Sunday, 18 November 2012

You Give Me The Shirts! The button-up/collared shirt post

Despite being seen as an international/monumental bitch, I am in fact a staunch nationalist, and very proud of being born and living in this great country of ours: Melbourne.  As a Melburnian (Australian second) I feel a wee bit shit about this next post.
I know you poor pricks, aka countrymen, have been crying out for a true ‘[what to wear in] summer’ post.  However, I need to deliver this next post first for two reasons that are more important to me than being Melburnian/Australian.
Firstly, I have learnt to never give men what they ask for.  They just don’t appreciate it. 
Secondly, I have been trying to give birth to this huge fucking blog- spawn for months.  I have had trouble delivering this reluctant progeny due to some serious writer's block! Part of the problem seems to be that the symbiotic relationship between my writing and booze has been broken.  Even getting completely smashed (usually a guaranteed catalyst for getting the rant flowing) is producing little more than regrettable text messages and a hangover like Beelzebub himself shat on my brain. 

However, the Mistress is no defeatist, so here is *that* post.
This was meant to come in quick succession after the suit post, but I think that a shirt post is always pertinent, because a lot of you poor bastards have PROPER jobs that require you to wear a shirt every day. 
Moreover, some of you even more miserable cunts get dragged to formal events, and then of course there’s the abomination of our contemporary social scene: the night club.  To attend this anus of an establishment, you naturally feel obliged to dress like a wanker in a ridiculously patterned shirt, hoping the garish design will catch a drunken slapper’s obtuse, hazy gaze amongst the sea of other desperate dicks. 
Yes, alas a wind [machine] blown shirt revealing a glossy, waxed chest in a boy-bands latest film clip isn’t the only time this item of clothing has caused a little bit of sick to come up in to my mouth.  Some shirts (wind-swept, wet, being torn from the body or otherwise) are down-right nauseating to those of us with a particular sensitivity to the ‘fashion-fail’.  

So, here are some tips and options for your long-sleeve, buttoned-up, collared shirt selection.  I’m going to look at two categories of long-sleeve shirt here:  the business shirt and the smart-[leaning on the side of] casual shirt.

Business or formal shirt: 

The cut:

Well this mantra will be etched on the Mistress’ tombstone: ‘SLIM, NOT SKINNY’ (along with ‘If You’re Reading This, Please Move, You’re Standing On My Tits’).  Slim fit, like it is for pants, jeans, suits, etc. is all about a neat, tapered cut.  It’s not about something that clings so tightly to your chest that your nipples become an intrinsic part of the shirt’s design.  Be classy and create a little bit of ambiguity about your muscle  tone (or lack thereof)  in the workplace and aim for a shirt that has a little room for movement over the chest and arms, but tapers for a closer more flattering fit at the waist.   You should not look like you’re modelling a male-stripper’s interpretation of ‘business man’. The pic below, blatantly stolen from ThomasPink, aptly employs a twat in a daggy tie to illustrate this sizing concept.

 The colour/pattern:

Plain coloured shirts will always be your ‘tofu and 3 veg(Mistress eats no meat) of the businessman’s clothing pile.  A white shirt has a deep history in summarising a man who does more work with his noggin than his hands (apparently this is *still* a man, just not one that can fix shit) and therefore could wear white without looking more soiled than a mattress on a nature-strip in Frankston. 

However, let’s face it, you guys are generally slobs and/or sweaters so white can be problematic. Light blue, light pink and grey can be a good option without being too radical.  In terms of patterning; stripes are generally passé.  Checks are still do-able but if you’re a large dude, this is going to add about 10 superfluous k-g’s to your physique, so stick to plain colours.  If you do go for a check shirt, make sure your checks are not just made-up of a single thin line of an insipid, light colour or your shirt will just look washed-out and ordinary.  If you’re going to check; then check boldly, for fuck’s sake! See some examples of good check shirts below.
ASOS Double Cuff Shirt -white

