Things Men Look Good In

The first time I ever met Sean, he was wearing a Yoda t-shirt. I remember this really clearly---the t-shirt was black and Yoda, of course, was green---and even though I have probably the least amount of interest in Star Wars that it's legally possible to have, I think back very fondly on this t-shirt. I think back more fondly on it than Sean, even, who has tried to donate it to Goodwill on at least three Major Closet Clearout Occasions. Each time, I rescue it back from the pile of discards.

"You can't give this away!" I say.

"But I haven't worn it since Clinton was President," says Sean. "I haven't worn it since my hair was down to my shoulders. I haven't worn it since before I was old enough to drink."

"But you might," I say. "Well, actually, you probably won't. On second thought, please don't. But keep it anyway, won't you? It means something to me. It's sentimental."

In the end, we compromised and I kept it. I stuffed it into my pajama drawer, and I don't think I've taken it out for at least a couple of years. But I like to know it's there.

*******************

I do not consider myself an expert on men's fashion---or on women's fashion for that matter---but I like to think I've at least got the basics down. And I've been thinking about the way men dress---I don't mean men like Clinton Kelly (did you know he's on Twitter, by the way? Best discovery ever!) but real men, actual men, men who get their shirts at the Gap instead of Gucci. To my mind, there are five things every man should have in his wardrobe---aside from a sentimental Yoda t-shirt his wife won't let him throw out despite the fact that it's almost as old as she is---and this is what they are.

A plaid shirt
Look, I promise I will stop with the plaid already one day, but you have to understand: I am a child of the 90s. Or rather, I was a teenager of the 90s. All teenage boys in the 90s wore plaid shirts and thus, when I was starting to notice boys, this is what they were wearing. If I had grown up in the 50s, I'd probably have a penchant for boys in, like, winklepickers or something. (Isn't winklepickers a great word? Hey, someone start wearing winklepickers again. Pointy shoes for boys!)

A suit
If you are a man and you have friends, at some point, you will be invited to a wedding. I'm sure there are exceptions, but in my mind, the only thing for a man to wear to a wedding is a suit. Men have it easy because they can move about on the formality scale merely by adding or subtracting a tie: if you arrive in a suit and you are overdressed, whip off the tie and stuff it in your pocket. Hell, take off the suit jacket too: now you're just wearing a shirt and pants like everyone else! Women cannot do this, unfortunately: if you arrive in a prom dress you are stuck in a prom dress. Embrace the suit, men: if you're like Sean, you only get to wear it once or twice a year. You should make this count.

A pair of Converse
What is there not to like about a pair of Converse? Unless you're sporting a fluroscent green pair of hi-tops, I mean, which probably aren't as, shall we say, timely as a good solid black pair. In fact, I would be willing to bet that studies have been done that show the number one overlapping item in most couples' closets is a pair of Converse. (Confession: mine are the fake Payless kind though. The real ones make my feet look like long skinny boats.)

Jeans and flipflops
If jeans are good and flipflops are good, you know what's even better? Jeans paired with flipflops. I'm sorry, you can't argue with that. It's science.

Something pink
I'm a sucker for a man in pink. It has to be subtle though: I'm not talking head-to-toe Pepto-Bismol, but you can't go wrong with a pink striped tie, in my opinion, or a very pale pink button down shirt. I fear I may be in the minority here though, regarding my penchant for men in pink. Do you agree?

 

1
A. Marigold
May 27, 2010

100% with you on the suit and the pink. The jury is still out on the plaid shirts, though. ;)

2
jen
May 27, 2010

aw, i'm with you on the men in plaid. dare, i add...men in flannel? i think it's a product of coming of age during the Grunge era. :)
not so sure about the pink - not against it just don't think all men look good in it.

I like My Captain to where his camoflauge Marine Corps pants, with a crisp white shirt. I am also a sucker for a long sleeved white dress shirt, without the tie and jacket. Yummy!

4
Blanche
May 27, 2010

It's probably a product of growing up in a town with a very preppy college, but I prefer plaid shorts to plaid shirts, especially when paired with a white button down with the sleeves rolled up and flip-flops; not that I'd ever catch my husband dead in said outfit. (Hey, that's two votes for white button downs...)

5
Sarah
May 27, 2010

Love your 5 and completely agree with you on the plaid shirts thing. I work on a construction project (oversight) and spend a lot of time with men in plaid shirts. It's fantastic.

6
brandi
May 27, 2010

I love the plaid shirt combined with the jeans and flip flops.

I've been feeling the v-neck tee lately, also. Not the chest-baring deep-v, but the regular old t-shirt. I like it.

7
Kristen
May 27, 2010

I'm with Blanche -- I dig the plaid shorts. Fortunately, after many years of subtle, gentle nudging, my husband has decided to embrace them (or at least wear them on occasion). And yeah, it's hot.

Also, I love a guy in a baseball cap. Not at dinner or at the theater or anything, but in general ... yeah.

8
Cass
May 27, 2010

I agree with everyone except for the Converse, some men (especially mine) just look funny in them.

But oh yes on the hint of pink, plaid & suits. LOVE the suit.

9
injaynesworld
May 27, 2010

A guy can never go wrong in Armani.

10
Katrina
May 27, 2010

Oh you are definitely not along on the pink thing - LOVE a man in some subtle pink. And really, I agree with your list. Converse aren't a must for me, but not a bad thing either. And a plaid shirt or nice suit? Mmm mmm mmm.

