Saturday, January 07, 2006

Straight Style

While posting comments over at Anti-Strib on one of the Hot Chick Friday topics I mentioned that Angie Everhart wore a fairly nice dress with a fairly rediculous spider web pattern. The guys took the opportunity to razz me for paying too much attention to her dress and less to the fact that she is 9.0 Magnitude Hottie... and opportunity I pretty much laid out with a welcome mat.

Add to that, I mentioned that Anne Hathaway was funny in Disney's The Princess Diaries.

Beyond that I placed a Kick Me sign on my own back by saying I helped my wife pick out our drapes and run for our living room, glasses for our bar, outfits and dresses for my wife, my tuxedo and bow tie, my hair junk, my regular massages, pedicures, and manicures... and I didn't even get to the towels, bedding, and pillows I picked out a few years ago. (I did mention I've got my eye on additional barware and more bedding.)

Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying the friendly jibes... these guys are lots of fun and they mean no harm. This is hardly a topic of serious conversation over there. It just gave me pause for thought... who established the idea that men (specifically straight men) must have bad taste in their own wardrobe, worse taste in picking out clothes for their women, no idea in terms of decorating their house, and no interest in their own physical appearance?

Actually, the idea came up as I was listening to the radio and a guy said something about how Hollywood goes out of its way to reinforce the idea that straight men have no taste and only homosexual men understand style.

I'm not bent out of shape regarding stereotypes whether its an image of a straight man or a gay man... let's face it, we know enough guys who either don't know or don't care about their appearance to the extent that they look like they've gone out of their way to look like shit. We also know folks who look like more than a million bucks, be they homosexual or (that trendy concept from a couple years back) metrosexual. (That term seems so forced... and I don't say that because folks have saddled me with it.)

All I want to say is that there seems to have been a time when men knew at least a little about looking good when going out in public. Fashion wasn't everything, but folks took pride in their appearance. They knew what looked good. Their wives might have helped out a little, but that had a tux for formal occasions, a nice suit for most other occasions, they didn't look like slobs on an airplane or in a sports arena, they didn't look like they just got out of bed when they went shopping or out to the movies, etc.

On New Year's Eve I had the pleasure and honor of taking part in a good friend's wedding as one of the groom's men. I bought my tux (my second) for the occasion. (I'll be damned if I'll rent another tuxedo or uncomfortable shoes ever again.) After the reception a couple of us gathered for late night cocktails (after a series of evening cocktails) and we talked about keeping up our appearances and how much of a kick it is to go out formal every now and again.

Eventually the conversation moved toward the purpose for a man to wear a tuxedo. I believe men wear tuxedos not to make themselves look better (even though they do make us look great), but to make our ladies look twice as good as they already do. That is the purpose of the man... just as a very well dressed woman is to compliment her man (although the former is more important).

We love our women. When they want to go out and look beautiful they either pick out their favorite ensemble or buy a new one... the least that we can do is dress up so we don't make the public think she's got crap taste in men. We clean up to honor our ladies... and they appreciate it.

I also like to take an interest in making sure the house looks good. If she's interested in a couple of sets of bedding I'm going to put my eye to work and rule out anything that looks wrong. I may not be able to pick out the perfect set, but I can at least say what I like and don't like. I surprised myself (and the Dutiful and Beautiful Mrs. Badda-Blogger) when I exercised my opinion on place settings for the table, curtains, rugs, pillows, couches, pyjamas, dressy outfits, cocktail dresses, jewelry. Turns out, I gave her some very good ideas... some of which she never thought she could pull off. Now, she runs ideas by me.

Forget Queer Eye... I can get by with simple common sense, thanks.

Hell, if she's going to make me spend all that time with her shopping I'm damn well going to have some say.


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