TM Lewin Slim Fit Lilac Herringbone Shirt

ASOS Smart Shirt With Double Cuff-Dark Grey

TM Lewin Slim Fit Navy Check Shirt

TM Lewin Slim Fit Pink Check Shirt
ASOS Slim Shirt With Square Collar

TM Lewin Slim Fit Pink Pinpoint Shirt

 Casual shirts:

The fit:

A more casual shirt can be worn a little bigger that the slim-cut if you feel so inclined, however in this case you cannot tuck it in and generally it looks better buttoned to the collar(or as near as you can bear; ‘I feel like I’m choking!’ etc. Fucking sooks!).  I don’t make the rules; I just get much delight in sadistically enforcing them.  If you ‘tuck in’ anything but a slim cut shirt, you will look like a Mr Men[- man] i.e. a bulbous torso and stick legs.  When you wear a loose-cut shirt out, button to the collar or it just looks ill-fitting.  Advice: if you are already confused by these rules, or still throwing a little mental tanty over the idea of doing up some fucking buttons, just stick to a slimmer (slightly) fitting shirt.

The colour/pattern:

Well, you have a bit to work with here.  Most colours and patterns are tolerable in a casual, collared shirt.  However, avoid anything too gimmicky or gaudy in your patterns. I wish this instruction was unnecessary, but alas I feel like I still need to tell you to avoid floral patterns (unless of course you’re a wanker).  And as it is with ties and boxer shorts; no comic-like caricatures (like durr)!   Also, although there are a few exceptions, generally stay clear of stripes and spots.  Stripes and spots are just too risky for the fashion-novice to pick a shirt with this patterning that doesn't make you look like one of those weird dudes that makes flowers and poodles out of phallic-shaped balloons.
Chambray/denim and check shirts are, as they have been for a while, still a sure, sexy, cool option and as a bonus, just look better with age and regular rough treatment.  A good denim or check shirt will only improve with having been rescued from the cesspool of alcoholic spillage under a table in a beer garden or from the front lawn where it resided for a week after a party.  Or the worst treatment of all...a man’s laundering.
Minimum Large Check Long Sleeve Shirt

Minimum denim shirt

Stapleford Denim Workshirt

Suit Block Colour Shirt

Minimum Heavy Check Shirt

Virgin Poets Society-A Trovata Project Allover Print Shirt

Virgin Poets Society A Trovata Project Flannel Plaid Shirt
ASOS Denim Shirt

Lyle and Scott Vintage Shirt in Oxford Cotton

Ben Sherman Clerkenwell Collar Shirt

Charles and a half Dip-Dyed Chambray Shirt

Classic Vanishing Elephant long sleeve shirt Aztec Print

Staple Newbold Oxford Shirt

Vanishing Elephant MIRAMAR Blue Denim

Ok, so that’s the shirt post done for another year.  For more on the topic of button-up shirts check out the ‘Dress Code: NotSo Smart-Casual’ post .  I will now get to work on a ‘summer’ post for you poor bastards passed out in a pool of sweat somewhere, whilst you pitifully wait for some tyrannic instruction on your t’shirt and short selection.

Monday, 5 November 2012

stay tuned...

Despite being seen as an international/monumental bitch, I am, in fact a staunch nationalist and very proud of being born and living in this great country of ours: Melbourne.  And as a Melburnian (Melburnian first, Australian second) I feel a wee bit shit about the next post because you poor pricks aka countrymen have been crying out for a true [what to wear in] summer post.  However, Mistress MenWhatTo.. says ‘no’....
Stay tuned over the next few days to find out why the Mistress is being so fucking stingy...

