Summer Re-Run: This is How a Man Should Look
This is a summer re-run, a story from last summer when my blog was young, so I can post while I'm fighting sickies. It's also a tribute to the guy who doesn't quite get how to put himself together, but knows it.
This is how a man should look. Well, maybe not the constipated expression. And the cigarette, well, let's just say it's a prop, a la Sean Penn. (This is Sam Fogarino, the well-presented drummer of New York-based band Interpol. More on him later).
The point is, it would be nice if more men had style. Meaning, REAL style, the kind that comes from within. Not the half-arsed effort of putting on a shirt that came out of the dryer from the 'permanent press' cycle (a HUGE misnomer) and believing the wrinkles will pass as having occurred during wear on the way to work. You're not fooling anyone, we can tell).
Straight men with inherent style are indeed a rare breed. So much so that others question their straightness if they look too good. Any man who likes ladies and can rock a super-slim Dior Homme suit and doesn't compete with the girlfriend for mirror time is pretty much a character from a fairly tale. (Hedi Slimane man-muse Pete Doherty doesn't count, he may wear those suits well and be straight in terms of romantic love but evidently doesn't ever utilize his mirror. Well, not for grooming, anyway).
So, are these our only two options: a man with little or no clue about how to dress, or one with impressive styling skills but otherwise insufferable? (aka 'The Metrosexual', are we still saying that?). Overwhelming evidence says so.
But wait - they can learn, right? There is that rocky road to (cautiously) venture down. Tip: If there is resistance, the defensive and uncomfortable kind, STOP. Give up and try your best to accept he is who he is.
However, if he's receptive to the idea, JACKPOT! Congratulations! You have found that one-in-a-million man who can't quite do it on his own but is willing to let you do it for him. Set him up with the proper gear: smart shirts, good jeans, decent shoes and cool jackets and then he may be able to dress himself without going wrong. Although he'll still need to be told that others will not believe that wrinkled collars 'just happen' while riding the metro.
As for Sam Fogarino, I had no clue who he was until a male friend suggested I look into him, being an example of a rare stylish guy who pulls it off effortlessly and all. The kind whose image might provoke exasperated girlfriends to bark at their boyfriends ' Why can't you dress like that? If he can do it, why can't YOU?', before hurling a copy of GQ at their stunned, red face and storming out of the room. Said friend is having the same problem, minus the throwing of the GQ in his face. Rather, a subscription was purchased in his name compliments of his girlfriend who suggested that although he already reads it, he 'might need to read it more.' You can't help but love that. Hope springs eternal.
The good news for her is that he's down with it. But if he can't quite get it on his own, she shouldn't fret. The trade-off is a partner who won't nudge you out of the way to get in front of the mirror, or be perceived as prettier than you, or be the reason for 'mysterious' hang-ups when you answer the phone. Not so bad after all, is it?
Here's Interpol's video for 'PDA' from the 2002 album Turn on the Bright Lights. Since we're talking style here, and this video appears to borrow heavily from the Surrealists (I'm seeing Dorothea Tanning, Yves Tanguy and Max Ernst) I thought it might peripherally fit the topic at hand: