Jan 21, 2008

So true: 'Men are not mugs'

Linda Grant:

prada shirt
Here is a picture from the Prada menswear show AW8. If you were to take a shirt and slit it down the back and then gird it with some horizontal braces and put it on Agyness Deane, I can guarantee that two things would happen: a) Victoria Beckham would be wearing the self-same shirt the following week b) a month later I would be standing on the tube looking at hordes of teenage girls shivering with cold backs.

And yet I can also guarantee that you are not going to see this shirt on anyone. You will, in fact, never see it again. Why? Because men are not mugs. They don't wear stuff like this, they get women to wear stuff like this.
And yet, I don't agree with this assertion:
The extraordinary conservatism of men and their clothing is a twentieth century phenomenon. For a thousand years men dressed as peacocks. Now they don't. They dress for function. With some colour sense. Personally I find it quite boring, but perhaps it says something about a crisis of masculinity as a response to feminism - butch it out.
If men stopped dressing like peacocks it's not a response to feminism, but rather because men's clothing reached its apotheosis with the suit.

Cary Grant was the perfect man in the perfect suit.


But Fred Astaire, a man conspicuously without Grant's obvious physical perfection, knew how to wear a suit.


Brit Hume isn't the world's most handsome man, but he always looks well turned out, thanks to his suits.

brit hume

The Duke of Windsor was, basically, nothing but a suit. Or rather, many suits. And a knot.

Duke of Windsor

There is nothing more perfect than a man in a suit. Any man. You can take the most loathsome specimen off the street,


Pop him in a suit and all of a sudden he looks decent, even desirable.

Bill Clinton in Esquire

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