men’s wear wednesday: an alternative to suits

I don’t really have a solution to offer, but wanted to make sure I express my sympathy for all the men I saw (and the many more I didn’t personally see) slugging to work through the heat and humidity on this brutal first day of summer. While I did not see a single woman wearing a dress or blouse with any hint of a sleeve, all the men I saw were already melting in their long-sleeved work shirts, even before donning jacket and tie.

There are many times that I thank the stars I am a woman, no more so than this time of year. Our professional wardrobe options are so much more vast. Let’s be honest, most men can’t carry off the seersucker suit with Trent Lott aplomb. (I think you have to be a fifth generation southern gentleman to really own it.) Lightweight wool? Sounds like an oxymoron to me, but even though I know what is meant by the term, it still sounds dreadful on a day expected to be in the mid-90s. Even if your suit is indeed of a lightweight fabric like poplin, you still have to tie a noose around your neck from 9 to 5, Monday thru Friday.

I don’t have any great ideas for changing up what professional options you have for this time of year (khakis are not the answer). But I do have an idea that is worth consideration.┬áSince we’re never going to get a “heat day” off from work in the summer the way we get snow days in the winter, perhaps the federal government could institute a policy of “no jacket and tie days.” It could be the summer equivalent to “liberal leave” during inclement weather in the winter.

Until that time, hang your shirt, jacket and tie on a hanger and wear something light and airy for your walk to work or walk from the metro or your car. Just don’t do what the guy I saw this morning did. He had said hanger with office attire on it, but opted to walk to work in his wife-beater. And while I feel bad for all you overdressed men out there, no woman wants to see a sweaty man in a tank top.



men’s wear wednesday

Gentlemen, are you tired of reading or rather, skimming my blog for tidbits of juiciness like the words nude or milf? Do you wish I didn’t spend so much time on women’s fashion, my dress dilemmas and don’t wears that clearly have no relevance to you unless you are willing to share them with the woman in your life?

Fret no more.

In an attempt to continue my effort to make the world (or our little slice of it in DC) a more fashionable place, I have advice for you too. And dearest female readers, don’t avoid Wednesdays just because they will be tailored to the guys. I know you’ve had the experience of dressing up for an event, looking at what your husband or boyfriend was wearing, and cringing inside because his ensemble looked like it came from the (dirty) laundry basket not from an actual hanger in his closet. Or maybe you’re tired of the khaki-pants-blue-button-down uniform so omnipresent in DC. At the next BBQ, perhaps you can get him to wear something other than cargo shorts and a t-shirt from college (a note to the guys: just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s vintage).

Ideally, just like my women readers do, my male readers/skimmers will reach out to me with a wardrobe dilemma. Since I didn’t decide on this post until last night, today’s advice for those guys who hate to shop or don’t know what to look for is this: hire some help. A personal stylist such as DC Style Factory (who will start by auditing your closet and compiling a style profile) is well worth the investment. Or did you know that you can call (or email) Nordstrom, tell them what you need, your size and your price range and they will make an appointment for you to come in to a dressing room already full of items for you to try? No scouring the racks for outfits you don’t know how to put together or searching to find what section of the store carries the items you need. By the way, this service is free.

And so is my advice, so take it or leave it, but if you leave it, don’t say I didn’t tell you so the next time your significant other looks you up and down and lets out a heavy sigh. It might be because she can’t wait for you to get those clothes off, but not for the reason you think.