Tag Archives: fashion

Ask a Grown Man: Vol. XII

25 Oct

I’ve got a TON of questions in ye ole’ Ask A Grown Man queue. So, we’re going to spend a couple of days answering them, changing lives, and kickin’ it Dear Abby style.  Let’s get to work….

Grown Man,

I am recently divorced.  It’s been ten years since I’ve even thought about dating, and I believe the world has changed quite a bit.  What do I do to get myself into the current dating scene?  A related question, what are your thoughts on e-dating sites?

Thank you for your time,
Michael

My Good Man,

Sorry about your divorce.  While you may be happy it ended, nobody ever goes into a marriage expecting it to fail.  I hope this season of your life hasn’t been too rough.  But, judging by your email, I’m guessing you might be emerging from those woods and ready to dip a toe back in the ever-so-treacherous dating waters — well done.  Allow me to shed some light on your questions.

First, a lot and nothing has changed in ten years. For example, in 2000 everybody was paying attention to hanging chads in hella-crazy Florida while at the same time – get ready for it –  women enjoyed being with a man who was polite.  Here’s another one: In 2000, every Gen Y-er was bemoaning the end of Boy Meets World (and Topanga) – also, eye contact and genuine interest in a woman’s life was getting guys second dates.

So 1998You see what I’m saying?  Basically, Michael, being a good man is always en vogue and ten years changes nothing except current events and fashion (no more paisley ties – ever).  However, and more to your questions, where do you meet Michael-worthy women?

Well, people say you should stay away from bars.  But, what I really think they mean is that you should stay away from places that you, on a normal day, would never go to.  For instance,  if you’re 45, don’t go to the bar that the super-trendy college kids frequent.  While it may seem like a good idea to be flirting with freshmen, it’s not the relationship you’re looking for.

In reality, you should be hanging out in places with people like you.  You should find the local Michael-like establishment(s) and set up camp.  Also, you might need to be creative and create hobbies or situations in your life that foster this kind of community.  Not a church-goer?  Maybe it’s time.  Are you a half-way decent baseball player?  Time to sign up for your local softball league. The bottom line is this: find a community, be bold in asking quality women out, pick yourself up when it doesn’t work, and be patient.  Then, like the shampoo bottles say, “Wash, rinse, repeat.”  Keep at it.

Or, there’s option b) on-line dating.  Here are my two cents on online dating.  Five years ago, it was a little odd and something that good, normal, non-super strange folks should have avoided.  However, the fact that on-line dating has become so popular has helped in shifting the balance from 10% Normal/90% Creep-a-zoid to 80% Normal/20% oogie. This change has caused me to rethink the validity of this option and give it my official, “I Don’t Know Man, If You Really Have To” seal of approval. There’s nothing better than meeting a nice lady organically. However, I realize we live in different and increasingly isolated times, and it gets progressively harder as you get further away from your 20’s to go au naturel. So if you must Michael, you’ve got my semi-support.

heHarmony,
GM

wear a watch.

10 Aug

That’s it, I’m throwing in the towel…I literally can’t take this anymore.  For the last week, I’ve been writing about feelings, weddings, love, relational dynamics, et cetera, et cetera – and I’m going crazy.  I’m a sensitive man, but if I spend one more moment trying to wrap my head around the etiquette and emotions of a wedding, I’m going to cry (irony?).  So today, we’re gonna rock this post like it’s March of 2010 and I’m going to get hella-specific about one issue.

You’re a Grown Man, wear a watch.

But Grown Man, I have a phone that gives me the time!  And it’s not just any phone, it’s a freakin’ jail broken iPhone 4 – sucka!

Here’s why you shouldn’t be using your phone as your primary time keeper.  It’s just not polite, when sitting with a person, to slyly pull out your brick-of-an-iDroidBerry, push a button, and check the time.  Everything about that transaction screams of you not giving a crap about the conversation.  And though that may be true, is not the way a man presents himself.  For real though, I trust that you’re only checking the time, it just appears as though you’re glancing at the recent Words with Friends updates.  Oh my god, I can’t believe the word PacManFever was accepted!

Alright, so hopefully you get the point that your phone isn’t your watch.  But why should Grown Men wear watches at all?  There are a few reasons:

-Grown Men are punctual. There will be a full post about this later in the week, so I’m not going to go into it.  For now I will just leave you with this little adage: Early is on time, on time is late. That just happened.