11
Julie
May 27, 2010

I think it depends on the age of said man. My man, at 51, would look silly in all of those except the suit.

12
NGS
May 27, 2010

I was in high school in the 90s and that's why plaid gives me the willies. Awful stylings. But to each his own. Enjoy your plaid!! (I also have a strong aversion to shoes that make noise when you walk so flip flops are...not my thing.)

I like a man who can wear a vest. My husband will occasionally sport a vest over a dress shirt. Although I always make fun of him and call him a nerd, it's surprisingly attractive. Don't tell him I said that, though, or the gig will be up.

13
Lacey
May 27, 2010

LOVE a man in pink. I tell my son all the time, real men wear pink :)
I also agree with the plaid shorts and baseball caps.

14
Lisa
May 27, 2010

My husband has one pale pink shirt that looks HOT on him. Especially with his suit. Which he used to wear every workday in London, but now that he lives in Texas he wears jeans to work (same line of work, different culture). He can't get away with flip flops for work, but he does wear them exclusively on the weekends, with jeans and one of his plaid shirts. I guess all he's missing are the Converse sneakers!

15
soul-fusion
May 27, 2010

just passed a man in the street yesterday with jeans a flip-flops and was reminded how much I love that combo. The converse aren't at the top of my list but everything else is a positive. Also, I kind of love when men can pull off the sport jacket with dark jeans. Not all men can do it though.

16
beyond
May 27, 2010

how about pink plaid shirts? ; )

17
Katherine
May 27, 2010

I agree about the pink! (And everything else, but especially pink.) My mom always said she "loved a man in pink," and all of her daughters eventually agreed. I bought a pink tie with dark blue stripes for my dad to wear to my college graduation. In retrospect, I should have bought one for every dude I know. The world would be handsomer.

18
eileen
May 27, 2010

adore men in pink, espcially if they have a nice tan going on and the pink shirt is subtle. cannot convince my hubby that pink is a great color for his italian olive skin, he is such a beige guy. oh well, i can drool after guys in pink, even though they aren't my hubby, the man has no idea what he is missing! oh and even better if there is a little bit of chest hair peaking out ofthe shirt.

19
Mine
May 27, 2010

My husband is what I call the Imelda Marcos of Converse. He has plain black, black leather, grey pinstripe, houndstooth and my very favourite, rocker bright red. And I bemoan the fact that they make MY feet look like I'm channelling a duck.

But I'd add to your list - a hat. Real, not baseball. Men look good in a good fedora - well, mine does, anyway. Wish I could get him to wear pink but he just refuses.

20
Saartjie
May 28, 2010

The Brits flippin LOVE men in pink! Seriously, attend a (not too formal) wedding where the vast majority of guests are English and at LEAST 50% of the boys will be sporting a pink shirt: guaranteed. It's your heritage, Holly!

21
Shut The Folk Up
May 28, 2010

Sean would look pretty good in a pink plaid suit.

Maybe with Yoda cuff links.

22
Lucy
May 28, 2010

I'm a sucker for a man in Carhartt pants. Makes me wilt every time...

23
Fiona
May 28, 2010

Jeans and flip flops are a must!

But the flip flops should be reefs or similar, like the ones with the bottle opener on the sole.

Danny looks quite silly in converse, but I'd say these http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=456030&CategoryID=65... on him make me drool.

24
bohemianbailie
May 28, 2010

When I met my fiance he was wearing a solid black pullover hoodie and I keep saving it from the throwaway pile! But I 100% agree on converse especially with a pair of Dickies shorts that are longish, this is all a product of growing up in Orange County though. I mean the real one wear guys have lots of tattoo's and skateboard. I also love plaid though, especially the jackets that are plaid and have the sheepskin fur stuff on the inside!

25
Lizard
May 28, 2010

If you are attached to the yoda T and Sean is not... you could use your crafty skills and make a t-SKIRT. Have you seen one? They are too clever.

26
Dawn
May 28, 2010

Totally with you on all counts, especially the plaid (although I am a teenager of the 80s on the East Coast=Prep Central), the suit, and the pink. Something about a man in a pink button down makes me purr.

27
Alex
May 28, 2010

I too have kept the shirt that my husband wore on our first date...it was HORRID! No joke, a camouflage, button up. He went "fancy" for our date by wearing a button up. Oh gosh. He's come a long way since then...suit, check. plaid, check. pink, I don't think I will be able to get him in pink.

www.laundryandvodka.com

28
Catharina
May 28, 2010

Hm, technically I completely agree with you, but if I think about it, my boyfriend would look pretty funny in any of these things. Except for the suit. They ALL look good in a suit.

29
Amanda
May 30, 2010

I love pink on a man. I don't know why, I can't pinpoint it, but it gets me every time.

30
Oh, You Bet I'm Anonymous
May 30, 2010

Um, I've actually put this on a dating website: "If you can wrestle a calf in a pink shirt, you're probably a guy for me." Amen, Holly!

31
anna
Jun 01, 2010

men looks good in crisp white tees to me. keep it simple

32
Angelique
Jun 02, 2010

I love my big strong man in shorts and tank tops! He is cute in less too ; )

33
Kylia
May 18, 2016

The abitliy to think like that shows you're an expert

Holy Toledo, so glad I clicked on this site first!

Such a deep answer! GD&RVVF

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