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December, 2007 | Manolo for the Men
Archive - December, 2007

Trimming Your Sails

J. Crew braided rope belt

Unless you’re heading to the tropics, this D-ring nautical rope belt is obviously way off season.  But given that it’s on sale for just $9.99 at J. Crew, it’s worth think ahead to sailing season.


Ferrian Adria in Spanish academic garb

On the far right Ferran Adria, the deservedly famous chef, receives an honorary degree from the University of Barcelona.

Izzy had never considered that European full academic garb might differ from country to country, but he was interested to see that Spaniards add bold color and odd cuffs to their black robes as well as have their own silly hats instead of mortarboards or four-cornered tams. Despite the apparent levity of such attire, Izzy thinks too many of us has forgotten that at one time only three professions were entitled to wear the gown: the judge, the priest, and the scholar.

The Jagged Edge

Evan Biddell with snake skin shirt and horrendous hair

Izzy wasn’t aware that there was a Project Runway Canada (insert toque and lumberjack shirt here) until he learned that this guy, Saskatoon designer Evan Biddell, was the winner.

While his “snakeskin” shirt is repulsive in itself, it’s his hair that truly boggles the mind—because, really, if your barber has one seizure, are you really going to let him keep cutting?

The Angel’s in the Details

Taye Diggs with pocket square

Taye Diggs deftly uses a cutaway collar and pocket square to spruce up what would have otherwise been a boring outfit.

Charlie Wilson’s Wardrobe

Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson’s WarCharlie Wilson in a military shirt

Opening in theaters today, Charlie Wilson’s War tells the true story of a good-for-nothing congressman who redeemed himself by living out his military fantasies through the Mujahideen’s fight against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. When Izzy saw the above still from the movie, he thought it was clever to costume the protagonist (played by Tom Hanks) in a military-style shirt, complete with epaulets and two front pockets. But a quick search uncovered that that was how Wilson, a self-caricature, actually dressed. Any would-be larger-than-life characters, take note.

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Arcade Misfire

Combining roller disco, Larry Bird, and set design from Star Wars, this 1982 ad for Chardon jeans has something for everyone, except those with sartorial taste. Izzy can’t deny that the music is pretty cool, though.

Note how briefly Bird flashes on screen. Despite being immensely popular at the time, the basketball great was unfortunately cursed with a face made for radio, and a voice made for telegraph.

Original Mocassin

Brooks Brothers shearling slippers

Slippers are often absent from the ranks of handsome footwear, but these shearling mocassins from Brooks Brothers are a cozy exception.

Dumpy Old Men

Lieberman and McCain in suits and sweaters

On the same day that Joseph Lieberman endorsed John McCain for president, both politicians wore crew-neck sweaters under their suits.   To Izzy, this makes them look like emasculated fuddyduddy-ish professors and certainly nothing like a potential Commander-in-Chief.  Also, given that both men are height-challenged, itself a handicap in politics, the sweaters cover up their ties, which would have otherwise emphasized verticality.

To Each According to His Needs

In a journalistic coup, a Venezuelan political leader was railing against capitalism when a reporter pointedly asked him about his luxury brand preferences:

Venezuelan Interior Minister Pedro Carreno was momentarily at a loss for words when a journalist interrupted his speech and asked if it was not contradictory to criticize capitalism while wearing Gucci shoes and a tie made by Parisian luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton.

“I don’t, uh … I … of course,” stammered Carreno on Tuesday before regaining his composure. “It’s not contradictory because I would like Venezuela to produce all this so I could buy stuff produced here instead of 95 percent of what we consume being imported.”

Could this be a new kind of supply-side economics?  Gorbachev, at least, waited to flaunt his Louis Vuitton until he left office.

The video, in Spanish, can be found here.

Punish-Me Pink

scarlet-letter punishment

Izzy has no objection in principle to scarlet-letter punishments, i.e., using clothing to publicly shame criminals, but this DUI chain-gang surely goes too far.  The combination of black, white, and bubblegum pink just screams 1980s, and those pants are straight from Zubaz.  More important, the entire outfit defeats the message on the convicts’ shirts: No sober man would dress that way.

Askew Gone Awry

Casey Affleck with tie askew

Izzy had never thought about it before, but this photo made him realize that the loose-tie look works best with a narrow necktie, unlike the four-ish inch one on Casey Affleck that emphasizes his gut.

A False Step from Manolo Blahnik

Manolo Blahnik men’s shoes

According to a blogger at MyItThings, Manolo Blahnik is going to be coming out with a line of shoes for men.   Izzy was very excited by the news, until he realized that from the looks of the designs, Blahnik is apparently trying to appeal to the pimp-clown demographic.  The Manolo, not to be confused with the Manolo, is equally devastated.

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