Manolo for the Men Fashion and Lifestyle Advice for Men

October 22, 2007

Village (People) Idiot

Filed under: Bad Fashion,Men's Fashion — Izzy @ 10:33 am

hard hat

Izzy suspects that this oil wildcatter likes pouring on the heavy crude a bit too much.

October 15, 2007

Clone War

Filed under: Bad Fashion,Hats,Men's Fashion — Izzy @ 1:23 pm

shiny Mr Peanut

If plagiarism is a fashion crime, then the fashion detectives has better investigate this suspicious case.  Because really, is it likely that two different designers independently created shiny Mr. Peanut?

October 12, 2007

Holy Mole

Filed under: Bad Fashion,Hats,Men's Fashion — Izzy @ 5:15 pm

Aligimiro Palencia head dress

Bow, mortal, to Nipplelopochtli, Aztec god of pectorals and, uh, acid-washed jeans.

September 25, 2007

Disco Inferno in the Groin

JC Penny 1975 catalogue

Behold this page from the 1975 J.C. Penny catalog, which deserves to be seen fully blown up to get the full effect.  While it’s easy to knock disco-pimp fashion, whether it’s the butch decolletage or the high-waisted polyester trousers with crotches cut too close to home, at least the clogs benefitted the shorter manimal (like the model on the right).  As bad as these outfits are, truly beyond the pale are those cuffed bell-bottoms, something Izzy had never seen even in his worst disco nightmare.  The only way this advertisement could have been any worse were if it had been scratch-and-sniff.

September 6, 2007

Self-Portrait in Tyvek(TM) Windbreaker

James Merrill

Pulitzer-prize-winning poet James Merrill was raised in a highly privileged setting (his father was a co-founder of Merrill Lynch), which should be kept in mind when reading his “Self-Portrait in Tyvekâ„¢ Windbreaker,” a meditation on the effects of dressing down. Here’s an excerpt, but Izzy encourages you to read the whole thing:

The windbreaker is white with a world map.
DuPont contributed the seeming-frail,
Unrippable stuff first used for Priority Mail.
Weightless as shoes reflected in deep water,
The countries are violet, orange, yellow, green;
Names of the principal towns and rivers, black.
A zipper’s hiss, and the Atlantic Ocean closes
Over my blood-red T-shirt from the Gap.

I found it in one of those vaguely imbecile
Emporia catering to the collective unconscious
Of our time and place. This one featured crystals,
Cassettes of whalesong and rain-forest whistles,
Barometers, herbal cosmetics, pillows like puffins,
Recycled notebooks, mechanized lucite coffins
For sapphire waves that creast, break, and recede,
As they presumably do in nature still.

Sweat-panted and Reeboked, I wear it to the gym.
My terry-cloth headband is green as laurel.
A yellow plastic Walkman at my hip
Sends shiny yellow tendrils to either ear.


Americans, blithe as the last straw,
Shrug off accountability by dressing
Younger than their kids—jeans, ski-pants, sneakers,
A baseball cap, a happy-face T-shirt . . .
Like first-graders we “love” our mother Earth,
Know she’s been sick, and mean to care for her
When we grown up. Seeing my windbreaker,
People hail me with nostalgic awe.

“Great jacket!” strangers on streetcorners impart.
The Albanian doorman pats it: “Where you buy?”
Over his ear-splitting drill a hunky guy
Yells, “Hey, you’ll always know where you are, right?”
“Ever the fashionable cosmopolite,”
Beams Ray. And “Voilà mon pays”—the carrot-haired
Girl in the bakery, touching with her finger
The little orange France above my heart.

Everyman, c’est moi, the whole world’s pal!
The pity is how soon such feelings sour.
As I leave the gym a smiling-as-if-I-should-know-her
Teenager—oh but I mean, she’s wearing “our”
Windbreaker, and assumes . . . Yet I return her wave
Like an accomplice. For while all humans aren’t
Countable as equals, we must behave
As if they were, or the spirit dies (Pascal).


