I spend most of my time writing about women here - beauty, fashion, dating, and other girly things - so, in honor of all the men in my life, stylish and not so much, I'd thought I'd write about them for a change. And because, to me, there is nothing sexier than a man with timeless style, who's groomed but not too so, and who carries himself with the kind of confidence and ease only truly stylish men seem to. Or, because, as ZZ Top put it (ironically, really): every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man.
Male Style Essentials (in my book)
- a crisp white dress shirt
French cuffs, preferably. This is an essential that should not be bought carelessly, or cheaply. It works wonders, with denim, cuffs rolled up, or with a well-tailored jacket. Or, well, with anything, really. Oh and my heart melts at the sight of French blue, too. T-shirts and henleys have their days, don't get me wrong, but these are the kind of shirts man was made for.
- A tuxedo
When you think about all the weddings you might attend in a lifetime, along with various other events, it's a smart investment to own your own tuxedo. And when these fit a man well, well, man, he's never looked so good.
- Navy sportscoat / blazer
Black's sharp and all, but personally I prefer the softness of navy. The same goes for a good tweed too, you don't see them enough. Two buttons is the way to go these days. Can be dressed up or down, keeps ya warm, and sure looks good on your girl's shoulders too.
- brown leather boots
This girl loves her cowboys, so I love those cowboy boots too, but really, any kind of boot will do. Again, brown's softer than black, ages well, and a pair of boots should be every man's go-to do-anything in 'em shoes.
Worn without socks, oooh.
- at least one bow-tie
These seem to have found their niche amongst old men, gay men, and Southerners, but I for one would like to see them more often. I don't know any lady who doesn't have a smile on her face at the sight of one, too.
You know that scene in Benjamin Button when's Brad Pitt's driving his motorcycle? And the sun's hitting him just so, he has a burnished look about him?
Every man needs a perfect, well-fitting pair of shades; they just add so much panache. And mystery. These two are the classic styles I just don't ever see going away. For good reason.
- a fedora
I'm not talking about your ironic hipster hat. I mean one of the kind good ol' Bogey and Cary Grant used to wear. I miss the days I never knew, when men wore hats everywhere they went, and women too. And to go along with this,
- a good topper coat
Wool, camel hair, cashmere, tweed - a good, full-length overcoat will get you anywhere and everywhere. And it just looks so classic, sophisticated, and good.
I really think these are neglected among today's young men. But they really do look so good, add so much style in one little package, and well, they really do keep you warm! Wear them without your jacket on too, especially on those crisp fall days.
I've got my cashemere-lined, red leather pair I couldn't go through winter without and I know men's hands get cold too. I don't know if it's memories of those puffy kid gloves your mom stuffed on you with your snow suit, or what, that steers men away, but this is another area of menswear that seems to get neglected. And who wants cold fingers? And why not make them stylish to boot?
Well, that's that for now. There's more, but let's take things slow for now. The basics - well-fitting jeans, good, soft t-shirts, tennis shoes, a supple pair of flat-front twill pants - I assume every man has. These are the essentials. Take note - there is a difference.