

The two styles I would recommend are the flat cap and trilby/fedora


No.
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:45 PM on August 4 [54 favorites]


Now we know how male models of all ages should dress. For the rest of us there's Louis CK. Black t-shirt, comfortable jeans. Shoes of some sort.
posted by billyfleetwood at 3:45 PM on August 4 [40 favorites]


That last link is missing a sports jacket or blazer. You need at least one and they're dirt cheap in thrift stores. So long as you're not wearing a suit separate jacket or clashing too much, it's the easiest way to class up an outfit ( plus you can wear it days in a row just by changing the shirt/pants and cause layers are important cause weather. )
posted by The Whelk at 3:45 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Dress fashionably in 3 easy steps:

Step one: Be skinny, fit, and handsome.

Step two: Don't be not skinny, fit, and handsome.

Step three: Wear expensive clothing.
posted by stenseng at 3:47 PM on August 4 [95 favorites]


The modern man does not wear a hat unless they are Samuel L. Jackson or a wan young man playing a banjo in a pageboy.

(also if anyone has any good male hairdo 1940s tutorial links let me know.)
posted by The Whelk at 3:48 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Don’t Wear These: Extreme Scoop T-Shirts

IF NO OTHER ADVICE IS FOLLOWED, THIS ADVICE MUST BE FOLLOWED.


Je refuse.
posted by griphus at 3:50 PM on August 4 [32 favorites]


Single color pocketed t-shirt or black shirt with unironic logo, corduroys, New Balance 512 shoes in black. Ragged old beloved baseball cap when it's very sunny out. Can't grow facial hair beyond a 10 o'clock shadow. Haven't worn jeans since 2009. I'm pushing 40 and glad I don't have to listen to what these articles have to say.
posted by Spatch at 3:51 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Also, some of these looks are godawfully unattractive even *with* pretty male models sporting them.

Deep v-neck t-shirt under blazer? Nah bro. Fingerless wool gloves over sport jacket? What the crap? Double breasted blazer over v-neck tee, with SHORTS??? That's not an appropriate look for anyone, let alone the distinguished gentleman in his fifties.
posted by stenseng at 3:52 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


I thought about passing this on to Mr. Llama and then decided to spare him the vague anxiety and craving, gnawing materialism I've been carrying around since the handbag post, because I've so far failed to buy a handbag but I should, right? I totally should. I deserve it! A nice one! Mine is out of date. That's what everyone is thinking. Because people are totally judging me on this.

And then....in searching for the link to link the post in question..I realize it's the same OP!

Way to rock a theme, JCIFA.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:52 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


Step four: live somewhere (literally) cool, so that jackets, vests, and other layers won't drive you crazy.
posted by weston at 3:52 PM on August 4 [13 favorites]


Looks like I need to exercise more and move someplace colder than Los Angeles. Hm.
posted by The World Famous at 3:52 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


A hot tip for frugal men's shopping - don't live in Canada. I can find everything in the last link and expect to pay double for it, even on sale.
posted by thecjm at 3:52 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


I haven't looked at any of the age brackets except the forties, since that's the one I'm in.

So... is the article a joke? The fashionable guys in their forties look like they're in the Lumberjack Sketch.

If it's okay with everybody, I'm just going to keep wearing jeans and solid-color T-shirts until I die.

For that matter, if it's not okay with everybody, I'm still just going to keep wearing jeans and solid-color T-shirts until I die. At least the variety of looking fucking silly that I've elected doesn't cost much in the way of money, time, or mental energy.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 3:53 PM on August 4 [16 favorites]


Step three: Wear expensive clothing.

Jacket about fifteen, sweater was twenty, shirt was like fifteen also and the tie was part of a "take this box of ties for ten bucks" giveaway that yielded a few good ties. Slacks not shown, but standard beige old navy slacks gotten on sale for like seven bucks
posted by The Whelk at 3:53 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Today I am wearing purple tights, a denim skirt, a bright blue shirt, and these beautiful shoes. And dinosaur earrings. I dress like this...often. I'm 28. (Vanellope von Schweetz is basically my fashion inspiration.)

Today also happens to be kids' day at work. We have spouses and short people running amok.

One of the wives came up to me and asked me if I was dressed like this because it was kids' day.

PHUNNIEMEE'S ADVICE FOR DRESSING YOUR AGE: DO WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT BECAUSE LA LA LA MY TIGHTS ARE PURPLE.
posted by phunniemee at 3:53 PM on August 4 [39 favorites]


Also literally counting the moments until I am old enough for numerous fashion accessories and styles to go from "pretentious affectation" to "quirky eccentricity and I can dress like Chalky White without looking like I'm stepping out of a PUA book with the word "classy" in the title.
posted by griphus at 3:54 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


I actually came across this yesterday when I was trying to help a 50-something man find ideas about what to wear. He is tall and slim so it was actually useful to him, and I realised what it must be like to see clothes and think "that would look good on me" rather than what happens in my world, ie I think "that would look good on me if I lost 50lbs" and then go eat some Doritos to cheer myself up. So cuddly men of MeFi you have my sympathies.
posted by billiebee at 3:56 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


Are white jeans actually a thing for grown men?

Is the world even more ludicrous than I had heretofore supposed?
posted by winna at 3:56 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


[obligatory comment about how why should anyone have to wear anything other than a graphic t-shirt, too-large cargo shorts, socks, and sandals]

Oops, too late.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:57 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


"Does anybody still wear a watch?" is the new "Does anybody still wear a hat?".

Either way, I'll drink to that.
posted by munchingzombie at 3:57 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


I've come around to scoop-neck shirts
posted by The Whelk at 3:58 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "My safe best is to always dress as if I might equally go to an academic talk or have to break into a cemetary. Action Librarian."

Holy shit, I now have something to aim for.
posted by brundlefly at 3:58 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


By the time you have progressed through your thirties, you are hopefully now a lot more financially secure and maybe even a key player within your organisation.

Is this...is this some kind of CYOA interactive fiction?
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:00 PM on August 4 [37 favorites]


Step three: Wear expensive clothing.

Jacket about fifteen, sweater was twenty, shirt was like fifteen also and the tie was part of a "take this box of ties for ten bucks" giveaway that yielded a few good ties. Slacks not shown, but standard beige old navy slacks gotten on sale for like seven bucks


Couple thoughts - first off - you look sharp. Less contemporary than many of these stylebook examples, but carefully considered and classically natty.

That said, the clothing in all of these photo examples is expensive. There may be thrift shop equivalents for some items, but these examples are high dollar value items.

Third, you look to be fairly HWP and of an average build - I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing you're maybe 5'10", 185 lbs or so - am I anywhere in the ballpark? If so, you're a solid demographic for good luck building a wardrobe of staple items from thrift shops and the like.


I on the other hand, am 6'3" and 300+lbs - I'm a 42" waist, 52" jacket, size 13 shoe, and there's no dressing not like a bum for me without the wallet crying.
posted by stenseng at 4:01 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


Any links or websites for men's haircuts? (the changes in hair thickness and an ever rising hairline as I move through adulthood is driving me crazy)
posted by Auden at 4:01 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Dress fashionably in 3 easy steps:

Step one: Be skinny, fit, and handsome.

Step two: Don't be not skinny, fit, and handsome.

Step three: Wear expensive clothing.


so, in other words, the same thing magazines have been screaming at women for the last oh, forever.

EQUALITY IS OURS
posted by like_a_friend at 4:02 PM on August 4 [46 favorites]


Step one: Be skinny, fit, and handsome.
Step two: Don't be not skinny, fit, and handsome.
Step three: Wear expensive clothing.


Haven't you heard about the new fashion, honey ? All you need are looks and a whole lot of money.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 4:02 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


So... is the article a joke? The fashionable guys in their forties look like they're in the Lumberjack Sketch.


What's wrong with buttered scones for tea? They're delightful!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:02 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


so, in other words, the same thing magazines have been screaming at women for the last oh, forever.

EQUALITY IS OURS


*manic chuckles of mingled sorrow and glee*
posted by winna at 4:03 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Why are 3/4 of the models in the 40s and 50s pages pouty looking twenty-somethings?
posted by octothorpe at 4:03 PM on August 4 [22 favorites]


I always knew I failed at being a guy. Articles like this make me glad I do.
posted by Foosnark at 4:03 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


... a sports jacket or blazer. You need at least one and they're dirt cheap in thrift stores.

I feel this but at the same time, showing up with a blazer instantly makes me overdressed in 99% of social situations, even in my 30s. When I think about this stuff I'm always conflicted between dressing like a goddamn adult and blending in, and blending in usually involves jeans and a casual button down.
posted by naju at 4:04 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


I've never needed a blazer. (A suit, all the time.)
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:05 PM on August 4


The two pairs of shoes that cover nearly all footwear scenarios:

1. Converse Chuck Taylors in Black. These can be dressed up or down and only get better with age.


I am Fry-squinting so hard at this.
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:05 PM on August 4 [17 favorites]


Article: The two styles I would recommend are the flat cap and trilby/fedora

2bucksplus: No.

I understand that the fedora has been commandeered by a certain hipsterish element of society, but it would be so nice to wear a hat once in awhile. Especially in the eight months of the year that aren't blisteringly hot like it is now.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:06 PM on August 4


I figure I'm about five years away from Rupert Giles, so I should probably start work on putting together some looks now.


(Actually, Rupert Giles is probably the epitome of "Action Librarian")
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:06 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Why are 3/4 of the models in the 40s and 50s pages pouty looking twenty-somethings?

Because in order to look good at 40 something, you need to be 20 something.

Men's "fashion" is such a wasteland.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 4:06 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Why are 3/4 of the models in the 40s and 50s pages pouty looking twenty-somethings?

Wait until there's true gender equality and the role of men of all ages in modelling gigs are played by fourteen-year-old boys!
posted by winna at 4:07 PM on August 4 [14 favorites]


I understand that it's harder for men to figure out what to wear (not that it's easy for women, but we have more options), so I wanted to like this. But this reminds me of the worst parts of a show like What Not to Wear -- it's devoid of individual personality and seems to skew toward this very specific look that's sort of "hip money." And that's cool if that's what you're into, but I don't want everyone to look the same.

I think it would be cool if there was help for men where they could be taught to have some fun with clothes (without it being "Look at my quirky socks and my bowtie!" some men do. Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with quirky socks or bowties). I'm not surprised a lot of men just stick with T-shirts and jeans or whatever. This stuff is hard.

And sites like this aren't making it easier. I appreciate the intention of it but the execution isn't quite what it could be.
posted by darksong at 4:07 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]



I am Fry-squinting so hard at this.


considering how new chucks (and old chucks too) tend to just ..dissolve in the rain
posted by The Whelk at 4:07 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


All men's fashion advice kind of breaks down into: Wear pants and shirts, sometimes a jacket, sometimes a scarf. Loafers or lace-ups, whatever. Everything in muted tones of black, brown, grey, or beige unless you want a light blue for a shirt. Ties and pocket squares and socks can have color, but nothing else.

Holy hell, being a man is boring.
posted by xingcat at 4:08 PM on August 4 [14 favorites]


I understand that the fedora has been commandeered by a certain hipsterish element of society, but it would be so nice to wear a hat once in awhile. Especially in the eight months of the year that aren't blisteringly hot like it is now.

The fedora hasn't been a hipster hat for a while. It's pure cheeto-dust neckbeard at this point.
posted by Itaxpica at 4:08 PM on August 4 [12 favorites]


I am Fry-squinting so hard at this.

considering how new chucks (and old chucks too) tend to just ..dissolve in the rain


Chucks also, not so friendly and not so much support for the larger gentleman.
posted by stenseng at 4:08 PM on August 4


Most men look good in a baseball cap. Couldn't be simpler.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:09 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


I understand that the fedora has been commandeered by a certain hipsterish element of society...

God I wish that were the case. Alas, the fedora has been adopted by a considerably worse sort of person.
posted by griphus at 4:09 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


Why are 3/4 of the models in the 40s and 50s pages pouty looking twenty-somethings?

Because looking twenty-something is the new 40-59. Unless you're a dumpy old fart like me.

Hence the 3/4...
posted by Pudhoho at 4:10 PM on August 4


Most men look good in a baseball cap. Couldn't be simpler.


