LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Masculinity At Its Best

Why do men grow beards? Sure, sometimes I’m too lazy to shave and it’s fun to stroke/pretend my face is a baby hedgehog, but in the end it’s all for the sake of ruggedness  The single word that only looks good on guys, a state of being rugged is what separates the men from the boys and the Fashionisto's from the dainty fashion femmes. It’s incredibly easy for men’s fashion to go awry and make a guy’s look too feminine, like infamous Chris Colfer and Tilda Swinton. Let’s face it, if you’re fashion sense is making you resemble La Roux, you’re doing it wrong. Lesson to be learned — androgyny is like communism; only attractive in theory. This week’s Fashionisto gives us a crash course in machismo.

Let’s work our way down. Beard, check. Facial hair is easily the most valuable accessory a man can have. Next, the thick knitted scarf is a must have for the cold season. Normally I’d recommend a merino wool or cashmere textile, but for the sake of masculinity, a stitched wool gives a uniquely rustic flavor to the ensemble. The trick to dressing like a real boy is making people think you’re wearing clothes for function, not fashion.

A leather jacket is essential to every wardrobe, but take note of this coat in particular. Wide lapels exaggerate shoulder width and the metal zippers and buckles are the kind of fun detailing that rarely makes it into menswear. Combined with a great navy Henley shirt, the Polo’s less pretentious cousin, this look asserts a worn-in, yet fashion conscious aesthetic. Can you say Marlon Brando?

Worn out jeans are so underrated. Being a Fashionisto doesn’t always mean you need to wear the tightest and most brightly colored pants on campus. Faded jeans bring casualness to any ensemble, and as long as they fit you they won’t look, as my grandmother calls it, schleppy.

Tie off the look with a sleek watch and a pair of sturdy boots. Stainless steel is the only bling a guy should ever bring to his outfit. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but stainless steel can take a beating and never dulls. It's perfect for when you’re riding your bike, hunting wolverines or whatever you do with your glowering machismo. A fashionable pair of boots alludes to the same bucolic rusticity of the scarf. Rule of thumb, unless he’s wearing a suit, a Fashionisto should wear as simple a shoe as possible.

So what did we learn this week? An over calculated fashion sense can leave a Fashionisto looking sterile and starkly femme, which is that “Make it work moment” that separates a Tim Gunn from a Glenn Close. Or a Glenn Close from an Albert Nobbs, your pick. Remember men, your clothes are a direct expression of you, so make sure we know both those chromosomes aren’t X.

Hint: The cornerstone of this outfit is the leather jacket. This one by Schott NYC has the same whimsical biker theme going on. K.O. the look with this scarf by J.Crew and this Henley from AllSaints Spitalfields. Follow my rules, and in the words of Mulan’s Li Shang, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”

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