Monday, May 3, 2010

A note on gentlemanly style... and being a gentleman

I hate to generalize, but.... I'm starting to think that men who drive fancy sports cars are not only "compensating" but maybe they're trying to use the car as a reason not to behave like decent human beings. Like, "Oh, I can be a jerk, because I drive THAT."

Today while out running errands, there were TWO separate occassions when I felt slighted by a man near me. The first was as I was heading back to my car with my arms full of grocery bags. A man in a fancy silver sports car pulled into the spot next to mine. As I was about to open the door to my car, he opened his and as he was about to step out, noticed he was blocking my way. For the record, the gentlemanly thing to do would have been to shut his door, and allow me to pass. I'm sure you've surmised he didn't do that. I stood with my arms full of heavy bags (I bought a lot of yogurt) while he went first. Then he skipped away while I mumbled something under my breath about letting a lady go first.

Next was later in the evening when I stopped at the gas station near my home. I filled my car with gas and then went inside for a fountain drink (to quench my thirst in this stifling heat). TWICE in the store- once by the soda fountain and again by the cashier as I was paying, another man LITERALLY brushed against me as he passed. Um, hello? It's called personal space. Ever heard of it? The thing is, in BOTH brush-ups, there was ample room for him to give me a WIDE berth and yet he felt the need to literally invade my space to the point of making physical contact! For real? It was as if he didn't even see me, or as if it wasn't worth the effort to step aside. And in both cases, I had nowhere to go. I was up against the soda fountain and up against the cashier's counter. As I walked back to my car, I saw him step into the same kind of car as the rude guy at the grocery store earlier.

Ok, this blog is not supposed to be a rant about the lack of social skills in today's society, but it got me thinking about accessories for men as well as women. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the most important accessory a woman can wear- confidence. Well, for men and women I'd like to say that one of the most important accessories we need to put on in the morning is politeness. The next time you have an opportunity to let someone else through a doorway first, let them. Someone needs to change lanes on the highway? Slow down & wave them in. Gentlemen, let the woman go first and everyone yield to the older person- remember that whole "respect your elders" thing? It's still cool to do that.

Ok, I'm stepping off the soapbox now. I'm sorry to rant like that, but both situations just really irked me. And then of course I started thinking about men and style and in the background my TV was playing a commercial for "Burn Notice" and I realized that I see the commercials for that show all the time and Jeffrey Donovan always looks amazing. Evidence:

Here's what I like about his style: the simplicity. In all these looks, he's in a simple, light-weight suit, crisp button front shirt and his signature shades. It's proof that menswear can be done simply, but still with style. When it comes to the suit and shirt, it's all about the fit. Invest in higher quality with these pieces- they will last longer and the quality is always clear to the observer. Want Mr. Donovan's look for yourself? I've done the work for you:

Modern khaki chino 2-button suit, Banana Republic, $380 (Jacket- $250, pants- $130)

Slim Fit Stretch-poplin dress shirt, Banana Republic, $59.50
Fossil Watch, Macy's $95
Lauenroth Loafer, Aldo, $90

And of course, the signature sunglasses:
Burn Notice Sunglasses, Sunglass Shack, $39.99

When emulating the style of a celebrity or fictional character, it's always important to spin the outfit in the direction YOUR personality dictates. If something about the look doesn't work for you, then switch it up. And of course, I recommend finding the perfect sunglasses for YOU rather than copying the ones worn by celebrities. It doesn't matter who made them famous, it only matters how they flatter YOUR face. The same goes for any aspect of the outfit.

So what do you gentlemen think of my Burn Notice-inspired outfit? Would you wear it? Ladies, would you like to see your man in an outfit like this? Leave a comment- I always want to hear what you are thinking!

1 comment:

Astroman said...

Ahh, yes. Manners. They seem to be quite lacking recently. Gentlemen are few and far between these days. I usually like to say that there are very few of us left and "Chivalry is not dead!" At least not yet.

Although on several occasions I've had the misfortune of being looked at like I was some kind of three-headed monster when opening a door for a lady, so you never know the response you'll receive.

Gentlemanly style. Yeah, I could see that. I agree, you need to wear what is best for your body, but sometimes it's difficult to know or be able to tell.

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