DISAGREE. Dear god, if you're not sixteen or actively playing baseball at the moment, or engaged in some sort of outdoor activity requiring protection from the sun's harsh rays, enough with the fricking ball caps.
posted by stenseng at 4:10 PM on August 4 [39 favorites]


The Fedora has been ruined since 1984, let's give it back to women, for whom it was intended for.

Also I thought fashionable straight guys just wore thick, old flannel shirts all the time, right?
posted by The Whelk at 4:11 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Jacket about fifteen...


You're not a tall size, are you? It's difficult to find decent jackets for narrow torsos in long lengths that don't make you look like the male cast of Tombstone or Amish. And forget thrift stores.


As far as the female cast of Tombstone is concerned, Dana Delany's look was pretty much unimpeachable.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:12 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Most men look good in a baseball cap. Couldn't be simpler.

If I had to single out a single article of clothing that I would banish from the earth it would be this one
posted by The Whelk at 4:13 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


... enough with the fricking ball caps.

You are not bald. You have no idea what you are talking about. The difference in friendliness/suspicion I get just by wearing a ball cap is astounding.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:13 PM on August 4 [16 favorites]


They explicitly tell one to stay skinny.

Jeez -- how come no one ever told us this before????


I'll bet dollars to donuts that if you live in a developed country with clean tap water the public health authority has been pleading with you for decades to eat less crap, eat more fruits and vegetables, and get more exercise.
posted by Talez at 4:13 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


I'm a 48T thanks!
posted by The Whelk at 4:13 PM on August 4


My safe best is to always dress as if I might equally go to an academic talk or have to break into a cemetary. Action Librarian.

You've been watching the RDJ Holmes again haven't you
posted by elizardbits at 4:15 PM on August 4


The number of people in this thread who have a body type that is easy to dress is unsurprising.

The blitheness with which they assume everyone else is like them is irritating.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:15 PM on August 4


If it's hat wearing weather, I wear a hat. Otherwise, I do not need a hat.
posted by freakazoid at 4:16 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Fashion is like everything else:

1) If you know what you're doing, you'll have enough feel for it to take chances and not end up looking like an idiot.
2) If you have no idea what you're doing you might be better off imitating everyone else by rote and just trying not to stand out.
3) Random blogger bros will put on an authoritative voice cribbed from garbagey men's magazines and try to tell you they know the one right way to do it.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:16 PM on August 4 [12 favorites]


I am so pleased I don't care about this stuff and yet I felt anxious reading it.
posted by StephenF at 4:17 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


"The modern man does not wear a hat unless they are Samuel L. Jackson or a wan young man playing a banjo in a pageboy."

Really? Did you know that bald men are significantly more like to get skin cancer (on the heads, of course)?

Do you know what reduces those risks easily and effectively?

A hat.

A panama is stylish and good for your health.
posted by oddman at 4:18 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]


I understand that the fedora has been commandeered by a certain hipsterish element of society, but it would be so nice to wear a hat once in awhile. Especially in the eight months of the year that aren't blisteringly hot like it is now.

Yes but the summer is the perfect time for a straw boater. During the rest of the year, a bowler, which has the added bonus of mystery: are you a stylish local gentleman? Or a visitor from the Andes? SUCH MYSTERY
posted by elizardbits at 4:18 PM on August 4 [19 favorites]


The blitheness with which they assume everyone else is like them is irritating.

I'm shaped like Grimace - I feel your pain.
posted by winna at 4:18 PM on August 4


... enough with the fricking ball caps.

You are not bald. You have no idea what you are talking about.


As I have pointed out elsewhere: every OTHER kind of hat that you can wear must be interpreted as a personal fashion statement. A baseball cap just means that you haven't customized your character. It is the DEFAULT male head covering; it just means you have conceded that you have to have some goddamn thing on your head in order to keep the sun off it. EVERY OTHER HAT CHOICE means, "Hey, I think I'm Humphrey Fucking Bogart!" or "Look, I'm a depression-era newspaper boy!" or some other variation on, "Aren't I cute?"
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:19 PM on August 4 [16 favorites]


Yes but the summer is the perfect time for a straw boater. During the rest of the year, a bowler, which has the added bonus of mystery: are you a stylish local gentleman? Or a visitor from the Andes? SUCH MYSTERY

The true gentleman wears a pith helmet.
posted by winna at 4:19 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


A panama hat! Yes, that would be nice. If it's good enough for Sean Connery...
posted by Kevin Street at 4:20 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


The "waistcoat," which I shall call a vest bc I am in the USA, is actually a great idea for the 40something geeky gentleman of substance. Seriously. Dockers needs to start making one. If I could find one bland enough for my government-contractor employed husband, I would buy it in a hot second. Consider the fashion issues it solves: hides a gut -- has pockets for your tech gear -- dresses up bland dockers biz casual without the overdressed look of a blazer -- creates a long line visually, so you look taller and thinner -- is a way to wear layers without overheating. It is totally Action Librarian.

He's got an argyle knit vest that, on the rack, looks like something Grandpa Simpson would wear, but is actually quite flattering on. But the world needs a men's cloth vest, with pockets, marketed to desk jockeys. The vests that exist now either look like they came from a 3-piece suit, or they look like something you'd go camping in. Action Librarian needs something in the middle!
posted by selfmedicating at 4:20 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


... or engaged in some sort of outdoor activity requiring protection from the sun's harsh rays...

Funny enough, I started wearing hats year-round when I got a hat just for fun and realized that being outside on a sunny day while wearing a hat was no longer torturous. Which was great because now I have a whole bunch of hats.

Also: embarrassing hat story: I once bought a hat that looked suspiciously like a Confederate cap. I was worried about it but figured, eh, it doesn't look that close. I was also assured by some friends that a Confederate hat isn't that obvious a thing unless you're a Civil War buff and also it had no insignia. So I kept the hat.

...and of course, two days later, on the street, I walk by an older African American gentleman who is wearing a leather Union cap. I don't know if he saw me or not but I accidentally left the hat at a restaurant a few days later and never went to retrieve it.
posted by griphus at 4:20 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


I get my advice from /r/malefashionadvice which, while trending towards the expensive, has some awfully good guides.

Anyway, this is pretty cool too. I do like when style guides are broken down by users - based on formality, theme, genre, body size, and (in this case) age. So much better than a "one size fits all" even if not everyone agrees!
posted by rebent at 4:21 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


no, pith helmets are too imperialist these days
posted by elizardbits at 4:21 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


...and of course, two days later, on the street, I walk by an older African American gentleman who is wearing a leather Union cap. I don't know if he saw me or not but I accidentally left the hat at a restaurant a few days later and never went to retrieve it.

I would watch that episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:21 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


That page for 50 year-old is utter codswallop. If you're in your 50's and wearing any of that stuff, you will be seen as a 50 year-old who is in denial of his age and trying to pass for 20-something. Especially the no-socks-with-a-jacket look. Um...NO. You look like a knob.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:21 PM on August 4 [12 favorites]


I'm mostly bald and need a hat in the sun and there's really no head covering other than a ball cap that doesn't make me look like a pretentious douche.
posted by octothorpe at 4:21 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I'm wearing a hat in my MeFi profile pic. It's the FDR's Summer Hat from Duluth Trading, who also make jeans with extra room for your goolies. I saw my father-in-law wearing one and told him I liked it. He ordered me one. Now I wear it when I'm going to be somewhere hot and sunny, almost always with an inappropriate outfit. But you know what? I don't care. I buzz my head to a couple of millimeters and don't want to get chunks cut out of it when I'm 50.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:22 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


just thinking about them too hard makes prince philip materialize in the corner of one's home to spout a random racial/ethnic slur
posted by elizardbits at 4:22 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


If you wear Panama hats cause your burlesque character name is Johnny Panama and you decide to couple this with a white stripped jacket and pants as you walk to your rehearsal in your partner's 5th story walk up, be ready to catch the eyes and cat calls of all the grandmothers in South Williamsbrough sitting on stoops and minding kids. .
posted by The Whelk at 4:25 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


considering how new chucks (and old chucks too) tend to just ..dissolve in the rain

Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid. You can pick them up for $40 from the local Nike outlet store. I bought two pairs of them last time I was there. Plain, unobtrusive styling, comfortable and they last forever.
posted by Talez at 4:25 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


If you wear a Panama hat, you are also required to wear seersucker, and sit on the veranda, absent-mindedly playing backgammon with a correspondent from the Times while complaining about how society has simply ground to a halt since the rebels closed the southern highway, and shouldn't we perhaps go to the Jasmine Garden tonight, and where is the boy with the gins and sodas?


That, or you have to wear a short-sleeve button-down with a tie, khaki slacks, and complain about commodities prices, while occasionally spitting.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:25 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


The key element to headwear for all genders is to be secure with and accepting of and unbothered by the factual and inarguable knowledge that someone, somewhere, will think you are a huge twit for wearing whatever it is that you are wearing, and to carry on nonetheless.
posted by elizardbits at 4:26 PM on August 4 [47 favorites]


so, in other words, the same thing magazines have been screaming at women for the last oh, forever.

EQUALITY IS OURS


Actually, as soon I as clicked through to the in your 50s page (because it's almost there for me), I immediately wondered if this post was ironic metacommentary on that very subject or something.

Also, apparently, if you're in your 50s, you need to be 22. Which is kind of weird.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:26 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


The key element to headwear clothing for all genders is to be secure with and accepting of and unbothered by the factual and inarguable knowledge that someone, somewhere, will think you are a huge twit for wearing whatever it is that you are wearing, and to carry on nonetheless.
posted by stenseng at 4:27 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


If it's good enough for Sean Connery...


Your mother wash good enough for Sean Connery, Trebek!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:27 PM on August 4 [14 favorites]


Je refuse.

If you don't make yourself a Freddy Mercury cosplay blog already then I'm going to do it for you.
posted by elizardbits at 4:28 PM on August 4 [13 favorites]


There's an Onion article called Foreign Guy Probably Dressed Very Fashionably For Wherever He’s From and I own every article of clothing in it save for the T-shirt with "LOVE" embroidered in glitter because it is impossible to get that shit out of anything.
posted by griphus at 4:28 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Dressing your age: 20s, 30s (part 1), 30s (part 2), 40s, 50s, 60-plus.
posted by deathmarch to epistemic closure at 4:30 PM on August 4 [50 favorites]


As with many things, whether you think people will judge you to look immature, like a douche, pretentious, etc. says more about your insecurities than about what people actually think about you. The fact is that most people who see you during the day don't actually think about you at all and they spend even less effort to reflect on your attire (unless you are George Clooney or George Clinton, respectively).

(Or listen to elizardbits.)
posted by oddman at 4:30 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


If you don't make yourself a Freddy Mercury cosplay blog already then I'm going to do it for you.

He's Bob Belcher obviously
posted by The Whelk at 4:31 PM on August 4


The vests that exist now either look like they came from a 3-piece suit, or they look like something you'd go camping in. Action Librarian needs something in the middle!
this was the first thing that came to mind; but usually my first thought upon seeing this is Golf Spy, so I'm not sure if that works for you either.

also, the other recommendation that I make for folks who want practical, not snooty and rugged without lumberjack is Filson (warning: shit's spendy, yo) Or, at least, Filson will give you some fabric keywords that you can use (wax cotton, denim, wool) to look for clothes that don't look like the usual North Face fleece and plastic stuff.
posted by bl1nk at 4:32 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Dressing your age: 20s, 30s (part 1), 30s (part 2), 40s, 50s, 60-plus.


Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:33 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


THE WICKER MAN
posted by elizardbits at 4:35 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


I realized fashion was a sham when I realized "grunge" fashion was exactly how I used to dress in grade school, and likely how Curt Cobain used to dress in grade school (we were almost the same age)
posted by jeff-o-matic at 4:35 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Je refuse.

I will admit that it works for you.

But I'm still not happy about it.
posted by obfuscation at 4:36 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


I own every article of clothing in it save for the T-shirt with "LOVE" embroidered in glitter

brb checking profile for birthday
posted by elizardbits at 4:36 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Action Librarian needs something in the middle!



The trick is to look for wool vests, also the retailer C&A in Europe, I have some stuff from there literally ten years old and still holding up.
posted by The Whelk at 4:37 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Also I thought fashionable straight guys just wore thick, old flannel shirts all the time, right?

