SPRINGTIME FOR SHITHEAD: WHAT WOMEN WISH YOU'D WEAR.
|Claire Zulkey, Tracy Weiss,||
This month's Waxing Off is both educational and entertaining. It's educational for men, who after reading this should reconsider their clothing choices when the weather gets warm. The take-away from this month's query about appropriate springtime attire for males is this: NO SHORTS.
Yes, surprisingly, it seems our batch of females has a problem with most shorts on men. There are some exceptions, but for the most part, it seems that unless we're showering, swimming, or humping our bony knees should be covered.
Then what to wear, you ask? Well, our ladies have some ideas, as you'll see. However, at The Black Table, our spring/summer outfits consist mainly of old Structure khaki shorts, wife beaters, smelly sneakers, and sweat. Lots and lots of tangy sweat.
Translation: we won't get laid until October.
Happy spring, mighty Black Tablers. Sing in the sunshine, laugh everyday and shit.
Ah, spring! The world bursts into color so that men don't have to. Really, guys, March needn't come in like the Fab Five. All you need to look hot hot hot on these warming-up days is: a white button-down and jeans. That's it: plain oxford, worn-in (not -out) blues; tails tucked in, a belt. And oh yeah, shoes. SHOES shoes. For God's sake, don't fuck this up with sneakers.
It is the perfect spring marriage: gin and tonic, tomato and basil, white shirt and jeans. Crisp and bright, greater than the sum of its parts. It's Euro without the sneer, preppy without the beer. The jeans say, "Hey, I'm equally comfortable in jeans and in my other jeans." The white shirt says, "Hey, I'm confident in my ability to not spill." White looks sharp on a man of any pallor, jeans look sharp on a boy of any badonkadonk. (Unless they have pleats.)
The white shirt and jeans classic can also help the fellas hold fast against the ride-pimping temptations that spring brings. For instance! Please lose the ankle-cropped clam diggers that make you look like Little Frat Boy Fauntleroy. Also, no shoes that contain the words "flip," or "flop." They make you remind me of those women who bring their own shoes into the gym locker room so their precious feet won't touch the floor, and I don't want to date them on so many levels. Also, alas, I can't think of a guy who can really pull off shorts, unless he is defending Stephan Marbury. Sorry.
And above all -- though I've frequently experienced Beige Rage with boyfriends whose idea of "colorful" is "navy" -- really, in spring, leave the rainbow to Mama Nature. That white shirt is a perfect neutral backdrop for that armful of tulips with my name on it.
There is a certain type of dude who landed in New York City via Sigma Alpha Whatever via the Siberian Steppe. His love of anything remotely warm is demonstrated by stupid outfits every time the mercury coughs up past 50 degrees. The dude is not fond of clothing. His shirts are ratty and stained. (Natty Light? That summer housepainting job six years ago?) But usually the shirts are sleeveless or -- even worse -- tank tops. (Beware standing next to tanktop guy on the subway in July. He'll stink.) And then some sort of nasty shorts not seen since JV soccer practice circa 1993. (If the weather is under 50, these shorts are covered with gym-teacher pants that zip and swish.)
Further dooming the outfit is nasty footware. Emphasis on foot. Because this dude will not cover his feet. He is shod in Tevas or Birkenstocks or flip-flops, the ultimate pathetic excuse for a shoe. Flip-flops leave about a half-inch of foam clearance between a foot and whatever nasty shit spilled all over the 7 Train. And they leave nothing to the imagination about the dude's feet -- curled toes, unkempt nails and all. The most coverage one can hope for are those stupid shower sandals the dude should only wear at the gym but has the audacity to leave the house in. (Again, if it's "cold," the dude will wear the shower sandals with white athletic socks. This is not anything near an improvement.) The dude sits with his legs spread widely, taking up as much room as possible and maybe even flashing his nuts. He chews gum loudly, reveling in his flip-floppery. You can see he thinks he's something special, which is almost endearing. But not.
Because with one shitty outfit, the dude tells you all you ever need to know about him. His socks are always on the floor. College was the best time of his life. And he never picks up after himself. That will be your job.
My favorite spring fashion look for le homme is the timeless "shirtless torso" look. This little delight is best appreciated at any of a number of large city parks, where groups of nubile boys and strapping young men often gather to chase and kick balls while dripping sweat and showing off their hairy chests and tits.