-Watches project confidence. A watch has a very subconscious effect on the people who see it.  There’s something about the small accent that tells people you value punctuality and fashion.  Conversely, seeing a man without a watch doesn’t scream of immaturity, but it doesn’t help your cause.  Without a watch, you get closer to confidence-neutral, which won’t bode well with potential lady-friends, colleagues, or other Grown Men.

-They look cool. The “Don Draper” factor can’t be ignored. And, as there are very few acceptable pieces of jewelry that a man can wear (cuff links, cool tie clip, wedding ring, glasses, that’s it), a watch is a small exclamation point on a well dressed fella.  While I’ll leave it up to you to determine what’s classy and what’s not, I strongly suggest, nay, demand that you pick a watch that’s timeless (snicker) and appropriate.  Bright yellow bands and Mickey Mouse are out.  Here’s a rule: Picture your watch on Clint Eastwood.  If if looks cool on him, it’s a winner.

And that, my good men, is the end of the post!  No feelings, no love, just good old fashion advice and judgment.  That felt good.

Grown Men, synchronize Swatches!

be a good best man (part 1).

2 Aug

Like the groomsman, the role of the best man has been well documented.  The Knot and others have done a good job in making tidy little lists that will ensure your success in this oh-so-important role.  However, my job as your pilot on Grown Man Air is to do more than simply take you to your destination – I want you to think.  Gentlemen, please return your tray tables to their upright and locked positions – here are the tools you’ll need for being a successful best man:

-The Bachelor Party: One of the first duties you’ll fulfill is that of Bachelor Party planner.  Your groom, and presumably your best friend, deserves a heck of a party to celebrate his big decision to get married.  Did you notice how I put that?  “Celebrate his big decision…” NOT, “Say goodbye to his freedom.”  Do you see the difference?

A common mistake is that bachelor parties are some ridiculous tribute to the last taste of freedom and, therefore, involve excessive flirting, hooking up, or at worst, strip clubs.  Grown Men don’t go to strip clubs, ever.  And while this is a future post for another day,  it’s just important to know that celebrating marriage isn’t about tempting the monogamy gods one more time, it’s about celebrating a big decision in a man’s life and sending him off with a boat load of fun, class, and dignity.

Sadly, I found this pic. AFTER I wrote the post.

Having significantly killed the jovial mood, let me end the bachelor party section with this.  Best men, you all are the sole organizers of this shindig.  Have a discussion at some point with your groom and see what he’s hoping for. Then, execute the party planning with a type-a tornado of efficiency and delegation.  The groomsmen are the infantry and you’re the general – get those guys to help out with clearly defined, easy to execute jobs.  I can assure you that with the right mindset (celebrating the groom!) and some attention to detail, you’ll honor your friend with a tremendous bachelor party.  Also, don’t let anyone get tattoos that night.  Some fresh “bros before hoes” ink will not bode well with the bride.

-The Wedding Day: Here’s what happens inside of the groom’s head when he wakes up on his wedding day.  “Wow, why am I waking up in a hotel room?  Oh man, I’m getting married today!”…time elapses…flashes of standing at the alter… “I do”…Boom Boom Pow playing at the reception…leaving in a limo…hotel… “Wow, why am I waking up in Maui? Oh man, I’m on my honeymoon!”

Best men, the groom has a lot on his mind and really needs your help.  Your job is to be the attendant to the groom through the entire process.  If that guy wakes up and is dazed over by the bigness of the day, he needs to somehow end up at the church, in a tux, on time, with his overnight bag, the extra box of wedding favors, and the 2 zillion other little things he was supposed to remember.  Your job is to make sure that all of those things happen, with or without his full consciousness.

For the most part though, the groom isn’t the bumbling doofus I’m making him out to be. And usually, the most helpful function you can serve is to be the great friend you’ve always been.  The importance of hanging out and keeping the day focused and calm for your groom is paramount. On the wedding day, do whatever you’ve got to do to insulate that guy from any last minute craziness and make sure that he’s able to maintain the focus he’ll need to be able to stand on the alter and promise some pretty important things to a pretty important woman.  And, once again, whatever you do – no tattoos.

Alright fellas, this is the end of part 1. You may take a bathroom break now and prepare for part 2, where we’ll finally talk about the dreaded best man toast!

be a good wedding guest.

27 Jul

It’s wedding week here on You’re A Grown Man and I, for one, am really excited about this.  Every day I’m going to tackle one of the major roles a fella can play in a wedding (guest, groomsmen, best man, and groom). Also, we might have a super-special fifth post – oh the excitement!  In any event, it’s going to be glorious.