Thank-you for this bit of affirmation (don't think you're being sarcastic). I've tried to wear fancy clothes in the past, like when I was going out with an Italian architect and she would take me shopping in the little boutiques in Chiaia Napoli, but it just doesn't stick, and I always revert back to the old (I have one from J Crew c. 1992) flannel shirts and jeans, with one of an assortment of ratty old Patagonia jackets when it's cold or raining. Oh and grey sweaters. I have a lot of grey sweaters; my one concession to looking 'professional' at work.
posted by Flashman at 4:37 PM on August 4


Are white jeans actually a thing for grown men?

Well, I hope they're being worn by adults - us kids would stain them in 20 minutes.

the summer is the perfect time for a straw boater. During the rest of the year, a bowler, which has the added bonus of mystery: are you a stylish local gentleman? Or a visitor from the Andes? SUCH MYSTERY
posted by elizardbits


You're thinking of a Panama hat - invented in Equador, which is still the biggest producer, but named after Panama, just to piss off my Equadorian friend. A good Panama hat made in Equador is wonderful - straw so soft, it's like cloth.

Boaters are also good in summer, but are hard and completely flat on top with a flat brim. Much more Cantabridgian at tea than Andean gentleman.
posted by jb at 4:37 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Also, I'm a 43 year old male living in Chicago who is hot all the time, even in winter. That makes being stylish very uncomfortable.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 4:39 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


My last statement does not apply to me. If I see you during the day (or at night!), I will judge your style.

I will.

But, in my defense, my mother was a seamstress who sewed at home and wanted a girl. So, I read a lot of Vogue, Marie Claire, et al. (in Spanish!) when we were on vacation (camping, oddly) and at home. I mean they were just lying around and the women looked amazing. What's a kid to do, you know? It's impossible not to pick up a firm sense of how to dress in that environment.

So, yeah, I pay attention to that stuff. I can't help it. It's ingrained. But I'm quite gentle with the people I meet. (My wife's friends come to me for advice on what to wear to weddings, and I'm quite proud of that, actually. So, there.)
posted by oddman at 4:40 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


waistcoats/vests also look awesome on women - slightly tight for the femmes, slightly loser for a more androgynous look.
posted by jb at 4:41 PM on August 4


Action Librarian in a brown worsted blazer ( Housing Works), a black v-neck sweater ( Gap outlet) and grey stripped dress shirt without tie ( thrift store) and canvas military haversack ( Uncle Sam's Army navy surplus) not shown: dark blue jeans ( L.L Beane outlet) and brown docksiders ( Target)
posted by The Whelk at 4:42 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


The best part of all this fashion advice is how useless it is if you do crazy things like go outside in the summer or winter.
posted by srboisvert at 4:42 PM on August 4 [20 favorites]


As with many things, whether you think people will judge you to look immature, like a douche, pretentious, etc. says more about your insecurities than about what people actually think about you.

Yeah, well if I didn't have my insecurities, what would I have left?
posted by octothorpe at 4:48 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


You're thinking of a Panama hat

I assure you that I am correctly thinking of the bowler hat, an extremely popular piece of headwear throughout Andean indigenous communities for nearly 100 years.
posted by elizardbits at 4:49 PM on August 4 [17 favorites]


oddman, there's a difference between an enthusiast's interest like yours and the blind judgementalism of people who look down on anyone who doesn't look the same as them. You're looking at fashion as a kind of art (which it is) while they're just looking for tribal markings that can be used for easy identification.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:50 PM on August 4


I do want to say one more thing. (This is not aimed at any one person in this thread. It's just an observation. As a person whose tastes often straddle the line between different identity groups I tend to notice these things.)

Many very smart "bookish" people (to use a euphemism) hate it when people judge them poorly for what they like. We don't like it when someone learns that we're into D&D, sci-fi, Manga, CCGs, whatever. We are offended when our peers dismiss us for our tastes. "Why can't you just let me be me?" We ask. "We don't all have to like the same things." We reason. "It's wrong to treat me badly because of what I like or what I do or how I look." We insist. And yet, when we get together we feel free to shit all over people who like sports (those meat-heads!) or are into fashion (it's scam!), etc. etc. etc.

Odd that, in our spaces we choose to be just as judgmental, clickish and dickish as the people we so often hold up as examples of jerks par excellence.
posted by oddman at 4:51 PM on August 4 [12 favorites]


I'm assuming that the absence of Hawaiian shirts for all occasions in the article(s) is only due to the fact that they are considered a staple of all wardrobes and need not be included so as to make room for less ubiquitous choices.

At least that's what I'm telling myself.
posted by splen at 4:53 PM on August 4 [15 favorites]


THERE IS A GROWN-ASS MAN WEARING A SUIT WITH SHORTS WHO IS NOT IN BERMUDA GIVEN AS A FASHION "DO."

A GROWN-ASS MAN.

Shorts for male formalwear ceases when you begin elementary school.

GROWN. ASS. MAN.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:54 PM on August 4 [33 favorites]


I'm in my mid-forties, and now I have to chuck those 10 $6 tees I just bought? Screw that. I choose to be unfashionable.
posted by Chuffy at 4:55 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


That page for 50 year-old is utter codswallop. If you're in your 50's and wearing any of that stuff, you will be seen as a 50 year-old who is in denial of his age and trying to pass for 20-something.

The exact same is true of the 30s samples.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:56 PM on August 4


That page for 50 year-old is utter codswallop. If you're in your 50's and wearing any of that stuff, you will be seen as a 50 year-old who is in denial of his age and trying to pass for 20-something.

The exact same is true of the 30s samples.


...and the 40's samples.
posted by Chuffy at 4:57 PM on August 4


Metafilter: Where bowlers are bowlers and Panamas are Ecuadorian.
posted by Chuffy at 4:58 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Those Bermuda businessmen sure look comfortable.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:00 PM on August 4


THERE IS A GROWN-ASS MAN WEARING A SUIT WITH SHORTS WHO IS NOT IN BERMUDA GIVEN AS A FASHION "DO."

Okay, that look is at least forty orders of magnitude more ludicrous than white jeans.
posted by winna at 5:01 PM on August 4


Yeah, as a 50 year old with a 50 year old body, these cover the whole gamut from laughable to ridiculous. The very much look like what a 20 something, who fancy themselves a fashionistsa of some sort, thinks 50 year old men should dress.
posted by doctor_negative at 5:03 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Kevin Street: “oddman, there's a difference between an enthusiast's interest like yours and the blind judgementalism of people who look down on anyone who doesn't look the same as them. You're looking at fashion as a kind of art (which it is) while they're just looking for tribal markings that can be used for easy identification.”

Well, I don't think that's quite true. These are clearly not intended as simple "tribal markings" for "easy identification" – not in the non-normative sense. They are strictly normative. This is a set of articles on how one ought to dress. The thing is shot through with simplicity: this is the right way, anyone who dresses differently is doing it wrong.

I have to say: I just moved back to New Mexico from the east coast. This makes me happy for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest is an odd one:

In New Mexico, it's impossible to tell if people walking on the street are homeless or not. You literally cannot tell if people are dressing the way out of necessity or out of self-expression or out of some other nebulous cause. I see people of all ages wearing all the things people here dislike (except for suits with shorts – uh, because suits are not really very common here, although I'm sure people would wear them if they were) and I can't tell why. It might be that's just what they like to wear. It might be that's just the only clothes they have.

For about a week, I found this jarring. Then, after that, I relaxed. And now I'm quite relaxed. I'm aware that the crime here in Albuquerque is five times what it was in Boston, but I'm much more at ease walking down the street for the irrational but simple reason that I know I'm not an object of that shorthand tribal calculation. Because shorthand tribal calculations don't work for shit here.

It's a big, wild, beautiful southwestern world out here.
posted by koeselitz at 5:03 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Kevin, to address your point explicitly (I had already written my last comment when you posted) I don't think that fashion as code is actually all that bad a thing.

This is a point of interest, and conflict, of mine with many colleagues. In philosophy (my field) you get many, many people of the "jeans and t-shirts are the only thing I want to wear" mindset. Who think that dress codes are, more-or-less, a kind of fascism.

I disagree. I think dressing well shows others that you care about them. (Not that you care about their opinions, but about them, as people worthy of your time and attention.) As I sometimes say to my male students "When you go on a date. Try to dress like you actually think that your date is important! Look like you made some effort for them. You dress well to a job interview not so that they will think you're the right kind of person, but so that they know you think they are the right kind company (for you). etc.

It is wrong to use dress and style as a means to justify arbitrary discrimination, but it's wrong to use anything for that purpose. Blind judgmentalism is wrong. Full stop. It's not a fashion issue, per se.

(I will now get in my car, drive home and stop hogging the thread.)
posted by oddman at 5:05 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


It's a big, wild, beautiful southwestern world out here.

Yes but also scorpions.
posted by elizardbits at 5:08 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


My safe best is to always dress as if I might equally go to an academic talk or have to break into a cemetary. Action Librarian.

Please give examples of what clothing like this looks like. Pictures, if possible.
posted by Sleeper at 5:12 PM on August 4


Action Librarian
posted by elizardbits at 5:15 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


White jeans because I Spy.

That is all.
posted by allthinky at 5:15 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


It's a big, wild, beautiful southwestern world out here.

Yes but also scorpions.


Exactly. It's very dangerous. Don't come here.

It's full anyway.


THERE IS A GROWN-ASS MAN WEARING A SUIT WITH SHORTS WHO IS NOT IN BERMUDA GIVEN AS A FASHION "DO."


Heh - My main problem with men's "fashion" such as it is, is that if you deviate from the accepted norm of 5'10" tall and 134 lbs. then there are few clothes that will fit you and if you find any that fit, they will be bland. At 6'4" with a legs that go all the way up, I laugh at pants that top out at 34" inseam. So cute. Like capris, but for men. If they actually go that far - it's far more common for men's pants to top out at 32" inseam.

Le Sigh.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:15 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


koeselitz, my father grew up on the East Coast and moved to SoCal. Part of the reason he likes living there is the reason you cite — so much less of that social marking bullshit.

/I'm also sorry I didn't get to spend some face-to-face time with you while you were here in Boston. Ah well, enjoy your dry heat; you've avoided the August steambath.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:16 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Oh, of course. Thanks, elizardbits.
posted by Sleeper at 5:17 PM on August 4


That man in the suit with shorts looks like Sad Tobias Funke.
posted by KathrynT at 5:19 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Take note, everyone, here’s what I’m wearing, right now:

Chuck Taylor High Tops, natural white, with socks
Carhardt work shorts
Grey t-shirt
Glasses

Elements of Style, my friends….you’re welcome.
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 5:20 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Those Bermuda businessmen sure look comfortable.

That one guy looks like Tom Brokaw trying desperately not to fart.
posted by Pudhoho at 5:20 PM on August 4


I'll bet dollars to donuts that if you live in a developed country with clean tap water the public health authority has been pleading with you for decades to eat less crap, eat more fruits and vegetables, and get more exercise.
posted by Talez at 4:13 PM on August 4


Mmmm... Donuts.
posted by Sleeper at 5:21 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


The most important thing I learned from owning white jeans is that you do not use the urinal when wearing white jeans.
posted by griphus at 5:26 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


That one guy looks like Tom Brokaw trying desperately not to fart.

That was a foghorn. Yes, really.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:27 PM on August 4


like_a_friend: "so, in other words, the same thing magazines have been screaming at women for the last oh, forever.

EQUALITY IS OURS
"

Except nobody ever tells me to my face that skater shoes, carpenter pants and comedy T-shirts are age-inappropriate for 30-year-old me. I have to leave my privileged position of IRL White Dude and go to the internet to find any hint of disapproval or fashion shaming. It's a pretty good gig.
posted by pwnguin at 5:30 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


The "what not to wear" and "dress your age" set can go fuck themselves. Why are "fashion" recommendations written by the most boring people? Purple tights FTW :-P
posted by smidgen at 5:31 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


At 6'4" with a legs that go all the way up, I laugh at pants that top out at 34" inseam.


Not to mention sleeve length- I've got those freaky monkey arms. Between this and the hair, when I wear a suit, I basically turn into Jack Skellington.


I should probably stop wearing chalk stripes, but the man at the shop assured me it was all the rage.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:35 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


Most of what I read about men's fashion just makes me feel so bad for guys. Not only are men's options so limited as far as color, fit, and style, but everything looks so high-maintenance and uncomfortable. Are you really supposed to wear button-down shirts and jackets all the time? In August? There's nothing for men like the Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress - super comfortable but still stylish. And if you're a man and you want to de-emphasize a pudgy stomach or show off your glorious thighs, forget it.

