Archive - December, 2005

Shoes for the Formal Wear

Manolo says, the Manolo he has received the question from one of his many internet friends.

Dearest Manolo, My name is Lady Prisspott, I am the unofficial fashion advisor to the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington DC. Many of these dear boys, while gifted musically are often found lacking when it comes to a thorough knowledge of men’s evening wear. You see, the chorus wears tuxedos for their concert and many of the gentlemen wear shoes other than that which her Ladyship would find acceptable. Some even have simultaneously demonstrated an unassailable confidence and appalling lack of taste and breeding by wearing black sneakers with their tuxedo. Her Ladyship has prepared for the membership a short primer on formal wear however a thorough and authoritative discussion of the history of men’s evening slippers as well as a guide to the most excruciatingly correct choice of evening footwear has been harder to research. Her Ladyship would greatly appreciate the benefit of Manolo’s encyclopedic knowledge on the subject.

Do not the Manolo get started on the disgraceful state of the modern American formal wear! If the Manolo sees one more pastel ruffle shirt, or the brightly-colored plaid cumberbund and matching bowtie set he will hurl. Especially do not mention the shoes! Ayyyyy! The shoes, the shoes! Such horrors.

Ideally, there is only one type of the shoe that the man should wear with the black or the white tie, it is the opera pump: the low black patent leather slipper with the discreet black gros grain bow (pinched or straight).

John Lobb Patent Leather PumpJohn Lobb Patent Leather Pump

This shoe, it is the final, unchanged remenant of the 19th century formal wear, the only item still sometimes worn, that would have been worn by the gentleman who was to be received at the royal court 150 of the years ago.

Such the gentleman he would have appeared in the knee breeches with the silk stockings. Today, the knee breeches they are gone, the cut of the coat it has changed, the neck tie it is different, but the formal shoes, they are the same. And so these they are the original “court shoes”. (The word “pump” for the shoes, it is thus the derivative of the word “pomp”.)

In the general, the American men, when they can be wrestled into the formal wear, do not wear the opera pump, mostly because they believe it to be too sissified for the mucho macho man to wear. In such cases, the plain toe, patent leather or highly shined calf blucher or oxford, it is the most appropriate and suitable substitute.

Any other option, it is ridiculous.

Buying the Holiday Tie for the Man

Manolo says, one of traditional gifts for the man, one which is frequently and justifably open to the mocking, is the cravat. This it is because too often the purchase of the gift tie it has devolved into the opportunity to buy for your loved one the novelty tie made of the cheap material.

Trust the Manolo most sane men do not wish to wear the cheap novelty tie. Most sane men wish to wear the tie that compliments the complexion and emphasizes their superior sense of the style.

Yes, when you were twelve years of the age, your father wore to his place of employment the “super special tie” you presented to him for the Dia del Padre. And so you now believe that every man wishes to have the novelty tie, never mind that your father did not that year recieve the promtion from his boss, who would never again give the poor old man the full measure of the respect he deserved.

This year, do not humliate the man in your life with the gift of the ridiculous and/or perhaps blasphemous tie, instead spend the little more moneys and buy for him the silk tie like this from the Ermenegildo Zegna

Ermenegildo Zegna Ties  Manolo Likes!  Click!

This tie above, it meets the Manolo’s standards for the gift tie. Firstly, it of the highest quality, and secondly, the color it is strong, and the pattern it is interesting without being overpowering.

Here is the tie from the Dolce and the Gabanna that at the first glance appears to be less than it actually is…

Dolce & Gabbana Tie   Manolo Likes!  Click!

If you look at the closeup of the whole tie, you will notice that despite it having only the black and the silver, that the pattern nonetheless pops and is filled with the life-affirming pizzazz.

Here is another in the family of the yellowy gold, this one from the Kenzo
Kenzo Silk Tie     Manolo Likes!  Click!

Again, the color is strong and the pattern it is just whimsical enough to enliven the tie, yet not so whimsical as to endanger the prospects for the promotion.

One of the Manolo’s rules for the gift giving is that the perfect gift it is something that the recipient would hesitate to buy for himself, but once owned could not imagine living without. This Kenzo tie, it is of that type, the type that will be worn more frequently than you would have initially imagined.

There are many more ties worth the giving at the Manolo’s Cravats Worth the Wearing.

Dressing the Man

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s many internet friends has written to the Manolo to inquire about the book, Dressing the Man

I cannot in words express my gratitude for the wondrous fashion advice you have bestowed upon us ignorant boors (and in my case, mildly retarded). Thank you, and thank you again! Having said that, I am curious about the book you have listed as a recommendation on your website; Dressing The Man: Mastering The Art of Permanent Fashion by Alan Flusser. Do you actually recommend it, or is it some cynical ploy to get us unknowing fashion starved males to spend money? If you do, know that I would not hesitate to buy it, for I hold your opinion in high esteem.

If you are the reader of the Manolo you should know that the Manolo he takes the pains to always give his many internet friends the honest answers, and so he would not purposely lead his friends astray.

Also if you are the reader, you will surely know that it is not the secret that the Manolo he frequently bored by the clothing for the mens. This it is one of the reasons why his Manolo for the Men blog it has languished, because the Manolo finds it difficult to maintain the enthusiasm for this topic. This boredom it is because the clothing for the mens they are most conservative, changing little over the past few decades. What looked good on the Cary Grant in the 1950s still looks more or less good today.

The reason the Manolo he recommends the Alan Flusser is that the Alan Flusser, he better than anyone, understands this. This it is why the subtitle of the book it is “Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion”, with, in the opinion of the Manolo the emphasis on the word “permanent”.

Here is the Manolo’s internet friend the Ed Driscoll writing about this book As you may see he praises it for the same reason as the Manolo.

Manolo says, buy the book, you will not regret the expense.

Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich…

Manolo Loves the Malkovich    Click on the Coupon!

Manolo says, Give the gift of Malkovich this Christmas!

The Manolo he especially loves the John Malkovich beret, and he thinks the ties and the t-shirts they are indeed most smart and quirky, like the Malkovich himself!