10 THINGS GUYS SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GETTING DRESSED

I must admit I’ve had a surprisingly large amount of response regarding my blog posts from the last audience I was expecting: males. This has therefore led me to articulate my thoughts on the modern day man. Due to the fact that I’ve grown up with two brothers and have had to bare witness to the cesspit of bad decisions that men in South Africa have accustomed themselves to – I feel that I have the authority to voice my opinions around the subject of men’s clothing.

It’s a well-known fact that you guys generally just don’t take fashion as seriously as us girls – so I’m here to help. In all honesty I’ve always avoided telling you what to wear because we all know that you can be SUPER SENSITIVE when it comes to comments made on your appearances (I’ve encountered many disagreements regarding this subject unfortunately!). However, I’m diving straight into the deep-end and letting you guys in on what us girls have been discussing for years.

This is rather cheeky of me because evidently these are all written from my own, opinionated perspective so at the end of the day you’re welcome to take them or leave them. You will, however, thank me later I promise 😉

– 1 –

YOU DON’T NEED TO SHOUT

You’re wearing a Polo shirt, I can see that. But you don’t need to buy an excessively branded shirt to show that you have taste or perhaps even money. The way you co-ordinate your outfit can speak for the quality of your clothes in itself and this subtlety is a lot more effective than a shouty branded shirt. Unless the girl you’re dating is exceedingly shallow – it’s not all about brands..

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– 2 –

TAILORED, NOT TIGHT

Lest you’re wearing a shirt from ninth grade – your clothes shouldn’t choke you but instead should impeccably fit you. On the other end of the spectrum – baggy jeans, baggy suits, baggy anything – are eternally unflattering and deeply disappoints your body frame. I also cannot stress enough how much every guy needs a tailored suit in their cupboard! One look at Johannes Heubl and you’ll understand why …

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– 3 –

SKINNY JEANS ARE A GIRLS’ THING

You’re never going to master the rugged gentleman look if you’re wearing jeans so tight you can see your business. Skinny jeans scream that you’re a hipster and suggest that perhaps you still live with your parents. Unless you want to look like you’re wearing your girlfriend’s jeans, don’t do skinnies.  The perfect jeans are The Slim Fit.

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– 4 –

BACKWARDS CAPS

Ohhhkay. I must confess I have a massive weakness for guys in backwards caps, haha! Hardcore, arrogant and OH SO cool. Backward caps are the easiest accessory you can use to transform a boring everyday look into a stylish, badboy look that says you can handle any crisis that’s thrown at you.

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– 5 –

PLAIN WHITE TEE’S

The modern somewhat rugged gentleman is an alpha male. His clothing strikes a sophisticated equilibrium between form versus function – therefore the Plain White Tee is his saviour. A Plain White Tee shows that you don’t need shouty branded shirts to look good and tends to compliment most guys’ physiques (if they have one, haha).

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– 6 –

WATCH IT

Perhaps I’m just a watch person – but I always notice when a guy is wearing a nice watch. It need not be expensive or branded – it just doesn’t have to be one of those chunky digital ones that you go scuba diving with.

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– 7 –

NEVER DO HIGHLIGHTS

Just don’t.

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8

DENIM SHIRTS.

 Denim is casual and comfortable and looks like you’re not trying too hard to be stylish – which ironically makes you look even more stylish.

I’ll never forget meeting the Director of Levi’s, Oliver Pywell, who (as expected) was double-deniming it. He has to be one of the coolest people I’ve possibly ever met and his hardcore personality was complimented perfectly by his Levi’s ensemble. I guess there’s just something about denim… 🙂

If you’re not comfortable double-deniming it, couple your denim shirt with Chino’s and you’ll get the perfect casual, stylish outfit. Hellloooo Beckham!

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– 9 –

COLOGNE 

Guys. Nothing is better than a well-perfumed lad! I wish more guys knew of the power of a decent perfume – it is the cherry on top for a well-groomed gentleman and shows that you possess a superior level of etiquette. Your natural pheromones are okay, but a dash or two of Bleu de Chanel (the nicest guy’s perfume I’ve ever inhaled, in my life) won’t hurt you.

Side note: take care not to drown yourself in your perfume – there’s a fine line between an overwhelming scent and a subtle yet striking one. Good perfume is worth every single scent (oh you’re so quick if you got that).

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– 10 – 

BE A GENTLEMAN ON THE INSIDE

You can look like David Beckham and yet your vibe can destroy everything. Gentlemen are a rare breed and you certainly can’t become one overnight – but just know that being a decent good oke can do so much more for you than you will ever know. As much as what I’ve said is concerned wholeheartedly with ones looks – your personality should always resonate through your outfit. A little bit of etiquette here and a little bit of manners there does a lot.

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Lemmeno your thoughts.

Hope you’ve all had a lovely week/weekend 🙂

X

Man buns : yum yum yum.

Man-buns are simultaneously controversial and appealing at the same time. They are the essence of a gender subversion and are a little bit arrogant – which I like. When a man puts his hair into a bun and walks through the streets of Cape Town, he declares to the world that “Yes, I am comfortable in my masculinity”. He doesn’t give a rats ass what you think and he’s backing himself — to me that is the most attractive thing of all.