It's a weird double-edged sword: women get judged more harshly for their clothing choices and have so many more potential "mistakes" to make, but there's also so much more fun to be had.

Comfortable fun clothing for all, judgment for none.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:37 PM on August 4 [15 favorites]


Actually this old photo has some good Action librarian notes

Corduroy blazer from Marks and Spender, argyle wester vest in grey, blue and red trim, red picked up in tie, blue in unseen faded blue jeans under it, and brown shows. I like blue or red sneakers with this as well.

The trick is to start dressing like you're the 46 year old High School librarian tasked with teaching the Slayer when you're in your 20s. Gives you time to build up a cache of things that go together..
posted by The Whelk at 5:37 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


I had to close this almost instantly when i clicked 20s and saw the drop crotch pants.

Everyone looks like a fucking clown in drop crotch pants. I know exactly one person who looks sort of cool, and he's both gay from 20 feet away and his thing is wearing bizarre runway-looking future outfits.
posted by emptythought at 5:37 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


I hate fashion and I disagree with everything in the post, everything in the thread, and everything and anything anyone anywhere ever said or thought about fashion, may it die die die.
posted by vrakatar at 5:38 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


"I think dressing well shows others that you care about them."

Yes, oddman! I don't think it always means you need to be super-fancy or anything but it says "I respect our relationship [whatever that relationship is] enough to not just throw on whatever was on the floor by my bed." And sometimes that can be wearing jeans and a T-shirt. But maybe it's your nice jeans and your nice T-shirt. Sometimes it's a fancy suit. It depends on the situation, yeah, but I do think showing up looking like you took 5 minutes to bother is important.

(But then maybe I have some resentment as a woman, and even though I do enjoy trying to look good and dressing up, it's expected of me, whereas men can often get a pass as long as they don't have holes in their pants or stains on their shirts or whatever.)

So I guess -- guys should get to wear what they want but I just want them to try a bit harder. I don't know what that entails, but I do know plenty of men with a good sense of personal style so I know it can happen.
posted by darksong at 5:39 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


( well at home or running errands or just hanging out I wear white or black t-shirts and jeans from ten identical kits from a Hanes odd and irregular sale and I put a flannel shirt over that if it's too cold, that seems pretty ageless?)
posted by The Whelk at 5:40 PM on August 4


I'm assuming that the absence of Hawaiian shirts for all occasions in the article(s) is only due to the fact that they are considered a staple of all wardrobes and need not be included so as to make room for less ubiquitous choices.

No. No no no no no. My SO is reading this right now, do NOT encourage him in this delusion!
posted by sfkiddo at 5:42 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


I've succeeded in being comparatively fashionable be the simple trick of working at a software company. I can't recommend it enough.

I fear the day that plaid and beards are laughably outmoded - I was here before they had cachet and won't be changing when they go away.
posted by The Gaffer at 5:42 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Fuck, and he just read that comment to me.
posted by sfkiddo at 5:43 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


There's nothing for men like the Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress

NO WHY now i'm about to buy a $500 dress that i factually have no need for

but it's so pretty
posted by elizardbits at 5:44 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


Heh - My main problem with men's "fashion" such as it is, is that if you deviate from the accepted norm of 5'10" tall and 134 lbs. then there are few clothes that will fit you and if you find any that fit, they will be bland.

134 and 5'10''? Bullshit. If you are 134 pounds people call you a skeleton and everything in department stores fits you like a tent.
posted by dilaudid at 5:46 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Yeah. In my experience, men's clothing stores are frequently out of XS shirts or 28/29 inch waist jeans.
posted by peripathetic at 5:49 PM on August 4


UNIQLO is a friend to the bony man.
posted by The Whelk at 5:49 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Subtotal: $1,833.00

[muffled immigrant song screaming in the distance]
posted by elizardbits at 5:49 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Is there a style guide for hikikomoris who never leave the house? The more I read this thread the more that seems attractive. Being seen by others is so overrated.
posted by naju at 5:50 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


It doubles as Alana Bloom cosplay elizardbits
posted by The Whelk at 5:50 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


elizardbits- you need some boots to go with that dress. It's what Alana Bloom would do.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:50 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


I wonder what shoes the action librarian wears?

I'm personally hoping there's something like this lurking under the tweed. Sorta the opposite of Chuck Taylors. Great tread for a sudden diversion into Tibet in search of the ancient manuscript. Waterproof in case you have to make a nighttime excursion into the Scottish moors in the middle of a fierce storm. Has a barrier against blood or other biological agents, which would come in handy when you're pursuing vampires.
posted by honestcoyote at 5:51 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


Dilaudid, I was roughly that proportion in college and can co-sign that mass-produced clothing did not even begin to look okay on me until I gained around twenty or thirty pounds.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:51 PM on August 4


I KNOW IM SO UPSET
posted by elizardbits at 5:51 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


The most important thing I learned from owning white jeans is that you do not use the urinal when wearing white jeans.

Especially not after a B complex vitamin.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:52 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


My experience, born of petulance, is to handle a nice piece of clothing and then enquire of the sales staff: "Pardon me, but do they make these in sizes for men?"

Given that everybody is apparently dying of obesity in the western world these days, it's surprisingly difficult to find shirts and jackets in XL, and jeans with 38 inch waists.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:52 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I covet those boots honestcoyote
posted by The Whelk at 5:53 PM on August 4


She is just jealous of my vintage Hawaiian shirt collection.

It is a marvelous thing to have when the weather hits 90+ for the week, and now if I wear one, my coworkers all ask if this is another Hawaiian Shirt week.

It really is one of the few ways men get to have any colorful fun with regards to fashion at all.
posted by drfu at 5:53 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


honestcoyote- Blundstones are your friend.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:54 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I am also a more uh economically proportioned gentleman and Uniqlo is great. I had never been so happy to return pants because hey they're too small for once. Also dirt-cheap cashmere.
posted by griphus at 5:55 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Can we all just wear robes or tunics? Keeps one cool in the summer, warm in the winter, appropriately androgynous, you can carry stuff in the sleeves so no need for bags oh ffs, just bring them back already.
posted by peripathetic at 5:57 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


A good mens' fashion blog is Magnolia Fresh.
Different body types, and clothes for warmer climates where layers of sweaters are impractical. They show a much wider variety of colors too - pastels and brights.
posted by dbltall at 5:59 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Those are the sort of boots I wear daily. It's not the most pleasant thing in August, but I feel completely vulnerable in anything else. You can find them here. I'm also very partial to Lowa Combat Boots. Probably my most expensive bit of clothing but they do last forever, and you can always count on them to not fall apart when running from eldritch horrors.
posted by honestcoyote at 6:01 PM on August 4


Can we all just wear robes or tunics?


"Oh, Sol H. Invictus! Is he seriously wearing off-white linen and open-toed caligulae? It's not even Lupercalia yet!"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:03 PM on August 4 [14 favorites]


*regrets not having the body of a model 25 years older than me*
posted by glhaynes at 6:03 PM on August 4


Can we all just wear robes or tunics?

For reasons unrelated to this thread I already had the wiki article for 1400-1500 in fashion open and tl;dr allow me to direct your attention to the stylish and fanciful houppelande.
posted by elizardbits at 6:03 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


White shirt gray pants blue blazer boom call it a day.
posted by jpe at 6:04 PM on August 4


Given that everybody is apparently dying of obesity in the western world these days, it's surprisingly difficult to find shirts and jackets in XL, and jeans with 38 inch waists.

The thing I enjoy as a fat tall lady is that they might have those sizes for jackets, but they're all black or some neutral color of shame instead of the rainbow of hues available for those who weren't bred up from peasant women who occasionally had to carry the plow ox home across their shoulders.
posted by winna at 6:05 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


Don’t Wear These: Extreme Scoop T-Shirts

IF NO OTHER ADVICE IS FOLLOWED, THIS ADVICE MUST BE FOLLOWED.


look, i'm not made of money here, if you wanna buy all the locks and chains to keep my clavicles from blasting out onto the world like Chamber's sternum in Generation X (the comic, not the band, or the demographic concept; you know, the one with Jubilee after they realized maybe it was a little weird that she only ever hung out with Wolverine and gave her some friends her own age and she started hanging out with Skin who was actually a REALLY badass character because his power was SO useless and he was clearly kinda pissed about it which was neat even though they obviously had no idea how to write that and just ended up killing him off, which someone musta been disappointed by since they brought him back later, but, like, as a vampire? Which really makes no sense? Cause he was so good in that Jim Mahfood one-shot? but no one seemed to realize that? which kind of sucked? Please share this post on facebook if you agree
posted by Greg Nog at 6:08 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


Greg you're wearing a kilt and cape right now don't even try
posted by The Whelk at 6:08 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Also I approve of the return of FLOWING WIZARD ROBES
posted by The Whelk at 6:09 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I am so pleased I don't care about this stuff and yet I felt anxious reading it.

I'm a 42 year old man wearing jeans* with a hole in one knee and a baby-spit covered black t-shirt with a picture of Lon Chaney, Sr. on it. I also scoffed at this, then immediately felt a little uneasy / pathetic.

* Not "dad jeans", but still.

posted by ryanshepard at 6:09 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Everyone looks like a fucking clown in drop crotch pants.

I cannot possibly express my loathing and revulsion for these fucking abominations thoroughly enough via text. Everyone responsible for their creation and subsequent manufactured popularity should be terminated with extreme prejudice.
posted by elizardbits at 6:10 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


On the other hand, if we could convince more people to start serving up the dhoti/blazer combo, I'd be OK with that.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:13 PM on August 4


So, not to be a party-pooper on our men's-fashion-ho! party, but it's also worth thinking about how the way we dress reflects and communicates our values. When we buy clothes, we're participating in an economy of garment production. The worldwide cheap-clothes industry is, frankly, horrible for the people who make our clothes.

So yeah, that Banana Republic sweater is a good value at $30 in the first link, but in addition to communicating a specific taste/age/sensibility/worldview/identity in relation to office fashions, it also communicates that I'm someone who buys BR clothing. And with that, I buy their labor practices.

Banana Republic isn't particularly horrible; it's actually the international nature of the whipsawing that's horrible, where the only people making real money in the cheap-fashion world are the first-world designers. There's not a lot of profit in making shirts for 17 cents per piece, you know?

So the other way to communicate values is to buy clothing made in countries with labor standards. The internet has made this actually very easy, so long as you're willing to risk tailoring or dealing with go-backs. In a nice happenstance, clothes made in countries with labor standards are generally better made, last longer, have better fabrics compared to similar types of clothing made in countries where workers are exploited. What's nice about it is that these better made pieces communicate things about you doubly, especially in things like boots where the major brands are visually distinctive.

And it doesn't have to be all or nothing--you can replace pieces as they wear out, or say that you're going to replace 50% of some type of item (t-shirts, underwear, whatever) as you build.

(I'm away from my bibliography atm, but happy to provide a wealth of citations about the garment industry if folks are curious.)
posted by migrantology at 6:15 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


I just wish I could find a decent pair of vegan dress boots that aren't $300.
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:18 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Fuck it, the only way to win the fashion game is not to play. I'm just gonna make myself a carapace out of mud and twigs.

Course some stuck-up caddisfly larva is gonna come along and tell me I'm doing it wrong
posted by prize bull octorok at 6:21 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


Shouldn't we have been able to upload our corporeal forms to the ethereal cloud by now to exist as pure data? I feel like 90's cyberpunk anime sold me a lie.
posted by naju at 6:23 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I read the 50s segment and was informed, "Shorts become a garment that divide opinion when we get older. I think that a nice pair of fitted shorts can work well when worn by someone with a more athletic build, but might work negatively on a larger or thinner male."

Ah, I see. It's 90 degrees out, but I shouldn't subject people to the horror of my insufficiently-athletic, over-50 knees?

I am so glad that this sort of body-shaming advice, with which women are pelted 24/7, only shows up in advice for men in the occasional venue like this.
posted by DrMew at 6:23 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


I am also a more uh economically proportioned gentleman and Uniqlo is great.

