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Monday, October 16, 2017

As Far As I Can V

by Glenn T (writer), Las Vegas, NV, August 10, 2009

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My fascination, disgust and rage at modern day fashion, unbelievably enough, continues.

When I set out to write a weekly blog for a whole year, I truthfully didn't expect an appreciable percentage of my pieces (if any) to be about fashion. I had no fashion sense to speak of until I was thirty years old, and even then it took me a few more years to really get comfortable in what I was wearing. As a point of reference, a law school colleague (who was a year behind me) once told me that when he saw what I was wearing in class during his visit to the campus (I was 29 at the time), he thought to himself "if that guy can do it, I know that I can." True story.

I'm not certain if the public at large has just gotten more shameless in dressing themselves, or if it's just southern California. But for whatever reason, even with my limited capacity for noticing the same, I see egregious and shameful fashion violations every single day, and when any of them reach critical mass (the point at which I've seen them often enough that I can no longer ascribe them to just a few isolated individuals' bad taste) I finally have to write about them.

And here we are again.

One of my personal fashion staples is the V-neck t-shirt; plain, usually white, sometimes colored and never screen printed (especially with "Affliction", "Armani Exchange" or "Abercrombie"). I find these to be just slightly more mature than a crew-neck t-shirt, and subtle enough to let my personality do the talking and not my outfit. But, I digress. Something's gone terribly wrong with V-necks lately. Well, men's V-necks, that is. They've gone the way of breast implants, french fries and Kirstie Alley's dress size - outrageously super-sized and, if you can believe it, growing. Honestly, when did a plunging neckline become an okay thing on a man's shirt?

There are certainly some fashion and grooming staples of the gay community that have greatly benefitted the average straight man's appearance and appeal.  Man-scaping, a well-tailored suit, and jeans that cost more than forty bucks, just to name a few. But, just as importantly, there are some other staples of that same community that ought to remain there. For example: a vest with anything but a 3 piece suit, anything ribbed that isn't a condom, and chaps. Of course, included on this list of please-don't-let-this-get-adopted trends was the oversized v-neck t-shirt. Unfortunately, t-shirt necklines have taken the plunge and the last time you could see this much chest while everyone was still dressed, the Bee Gees were selling out concerts. It's as though just when we've finally convinced the world's men, even the smarmy ones, that it's not okay to wear a dress shirt with any more than two of the top buttons undone, we've now got to deal with a whole new slew of overexposed and underwhelming displays of man cleavage.

Now there's only really two ways this can go: (1) you're going to see some particularly unsavory chest hair, or (2) you're going to learn more than you wanted to know about some stranger's proclivity for hair removal. Let's go over why these are both way wrong... in order (so no one gets confused).

1. The Forest For the Trees. Listen, there hasn't been an acceptable purposeful display of chest hair since Magnum P.I. went off the air. There really hasn't. Which is not to say that you need to shave yourself like an Olympic swimmer if you want to wear anything that doesn't hug your neck - hair removal isn't for everyone, especially if you'll lose a couple jacket sizes if you do. But, just know that the exceptionally small number of number of women who do actually get turned on by your front-mounted Sherwood Forest, already know how to find you and will appreciate a more private showing anyways. And speaking for the rest of us - the small amount that peeks out of your normal shirts is plenty. We've got to eat, you know.

2. Smooth Operator. If you've gotten your grooming habits into the twenty first century, especially with regard to hair removal - good for you. But I don't need to know. No, seriously, I really don't need to know. Think of it as a private gift, or an inside joke between you and whoever (if anyone) sees you naked frequently. A list which doesn't include me, or most other people for that matter. I totally get that you want everyone to know you've got a great chest and can bench press a car. But I have it on pretty good authority that this is completely noticable through a shirt - with the added bonus that you won't look like a date rapist. Enough said.

A t-shirt can be a very powerful tool for a man. It's an iconic piece of clothing that it's nearly impossible not to look good in if you're in decent shape, and is the coolest thing you can wear that costs less than twenty bucks. James Dean, Marlon Brando (a young Marlon Brando), Paul Newman, and the list goes on. These paragons of bad-assery all looked their baddest in just a plain white t-shirt. Did you really need to see down to Brando's navel to know that he'd beat your ass if you tried to say something about his girl (or his hat)?

For months now, I've railed against the feminization of the American male, and from the looks of this latest trend in marginal shirtlessness, it's showing no signs of slowing down. Skinny jeans, eyeliner and jihad scarves; now we've got young men wearing ladies' necklines on their shirts. I'm not sure this is going to stop until teenage boys start running around in high heels. Of course maybe that's just what we need. When guys start breaking more than just the long understood basic laws of manhood by walking around dressed like women, we might just find our way back to the cave.



About the Writer

Glenn T is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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4 comments on As Far As I Can V

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By cristogianni on August 12, 2009 at 03:27 pm

Great article, Glenn. I totally agree with your assessment of modern fashion (or the lack thereof). There are just too many "fashion-don'ts" these days, especially for men. I see these guys riding the train each day, and I'm just left scratching my head befuddled and confused. By the same token, it's a free country and people should wear what they feel comfortable in and with. But personally, I'm left wondering what some folks are thinking. Then again, I'm also someone who is looking and hoping for a fashion-return to the 1930s, when they still made the best cars, movies, and...clothes.

5-stars!

Cristo

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By Glenn T on August 12, 2009 at 03:30 pm

HA!  Thanks, Cristo...

I agree, people should be free to wear whatever they like.  I've always countered that with my "freedom to ridicule" - where if you wear something out in public, then I'm free to laugh at you as a result.  I fear that most folks who adopt these fashion trends are far from expressing individuality - they're just following, which makes it all the more laughable and absurd.

Of course, if they stop - what will I have to write about?

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By cristogianni on August 12, 2009 at 03:34 pm

Exactly! LOL.

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By Ava Marie on August 13, 2009 at 06:35 pm

Oh Glenn, you are so silly.  :)  I enjoyed this one, of course!  I will praise the day when men no longer wear plunging v-necks.  Although, I am enjoying the new metro sexual freedoms that men are embracing in fashion.  They are stepping outside the box and taking more risks.  That's good.  But it's true, so true...the V's need to disappear from the men's section.

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