Grown Man, why are you pimping out your sick blog for an entire week!?  I hate weddings!

You can moan and groan all you want, but you’re going to have to attend a wedding at some point.  And, while I know you’d rather be doing literally anything other than jumping around to Love Shack for the thousandth time with a belly full of chicken or fish and a half gallon of bottom shelf beer, you’ve got to go.  Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiin roof – rusted (busted?)

Alright, leading off our series today is the concept that you should be a good wedding guest.  We’re going to do this in all bullet points because really, not much is expected of you other than to not be a doofus.  However, it is my civic duty to give you some specific pointers and save you from yourself.  Allow me to begin…

– RSVP, ASAP. Gentlemen, you disappoint people at every turn with your inability to return a call or email.  However, when you forget to do those things, it’s just impolite and usually not that big of a deal.  But when you don’t RSVP, your name remains blank on guest_list.xls and you become an increasingly heavy millstone around the neck of those who give a crap about place cards and wedding favors.  You may not understand how much work goes in to planning a wedding, but believe me – it’s a lot.  Répondez s’il vous plaît! Sorry to yell at you in French.

– Bring a gift. I’ve already written a beautiful and touching expository on this so I’ll leave it to myself to prove my own point.  Bottom line: You have no choice, bring a gift THAT’S ON THE REGISTRY.

– Figure out your own transportation and lodging. The bride and groom may be kind enough to include a suggested hotel in their wedding announcement.  But if they don’t, you really can’t call them and add your needs to their plate.  Again, they’ve got a lot to do and you’re a big boy who can figure out his own life.

-Never be the center of attention. “Center of attention! What ever could you mean!?” Oh, I don’t know: getting sloppy drunk, being loud, walking around and getting in the background of every picture, dancing a little too close for too long with the 15 year old cousin (yes, I’ve seen it), stealing all the disposable table cameras and taking 500 pictures of your junk (yes, I’ve seen it), signing the guestbook 15 times with names like “Gary Coleman” and “Your Balls” (yes, I’ve seen it), etc., etc.  It’s okay to have fun and yuck it up with your pals, but anybody’s wedding other than your own is not about you – it’s about them.  Be cool, broseph.

-Thank someone for the party. Somebody in that room paid for your booze, tiny mesh bag of dinner mints, and 55-year-old chronically depressed D.J.  You really should say thank you.  Customarily, the bride’s parents flip the bill and ought to be the recipients of your hearty hand shake and genuine (non-drunk) thanks.  However, you can always just play it safe and thank the bride and groom for their generosity.  It’s good to be grateful.

-Don’t leave too soon. Let’s say the reception is booooooring, and I mean really unbearably terrible.  Well buddy, you’re just going to have to wait it out.  Listening to awkward speeches in a gross VFW with terrible food is probably only comparable to the 6th or 7th circle of hell.  However, you’ve got to stay until the cake has been cut and served.  There’s no getting around it – that’s just the way it is.

Before we go, I’ve got one more…

-Keep your tie on! There’s something about the reception that seems to beckon men to ditch the tie and unbutton the top button.  This is not acceptable.  I don’t care if the ceremony is in Sub-Saharan Africa or you’ve just been challenged to a dance-off by freaking J.T. himself, you’ve got to remain fully dressed.  Your tie may come off when, and only when, the bride’s parents leave.  When they’re gone, the reception just turned into an after-party and, my good friend, it’s time to Watusi like it’s 1999!

That’s all for today.  Tomorrow, I shall take the groomsmen to task.

A very special thanks to @accessoriesdiva, @chrisstorms, @krisarruda, @mahfrot, @perpetualpeeve, @sholeh, and @joelrakes for the Tweets that gave a lot of good content to this weeks series.

get serious about your scent.

16 Jul

I have a friend named Randy.  Randy is just one of those cool dudes who you pay attention to while trying to look like your not paying attention at all.  You know what I’m saying?  For instance, Randy comes to work wearing a pair of cowboy boots and, one week later, all of his disciples are wearing cowboy boots. Nobody came up to him and said, “Holy Roy Rogers, those are some sick boots bro! You’re so cool, Randy!”  Nope, they all just got in their Civics after work and scoured the land for old-looking, brand-new, Randy-like boots.  Man, Randy is the coolest.