We were visiting a new mall on Saturday (as you do when you move to the 'burbs), and my own economically proportioned gentleman nearly had a stroke when he saw IT HAS A UNIQLO!!!!!! I NEVER HAVE TO GO INTO NYC AGAIN!!!!, he shouted with glee.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:24 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Clavicles are attractive parts of the human form. I don't see anything wrong with garments that expose them to the eye.

Also shiny rocks on the caddisfly carapace are de rigueur this season.
posted by winna at 6:25 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


40's: mostly woot t-shirts.
Get at least one positive compliment a week outside of work.

Dressing otherwise: no positive compliments.
posted by plinth at 6:26 PM on August 4


I just wish I could find a decent pair of vegan dress boots that aren't $300.

You need to stand astride two tame snapping turtles like the Colossus of Rhodes.
posted by elizardbits at 6:29 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


IT HAS A UNIQLO

Huh, I was about to say, "what's a UNIQLO?", but I just looked them up and realized that I recognize the logo and own some t-shirts from them. Who knew?
posted by octothorpe at 6:29 PM on August 4


except you should wear pants
posted by elizardbits at 6:29 PM on August 4


The true gentleman wears a pith helmet.

Surely you mean a pickelhaube, or perhaps an Apollo-era snoopy cap.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:31 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


134 and 5'10''? Bullshit. If you are 134 pounds people call you a skeleton and everything in department stores fits you like a tent.

Yepppppp

I am now standard male sized(6'2, 190~ lbs, 33 waist pants) besides my enormous feet, but throughout my teens everything fit like a goddamn tent. Especially button up shirts. I won't buy something without trying it on unless i've tried it before and know it fits, usually... and i also did basically all my early teenage/tween shopping at old navy and value village.

I forget how much i weighed, but i was lanky as fuck. Even size small shirts were kinda big around me. All pants were baggy. Famously, a pair of american apparel pants was loose on my legs junior year of high school. It totally sucked. Half of the solution was finding more fitted clothes, but the other half was just bulking up with age. If i didn't, it would have made buying clothes really annoying.

I feel like if i had stayed that size, i would have given in and just started getting stuff altered/tailored. Finding stuff that looks good when you're really skinny is as hard as finding stuff when you're really tall.

One annoying part never left though, and that's finding cool size 12/13 shoes or boots. Yea, you can easily order most stuff that size... but some brands stop at 10.5 or 11, or 46 in euro sizes. Soooo many pairs of shoes that "sort of fit". And so many really cool pairs of vintage shoes/boots that are like, size 9 or 10. All of my hate. I still remember fairly well when i was 13, wearing size 13 adidas which were literally the only shoes in the store that fit me ok. Also my hilarious sorel winter boots that literally look like they would fit hagrid, or are part of a space suit.

A good mens' fashion blog is Magnolia Fresh.
Different body types, and clothes for warmer climates where layers of sweaters are impractical. They show a much wider variety of colors too - pastels and brights.


The thing i always hate about blogs like this is that everyone featured as examples is painfully sexy. Like, sexual orientation bendingly good looking. A lot of the outfits are cool, but some of them are the kind of thing where it's like "Ok that just looks cool because it's a flattering photo, and that person is ridiculously photogenic and hot".

I don't look like sparkly vampire, so i'm always hesitant when i see someone looking really fresh in something like that double breasted denim jacket on the "smart casual" page just looks good because they do.
posted by emptythought at 6:32 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Shouldn't we have been able to upload our corporeal forms to the ethereal cloud by now to exist as pure data?


Well, you could, but they're all dressing like Psychedelic Furs circa 1983 right now.


Oh, who am I kidding, I've been wearing cutoff jeans and flannel shirts for the past three days [muffled Hunger Strike screaming in the distance]
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:35 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Like others, it's really hard for me to picture myself in these clothes when literally every model for my age bracket is super-skinny and striking a Cocky Model Pose.

For me the whole effect comes off less as "how to dress well" as "how to go to a currently hip store with a decent amount of money and look like a 2014 period piece". I don't know, yo. I can only really afford to shop second-hand, so things just have a different look; like I'm pretty much never ever going to find pants tailored in the current style (even though they flatter me), or a button-all-the-way-up-to-the-top floral hip-hop-skateboarder shirt at Goodwill.
posted by threeants at 6:38 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I rock my 60-plus years in a soiled dashiki and swim fins.
posted by Chitownfats at 6:39 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


I showed this to my wife who said :

"Good thing you subscribe to the Red Green school of Fashion. Now, go finish grouting the tile in the bathroom."

Heh.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:39 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Rupert Giles is the only Action LibrarianTM.

Vegan dress boots? try Vegetarian Shoes in Brighton?

http://www.vegetarian-shoes.co.uk/

"dress" is variable, of course...
posted by allthinky at 6:40 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Actually, can I hijack this for a moment for a Mini AskMe? I'm so second-hand-focused that when I do feel like I can shell out for new-new clothes I feel totally lost. The only store I've found that has stuff that looks decently hip but not over-the-top at a good price is H&M. Everything at Urban Outfitters is fugly. TJ Maxx and Marshall's are a joke-- I don't get why I'd pay new clothes prices for poorer selection and lower quality than Goodwill. Where do late 20s dudes who want to look good, but not flashy, buy their clothes?
posted by threeants at 6:41 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


My wife has a pith helmet she loves and looks great in. I find out exactly the right amount of imperialist, but if I could get away with dressing like the Earl of Grantham, I would.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:42 PM on August 4


Oh, I live in Boston. Which means no Uniqlo. Though apparently one is coming.
posted by threeants at 6:42 PM on August 4


Where do late 20s dudes who want to look good, but not flashy

trick question always look flashy wrap yourself in paisley scarves and birds of paradise next question
posted by Greg Nog at 6:44 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Do you have an Express, threeants? They're flashy but in he mix is nice, fitted and unobtrusive stuff as well. Also ASOS.
posted by griphus at 6:45 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Where do late 20s dudes who want to look good, but not flashy, buy their clothes?

J crew, levis, yea H&M, american apparel if you're ok with giving them money(and never EVER EVER FOR PANTS EVER. unisex skinny pants are the dumbest idea in the universe), whatever local shop you have that sells stuff like this* and bonobos, topman, whatever shop sells j brand and naked and famous like i think barneys NY and a few others.

An important question to ask yourself is "how comfortable am i with spending over $100 on a pair of jeans if they rule", or over $30 for a shirt, etc. I too buy almost entirely second hand, but occasionally shell out for something new if it's great... and probably on sale.

*pants from them, of the sort of long-short capri variety, are my current favorite clothing purchase of the year. Holy shit, i could put my leg behind my head without them binding up. And they look fucking ace.
posted by emptythought at 6:52 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Guys, this is (in theory) easy.

First, ignore articles like this. In fact, ignore fashion generally except as inspiration for your own ideas.

Second, buy good quality clothes THAT FIT YOU. This is super, super important. Don't dress in a tent because you hate your body. Clothes that fit will flatter your body regardless of what shape it is. Pay for alteration or tailoring as required. Own fewer but nicer things.

Dress outrageously and fucking OWN IT. Aim to stand out, not to fit in. Good quality stuff that fits is what makes it possible to do this and look fucking awesome instead of looking like a clown.

Own your style, don't let it own you. Change and move on as appropriate.

Being confidently outrageous is one the best things in life, right up there with having your enemies driven before you. Don't deny yourself.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 6:54 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]


I am forty-two years old. The one thing I am firmly convinced of by now is that I should dress so as to just meet societal minimums while maximizing my own comfort. Looking at those poor, under-fed boys in the "40s" article, I don't think they look comfy at all! The clothes are all so slender; how do I slouch comfortably in something as tight as a corset?

I have been shopping for khakis again: the last pair from my stash of discontinued police-supply khakis I have been wearing for several years finally wore out. Everything I have found is snug and slim and short and just…not comfy. I guess it's back to L.L. Bean for me!

My wife complains about the wearying chase after stylish women's clothes, and I just repeat that I go for classic, simple clothes that I don't have to think about much…which generally means WASPY classics (e.g., khakis, button-down Oxford cloth shirts, and seersucker). She calls them "frumpy," but I remind her that I am content while she is chronically dissatisfied.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:55 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I didn't realize that every single dude in Portland was in his forties.

Wild.
posted by mhoye at 6:56 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


For all his talk about running with trends and exploring what you like, even the 20s and 30s looks seem to me like they were all from the same guy's wardrobe. There's no "streetwear" influenced stuff, there's nothing that to me felt really "runway" or at all daring, there's nothing that felt like it was maybe part of a distinct subculture, etc. Even the sweaters mostly look like they have the same cut, and on a personal note the wide, boxy sweater cut he keeps showing over and over is hella unflattering on me. If the premise is that you're in your 20s and can afford to wear whatever you want (financially and socially), why go this tepid?

Also the whole thing is just saturated with class anxiety (you're 35! you should have an expensive watch and a signature cologne by now!) and anxiety about social judgment (don't experiment with your hair after the age of 34! don't wear weird pants! don't have a weird body type! but if you have a muscular body type don't show it off either! stop being WEIRD, WEIRDO) and I have personally had enough of both of those to last a lifetime. You don't need a god damn signature cologne at any stage in your life, let alone in your 30s. Wearing cologne at all, ever is actually completely optional.

(Finally I originally thought this was going to be about dressing through different decades of history and was a little let down by that, but that one's sort of on me.)
posted by en forme de poire at 6:59 PM on August 4 [24 favorites]


nearly 57 - sweatpants, generic fruit of the loom t-shirts, used flannels, sketchers and a backwards deadmau5 baseball cap over long hair

obviously, i quit caring a LONG time ago
posted by pyramid termite at 7:08 PM on August 4


Damn, somehow I've lived for fifty years without picking a signature cologne. Or ever once wearing cologne.
posted by octothorpe at 7:10 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


It is sort of cute how the 20s guide is all "fashion depends a lot on your own unique body frame, whether that be waifish, skinny, lanky, emaciated, buff, muscular, or jacked!"
posted by threeants at 7:10 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


trick question always look flashy wrap yourself in paisley scarves and birds of paradise next question

mods i believe quentin crisp has hacked greg's account please take immediate action
posted by elizardbits at 7:11 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


I'm going to be 46 next month, and I finally have the courage to start wearing clothes without constantly worrying about what other people think of me. I stopped cutting my hair last November and it's almost to my shoulders now, even though it's (gasp!) getting some grey in it. I make beaded bracelets and wear a bunch of them under my watch on my left arm all the time, because I like the way they look.

I work in an office filled with sportsball-loving straight guys and programming geeks and sales dudes who, despite all their different ways of looking at the world, all dress like they came out of the same department in Kohl's on a sale day. They have no idea what I'm all about, and they probably make fun of me behind my back, but I just don't care anymore.

I get complimented on my "rental" bowling shoes and my color-blocked shirts and my vests with short sleeved button-downs and my jewel-toned cardigan sweaters more often than I ever did on the office uniform that I used to force myself into wearing. It's sometimes a bit scary to wear what I like, because I'm such a sore thumb, but it does feel good.
posted by xingcat at 7:12 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


Also the BEARDS!

I want to find clothes that match my beardless face but the BEARDS they attract my gaze like a moth to a headlamp and I can see nothing else.
posted by jeremias at 7:13 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


threeants, I have little to contribute but I sympathize. I remember Boston as kind of a mens' fashion desert unless you wanted a place to buy a fucking blue blazer with gold buttons. There is apparently a pop-up Uniqlo store in Boston, though, and you're getting a fully-featured one at the end of August (!).
posted by en forme de poire at 7:14 PM on August 4


like seriously the dude that they describe as "bulky" (on the left) has the build of a ballet dancer
posted by threeants at 7:15 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Fuck it, the only way to win the fashion game is not to play. I'm just gonna make myself a carapace out of mud and twigs.

Course some stuck-up caddisfly larva is gonna come along and tell me I'm doing it wrong.


Pah! Mud and twigs is so last season.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:16 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


the build of a ballet dancer

idk i'm gonna have to see his majestic thighs before i can concur
posted by elizardbits at 7:18 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


To be fair I think he must have meant bulk in a more bodybuilding sense but I agree, if that guy's shirt were less flowy you could probably see his obliques through it
posted by en forme de poire at 7:19 PM on August 4


Also the whole thing is just saturated with class anxiety (you're 35! you should have an expensive watch and a signature cologne by now!) and anxiety about social judgment

No joke. I'd be interested in men's fashion sites that explicitly disavow that stuff. If they exist.
posted by naju at 7:20 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Alternate title: How to look out of place in the Midwest.
posted by Fleeno at 7:24 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]


And for those of us who don't want to look like male models?