Friday, 19 October 2012

Summer shoes (for those occasions you can't fucking get away with wearing thongs (flipflops))

I frequently receive pleas for help, but such is my nature, I generally tend to ignore them and even snigger to myself at their desperation.  However, this letter from a reader (Sender: Anonymous Dude (S.A.D.)) tugs at the icicles on my heart because he doesn’t know what the fuck to put on his feet...he is basically a cave-man!
He writes: 

Hi Cassie [I forgive him for addressing me in such a casual/familiar fashion because I am currently in a very relaxed state i.e. wasted],
My friend ------ got me onto your blog and I've really impressed [barefoot AND illiterate]You make some great observations about the shittiness of formal loafers and singlets and other such things.  My question is about shoes.  I live in Brisbane [barefoot, illiterate AND uncivilised] and as I'm sure you know, for most of the year it's suffocatingly hot.  I'm looking for shoes to wear with shorts and during summer (I don't like wearing shorts but in Brisbane it's often unavoidable).   At the moment I usually just wear my trusty blue Vans, which are fine but not exactly distinctive. I'm a poor student, so the most I would be willing to spend would be around 80 dollars or so [I basically ignore his budget because I can’t be arsed bargain-shopping]Boat shoes seem to be the summer shoe of choice for the preppy type, but I'm not so sure what I think of them.  Can you help me out? I think you should do a blog entry on summer fashion, as most of Australia is sweltering during the summer months and sartorial standards tend to drop... [here he has the nerve to tell me what to do, but I graciously ignore it because he is clearly a nutter]

Thanks a bunch!

Well, S.A.D. I keenly appreciate your dilemma here and although I have an almost fetish-type relationship with human’s greatest invention: the thong (flip-flop, jandal), I do appreciate that we still need an alternative because alas peeps die/get married (same-same) in the summer and you need to cover up your fungi-funky toes for such occasions.
So what to wear? Well I find this a tricky one because my readers would know I find plimsolls, canvas elasticised shoes and deck shoes fucking abhorrent.  However, you might be surprised to know that I can actually tolerate a shoe that is a hybrid of all these, for those desperate situations when your mum (or girlfriend, whom a psych would argue is an embodiment of your mum anyway) would frown on you for wearing thongs.  
What I’m talking about is something that has the comfort of a plimsoll etc with a bit of a more stylish edge and a chunkier profile.  That is, without the twat-factor of a fucking boat shoe.  What do we have then?  Voila: surf-shoes (of sorts)!  You see, surfers aren’t generally twats (slack bastards; yes).  They are the ones pointing/ laughing at and occasionally beating up deck-shoe-wearing let us look to this subculture for some casual, comfortable, summer shoe inspiration, shall we?
Well, I can’t help it; I’m an absolute sucker for [the shoe-brand] Vans.  In fact those pricks should be throwing some dollars my way for all the spruiking I’ve done for them.  But, alas, like a Nigerian prostitute in a recession, I’m about to give out some more freebies*.  Check out their SURF range for some cool canvas shoes, that can be worn without socks.  If you think the odour omitting from your feet after a day of wearing these bad boys without socks will be doing nothing to help your already uphill battle to get some action, then you could wear some of those girly anklet socks.  However, for the love of everything  that that doesn’t offend my eyes (which isn’t much), make sure you can't see the socks.  This would be a bit of a fucked-up look otherwise.

Vans Surf Rata Vulcanized CHARCOAL_SPICY ORANGE
Vans Surf RATA VULCANIZED Hemp Black

And some non-Vans:
Northern Cobbler Dorab Suede Shoes
Camper classic shoe ROMEO

I know they sound like winter footwear, but low-rise ‘chukka’ books can be a good option if you get them in canvas or suede.  Once again they present a less-pussy option than low-profile, plimsoll-type shit.
However, ultimately; if you can get away with thongs, wear them for fucks sake!  Thongs are the reason God created toes!
Skive Hawkins Suede Chukka Boots (Available at ASOS)
River Island Santa Cruz Chukka Boots (Available at ASOS)
Swear Iggy 25 Suede Chukka Boots (Available at ASOS)

So I hope that answers your question S.A.D.  Please, any of you other unfortunate bastards; don’t hesitate to email me questions. However, proper respect, yeah?! Begin your correspondence:  ‘Mistress MenWhatTo...  I beg of your assistance...’

*Just in case you think my ranting is just purely offensive, here’s the source, dudes: