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Chronic shortage of trousers

Mr. Henry appreciates the best of everything. However, fortune, or rather its absence, does not permit him to have the best of everything he appreciates.

Because he prefers to wear the finest suits, his closet holds but three that fit the changing fashions as well as his changing frame: a dark navy for serious functions, a medium charcoal grey for daytime business, and a tuxedo. For other occasions he saves the suits and wears a jacket and trousers.

Consequently, because of the normal five-pound weight spread between his winter and summer body, he is chronically short of appropriate trousers.

Ten years ago “super-120” wool, what Armani uses it for their Black Label, was the best suit cloth you could buy. A pair of trousers would cost upwards of $650.

Now J. Crew offers Loro Piana super-120 wool trousers for a mere $175. How can this be?

New technology in looms permits Loro Piana to spin a light, strong, soft fabric from the best Australian and New Zealand wools, so-called “Tasmanian,” the most comfortable and durable suit cloth yet invented.

If you order online, J. Crew will hem and cuff them to your length.

Eexamsheets – http://www.examsheets.com/exam/220-801.htm
Realtests – http://www.realtests.com/exam/VCP-510.htm
Test-inside – http://www.test-inside.com/200-001.htm
Passguide – http://www.passguide.com/70-410.html
Selftestengine – http://www.selftestengine.com/642-902.html

Shave the pits

After a long flight, when you need to look alert and fresh at a business meeting, nothing gets you there like a shave. As soon as you disembark, nip into the men’s room, strip to the waist, shave and put on a clean shirt.

To really feel clean, shave under your arms.

That’s right, men. Shave those pits like a European footballer. Clark Gable did it, and who could question his masculinity?

Ignore snide remarks from macho idiots harboring secret doubts about their virility. A regime of shaving the armpits daily usually eliminates the need for deodorant. Do we really understand the long term health effects of antiperspirant aluminum compounds absorbed through the pores?

The best tactics to reduce underarm odor are through exercise, hygiene and diet. Get up a good sweat every day, wash, eat cleanly, and drink lots of water.

The general rule for hair is this: As you get older, your hair should get shorter. This goes for head as well as facial hair.

For better relations with womenfolk, shave your grizzled face. When bussing mother-in-law, auntie, or sis, do it with a smooth face. You may need their alliances on days when your wife goes bananas.

Eexamsheets – http://www.examsheets.com/exam/642-813.htm
Realtests – http://www.realtests.com/exam/350-001.htm
Test-inside – http://www.test-inside.com/70-648.htm
Passguide – http://www.passguide.com/CISSP.html
Selftestengine – http://selftestengine.com

Trousers for a serious man

Because right now most men are wearing shorts, the question of trouser length does not loom large. Summer long trousers – stained and frayed – tend to be whatever length they already are. You end up wearing whichever pair happens to fit comfortably round the summer waistline.

Shorts today present a curious paradox. Because disaffected youths elect to wear baggy basketball shorts, theirs extend well below the knee. Old timers wear plaid Bermudas at or above the knee. Consequently, knobbly, swollen, varicose-ridden legs are readily on display. Legs like statues of Greek gods remain hidden.

Once in a great while, however, you must leave irony at the door and strike out into the world attempting to look like a serious man. At these fateful junctures in life’s comedy, trousers that fall at the wrong length will undermine a confidence already crumbling at the edges.

I grow old … I grow old …

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

How long should a serious man’s trousers be? Specifically, should there be a break in your trouser leg?

Without getting into the ticklish question of cuffs, let me offer one simple rule: the tighter the pant leg, the shorter the trouser.

Trousers should obscure socks or, heaven forfend, naked ankles. Perfect strangers should not have to confront either your veined ankles or your daily choice from the sock drawer.

But neither should trousers drag upon the ground. For a trouser leg of standard width, hem the leg to a length that creates a single break. Any longer simply looks as though your pants have slipped down your behind.

New peg-leg designs like these chinos from J. Crew, however, call for a slightly shorter leg. Instead of breaking on the foot, a narrow leg cut long will bunch and get fouled up in your shoes.

Eexamsheets – http://www.examsheets.com/exam/350-030.htm
Realtests – http://www.realtests.com/exam/SY0-301.htm
Test-inside – http://www.test-inside.com/
Passguide – http://www.passguide.com/VCP5-DCV.html
Selftestengine – http://www.selftestengine.com/70-410.html

Men’s health – the lower back

The topic of today is the upkeep of the male body, more specifically, an aching back.

First, let us dispense with problems in the extremities. Apart from pattern baldness, failing eyesight, tinnitus, tooth decay, receding gums, moles, wens, basal cell carcinomas and diminished cognitive function, the head really doesn’t suffer much from age. Be sure to wear a sunhat.