I'm going to stick with my Larry David look, thanks.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 7:32 PM on August 4


Yes but also scorpions.

I have lived in Albuquerque since I was 2. We have no scorpions. At least I've never seen any, except like, at the zoo, maybe.

I feel like living here is the equivalent of working in a software company for fashionable-ness. When I actually try to put a decent outfit together, I get compliments from pretty women. When I don't bother trying to put a decent outfit together, I get in conversations with nerds (many of whom are pretty women), because my go-to hat for wearing in the summer when I don't feel like brushing my hair has Captain America on it and everyone loves Steve Rogers.

The fact that you get points for creativity in stylishness and that Albuquerque, at least, has little to no fashion standards means that you can basically dress up whenever the fuck you want and people will think you look fucking great and want to know where your clothes came from. The general friendliness means that people will compliment you a lot in general.

Also, I have a ton of graphic tees that I love, and most of them have jokes on them, and they make people laugh, and sometimes their color matches some tights so I can wear them with a skirt and not look absolutely terrible. I'm just about at the age where I'm probably not supposed to be wearing webcomic t-shirts 50% of the time, but New Mexico, so no one gives a shit.

We do, however, have plague rats.
posted by NoraReed at 7:38 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


I want to find clothes that match my beardless face but the BEARDS they attract my gaze like a moth to a headlamp and I can see nothing else.



OK, that first dude is too Sargon, too soon.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:00 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


It makes me sad that some people hate style and clothing so much. Anything that you HAVE to do everyday just shouldn't be such a burden to you - ENJOY it!

When I was dead broke in my twenties I learned to dress from thrift stores - and it was fun. I grew from despising buying clothes to looking forward to shopping. Fourteen year old me would've never believed it.

Opt out of the whole thing, that's fine- but listen to your friends' advice about what you're wearing, they're your friends and they care about you. Odds are, there's one who would like helping dress you.

Now, mid 40's, for me - aging mod - Fred Perry's from 70% off sales, cheap selvage jeans, nice workboots from Allen Edmonds bought 60% off. Most of what I'm wearing today is years old - there's economy in decent quality.
posted by rock swoon has no past at 8:05 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Can I just take this opportunity once again to lament that JC Penney has more or less gotten out of the business of selling clothing for the Falstaffian gentleman? Time was, you could find stuff there that fit reasonably well and didn't look like it was made at the same factory that circus tents come from. Now, you come out of there looking like you got lost on the way to the Jimmy Buffett concert.
posted by MrBadExample at 8:09 PM on August 4


In the first series of links, I can see the appeal of some of the stuff, but almost all of it is too costumey for me, even if I could afford it. Maybe if my job were walking around an amazing city all day... The second link is like maximally generic white collar white dude/Chili's commercial wardrobe, although I guess maybe that's the point. Except, I salute the recommendation of Chuck Taylors. Evil shoe company and all no doubt, but also what a great democratic product it is!

But here is my fashion problem: I am in-between sizes with t-shirts and collared shirts both, so that an L can be a little too tight in the belly, so I have kind of a dumpling look, and also it's uncomfortable because the tightness makes me unconsciously clench my abs all day or something, but then I start to get swallowed in an XL. I look for L's that are a little bigger or XL's that are a little smaller, but sometimes it's too much of a pain in the ass. WHAT DO I DO MEFI1?!?
posted by batfish at 8:09 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


rock swoon, I think there's definitely some of that in this thread (mixed, I think, with the usual amount of muted masculinist posturing). But on the other hand, I can certainly see why people hate discussing style and clothing, when it's presented as yet another series of arbitrary hoops that will be necessary for you to jump through in order to satisfy judgmental strangers.

(batfish, I think the answer is probably getting an XL and getting it taken in a bit.)
posted by en forme de poire at 8:24 PM on August 4


I mean I'm on the husky side and I can look casual or all dressed up for easter or in slimming blacks or butch or Very Pink or MAD WITH CAGED POWER or whatever this is
posted by The Whelk at 8:25 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


maaaan i think a lot of you commenters need to get into either Normcore or TechNinja (both previous FPPs by your's truly)
posted by rebent at 8:25 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


I've spent most of the past 3-4 years wearing sweatpants and only sweatpants due to chronic pain issues and now that it is lessening I am still wearing sweatpants because I don't know how to stop.

i feel like buying those dresses will help though
posted by elizardbits at 8:28 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


It makes me sad that some people hate style and clothing so much. Anything that you HAVE to do everyday just shouldn't be such a burden to you - ENJOY it!

I DO. And yet . . . I am still considered unfashionable.
Hmmmm.
Hirsute fat boy dresses like he wants to? So totally not cool!

The message of fashion is never "dress like you want to" or else there wouldn't be pushback against baseball caps and Hawaiian shirts and comic book t-shirts.
posted by Seamus at 8:41 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Well, the section for fiftysomethings was highly amusing, although I'm tempted to follow Gary Oldman's example and look for a sort of updated frock coat in my size because I'm starting to get to the age where you say to yourself, oh, why the fuck not? (This is also why nudist colonies tend to have more people my age and older.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:45 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Dude, you live on top of Manhattan Chase. You need to look the part.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:50 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Interesting and timely post.

I've always been tall and skinny. In my senior HS yearbook they voted me skinniest boy in the class (rather embarrassed, I asked if they could pair me with the fattest girl in class. Apparently not, and in retrospect probably good).

I'm now 50 and still tall and skinny (6' 150#). This spring I decided for the first time in my life to began dressing like a proper adult (suits/ties/spread-collar shirts). I was worried that nothing would fit me - that it would be like wearing a tent, or worse like a shirt from Seinfeld.

It turned out that the Nordstrom girls were all over me. I am now the perfect size for all of the European suits/jackets/shirts et .al. I'm now apparently the definition of an Italian male supermodel.

But still, I'm fucking skinny and can only imagine what a normal or big guy faces when buying nice clothes.
posted by codex99 at 8:59 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


So I'm a 50-something female who is absolutely horrified by the way most of the 50-something men on OK Cupid dress themselves. But the link here for 50-something's...oh, dear god, no!

Seriously, there is nothing sexier than a well-fitting t-shirt and a pair of Levi's. And nothing less sexy than a golf/polo shirt and a pair of khakis. That's really all you need to know.
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:05 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


My husband is 6'2", 185-190, his only fit issues are very very broad shoulders and massive cycling thighs brought on from riding his bike 100+ miles a week. He dresses in khakis with button-down shirts, no tie, for work and t-shirts or henleys on the weekend. Exclusively. He and I are doing Project 333 together; curating my clothes took me six hours, while curating his took him 45 minutes. He shops pretty much exclusively at Costco.

I am so jealous.
posted by KathrynT at 9:09 PM on August 4


I'm 6'4" with broad shoulders, long arms, and without a big gut. Tall-but-not-fat clothes that are sturdy enough to wear on a job site basically come from Carhartt, LLBean, and Eddie Bauer (and of course they look it, too); you can get suits and dress shirts in tall sizes but the only thing less suited to my life would be a scuba outfit.

Thrift stores? Ha ha ha.

At least in the "40s" link, all the outfits are clearly for men who don't do anything. Those are great outfits for designing a building or going to a meeting with your editor, but not for much else; the cuts and materials scream "I don't do manual labor" quite loudly.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:11 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Menswear Named After Real Men: 10 Jackets, Shirts, And Hats With Surprising Etymologies
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:14 PM on August 4


Anything that you HAVE to do everyday just shouldn't be such a burden to you - ENJOY it!

Getting out of bed, brushing my teeth, pooping, making breakfast, leaving the house.

Hell, getting dressed is only one of many things I hate about everyday.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:21 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Have you tried switching up your coffee, to Folger's rich mountain-grown crystals?
posted by Flashman at 9:59 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


I checked out the 30s galleries and they nearly had me going. A few tips I agree with (no scoops) and I was sliding down the slippery fashion runway. What on earth am I doing in jeans and a t-shirt? I've never tried any of those colognes. Hats!?

Thanks to everyone in this thread for pointing out the forgone conclusions of handsome male models, expensive clothes, and a bit of Emperor syndrome.

I'm of similar build and sentiment as The Whelk. Thanks especially to you, sir, for the excellent guideline of the Action Librarian.
posted by brism at 10:47 PM on August 4


Maybe you stand to wipe or something weird pogo, and I agree with you on the rest, but pooping is like, the highlight of my day man.
posted by Carillon at 11:13 PM on August 4


I am very happy for the hearty rounds of "Fuck this" being posted here. People who like fashion, here's the secret: "I like wearing this" or "I like what this person is wearing" can be interesting and fun. "This is what you should wear" pisses people off.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:15 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


See, this is why I used to think that the word "sartorial" meant "hilarious".
posted by telstar at 11:22 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


I have no idea why this thread has caused so much bally hoo - I am a guy rapidly approaching his 50's, I have a gut larger than most other's - but I still want to dress well. I tend towards well fitting dark blue's for most of my clothes, cause it makes me feel generally tidier and more organized (though I am slipping into that old man's habit of always forgetting to pull his fly up!).

The point of the links is to help pick out things that work for you. The fact that I don't look like the pictures don't bother me one iota. it's good to get a refresher on what makes sense and what doesn't - but I'll always buy things that suit my body and personality.

I think alot of guys grow up without really knowing how to wear things well and how to show a bit of wit. And there is kind of this anti-fashion sentiment that creates a shlubby uniform that most guys adopt because they don't want to seem pretentious or caring too much about appearances. Well whatever, I am happy to be myself and make a little bit of an effort. And I am happy that you decide to wear whatever you like.
posted by helmutdog at 11:51 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


I'm 52, 6', 220,and shaped like most men my age who work at desks, which is, 40 lbs overweight. I've got suits, cut to fit, and as a result they fit. I choose my suit colors from the tech ninja spectrum, so a decent suit that fits in a dark steel gray, with good shoes, usually does pretty damn well as business armor.

I can hold my own if I have to, but it's just because of one thing. I look how I do while appearing to be not trying. I'm not in a costume, my suits are comfortable, and they fit my body and my style.

The rest of the time, it's tech work boots, dark pants, white t-shirt under a golf shirt, because it's flexible enough for meetings at work with vendors and clients, but it still works in the server room or for field stuff. A button up shirt is not what you need when you have to help hoist some heavy ass router chassis into place.

Cause it is a work uniform that fits the work.

And in the winter, with a zip neck fleece, and two more layers, gloves and hat in pockets, you can still be a midwestern gentleman and help push that stuck car out of the snow they got stuck in without freezing to death.

Pants that are cut above my ankles and no socks with leather shoes? I don't think that looks good for anyone, much like skinny jeans don't even look good on models, or whichever sociopath dictated that all women need to be stick thin in order to be fashionable enough to wear what appears to be this year's sack. I'm old enough to make up my own mind, and I'm pretty sure the trend is not my friend, not at my age.
posted by dglynn at 12:09 AM on August 5


The articles are from 2011, so I'm sort of impressed that they don't look hideously outdated.

I'm British, so I'm also impressed that this is an English website; normally they're American, and often from New York. There aren't huge differences, and sites like Put This On do try to be international, but if I decided follow the advice in these articles I can actually shop at Loake and Reiss. The styles are also more English, with no mention of tassel loafers and button-down collars that are not really the done thing here.

I still struggle with men's fashion advice for the many reasons mentioned already, but mainly because I lament the fact that I'm not Ryan Gosling.
posted by milkb0at at 3:35 AM on August 5


It's funny how awful the photos are for these articles. It's like, instead of trying to find pictures of people in their thirties, forties, or fifties, the author decided to make it easy and only source GQ magazine blindly at random.

My advice for being fashionable is to dress for the fucking weather.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:37 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


"You have just turned 60! Throw away all your old clothes, it's time to wear nothing but tweed suits and a collar and tie!"

No thanks. This fashion advice is worth pretty much what you paid for it: which is to say, that's two minutes of my life I want a refund for spending.
posted by cstross at 4:06 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


It makes me sad that some people hate style and clothing so much. Anything that you HAVE to do everyday just shouldn't be such a burden to you - ENJOY it!