Now, if outright ogling embarrasses you, there a number of other options. The shy and unathletic among you can watch the shirtless ones unseen from behind a grassy knoll, bobbing your head intermittently over the top. This also allows you to drink iced tea or spiked lemonade or bloody marys from a thermos and chortle with your other lady friends while the boys yell and roar and kick and get kicked. For perhaps an even better view, you can also opt to play co-ed, preferably on the shirted team, which wins you the chance to body slam the boys, tussle with them in the grass and drink in their sweat.
One thing: sometimes the boys/men are also wearing soccer shorts, a disappointment at best. In their most generic college-sportswear incarnation, soccer shorts are not like tennis shorts. They do not fit snugly around the guy's ass or expose the sculpted cut of his thigh. They hang rather too long, and are always too big. However, you still get to see shins and calves. Burly ripping calves at work. For the record, my philosophy of male fashion is not that less is always more. If taken to the extreme this backfires extraordinarily -- speedo swimsuits, mesh tank tops, tight-ass ball-busting shorty-shorts. It does, however, often apply to the wide-wide world of sports. So play, you fucking playboys!
Come April, there's one accessory I find extraordinarily hot: Yarmulkes.
There's something about a guy surrounded by the rest of his family that makes me melt. Traditionally, meeting anyone's parents makes me break out into hives. Knowing where they came from brings a sort of accountability that is unwarranted. However, a man speaking Hebrew, while systematically doting as well as arguing with parents and siblings makes me want to molest him on his childhood twin bed. Oy vey! There's nothing hotter than a man who knows the tradition of my father and my father's fathers. Just call me Yentl. No matter how bad ass or cool a man seems at the bar, he turns into *someone's* sweet little boy. And that little boy is in for a big surprise when I get him alone wearing ONLY that yarmulke.
I'll preface my little dressing guide with the warning that deep down at heart, I am a prep, not a hipster. If I see you wearing a foam trucker hat, then you might as well be wearing a sandwich board advertising a cheap Chlamydia remedy, because I'm going to walk on by.
And, if you're old enough to be reading this website, you're too old to be wearing a shirt that advertises Senor Frogs or Co-Ed Naked Anything. And you're too young to be wearing a Martha's Vineyard shirt.
Boys here in Boulder seem poised for spring -- the first warm day they pull their shirts off and they don't pull them back on until mid-October. It's such a sweet and delicious Mrs. Robinson-feeling to cruise around a college town crawling with shirtless, cowboy-hat-wearin' 19-year-olds riding skateboards to class. However, the flip side to this town is a new "Keep Boulder Weird" initiative that encourages citizens to keep acting publicly ridiculous. I was walking down the creek path to my house when I heard, ever so faintly, Abba. Mr. "Chance-Take-A-Chance-Take-Ch-Ch-Ch-Chance" was rollerblading toward me, wearing nothing but what looked like tight, shiny rainbow briefs. He was an older fellow, possibly in his sixties, and his singing was loud and proud as he swooshed by. I couldn't help but crane as he passed, and discovered his briefs were actually a rainbow thong, with two delicate wings of fabric that instead of settling over his back side were floating lightly at his hips. It must be spring; I just saw my first tear-shaped ass cheeks, drifting this way and that away from me.
Just say it: Shorts. The word itself is ugly. The lazy shh, the fat, gaseous "ort".
Shorts, of all kinds, are very, very wrong. They are unfortunate with hairy, knobbily legs shooting out of them, boring when covering the tiny bum of a skaterboader or indie rocker, and disturbing when pressed against a wide, flat ass. Most of all, of course, they are tragic when revealing -- from a lawnchair, a bicycle, a rollercoaster -- the soft, distressingly vulnerable curve of a gentleman's apparatus rotundatus.
In a word: Shorts are pants, emasculated. Emasculating.
A woman who doesn't consider herself shallow may even find herself in the throes of SRS (Sudden Revulsion Syndrome) as the seasons change. Long, white stretches or short, chunky calves; visible follicles, wiry hairs sprouting hither and thither -- worse, hairless! -- ending (it looks like prematurely, shorts being, well, foreshortening) in some kind of prototypically disappointing footwear: Sneakers-with-socks, plastic mules, the horrifying deal-breaker that is Birkenstocks®.
But then sometimes it's okay: The beach. Night. You are sun-skinned and sweaty, wearing a thin T-shirt and maybe a sweater, there is sand sticking to the back of your calves, you smell like boy and alcohol, your shorts are somehow not offensive, and we are about to make out, the ocean is nearby, involved, making embarrassingly romantic crushing noises, and no one, for the moment, cares what anyone is wearing.
Hey Ladies! If you would like to be included on the Waxing Off mailing list for possible inclusion in next month's section, please e-mail managing editor A.J. Daulerio and we'll make some magic.