Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Short-pants Syndrome-The 'Shorts' post

Noting the frequency with which men seem to whip off their shirts (its not that freaking hot) or the glut of arse cracks (or undies poking-out from the top of your pants) we’re cruelly exposed to in our day to day activities, one would nearly consider that bodily-bits such as calves are the new region of modesty for a man.  I’m surprised that those post-footy photo’s of the bro-love embraces down the pub don’t feature more drunken-yobs in the background cheekily flashing their calves instead of bare-bums and beer guts (tastefully adorned in team insignia).  Legs just don’t often get to see the light of day in our current cultural scene.  To be quite honest I’m completely desensitized to a bit of  man-nip or arse, however, a tasteful revelation of a guys shin or calf…right there; that’s some titillation!  Flash a thigh and you’d push me over the edge (women in their 30’s: it doesn’t take much…).

I don’t know why men are so hesitant to crack-out some lower leg?  Has below the crotch attracted some reputation of shame (yet undies and arse cracks are now a feature to be aired at lunch with Nan)?  I tell you; ‘legs’ are wasted on blokes!  Even if you don’t have thighs with muscles that could double as a shelf for your beer or carves that don’t make poultry-pins look ‘buff’ in comparison; I rarely see a man who has truly atrocious legs.  In fact those mortuary-hued little leggys of yours can look (not quite like a Michelangelo, but) ok in the right shorts (with the addition of the constant flexing of your quads and gastrocnemii.  The type of tensing that makes doing anything else simultaneously impossible) . 

However, I have to say at this point: for freak's sake; be *MEN* will you?!  You are blokes…and its hot; thus demanding drastic lower ventilation!  You shouldn’t be over-concerned with your appearance (yes despite the mess I’ve made of your psyche over the last few months)!  Leave the debilitating state of discomfort (in an aim to look good) to us girls.  We can handle it.  High-heels and waxing is all the preparation one needs to accept a life-time of unease... 

The thing is; you look like a wanker if the temps are high and you are fighting the compulsion to get some air to your nether-regions just to keep the secret of you blobular or skinny limbs safe under your black slim jeans.  So re-learn how to not ‘give a shit’ and get out those pins!  And remember: full-leg tattooing can cover up a whole myriad of issues from pale/motley skin to an emasculating lack of leg-hair.  Consider it.

So, I’ve convinced you (as I knew I would, my darling, malleable ones)!  And now you’re thinking; ‘But Mistress MenWTW,  I only have some ¾ cargos and footy shorts…will these do?’ No.  Tell no-ne and burn them.  For the remainder of this post, Ill give you some very strict rules to follow.   
Deviate from these instructions and you might wind up here:    

....and you'll be lost to me.
Short Length:
When it comes to shorts and not the bits they cover, longer is NOT better.  Don’t despair; this blog is not a covert operation to create the largest Village People tribute-show ever.  No, despite the sadistic pleasure I would get from coercing you all into hot pants, the shorts I’m suggesting you don should be above the knee but at least a hand span from your crotch (your own hand.  Please don’t sully my blog’s rep by using it as an excuse to cop a grope).

Anything below the knee adds 10 years to you i.e. it makes you look like you peaked in 1999 and gave up on looking good mid-2000.  Besides being VERY uncool, they also make you look shorter!  Oh, yes, that’s what you want: to lop a pesky 10inches off your mammoth stature, with some ugly-arse long shorts.  If you are going for chino’s or tailored shorts you can wear them mid-thigh to just above the knee.  However, if you are wearing denim shorts; make them no higher (or lower) than about 2 of an inch above the knee, lest you look like you are about to slide-in through the window of the Dukes of Hazzard’s Charger. 

Short Width:
Avoid seriously baggy shorts.  You are not aiming to look like you just dropped 40kg but didn’t have the dollar for a new down-sized wardrobe after blowing all your cash on meal replacement shakes. Your shorts should be a little looser cut than you’d wear your slim-pants, but not baggy or billowing out from the hip.  They should be a relaxed-tailored or narrow-leg. 
Wear your chinos looser than your denim shorts.  Your denim shorts should be worn quite slim and try folding them up at the cuff.

Avoid check.  We love check every where else; but you’ll look like an English middle-class twat if you wear this pattern in your shorts.  I don’t know why; you just will (need I justify everything?)!  

Experiment with colour.  However, because I know you guys are going to already feel a little vulnerable showing your knees and all; without the protection of a dozen commando pockets (to keep your can openers and energy chocolate in), I suggest you play it safe.  Try blues, pinky-oranges, and stripes…no radical patterns (see; I am concerned for your being able to drink down the pub in peace, as well as your appearance)!  Tartan: are you insane.

And please consider the full-leg tattooing...

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Dress Code: [Not so] Smart Casual

Note from Author:
I’m sorry for the tardiness of my monthly MenWTW style-bluster.  My brain (once described as a cognitive equivalent of a ping pong match) has had all its think-action directed exclusively into the  ‘booze and bad men’ region of my noggin (I know; Im alienating you with my medical-babble).  Result: Cass has felt less inspired than a kid shaking the ‘2 large pizzas and a 1.25 Coke $16.98’ sign on the side of the highway.  However, like a phoenix…or maybe a delusional chook (giving that whole flying thing a bit of a bash) I have risen again and am ready to redirect my misguided foci now upon ‘dressing’ men (instead of the opposite).