There's often only a limited number of ways to "enjoy" clothing and still look stylish. If Allen Edmonds fits your aesthetic and you get joy out of owning and wearing a pair, then you're gold. If not, building a wardrobe around them or searching for a pair at half price won't be as pleasant.

I think the problem with men's fashion in particular is that it seems to be presented as an all-or-nothing deal. There's so little middle ground between the dapper gentlemanly look and the t-shirt and jeans.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:54 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


A slightly more fitted t-shirt and a nicer over shirt ( natural materials, good construction, etc) can go a long way into making a casual dress look "nicer".

And get pants that fit.
posted by The Whelk at 5:27 AM on August 5


I'm very excited at the prospect of being able to dress like The Doctor whenever I want after I turn 60.
posted by schmod at 5:37 AM on August 5


Why wait? If nothing else Doctor Who has given a bunch of people an excuse to wear fine English jackets and slacks.
posted by The Whelk at 5:38 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


I'm a 50-something so I just try to dress like the guys I see in viagra commericals.
posted by klarck at 5:44 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


Rugged, masculine, secure, blue-tinted....
posted by The Whelk at 5:50 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


It's funny how awful the photos are for these articles. It's like, instead of trying to find pictures of people in their thirties, forties, or fifties, the author decided to make it easy and only source GQ magazine blindly at random.

I'm the opposite of fashionable, but I love looking at photos from street fashion photographers. (I think there was an FPP a long time ago with great links which was my first exposure to this.) If I ever needed to do a wardrobe reboot in order to be a more presentable person, that is the place I'd start with -- actual people with real anatomy looking good on the street. Catwalk photos of models isn't going to get me very far.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:05 AM on August 5


can someone memail me a place with outfits of this quality for 40 year olds who look like out of shape linebackers? (broad, also fat, also tall. very balding.)

and/or a the name of a store that caters to tall fat guys who don't mind spending a few bucks, but have ABSOLUTELY NO EYE FOR FASHION beyond ironic nostalgiac t-shirts?
posted by DigDoug at 6:17 AM on August 5


I'm the opposite of fashionable, but I love looking at photos from street fashion photographers. (I think there was an FPP a long time ago with great links which was my first exposure to this.)
I'm totally jonesing for some good leads on mens street style blogs in the vein of The Sartorialist, but not quite so all-Milan, all-the-time. I mean, I love what he does with his site, and I do like looking at it for inspiration from time-to-time, as well as living for the occasional throwback segment where readers contribute photos of their parents being awesome. But a lot of his aesthetic is very specific, super trendy, and also falls into the niche complained on within this thread of being focused on fit men of medium height (and who can also use their facial hair as a fashion accessory)

I like sometimes looking at Portraits of Boston and Humans of New York for something a little more down to earth, but they aren't always great style sources (because that isn't their focus, and that's totally understandable), and a lot of other men's fashion sites, like A Continuous Lean or Put This On, are essentially just places where bloggers forward whatever hot or interesting deals come their way. Short of good tumblr or pinterest boards that aggregate good photography, I pine for another press photographer who runs a street fashion blog on the DL as they jet from one street location to another. Or as a cyclist, I hunger for something that's like The Rapha Survey with no spandex or Bike Fancy for dudes.
posted by bl1nk at 6:51 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


There's no hope for me. Brace yourself, world.
posted by Trochanter at 7:20 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


The thing that irritates me about street fashion blogs is that a lot of the time it appears the actual criteria is a lower-than-normal body fat percentage. The Sartorialist features a lot of people that look like they stole their clothes from a thrift store dumpster in the dark. But they certainly are slim!
posted by winna at 7:21 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Shirt






Pants
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 7:34 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


One thing I do that's been very helpful is look up shows/movies with the style I want or period I'm interested in a take costume notes and then search for analogs, if you're consistent with the overall look you end up with wardrobe where everything kinda works with everything else so you're free to mix and match more.
posted by The Whelk at 7:42 AM on August 5


Good God is there anything quite as quietly, venomously abusive as male fashion writing? Like it's all written by actual evil gender-policing snakes.
posted by ead at 7:47 AM on August 5 [8 favorites]


The guys in their 30's, aside from the dudes in suit & tie, look flat out ridiculous. I don't care that the dudes are skinny and handsome or whatever - though quite a few of them look like malnourished Twilight extras - they just look silly. I guess I'm not the target audience though.

I think "fashion" is a big practical joke played on regular proles by whatever committee it is that sits around and decides this stuff. "Hey guys, this year we'll tell 'em to wear white skinny jeans and baggy cardigans! Haha! Wonder when they'll catch on?"
posted by mrbigmuscles at 8:34 AM on August 5


Your wardrobe should always revolve around you
posted by moonmilk at 8:46 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


This is what I wore today. I was being filmed for a thing and made an effort to look good, but this is fairly typical for me (about a step above my standard level while lecturing).

https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/t1.0-9/1623524_10105531293969361_8708073092722601558_n.jpg

posted by oddman at 9:01 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


Discussions of 'proper' fashion almost always come across as "If you dress poorly, people will judge you. But if you dress like they say, those same people who made fun of you yesterday will be your friends!" So I haven't really cared.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:08 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


Advice from the Bold Italic.
posted by not.so.hip at 9:32 AM on August 5


The deep V combined with the deep cut sleeves favored by so many young gay men in the summer does make me want to scream "YOU ARE NOT WEARING A SHIRT YOU ARE WEARING A FLIMSY PRETENSE*" Go shirtless or go home, don't half-ass it with this moon roof of outerwear.

*Also STOP BEING IN BETTER SHAPE THAN ME but that's a given.

(also point of order there is no such thing as classy sandals, that's like having colorless green.)
posted by The Whelk at 9:34 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


UGH those terrible ones that are just a flat thin foot-shaped piece of unfinished leather as the sole and there is a single piece of rough handwoven artisanal twine with a knot on the top sticking up between your big toe and second toe.

And it's $1,500.
posted by elizardbits at 9:50 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


I should get into the bespoke sandals business.
posted by Mister_A at 10:01 AM on August 5


Are you really supposed to wear button-down shirts and jackets all the time? In August?

I try to look nice at work because otherwise the older employees think I'm an intern. I'm wearing a jacket today - I wouldn't run sprints in it in weather like today, but I ate lunch outside without melting down.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:35 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Good God is there anything quite as quietly, venomously abusive as male fashion writing? Like it's all written by actual evil gender-policing snakes.

I take it you haven't read any women's fashion writing lately.
posted by like_a_friend at 10:38 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


moon roof of outerwear

Stop using my band name to talk about other things.
posted by like_a_friend at 10:40 AM on August 5


SO keeps his nice work jackets in his office closet so we can come in, put it on, look sharp, and then hang it up at the end of the day. It's less of an issue in the Winter, when there are coats, and there are fewer people about in the summer to care if they spot him blazer-less on the way in.

Also, suspenders create air flow.
posted by The Whelk at 10:40 AM on August 5


LL Bean is where this late-40s tech guy finds shirts to fit his 6'5", 225 frame. Right on the rack, which, if you're anywhere near my size, is simply amazing. It's the only brick-and-mortar store where I've consistently found shirts that fit. I don't bother with thrift stores.

Oh, and I always wear hats, since there's nothing less fashionable than a melanoma on one's forehead.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:41 AM on August 5


Oh, and I always wear hats, since there's nothing less fashionable than

driving a tractor through a fence 'cause the sun was in your eyes.
posted by Trochanter at 10:46 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Whelk I demand a meeting followed by a Zoolander-style tweed showdown.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:53 AM on August 5


Careful what you wish for backseatpilot
posted by The Whelk at 11:02 AM on August 5


I take it you haven't read any women's fashion writing lately.

Yeah, that was my thought exactly.

The Reductress has pretty succinctly summed it up in this article here: New Ways to Hate Your Butt This Summer!
posted by phunniemee at 11:06 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


Are you really supposed to wear button-down shirts and jackets all the time? In August?

You don't work up much of a sweat walking from your air-conditioned house to your air-conditioned car to your air-conditioned office. (You also don't wear your jacket while driving.) Granted it's a bit harder in cities where you'd walk a couple of blocks to mass-transit, but no one is going to kill you for taking off your jacket at 3PM in Atlanta as you walk to MARTA.
posted by oddman at 11:06 AM on August 5


I'm already one of the oldest people in my department; if I wore a jacket to work, they'd start calling me grandpa.
posted by octothorpe at 11:12 AM on August 5


"You don't work up much of a sweat walking from your air-conditioned house to your air-conditioned car to your air-conditioned office."

And if that is not what your day is always going to be(and you may not know which type of day it is before you go to work)?

Don't get me wrong, I understand that some people have that type of existence, and good for them, but it does seem as if clothing as fashion that is asking for trade-offs in functionality isn't prepared to acknowledge that the loss of functionality can be a significant trade-off for some definitions of functionality.

Sometimes when people say too hot, not warm enough, material is not going to survive adverse weather, sometimes in volume, and other practical considerations, its because of practical reasons, not "chooses to be schlubby".

And this is before we get into some fashion choices being something that may not be comfortable for ones individual sense of style. Some people are more comfortable with some aesthetic than others. Most of those models wouldn't feel they were accurately portraying their inner being with an outer presentation that seemed more "working, sometimes not in air conditioning", and I don't think I would be representing my inner me in 95% of the things represented in the link for 50 year olds.

And besides, we drink beer after a long day, usually outside. Obviously these models physical form would seem to indicate that they have never drank any beer, but don't people from climate controlled stylish world ever drink cocktails out on the patios of friendly public gathering places?
posted by dglynn at 11:34 AM on August 5


Jeans, polo shirts, sneakers. They might as well bury/cremate my fat ass in those duds, 'cause that's my wardrobe, "fashion" be damned. It's all summed up in this Spanish saying: "Mono en seda, mono queda" - a monkey in silk remains a monkey.
posted by dbiedny at 11:44 AM on August 5


"take him to the banana farm and encase him in chains!" screamed The Monkey King, resplendent in robes, as the poor man was dragged away.
posted by The Whelk at 11:53 AM on August 5


"And if that is not what your day is always going to be(and you may not know which type of day it is before you go to work)?"

Then you dress appropriately for your job. No one has argued that a construction contractor needs to wear a jacket and tie every day. If your job is entirely or partially outdoors (or heavy labor regardless of environment), you dress for that when you are at work.

"And besides, we drink beer after a long day, usually outside. . . . don't people from climate controlled stylish world ever drink cocktails out on the patios of friendly public gathering places?"

All of the time. A nice seersucker (or heck just linen slacks and a tropical button-up like a guayabera.) will keep you looking good and feeling good as you enjoy your refreshing gin and tonic. Presumably your "friendly public gathering places" have shade and ice water, no? I'll put it this way, I try to dress well even at casual picnics and such, my friends trend toward jeans and t-shirts. I've never been at a gathering (out of doors, in Miami) and been less comfortable than anyone else.

As an aside, jeans are actually hotter than many dressier slacks.
posted by oddman at 12:01 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


Yeah, dbiedny, but that monkey in silk is a good-looking monkey.
posted by oddman at 12:02 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


As an aside, jeans are actually hotter than many dressier slacks.

I have no idea what I was doing with my life before my wife's grandfather died and I took his linen pants during the (entirely respectful and loving) pre-funeral closet raid. Jeans? Outside in the summer? I must have been roasting alive.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:13 PM on August 5


Yeah I just discovered via idle perusal of the washing instructions on my favourite ratty old shorts that they have been linen all along, which in retrospect explains the lack of swamp ass on the days that I wear them.
posted by elizardbits at 12:27 PM on August 5


Jeans were made for lumberjacks in the Northwest, they don't breathe at all and absorb water like crazy, linen was made for summer.
posted by The Whelk at 12:29 PM on August 5


linen was made for summer

I can't agree with you more. I disagree on denim, though. I am ensconced deep in the heart of a New Orleans summer, and am currently rocking the hell out of some affordable selvedge denim. My secret? Work nights, and don't go out much during the day.

