FASHION!

Fashion can be hazardous to your health.

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SYMPTOMS – Gay male wearing a loose fitted V-neck T-shirt (black, white or bold stripes), with similarly loose fitting sweater jacket, skinny black jeans AND a tote (worn hanging off the shoulder possibly with a scarp knotted to the handle).

DIAGNOSIS – This Hamptons-esque tote with knotted scarf and accompanying outfit are sin que non for a new wave Uber Gay Fashionista Male.

PROGNOSIS – Fatal if not stopped immediately.

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What is it about fashion that has some people on the edge of their seat? My mother was a seamstress and designer before becoming a mom. After she had three children, she made all my sister’s clothing. I grew up with fashion, reading Vogue instead of Sports Illustrated, but for many men, fashion is superfluous.

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“It’s something to make fun of because people generally don’t understand it,” said Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, in the documentary, September Issue. Interesting, when you think that this silly industry is estimated to be worth 300 billion dollars.

Regardless of your point of view, everyone has an opinion when it comes to fashion. What’s in or out is a matter of personal taste, and everyone loves to share their own insights into what works and what is a fashion faux pas.

I am by no means a fashionista although, I do know what looks good on me. My partner, Chad, is meticulous when it comes to choosing something to put on his back. This is substantiated by the multiple clothing options shrewn all over the bed after he leaves for work. Discarded piles of pants, shirts, belts and shoes that never made it through to the final editing process, lay on the bed like the aftermath of an explosion at the men’s department is Saks. I generally buy clothes that are similar, making choosing options on a daily basis infinitely more simpler.

“You take less fashion risks,” says my fashion forward friend, Scott. I agree, but I have been known to pull an ace out of my sleeve on occasion, opting for color instead of my usual basic black.

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But personal choice doesn’t just end with one’s own look. Views on fashion extend to the masses, and I myself, am no angel when it comes to ridiculing other’s people fashion choices. The Hamptons-esque gay male with the tote and scarf is a look that infuriates Chad and myself. Why should it though? Everyone is entitled to their own fashion choices. Not true because gay men and metrosexuals subscribe to the Rules of Fashion. We do. Regardless if you believe it or not.

“You sold yourself the minute you put on that pair of Jimmie Chu shoes,” said the injured Emily to Andie in the Devil Wears Prada. And she was absolutely right. The moment you catch yourself staring a little too long at a fashion spread in GQ or entranced by that Armani billboard on 10th Avenue, realize that you are spellbound and fashion is seeping into your blood.

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So the next time you giggle at that young man wearing high water slacks with no socks and shoes like Chad and I did while eating brunch outside on 14th street and 10th Avenue, remind yourself that it’s not him you should be laughing at. You should be laughing at yourself because he chose to take a risk and you didn’t. You can make all the excuses you want or tell yourself that it’s age inappropriate, but the truth is exactly how Miranda Priestly put it: “You think you made a choice that excludes yourself from fashion because you take yourself too seriously.”

Think again.

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