Manolo for the Men Fashion and Lifestyle Advice for Men

January 10, 2008


Filed under: Etiquette,Grooming,The Big Man,Ties — Izzy @ 9:44 pm

lawyer in ascot

A Milwaukee-area judge has gotten hot under the collar due to a prosecutor’s wearing an ascot in lieu of a court-mandated necktie.  While the judge might be extreme in threatening the lawyer with contempt, his Honor is correct that an ascot must be seen as an informal piece of clothing.   While donning one in court might not amount to a full-blown violation of the canons of legal ethics, the real question is why the prosecutor would want to accentuate the girth of his already hefty neck.   His goatee was a smart choice, however.

September 20, 2007

Rogues in Vogue

Filed under: Etiquette,Maintenance,Men's Fashion,Ties — Izzy @ 11:04 am

Ask Me How I Became a Pirate

Arrrrgh. Somehow, me maties, Capt’n Izzy missed that yesterday was International Talk like a Pirate Day. Were Izzy to enter the swashbuckling ranks (which is unlikely given his concern for, er, gallantry, not to mention his fear of stains that no drycleaner can remove), he’d wear a skull-and-crossbones bow tie—threatening, but not too threatening—and be accompanied by his loyal parrot, “Popinjay.” Pirate Izzy, a/k/a Isidore the Mauve, would fantasize about having bigger shoulders, so that he could carry around an actual peacock on them. “Gangway!“, indeed.

skull and crossbones tie

September 12, 2007

The Abecedarian Companion

Filed under: Etiquette,Hats,Men's Fashion,Suits,Tailoring — Izzy @ 11:08 pm

ABC of Men's Fashion

First published in 1964, and long out of print, the ABC of Men’s Fashion has just been re-issued. Izzy can’t claim ever to have read the guide, but it was at least written by Hardy Amies, the conservative-minded British designer most famous for being dressmaker to the Queen. (The son of a civil servant, he was notorious for his in-your-face snobbery: “I can’t help it,” he once defended himself, “I’m immensely impressed by all genuine upper-class manifestations.”) Izzy thinks it a shame that the new, bland cover ditched the original’s head-turning gentleman in a mod suit—note his narrow trousers and the jacket’s high gorge (where the lapels meet). His hat’s proportions are unfortunate, but such were the times. Even James Bond had to suffer a high-crown, narrow-brim trilby in Dr. No.

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!”

July 26, 2007

Decline and Fall

Filed under: Etiquette,Men's Fashion — Izzy @ 5:35 am

According to the Drudge Report, on Monday at around 7:30 pm, Republican Congressman Gary Miller strode on the floor of the House during a vote wearing a loose-fitting Hawaiian shirt, linen pants, and slippers.  Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (not exactly a paragon of proper dress herself) rebuked him by noting, “The chair must remind Members that the proper standard of dress in the chamber is business attire, which includes both coat and tie for gentlemen.”

Izzy fears for his country.

May 4, 2007

The Revolution in Pants

Filed under: Bad Fashion,Etiquette,Men's Fashion,Trousers — Izzy @ 12:55 pm

no pants on subway

Be afraid, for today is No Pants Day. Started by some college kids, the “holiday” is an insolent affront to all that is good and decent. Izzy, for one, has locked himself in his chateau to protect himself from these descendants of the sans-culottes.

April 24, 2007

Semper Paratus*

Filed under: Etiquette,Gloves,Men's Fashion — Izzy @ 1:57 pm

young Teddy Roosevelt

While reading Louis Auchincloss’ biography of Teddy Roosevelt, Izzy came across this nugget of pink gold:

TR needed a good deal of physical exercise, particularly to control a waistline responding to his hearty meals. He played tennis with aides, but he preferred riding and long hikes. On one of the latter, accompanied by some more or less willing diplomats, he encountered a stream that could be forded only by the removal of all clothing. J. J. Jusserand, the French ambassador and TR’s good friend, emulated his host except for a pair of pink gloves. Asked why he retained these, he replied: “In case we should run into ladies.”

*Always Prepared (The Coast Guard’s motto)

April 10, 2007

You Had Me at “Hello”

Filed under: Bad Fashion,Etiquette,Men's Fashion,Trousers — Izzy @ 7:38 am

Abercrombie & Fitch in-store models

An intrepid British reporter went undercover as an in-store model at the new London branch of Abercrombie & Fitch, a brand that, in Izzy’s mind, is popular with obnoxious, spoiled frat boys despite—or because of?—the explicit homoeroticism in its advertising and store displays. (The flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue features a giant mural of barely-clothed men climbing ropes in gym class. At many stores, the women’s department likewise features smutty photos of nymphets. Not for nothing has the brand been called Abercrombie & Filth.)

While interviewing for the job, the writer, presumably as ripped as the in-store living mannequins above (complete with matching widow’s peaks, areolae, and angular lower abdominals that come to a rude vertex), discovered that

that the company had a “tagline” which we would have to use when greeting customers. [The interviewer] explained, very seriously, that it was, “Hello, how are you?” “How did you come up with that?” I asked. She said a company of marketing consultants had worked intensively at developing it.

They wanted to audition me to see if I could deliver the line – this was make or break. “Hello, how are you?!” I said clearly. “Very good” she reassured me.

I had cleared my first hurdle and said four words in the right order, a test that floored some of my fellow-would-be-models – honestly.

It seems likely that those would-be models received their education at the Derek Zoolander Center for Children Who Can’t Read Good.

March 9, 2007

The Savile Row of British Comedy

Filed under: Celebrity,Etiquette,Men's Fashion,Suits — Izzy @ 5:01 pm

John Inman as Mr. Humphries

John Inman—the British comedic actor best known for playing Mr. Humphries, the campy menswear salesman on the BBC’s Are You Being Served?—has died. The hilarious sitcom, which ran from 1972 to 1985, was set in a department store so old-fashioned that the salespersons called each other mister and miss. (The closest Izzy has ever come to experiencing such a place is at Paul Stuart in New York.) A master of the double entrendre, the is-he-or-isn’t-he? Mr. Humphries was notoriously all-too-eager to measure an inside leg. An interverate scene-stealer whose trilled catch phrase was “I’m free,” Mr. Inman shall be missed.

July 26, 2006

Shirts vs. Skins

Filed under: Etiquette,Men's Fashion — Izzy @ 3:01 pm

human gorilla

The Daily Mail is reporting that Britain is considering banning men from going bare-chested in town centers. The descamisados are revolting, indeed.

July 7, 2006


Filed under: Celebrity,Etiquette,Men's Fashion — Izzy @ 2:08 pm

Since The Manolo is busy gallivanting around the country, Izzy feels it is his duty to inform readers of this report from the New York Post:

“Baywatch” star David Hasselhoff was barred from Wimbledon because he was “steaming drunk,” reports The London Sun. He had a series of clashes with security staff, who would not let him in because he didn’t have a ticket. Hasselhoff, 53, who’s had a long battle with booze, had his arm in a brace and yelled: “You should let me in. Do you know who I am? I’m the Hoff!”

Even more alarming than the story itself is the accompanying photo of the makeup-less Hoff.

the Hoff

All of those days filming in the beach sun have clearly taken their toll.

May 2, 2006

Hot Potato

Filed under: Etiquette,Men's Fashion — Izzy @ 1:41 am

nude crowd-surfing

Mankind invented clothing for a multitude of reasons: for warmth, for display, and for avoiding the perils of nude crowd-surfing.

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