Men rarely have issues concerning hands and arms. Find some upper body workout you don’t mind doing, and do it with regularity. Watch out for free weights. They are waiting to ruin your joints.

Because feet, knees, and hips suffer normal wear and tear, they require special attention. Some men are lucky and don’t get sore feet. If like mine yours are always aching, take a class from a dance instructor and learn how dancers warm up. Do this warm-up every morning in the shower and your feet will function properly.

There are only three sure-fire cures for backache. One is whiskey. Another is downhill skiing. The third and finest of all is found behind closed doors with an enthusiastic partner. Unless your partner suffers from nymphomania, in which case I don’t want to hear from you, you’ve got to find a daily substitute.

The pelvic thrust – what ladies refer to as the pelvic “tilt” – is the single best exercise for the back and stomach. This, too, you can do in the shower.

As you bend into a half squat, reach your hands forward as if grasping something, then while pulling the arms and shoulders back thrust the pelvis forward slowly and strongly as far as you can push, holding it in position for a moment before repeating.

Because I find it helps to visualize, here are a few pictures to help your focus.

Trilby with irony

Lately the sidewalks of New York are abloom in colorful Trilby hats ornamenting the uncoiffed heads of young white indie boys affecting a style derived from blues and jazz men.

It’s a look that could be called nouvelle beatnik.

The look says, “I don’t wear this hat because I need to cover my head like some old bald guy (although in truth my hair is a fresh-out-of-bed mess). This hat radiates insouciance and cool. It advertises that I am in the know and am self-confident enough to be sartorially ironic.

“If I wear a Trilby, it’s not a smart gray one with white hatband like Sinatra’s. Mine is purple corduroy. Get it? I like this style because it’s the farthest from handsome I can possibly imagine. (My grandfather wore one, but his was black rabbit fur.) For me this hat is bohemian and beat, ironic and flip, camp and cool.

“I channel Robert Johnson, greatest of blues legends. I channel Frank Sinatra, greatest of vocal stylists. I would never sport Buster Keaton’s comical porkpie hat, even if Lester Young wore one. [And nobody ever had a cooler sound than Lester Young.] Dude, comedy is not irony. And who listens to Lester Young these days anyhow?”

The brief on underpants

Underpants – a comic masterpiece of a word. Just try maintaining a serious tone when saying the word “underpants.” In Britain you can’t even say “pants” without getting a clever-clever rejoinder. For them, pants are garments worn under trousers.

The German word for panties is “panties,” which when pronounced with a German accent sounds very, very naughty.

It’s difficult to know how to frame the argument about underpants. Boxers or briefs? Surely this is a false dichotomy. To me, boxers just don’t do the trick. They feel like shortie pajamas.

Unless you are seriously underweight, jockey briefs will chafe and bind. In the male the connection twixt thigh and torso is already cluttered. There simply isn’t room for bunches of cloth.

I’m not arguing that we should all “go commando.” Underpants offer a beneficial buffer to sharp stitches and creases inside trousers.

Women who wear thong panties solve this problem in the most uncomfortable way imaginable. How can they stand to walk the streets tortured by a constant wedgie? A scold’s bridle or chastity belt would be less punishing.

Male bikinis barely cover the topic.

Aren’t bikini underpants for men another conspiracy designed to make us all buy French fashion products? Honestly, does a real guy need fragrance, facial foundation, designer luggage or a man purse?

A man needs to support his parts. He owes them that much. Like participles, testicles should not be dangling. Neither should they be tucked up tight like a ladyboy. Body heat causes ache – the dreaded blue balls of yesteryear – not to mention decreases sperm count.

Personally I like the Calvin Klein boxer brief, the greatest sartorial invention of the 20th century. They offer kind support without unsettling the groin.

As for color, Russell Baker said that underwear, like bed sheets and dinner plates, should be white.

The Life Antarctic with Ran Fiennes

Ranulph Fiennes with snowRanulph Fiennes book cover

One of the great joys of facial hair is observing snow sticking to it, thus proving the beard’s insulating powers.  Best of all is when giant carbuncles of ice form, as on Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the British globetrotter thought by many to be the world’s greatest living explorer.  Whether or not that is hyperbole, he certainly competes with Ewan Mcgregor for world’s greatest hair, adventurer category.  (While there appears to have been some photoshoppery involved in the bookcover photo (his jacket appears to have been taken from the photo on the left), Izzy includes it since it show Fiennes’ weather-beaten mane at its most spectacular.)

Even when relaxing in the comfort of his home study, as seen below, the adventurer maintains his devil-may-care approach, with ancient (torn?) desert boots and khakis with frayed hems.  Alas, his plentiful testosterone has exposed his scalp to the elements.

