I am a big fan of classic movies. You can find me on any given weeknight perusing the TCM listings to see what gems I can record for my weekend viewing pleasure. Nothing makes me happier than watching a sharp dressed William Powell in The Thin Man solving crimes while sipping a martini. What could be more gorgeous than a well-tailored Cary Grant charming his way into Katherine Hepburn’s heart in The Philadelphia Story?
One of the best things about old movies is seeing grown men dressed like, well, grown men. I love a man who knows how to dress and sadly, in this bud-drinking, lowbrow-loving country of ours, it has become a rarity to see a man wearing anything nicer than a T-shirt and jeans.
The first time I saw a male co-worker wearing a pair of giant shorts, flip-flops, and a Lakers jersey to work, I couldn’t believe it. I was working at an entertainment company at the time, and the dress code is more lax than in most office environments, but when did it become okay to dress like a 5-year-old in a place of business? When did it become okay for grown men to dress like 5-year-olds in general, for that matter?
I have a theory that the rise of men dressing like boys can be tracked to a trend that has gripped the movies since the ’90s: I call it the Man-Child Syndrome. The depiction of the Man-Child in movies like Knocked Up, The Hangover, and Old School makes for hilarious fare (watching a bloated, drunken Will Ferrell running naked down the street makes me laugh every time), but as Hollywood churns out these films year after year, I wonder if the juvenilization of men is becoming more sad than funny.
I know that movies are only fantasy and, of course, men didn’t run around in tuxes all day long during Cary Grant’s time. But movies are a reflection of our culture, and right now a lot of our men are a sartorial mess! I’m not saying that you need to dress like William Powell every day, but there is a little something called dressing appropriately.
Guys, make the ladies happy with a few simple rules of thumb:
1. No flip-flops anywhere but the beach. Women don’t want to see your hairy toes while shopping for their fresh produce.
2. Find a pair of shorts that fit. You’re not Michael Jordan and those giant basketball shorts make you look like you’re on your way to your first T-ball practice with dad. Not sexy.
3. Invest in a button down shirt or two. Practice buttoning.
4. Learn how to tie a Windsor knot.
5. Dazzle your girl with your fashion savvy.
Tags: classic movies, men's fashion, suits, TCM