Recently however, Randy and I came to an impasse.  The conversation went something like this:

Randy: Do Grown Men wear cologne?
GM: No, Grown Men wear self-respect and adulthood, they shouldn’t smell like anything.
Randy: But I wear cologne.
[Oh god, I don’t know how to process this, Randy is so cool, my defenses are weakening]
GM: Really?  You’re such a Grown Man, I didn’t peg you for an Axe kinda’ chap.
[Randy’s wife chimes in…]
Tootie: Randy smells amazing. In fact, a lot of people say that Randy is the best smelling man on the planet.
Randy: For real, smell me.
[Randy motions for me to smell his collar. I am powerless. I smell it.]
GM: Wow, Randy.  You do smell good.
[blushing]
Randy: See?  See what I’m saying?  It’s a really unknown cologne called [I don’t remember the name, though I’m pretty sure it was McConaughey #4].  Doesn’t it smell good?

Indeed it does, cool Randy.  Indeed it does.

Following that experience, I decided to change my stance on cologne and man-scent in general.  Previously, I was adamant that no man should smell like anything other than the sweat of his labor or a campfire.   However, something in aforementioned conversation alerted me to a factor that was worth considering.  Tootie liked the way Randy smelled – a lot.  And felles, if something as simple as a dash of Parfum du Pitt gives her that much enjoyment, you’ve got to go for it.

Here are the rules that Randy and I agreed upon for proper, Grown Man, musk management:

-You can’t wear cologne to try to attract a lady-friend.

-If you have attracted a lady-friend, she has to like it.

-You’ve got to keep it to one spray.  Putting on cologne is akin to using your library voice – soft enough for the person across from you, not loud enough for the whole room.  ONE SPRAY!

-Anything that says “body spray” is not cologne – it’s teenage marketing.  Stay away!  For real, Chocolate Axe might be the first horsemen of the Apocalypse.  Pick something that exudes class – like Randy.

That’s it gentlemen, smell good and have a great weekend.  Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read and comment!

Ask a Grown Man: Vol. V

15 Jul

Good Thursday, Grown Men.  Let’s do this thang…

Dear Grown Man,

I work in one of those “cool” places where people come into work wearing T-Shirts, including the two owners. I wear casual button downs most of the time, so at least I’m making some headway.

What about shoes, though? [I cut out some stuff] Sneakers in the work place are for teenagers working at a fast food joint…it doesn’t matter how nice they are. So what should I be wearing?!

Thanks,
Ben

Benjamin,

We have two things to talk about.  First, you need to have a good old fashion uprising in your office. It is ridiculous that a man with your fashion forward mind should consider, even for a moment, working for those goons. Today’s the day, Benny Boy. Walk right in there, inform them that there’s no room for Ed Hardy in a Brooks Brothers world and demand their jobs. When they refuse, make sure they notice the pitchfork and torches that you and the other button-down-boys are holding and give them an ultimatum – either they dress like freaking adults, or they shall be brained.

Second, the fact that you’ve even considered what shoes to wear gives me a great amount of hope for you.  Allow me to honor your inquiry with some well-organized bullet points regarding shoe selection:

No kidding, I owned these exact shoes.

-You may not ever wear sneakers to work UNLESS your company is having some sort of outdoor activity that forces you all to walk in a 5k on a Saturday morning in matching t-shirts.  Even “teenagers working at a fast food joint” should have the work ethic to wear standard issue black restaurant shoes instead of flashy British Knights (or whatever the kids are wearing now).

-As you so astutely pointed out, your suit shoes shouldn’t be your 9-5 shoes.  You really need to own shoes that are only worn with your suit(s).  They should remain well polished and kept in the box until very special occasions.

-Your 9-5 shoes need to be somewhere on the spectrum between your Indie-boss kicks and the suit shoes.  I would avoid patent (shiny) leather and overly trendy colored shoes.  Brown or black, tasteful, and timeless are always good guidelines.  However, I respect a Grown Man’s decision to have a unique style, so if you must show some flair, do it in a way that doesn’t elicit memories of juice boxes and recess.

Ben, I hope this helps and thanks for giving a crap about how you appear at work.  Prepare for the uprising my friend – the revolution is now.

My Adidas,
GM

Why do men not give their girlfriends compliments after the first 3 months? My friends and I can get compliments from other men all day long, but the one she wants them from doesn’t give them.

-Christine

Christine,

Men DO give their girlfriends compliments after the first three months, years, and decades.  The “men” you are speaking of are hunter/gatherers who give compliments to lure women and get their fill of emotional and/or physical affirmation.  When these men finish the chase, they simply begin the process of discarding the carcass and moving on.  I assure you, the man you speak of is giving compliments to some woman – just not “your friend.”

Your friend,
GM

Until next week, keep asking those great questions!


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