Just as it is said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture, the same can be said for writing about fashion, though we know a few fashion magazines, blogs and crazed fashionistas that would violently differ. Even still at the end of the day, it's just fabric or animal skin covering bare human flesh. Did the cavemen worry about whether their mammoth hides made them look fat? Were there caveman hipsters?
Craig Hlavaty: We came up with five gripes we have with the fashion choices of the opposite sex, including underwear as outerwear, dressing your own age and the constant controversy that is leggings. True, even we don't always come off as the most fashionable bananas in the bunch, but dammit if we don't look good looking bad. Or something. You get the point.
In the spirit of gender equality, and to throw off the shackles of the whole "ladies first" business, I will reel off my peeves to start us off.
Aren't those "mom jeans"? I swore that those were a no-no until I started seeing random girls at music festivals wearing jeans halfway to their armpits a few years ago. Far be it from me to deem something fashionable or not, but it's not really flattering. Even on Kim Kardashian, whose body should be gloriously accentuated by high-waisted pants. But alas, it just makes us tilt our heads like a puppy and go "Wha?"
Having a foot-long fly is cool in theory, but what really scares me is the prospect of swim wear going high-waisted again. I lived through the late '80s and early '90s, seeing swimsuit models in my Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues wearing bottoms up to their nipples, and I cannot, and will not, go back to that.
The other day at the Galleria, I heard my girlfriend complaining about some girl's "romper" and I thought it was some secret girl code for fat ass, until she explained to me that it is a sort of outfit. Then I did more research online. It seems like lingerie that is kind of unflattering, unless you are built like a ten-year-old girl. It makes your backside this weird shape, and it's only a few steps away from overalls, which I think should go ahead and make a comeback, if they aren't already in some Brooklyn trust fund hipster's wardrobe.
Men are secretly jealous that you can somehow get away with leggings as outer wear, sans underwear. If we openly -- nonverbally -- advertised that we were running free under our jeans or shorts, we would probably end up in a Gawker article, and be summarily fired. Leggings, jeggings, whatever you call them, are awesome.
They are sorta dirty, and a close relative of yoga pants, which are also nothing to frown at in the right hands. I notice and have known - but not that way - plenty of girls who wore leggings without underwear, as if it were fancy thermal underwear. We will concede that gold lamé leggings are just fine with us.
We get that a lot of clothes now are designed with layering involved, either by the sheerness of the fabric or being lightweight. I would burn up if I wore a bra, a tank top and then another button-up on top of that. Plus, in Houston this seems kind of silly, seeing that from May until November, our fair city seems to become a regional office of the Sun. Hell, I'm still sort of sweating now, just wearing jeans and T-shirt. But that's another problem for another blog.
Every time I walk into Forever 21, either with the girlfriend or because I am lost at some foreign mall, everything looks super-flammable and cheap. This humongous girly clothing store has about a million shirts, pairs of jeans, and oodles, yes oodles, of shiny crap for low, low prices. I agree, guys are not supposed to understand female fashion, but I also like my clothes to last longer than a weekend and not disintegrate after two washes. But maybe that's the idea of a place like Forever 21. The quicker the clothes turn into fancy dust rags and makeshift gym towels, the quicker you can go shopping again for more. Sort of like how I have to go to the record store each week because something really cool may be there waiting for me, and if I don't go the world will literally collapse upon itself.
Brittanie Shey: When it comes to getting dressed each morning, men definitely have it easier than women. Unlike ladies' fashion, menswear has changed almost none in the past 100 years. Elements have been slightly redesigned, but the uniform remains the same. Heading to work? Put on some pants, a button-up shirt, maybe a tie. Add a belt and shoes that somewhat match, and you're done. Work in a casual office? Put on some pants, a polo shirt. Add a belt and shoes that somewhat match, and you're done. Have a pair of brown pants? You can easily mix-and-match with the striped shirt, the blue shirt, the white shirt, the plaid shirt in your closet. Same goes for pretty much everything else men wear.
So maybe this uniformity is why men are trying to branch out more when they aren't dressing for work. The Metrosexual may have been an invention of the '90s, but the dandy has been around for a long time, and lately it seems like the fashion industry is realizing there is a blank slate of men woefully ignorant on how to dress to whom they can sell whatever hackneyed trend the industry can dream up. As an example, I give you the hat trend. Yes, Don Draper wears a pork-pie, and it is sexy. But so does Kevin Federline, and it is not sexy, and it should NEVER be paired with a bandana underneath it. (I'm looking at you, Bret Michaels.) Below, five more mind-boggling men's fashions. Really, guys. You don't have to try that hard.
The primary offender here is the godforsaken garment known as the wife-beater, and I can't even stand to use that term. Protip: You should never wear anything named after an act of domestic violence. The bottom line here is that thin white tanktop goes under your clothes. It should not be your actual clothing. You don't like girls wearing leggings as pants? Too bad, you started it. In fact, in general, sleeveless shirts are kind of weird on men. No one wants to see your underarm hair. Same goes for white deep-v-neck shirts, which we all have American Apparel to blame for.
Do you know why Michael Jackson wore white socks with his black pants and black shoes? So people would watch his feet when he danced. Why? Because white socks are an eyesore, and I don't need to see them poking out through the toes of your horrible Adidas slide sandals. Sandals with socks are a strict no-no anyway, and you are not Michael Jackson, so if you are wearing white socks with anything other than basketball shoes while at the YMCA, you are doing it wrong.
Dudes, I am about the biggest fan there is of guys who dress like dandies. Mick Jagger, Johnny Depp, even "Strip For Me"-era Adam Ant. But us women, we do not want you to be prettier than we are. If your eyebrows are too clean, your hair too gelled, your clothes a little too sparkly, you will outshine your girl, and no one wants that. Also, those T-shirts are $50 each? I bought a Bedazzlr at Michaels like five years ago. You can have it for free.
You are not a carpenter. You are not going on safari. You ask us to put all your shit in our purse anyway, but wouldn't deign to carry a tube of our lipstick for the night. Why do you need so many damn pockets?
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Please, for the love of Xenu, buy clothes that fit. Oversized concert t-shirts went out in the 1990s. No woman wants their man to look like a giant baby who has yet to grow into his Rockets jersey. And while we're talking about giant babies, what's with dressing like your mom picked out your clothes. Sweater vests, khakis, pastel shirts and bow ties are cute on Easter. If you're five.