Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Laws of Casual Style

Animals make the best logos. Match the logo with the brand. A. Polo; B. Penguin; C. Lacoste; D. Brooks Brothers; E. American Eagle; F. Vineyard Vines

ANSWERS: 1-C, 2-E, 3-D, 4-F, 5-A, 6-B

This is an article that was published in Esquire Magazine Feb. 2008 and I pulled a few highlights out (renumbered). It was written for men but many of the concepts apply to women too.

The (New) Laws of Casual Style

Put down the blue button-down, step away from the Crocs, and open your closet. We need to talk.

1. When in doubt: a white oxford shirt.

2. There is a name for men who can pull off wearing sports jerseys. They’re called professional athletes.

3. A rugby shirt is the most masculine thing a man can wear.

4. The 1950s and 60s were the high points of casual. Everything before and after was hit-or-miss.

5. Fitted is good. Snug is dicey. Tight is just wrong.

6. Hemp clothes are great. If you want to smoke them.

7. Khaki pants will look and feel their best approximately two weeks before disintegrating.

8. The man who imparts opinions via T-shirt has neither the intelligence to form a cogent opinion nor the good sense to keep it to himself.

9. Everything looks better with age. Except for white T-shirts. Those look best new.

10. The Professor was the best-dressed man on Gilligan’s Island, followed by Gilligan, Thurston Howell III, and the Skipper. Oh, and for what it’s worth, Ginger. By God, Ginger.

11. Articles of clothing that you can dress up: polo shirts, khaki shorts, blue jeans, white sneakers, and, for Texans, cowboy hats and boots.

12. Articles that you can never dress up: sports jerseys, track pants, wifebeaters, Birkenstocks, and flip-flops.

13. Cotton is the universal language of casual clothing. Wear it anywhere and you’ll fit right in.

14. Sweatpants are for sick days, couch surfing, and light exercise. For anything else, throw on a pair of jeans and get on with it.

15. Velour: no.

16. Never wear more than two denim items at a time. Scratch that: Never wear more than one denim item at a time, and make sure it’s not a vest.

17. To our knowledge, tank drivers never wore tank tops. If they did, we might like them better.

18. Khaki is a color. Chinos are a pair of pants. Know the difference but feel free to use the terms interchangeably.

19. The more expensive a restaurant’s entrées, the less comfortable you will feel in jeans. Unless, of course, you could buy the restaurant, in which case you can get away with anything you want.

20. No one you work with should ever see your toes or your nipples. Please dress accordingly.

21. Remove the brass buttons from your store-bought sport coat and replace them with buttons from a fancy golf club. It will annoy the hell out of the club’s (real) members.

22. The best jeans have five pockets. The best khakis have four. Anything more or less and you’re asking for trouble. Oh, and 1998 called: It wants its cargo pants back.

23. Unless he’s a chef, a gardener, or a jolly fat man from Holland, no one should ever wear clogs in his daily life. Same goes for Crocs.

24. Speaking of: We’re not sure what Americans did to deserve Crocs, but whatever it was, we’re sorry. We’re really, really sorry.

25. If you see the words “Barbecue,” “Come as you are,” “Bring the kids,”or “BYO” on an invitation, dress casually. When in doubt, bring a navy-blue blazer.

26. Berets: no. Not in Paris, France, and especially not in Paris, Texas.

27. The overlap between active sportswear and casual party attire should be kept to an absolute minimum. Leave the neon shirts and pants for the links, the white tennis shorts to the courts, and the swimsuit at the pool.

28. There’s no harm in letting yourself go, so long as you’re never more than an hour away from pulling yourself together.

29. A hood knocks ten years off your age and twenty points off your IQ.

30. Sunglasses don’t belong on top of your head, folded into the neck of your shirt, or hanging around your neck by some nylon cord. If you have to remove them, hold them or put them on a table. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT THE ARTICLE FOR ANOTHER 30 or so laws.


Veuve and Varsity said...

15. Velour: no.

16. Never wear more than two denim items at a time. Scratch that: Never wear more than one denim item at a time, and make sure it’s not a vest.


MMW said...

This is a very very good article. Although there is some good humored cheekyness to it... I think most of the rules apply wonderfully.

BTW - in 2002 Crocs were manufactured in Montreal Canada. It is one of the FEW times I have been absolutely embarrassed to be a Canadian.

M.Lane said...

Fantastic! And all great tips.


preppyplayer said...

I believe all of it! Except for #30, my sunglasses become my headband quite often :)

CTB said...

This is wonderful! I want to print it, make copies, and hand it out to every male (no matter the age) that I see! Brilliant!

QueenBeeSwain said...

laughing so hard at this post- great one to share! where do you even buy a denim vest? and hoodies for adults are always a no in my book. unless you're home, sick, on the couch.


Blackeyed_Susan said...

Love this post!! Cargo shorts should be banned!

PinkGator said...

I am sorry to all, but have admit how I love my Crocs! I try not to wear them in public too often, but they are just so comfy! Great for rainy days or for going out on the boat! :)

Croc love, Pink gator

Tara Gibson said...

very good post and EVERY man should read this!

Gracie Beth said...

I love number 6! I think the boy needs to read this he wears black socks with white shoes and khaki pants...I am going to fix this one day

Headbands and Hand Bags said...

So funny and so true! I love a good rugby shirt!

AEO said...

I agree with all of them, except #30. That one is a staple in my life :)

Though my husband doesn't do any (?) of these things, I'm forwarding the article. He'll find it hilarious!

Legallyblondemel said...

Irreverent and so true - I like it!

I laughed at the rugby shirt line, since I've been trying to sneak some into my husband's wardrobe for eons. My next attempt to prep him up a bit is a pair of seersucker shorts; wish me luck!

Princess Freckles said...

This is cute!

Preppy 101 said...

Great Post!! Love it!! I want to see the whole article now!!

bows and bermuda shorts said...

love this!!

ACL said...

here, here!