Also, I have not worn a pair of shorts in years. I'd rather look good than feel good, not that long pants is that much of a burden, in the grand sartorial scheme of things.
posted by erskelyne at 12:57 PM on August 5


I see that some of the styles are heavily influenced by the ubiquitous air conditioning in the US (or the mild climate in post-medieval UK). I'm collapsing at the mere thought of wearing a sweater vest right now. Granted, I seem to be especially bad at managing heat. Probably comes from the fact that my whole genepool can best be described as "alpine inbred".

I went to a job interview today and had to get a suit out of the hidden recesses of moving box dungeon, and boy, that's not something I want to wear walking outside or at the (non-AC) office. Dress shirt alone is okay, but isn't really an improvement on jeans & t-shirts. Unless it's slim-fit and your pants are a bit lower than what you'd wear with a jacket. Which I can't do at all, because my gluteal fat deposits are like post-WW2 Japanese soldiers stationed on isolated islands.
posted by pseudocode at 1:39 PM on August 5


my gluteal fat deposits are like post-WW2 Japanese soldiers stationed on isolated islands

are they opportunistic cannibals? vitamin deficient? tired of canned squid? im so confused
posted by elizardbits at 2:04 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


If you don't like how shorts look on you, don't wear them. But plenty of men look great in them, and shorts have been an unremarkable part of men's casual wear for decades at this point.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:08 PM on August 5


It's not that shorts shouldn't be worn at all by guys. It's just there's so many ways to go wrong with them (jean shorts, cargo shorts, too short, too long, with suits, with visible socks...) and the payoff isn't really worth it for me in most situations. And speaking just for myself, I'm not convinced that anyone can handle seeing my sexy legs.
posted by naju at 2:20 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


My shapely calves are for very select eyes.

Eyes that can handle them.
posted by The Whelk at 2:24 PM on August 5


are they opportunistic cannibals? vitamin deficient? tired of canned squid? im so confused

The last to realize that the war is over. I would guess that I could contract cholera and die with ample buttage. No low rise pants for me.

I can rock lederhosen. Not appropriate office wear, though, even around here.
posted by pseudocode at 2:46 PM on August 5


are they opportunistic cannibals? vitamin deficient? tired of canned squid? im so confused

This is what they're getting at, i think.
posted by emptythought at 2:46 PM on August 5


naju, I contest that most of those are going "so wrong," though. To say that "jean shorts" are bad, for instance, doesn't make sense to me: on any given person, some cuts of shorts aren't going to be flattering and others will, regardless of whether they're made of denim. To me it sounds like saying that jeans aren't flattering on men because sometimes men wear jeans that are too baggy or too tight.

And while I know you were joking, and this is not meant at all a personal criticism, I think the thing about men's legs being somehow too funny-looking or too sexual to reveal in situations where women's bare legs would go without even conscious notice or comment is actually a meme that needs to die a swift death. I think it's part and parcel of some weird sexist, classist, and homophobic baggage you often find in especially the more prescriptive end of men's fashion. For example, "well-dressed" men are practically always more covered up than the equivalent women, presumably because men are supposed to be doing the looking, not being looked at. Sometimes this gets couched in what I think is a risible, paternalistic idea that women's bodies are inherently more "aesthetically pleasing" than men's, whatever that means; other times people use a sort of "gay panic" argument to dissuade men from wearing things that shows too much arm or leg. Relatedly, on the class axis, "well-dressed" men are supposed to look powerful in a way that demonstrates financial and social capital, as opposed to physicality.

Again, to be totally clear, this is not at all a personal criticism or meant to imply anything about you, or what you do or don't believe -- I just think that this strain of thought is linked to a cultural idea that is actually kind of insidious, and that it's worth thinking about where these "standards" come from.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:56 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]


It's okay you can just say you're a leg man we don't judge here
posted by The Whelk at 4:16 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]


lol, but also, that's kind of a case in point.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:35 PM on August 5


This is what they're getting at, i think.

YES I forgot about those guys.
posted by elizardbits at 4:40 PM on August 5


Why wait? If nothing else Doctor Who has given a bunch of people an excuse to wear fine English jackets and slacks.

I wasn't going to bring up The Doctor, but since someone already did, he basically is an Action Librarian (in particular 10 & 11, who pretty much define his recent image).
posted by weston at 5:14 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Yea honestly EFDP, i agree with what you're saying. There absolutely seems to be a general war on shorts on men unless they're of a very narrow band of preppy-but-not-khakis/chinos-exactly which is shown on most of those blogs.

At first i thought it was just like, my parents generation, but i've heard even women my own early 20s age talk about how much they don't like men wearing shorts or even sandals(and i don't just mean flip flops, ALL sandals).

I've also gotten another side of it, and been told in more than one situation to cover up my legs because they're too hairy and that was somehow indecent. And i mean, i'm a really hairy guy, like Austin Powers hairy(i actually shave my armpits, because deodorant will not cut it if i don't)... but wtf? If i shave my legs i'm a "homo", but if i don't then it's indecent because i don't have thin blonde leg hair?

I also absolutely see the class thing. Because a lot of the hate on shorts centers on a specific, but totally know-it-when-i-see-it style of jorts, and a lot of the shirt hate centers on like... muscle shirt and "wife beater" a-shirt type stuff.

And yet fashion blogs are often full of a specific type of denim short, or a tank top that gets tons of reblogs, or whatever. I'm not blind to style, and i can often see the difference... but a big part of the difference is often how the guy modeling the outfit looks. There's a big element of body shaming involved in this.

It's everything you said, but it's also another front on the whole war of "you should never wear a bikini like that unless you fit within these narrow boundaries of what i think someone wearing a bikini should look like". Because yea, apparently it's totally cool to wear jorts and a tank top 100% of the time to basically everyone who objects... if you look like Edward Cullen.
posted by emptythought at 5:27 PM on August 5 [7 favorites]


if you look like Edward Cullen.

I'm so upset this has entered our cultural narrative as shorthand for an unbelievable hottie instead of as the pasty waifish charmless douchebag that he actually is.
posted by elizardbits at 5:33 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


At the beginning of summer my wife got me a pair of seersucker shorts (I got myself some chambray shorts (light, summer weight)). All, I'm telling you, they are wonderful.

Light, good looking and they go very well with polo shirts. I wear them with casual walking shoes (tan, light grey, etc.). They're a million times better for things like going to a farmers market than cargo shorts (so bulky!) or athletic apparel.
posted by oddman at 8:43 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


You need to stand astride two tame snapping turtles like the Colossus of Rhodes.

Only if they consent.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:52 PM on August 5


Vegan dress boots? try Vegetarian Shoes in Brighton?

omg!
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:54 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


so, I take it no one has a good guide to 940s hair styles then?
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 PM on August 5


Alternate title: How to look out of place in the Midwest.

Pendleton board shirt, the oldest t-shirt you own and new Levi's, Work boots or heavy shoes with wool socks. Leather belt that almost but not quite matches the shoes. Week of scruff.

I really miss Steve and Barry's. Their t-shirts were extremely comfortable, fairly stylish and started to get holes as as reminder that you needed to buy updated shirts.
posted by mcrandello at 10:09 PM on August 5


The Whelk: "so, I take it no one has a good guide to 940s hair styles then?"

This one looks pretty good.
posted by koeselitz at 11:28 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]


if you look like Edward Cullen.

I'm so upset this has entered our cultural narrative as shorthand for an unbelievable hottie instead of as the pasty waifish charmless douchebag that he actually is.


I overheard two teenage girls talking about him ages ago. One was saying how hot he was, and the other said "Oh please, he's just a sparkly emo." Which is funny cos it's true.
posted by billiebee at 12:14 AM on August 6


so, I take it no one has a good guide to 940s hair styles then?

Plastered to your head with a combination of cow dung and mashed turnips
posted by elizardbits at 7:11 AM on August 6 [3 favorites]


PARSNIPS OBVIOUSLY SHEESH
posted by The Whelk at 10:04 AM on August 6


I live in Ottawa, where temperatures over the course of a year can range from -40°C to +40°C. This makes dressing for the weather my biggest concern in the morning. I have a 30 minute walk to work, where I sit in a cubical in front of a computer screen all day long, then walk home again. Thanks to cutbacks, temperatures are no longer really regulated in our building so much as moderated, which means it is often 26-28°C in my office during the summer. Winter is a crapshoot whether it will be blasting hot or freezing cold. I gave up trying to dress "office nice" years ago except on the very rare occasion when I have a meeting with someone from outside the department. Shorts and sandals and a short sleeve button-up in the summer, sometimes a plain t-shirt when it is especially hot. The rest of the year, plaid on top and solid on the bottom. Lately I've started replacing all my dress pants with casual cotton pants and bluejeans. Chucks or docs for my feet. Because what the hell, why not be comfortable. No-one is going to see me or care what I wear to work, so I wear what I like.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:20 AM on August 6


I didn't expect so much GRAR! about this post; really, I wish there were just a few photos because I think they overshadow the text (did anybody read the text?).

Yeah, dbiedny, but that monkey in silk is a good-looking monkey.
posted by oddman at 12:02 PM on August 5 [1 favorite +] [!]


I think this might be at the heart of it: rebelling against the idea that you're looked at. Cute John Berger and Ways of Seeing.

It' similar to the root of hipster hate, I think: that being too polished or well-presented is inherently feminine. And also, I think, there's an acknowledgement of the huge double-standards applied to women when it comes to appearance.

(Note: many people commented on the outrageously young models for the older categories: the writer acknowledges this problem in the article.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:14 PM on August 6


Enh. Men have very little clothing choice as it is. When people start saying "you should never wear this" or "you should only wear that" they limit your choice even more and people get their back up about it. Especially when the advice is kinda judgy about how a lot of people actually dress in real life, and quite frankly not very functional beyond "fashion". After all, who are these yomyocks to tell me what I should wear? I don't know them, they don't know me, and clearly we have very, very different lifestyles.

I'm 42 and perfectly comfortable with myself. I make a point of wearing culturally appropriate clothing for circumstances that require a certain level of dressiness whether I like it or not (meetings, weddings, funerals, etc), but outside of those situations, bugger off.

Now if you don't mind, I need to find my clam-diggers, black knee-high socks, Crocs, Hawaiian hula girl print shirt, and fedora so I can go out for dinner downtown tonight.
posted by fimbulvetr at 12:54 PM on August 6


JCIFA, I definitely agree with what you're saying about being "looked at" being coded as both more sexual and more feminine (the two being often conflated due to sexism). And I don't have big problems with any of the looks on display, per se, though I also felt that they were kinda bland and homogenous, and that the author didn't do a good enough job of looking outside the world of things that he personally liked and (I'm guessing) looked good in, which you need to do in a guide like this. (r/mfa, for all of its faults, at least has more style diversity on offer.)

The text was actually what I had the biggest problem with -- stuff like "by the time you have progressed through your thirties, you are hopefully now a lot more financially secure and maybe even a key player within your organisation," or the stuff about how being an adult man means having a "signature cologne" and an expensive watchtimepiece. There's something there that reads as contagiously anxious and status-conscious. Between that and the pretty small range of looks on display, it came off to me more like the author's fantasy about himself and what he wants to be like in 20 or 30 years, just projected as a set of guidelines for others to follow.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:58 PM on August 6


> ... It' similar to the root of hipster hate, I think: that being too polished or well-presented is inherently feminine.

Not for me. I'm totally happy to see some man pull off the twinkest of looks — it's interesting. What turned me off was the move from description to prescription. You tell me what kind of watch I should be wearing, I'm going to tell you to fuck off. You'd be wrong to chalk all of the reaction up to gender anxiety.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:46 PM on August 6


As proof that building a wardrobe is an ongoing process and no one is born knowing how to do this I found a bunch of photos of myself in my late teens and early twenties wearing the craziest shit.
posted by The Whelk at 5:13 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]


Super curious what those were now, Whelk. I actually kinda wish I had "craziest shit" pics to regret, as opposed to just a bunch of olive-drab tents with cargo pockets.
posted by en forme de poire at 6:55 PM on August 11


I'm not including stuff I wore on stage as part of my job cause RUFFS and RIBBONS AND STOCKINGS but I wore this stuff, and a polo shirt and blazer, and what the hell? Wait no that goes with nothing baby no
posted by The Whelk at 8:42 PM on August 11


Stockings and ribbons
posted by The Whelk at 8:45 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]


i also still own every article of clothing here
posted by The Whelk at 8:50 PM on August 11


Current wardrobe is a little different detail
posted by The Whelk at 8:52 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]


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