You may have already realised this about your dearest blogger; but (being the ‘Mistress of Seeing-past-the-really-rather-icky-exterior’) I often find it very difficult to find fault with the way men look.  Yes, it’s all about what’s ‘beneath’ that superficial fashion-drapery that is truly important to me (ie pecs, biceps, careful nether-region grooming…).  However, fortunately I have a few really shallow friends who help to redirect my focus upon the exterior so I am able to explore in this blog how clueless some men look (phew!).  It was one of these pals; a certain rather stylish friend and fellow-blogger(1) who reminded me of one thing in particular that men tend to really fuck-up…in a clothing sense that is (she is my consultant in this specialised-field of style-fuck-ups i.e. I have a vast selection of other women who keep me informed in all the other themes of masculine-fuck-up-ed-ness).   This specific men’s-fashion faux pa I will discuss is repeated time and time again when event organisers fatefully decide the ‘occasion’ requires its attendees to be in ‘Smart Casual’

Smart-casual (SC): the concept may seem like the greatest oxy-moron since the birth of  ‘airplane food’ and to be quite honest most guys look like (oxy)-freaking-morons when they give this dress-code a bit of a go.  However, nailing SC shouldn’t be this hard.  You just need to pull your fashion-finger out (or ‘off’ the remote) and put a little thought/planning into your SC ensemble (yes; ‘planning’.  I have a dream of my MenWTW peeps carefully laying out their outfits for the next day…or at least allowing their girlfriend to do it).  Follow some MenWTW counsel and the smart-casual brief might be fulfilled with a little more creativity than that radical move to wear your work-shirt open at the collar. 

I think why men’s SC looks tend to be so très fucking-‘yawn’ is because you are approaching this dress-concept with some sort of semiotic deconstruction that would make even Noam Chomsky a tad turned-on.  You have attempted to decipher this annoying social convention (most likely formed in the mind of some cruel fashionista/sadist(2)) by taking your traditional ‘smart’ look  (e.g. work, funerals, weddings), then throwing 30-40% ‘casual’ at it…voila!  Yes; so rational!  Sigh…but alas; FAIL.  Unfortunately fashion doesn’t work like that.  Fashion is an elusive and rather insane mistress who just when you think you have her figured-out; turns around and knees you in the balls (because you said that her ‘booty is banging’ i.e. you like girls with 'something you can hold on to..' etc). 

Smart-casual is not just your work/wedding suit: unironed; without the tie and/or barefoot i.e. the work/wedding look after 7 beers.  Rather than seeing SC as a slack deviation of ‘smart’(conservative), it should be approached from the opposite direction and apply a ‘neat/spiffy’ twist on your everyday cool.  Smart-casual is your opportunity to present a tidy-respectable look with a very hip, INDIVIDUAL edge. 

I will admit that I don’t mind the odd-spot of word-smithery and a 1000 word minimum seems to be my self-imposed quota for most written activities.   I don’t think I have ever gifted a birthday card that features anything less than Jackson Pollock-esque frenzy with a ballpoint pen on the inside.  However, as a bit of reprieve from the stigmatism I bring on every month with my gratuitous spouting  I am going to illustrate my point of what is wrong (and right) in Smart-casualness with some pictures! 


Smart casual is not just your work-suit without and tie. 
And please never wear this suit to work...or throw your coat
over your shoulder or stand with your hand on your hip,
or smile like this....etc, etc. 

These pants with pleats/darts in the front are revolting.   Also, SC doesn't mean you need to wear beige/pale hues ie Mr freaking Generic.  Also, the 'smart' bit of smart-casual doesnt demand that you need to tuck your shirt in.  Choose a tailored, slim-line shirts and wear them out. 


You don't have to wear a dress shirt for
smart-casual.   Try neat polo; I love a bit of prep!

Smart-casual doesn't mean you have to
instantly dump the jacket.  Suits have moved
out of the workplace and are now something
that you can wear everyday including as SC-wear.  Choose a slim-cut suit in a colour other than grey!  If you choose to lose the tie (to casual the outfit down)then promise me you'll still button to the collar...please.

A chambray shirt isn't completely off the mark
this season, but a denim shirt looks a bit
more individual and edgier.  Note the flat-
fronted trousers ie no totally gross pleats/darts.
A short-sleeve shirt can be smarted up
by buttoning it to the collar.  Fine gingham check is happening this spring.

A shmick suit is chilled-out a bit by
rolling up the sleeves and loosening
the collar.  This bad boy is about
to step off the catwalk and straight
into a pub-brawl.

(2) In fact Smartcasual was actually born out of the 1980’s S&M club-scene before it moved into the mainstream ‘work function’ etc context. True. I swear on the life of your favourite worn-in thongs (flipflops).