A reappropriation of the hard semi-androgyny of a ballet dancer’s hair and the messy ‘dos of a fashion runway, an iconoclastic moment of genderfuck, it’s a style choice that is both high- and low-maintenance at once. 

The Guardian

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Ahhbsessed!

Hollyhocks x

Blurred Lines

Gay or straight? I can’t tell…

Is a person’s sexuality something that can be defined by their choice of clothing? I’m not so sure anymore.

Cape Town is renowned for being one of the most stylish capitals in the world and this has beckoned the age of metrosexual men in our city.

“Metrosexuality” was first coined by Mark Simpson, who defined the concept as “the single young man with a high disposable income, living or working in the city (because that’s where all the best shops are)”. 

Masculinity in South Africa has matured into an urbanised and groomed affair through the country’s ever-growing relationship with European and American fashion connections. The fashions that were once considered to be too “homosexual” for most men to wear have become intertwined into the everyday wardrobe of the ordinary heterosexual man.

This is because the media have profoundly impacted our ideas of masculinity and femininity and sexuality itself through its ‘skin-deep’ coverage of it. Magazines like GQ, Men’s Health, Esquire and FHM encourage a sense of vanity and narcissism in men. The media’s bombardment of advertising that tells men how to look their leanest, attract the most sexual partners or attain their goal weight commands the average man to value a sense of grooming and egotism.  Television shows like Queer Eve for the Straight Guy, Will and Grace and Queer as Folk signal a social freedom for men to exist as a feminine male and show that cultural attitudes towards masculinity have changed dramatically.

According to Connell, Hegemonic masculinity embodies the currently accepted answer to the problem of the legitimacy of patriarchy, which guarantees the dominant position of men and the subordination of women” (2009, Gender: in world perspective). Traditional masculine norms consisted of restricted emotions, pursuit of achievement and status, self-reliance, aggression and avoidance of any sense of femininity. But this doesn’t seem to be the case now!

The rise of feminism and women’s-rights movements has impacted gender roles in society and this may be a reason for the effeminacy of men. This radical shift in gender roles in society is seen through the clothing choices of men.

I recently spoke about this to Daniel Geldenhuys, Editor in Chief of Varsity Style magazine, and he agreed that metrosexuality is ever-growing in our city. According to Daniel, you see the most extreme cases of metrosexuality in the CBD of Cape Town. However, he argues that “you must never stereotype. Just because some guys look gay, it doesn’t mean that they are.” Daniel claims that Hiddingh is the best example of this; “almost every guy on Hiddingh campus would be judged as gay by what they wear. But trust me, that’s not the case”.

Daniel is what I consider to be a “metrosexual”; his hair is always perfect, his clothes are always stylishly co-ordinated, he takes care of himself and he is the kind of person that you notice from a mile away.

“Brands matter a lot to me; I will not buy something from Chinatown. I only like to really wear Topshop, Cotton On and Country Road” admits Daniel. This gave me a rare  gay-guys perspective that agreed with my suspicions.

Barbara fouri, sub-editor of Varsity Style, agrees that being image-conscious and men’s attention to what they look like has become a mainstream thing. “My boyfriend has a comb-over and his hair has to be perfectly styled everyday but he’s not gay, duh”!

Male narcissism is here and we better become used to it.

According to Barbara, “men have always been vain; they just haven’t always expressed it until recently”. 

I agree with Barbara completely; gone are the days where the men were brutal in combat or slaved in the mills on their farms. Unless you’re living in Jamaica (which is, according to TIME magazine, the most homophobic place on earth), there is nothing stopping men from their effeminacy.

Every year, Androgyny is always present in some designers’ collections in fashion week. But as the Spring ’14 menswear fashion shows started in London last week; I was shocked at the realisation that Androgyny has re-awoken from its deep sleep since the 90’s.

I was shocked in my seat when I watched J.W. Anderson’s menswear Spring ’14 collection because he took the concept of metrosexuality to a completely new level.  Anderson surprised audiences with his version of the male halter-neck top (yes, you heard correctly!) that was a black less top and was made out of a semi-sheer and floral patterned material. When I watched this I had a sudden urge to ask someone: “is this real?” Surely not! But I think that Anderson took the concept of metrosexuality to the extreme and that this is not an accurate depiction of what I have discussed above.

The fact that men can now care about their clothes, spend money and time on their appearance and not be gay is something of a new concept. Men wear Skinny Jeans, Man-bags, pink shirts, Harem pants and get their ears pierced and this is a testament to such transformation in fashion. Cape Town certainly appears to have welcomed this notion of new masculinity.

Behold the metrosexual man; pampered by women, technology and clothes!

 

 

 

More links that I highly recommend on this subject:

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20130624-will-men-wear-skirts-and-lace

http://www.firstclassfashionista.com/archives/61026 = First class Fashionista: Masculine fashion goes feminine

http://makehoustongreat.com/2012/06/09/10-examples-of-how-men-are-becoming-like-women/ = a very amusing pictorial on how men are becoming more feminine

http://vadamagazine.com/02/02/2013/fashion/dude-look-like-a-lady = Dude Look Like A lady, Vada Magazine

http://www.menstylefashion.com/mens-fashion-has-it-gone-too-feminine-2012/ = Feminine men’s fashion: has it gone too far?