Ranulph Fiennes at home

In the interview accompanying the photo, Fiennes explains:

Everything in my wardrobe is old. I haven’t bought a suit in 10 years, that’s for sure. My dinner jacket must be at least 20 years old. My shoes, which I had in the Army, must be over 30 years old. I don’t like buying clothing.

Asked about his grooming routine, he continues:

For 25 years I have worn Clarins day and night creams. When I was in Antarctica I got seborrhoeic dermatitis, which affected the areas between my eyebrows and next to my nose. I ran out of cortisone cream and discovered that Clarins day and night creams for women do the same job without the side-effects. I’ve continued to use them ever since.

When a man has circumnavigated the earth from pole to pole via land, he may casually admit to wearing women’s cosmetics.

Perhaps Fiennes should have started moisturizing at a younger age.  He was once considered to play the part of James Bond in the movies (Roger Moore was selected instead), but the producer rejected him for having “hands too big and a face like a farmer.”  This, presumably, was before Fiennes cut off the tips of his frostbitten fingers with a Black & Decker power tool.

Izzy Is not Dead

Izzy apologizes for his long absence. Some months ago, in a foolhardy moment, he answered the following advertisement:

MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. SMALL WAGES, BITTER COLD, LONG MONTHS OF COMPLETE DARKNESS,
CONSTANT DANGER, SAFE RETURN DOUBTFUL. HONOR AND RECOGNITION IN CASE OF SUCCESS.

To his surprise, rather an a frozen slog across Antarctica–easy enough to endure–the journey was in fact a trip through the benthic regions of the soul.  “When you stare into the Abyss, the Abyss stares into you,” said Nietzsche.  Izzy would like to think that he won a staring contest with the Abyss.  (This, despite the fact that the Abyss, not playing fair, contorted its face into a ridiculous cockeyed grimace.)

Now safely back in the Shallow, Izzy would like to turn your attention to another achievement of Nietzsche’s, his moustache.

Nietzsche's moustache

Long before his signature facial hair reached absurd proportions worthy of a machete, one of his students described the philosopher’s appearance:

I had not expected that the professor would come storming into the room . . .  like Burkhardt.  I also knew well enough that a challenging tone in a writer does not always echo his behavior as a private man.  But I was nonetheless surprised by the modesty, even humility, of Nietzsche’s demeanor when he came in.  In addition he was of small rather than middle stature . . . And the iridescent glasses and deep mustache gave his face that impression of intellectuality which often makes even short men somewhat imposing.

While it is known that Nietzsche devoted great concern to his appearance, the famous photographs of him with with whiskers completely covering his mouth are not indicative of his own taste.  By the time those photos were taken, Nietzsche was living in a sanitorium under the care of his far-more-insane sister, a proto- and later actual Nazi, who made the eccentric grooming choice for him.

Izzy is going to heed the lesson here, and make sure that his living will includes a clause about appropriate facial hair.

Great Moments in Manly Charm

Manolo says, there is the reason why many man-oriented bloggers consider Silvio Berlusconi the sort of role model.

“Ah! Bellisima! Look at you! You are so beautiful and tanned!

“Now, come to the embrace of Silvio!”

“Please, touch the hand of Silvio so that you may feel how warm he is in your presence….And now you are blushing like the little school girl. Silvio has won your heart, no?”

(more…)

I Am the Walrus

chipp-walrus-tie

Any gentleman with whiskers, great bulk, and a taste for oysters should appreciate this vintage tie from Chipp, the long-gone prep habedasher.  In Izzy’s fertile imagination, the walrus represents a Rubenesque version of Matisse’s Pink Nude.

Glambassador

mutassim-qaddafi-in-shiny-suit

In his memorable essay “The Secret Vice,” Tom Wolfe writes:

one day in December, 1960 . . . Lyndon Johnson, the salt of the good earth of Austin, Texas, turned up on Savile Row in London, England, and walked into the firm of Carr, Son & Woor. He said he wanted six suits, and the instructions he gave were: “I want to look like a British diplomat.” Lyndon Johnson! Like a British diplomat! You can look it up.

Note well: Never ask your tailor to make you look like a Libyan diplomat, or else you’ll get the shiniest suit known to man.  Apparently, what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas, sartorially speaking.

But at least Libya’s National Security Advisor, Mutassim Qaddafi (son of Muammar Qaddafi), is carrying on the family tradition of eccentric flamboyance.

Back Pak

munib-nawaz-pakistan-jacket

Pakistani designer Munib Nawaz shows his national pride by placing an outline of his homeland on the back of a tailcoat.  

The only major brand Izzy can think of that puts a country’s map on its products is the British label Hackett, which every now and then stamps the outline of the United Kingdom across a shirt or and tie.  Izzy himself has been known to don such a shirt—he likes to wear his anglophilia on his sleeve.

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