August 31, 2007

Breeching the Peace

Filed under: Bad Fashion,Etiquette,Men's Fashion,Trousers,Underwear — Izzy @ 11:45 am

low-hanging pants

Having deplored low-hanging pants before, Izzy was happy to see that communities are taking action to end the uncivil plague. Pushed to extreme measures, municipalities have criminalized the attire, which is all-too-appropriate given that the style originated in prison, where belts are prohibited. In attempt to get around free-expression Constitutional claims, the laws are aimed at prohibiting public indecency.

The New York Times’ story taught Izzy something new:

Not since the zoot suit has a style been greeted with such strong disapproval. The exaggerated boxy long coat and tight-cuffed pants, started in the 1930s, was the emblematic style of a subculture of young urban minorities. It was viewed as unpatriotic and flouted a fabric conservation order during World War II. The clothing was at the center of what were called Zoot Suit Riots in Los Angeles, racially motivated beatings of Hispanic youths by sailors. The youths were stripped of their garments, which were burned in the street.

Although Izzy would never encourage a riot, he would like to see a peaceful march that chants “Do not share / derriere / We can see your underwear!” And of course the placards would read “Up with pants!”

August 22, 2007

Siamese Umbrellas

Filed under: Bad Fashion,Men's Fashion — Izzy @ 10:46 am

umbrella for two

In theory, an umbrella for two sounds like a good idea.  In practice, it looks like a freak science experiment gone awry, like some mutant cells stuck permanently in mitosis.  Izzy is reaching for his scalpel…

August 3, 2007

Libyan Glam

Sarkozy and Kadhafi

Still fabulous after all these years, Muammar al-Gaddafi, the world leader/rock star with the most glamorous backup group/bodyguards in the business, zhuzzes up his white suit/black shirt/wrap-around shades combo with a sash and a giant brooch of Africa, which he apparently has in multiple colors.

Izzy knows what French President Nicolas Sarkozy (who has quite the narrow lapel, by the way) is thinking: Is that a botched perm?

August 1, 2007

Sobriety Check

Filed under: Bad Fashion,Celebrity,Men's Fashion,Suits — Izzy @ 7:36 pm

Tom Cruise et al

In this panoply of celebs, only Tom Cruise looks like a normal guy.  Ironic, no?

July 31, 2007

Post-Communist and Classless

Filed under: Bad Fashion,Celebrity,Men's Fashion — Izzy @ 4:36 pm

Gorbachev with Louis Vuitton bag

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former General Secretary of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party, is now shilling for Louis Vuitton.  Some years ago, the one-time world leader took flak for appearing in an ad for Pizza Hut (though Domino’s would have made more Cold War sense), but at least that was an innocuous product for the People, unlike Louis Vuitton bags, which are ugly status symbols favored by the most emptily materialisitc of the elite.  And to see Gorbachev and satchel photographed by Annie Lebovitz near what looks like the Berlin Wall—well, it almost makes Izzy feel wistful for the bad old days.

July 19, 2007

Do I Make You Thorny?

Filed under: Bad Fashion,Hats,Men's Fashion — Izzy @ 10:17 pm

porcupine headgear

The porcupine hat is all well and good—until you move in for a kiss.



July 12, 2007

Striking a Match

Filed under: Bad Fashion,Celebrity,Men's Fashion,Shirts,Ties — Izzy @ 7:00 am

Daniel Radcliff in identical shirt and tie

In How to Lose Friends and Alienate People—the self-loathing memoir about a coke-snorting, alcoholic womanizer who gets a job at Vanity Fair magazine—we learn that one of the subtle insults at Conde Nast is to call someone’s attire “too match-y.”  But if ever there was a occasion of too much matchiness, it is this shirt and tie combination on Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe.  Perhaps it’s an attempt at suburban camouflage, but the movie Garden State demonstrated why that is always a bad idea.

Garden State wallpaper

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