Male Fashion Rules

By Jim Rosenberg, August 1, 1995

	We are born into this world naked.  I don't like to use the word "nude"
	because it rhymes with "lewd" and whenever those two words get together
	it's always a good time, but I end up over at The Women's Hospital with
	a stopwatch.

	I write here not to advocate a return to nakedness, but to provide a
	service to the women of Guilford County.  I will explain, in laywoman's
	terms, the previously unwritten rules men follow in matters of fashion.
	I hope to expand this column into a best-selling book, "Men are from
	Rolane, Women are from Montaldo's" Enough introduction, let's proceed to

	The Rules

	* A man must never buy pants with the word "bottom" in the name, such as
		"Cavernous Bottom", "Bulbous Bottom", "Bottomless Bottom" or 
		"My Goodness, is that your Bottom?" jeans.

	* Before purchasing any item of clothing, a man must raise his right 
		hand and repeat aloud the following somber pledge:  "I [your 
		name here] do solemnly swear that [clothes item here] does not 
		make me look like Travolta from Saturday Night Fever, Grease 
		or Urban Cowboy.  So help me, John."

	* A man must walk out of the store if a clerk makes reference at any
		time to his crotch, particularly the dreaded comment/accusation 
		"it's a little roomy in the crotch there, isn't it sir?"  As 
		for the unexpected reverse crotch fabric yank and tuck maneuver 
		executed at many finer men's stores, you can expect to hear 
		from our lawyers.

	* A man must show no hint of style or flair and strive at all times 
		to approximate Stalin-era work camp garb.  To help resist the 
		urge to improvise, simply recall those 70's shirts with French 
		street scenes, long beagle dog collars, and absolutely no 
		natural fibers.  These were once thought to be stylish.  Men 
		might still be wearing them today, were it not for OSHA's 
		landmark ruling that they were simply too flammable for public use.

	* A man must never purchase clothes with visible writing, unless it is
		related to sports or Bart Simpson.  This is especially true of
		Euro-sounding phrases like "Chunnel Boy" or sissified concoctions 
		such as "Mummsy's Yacht Club".

	* A man must never independently spend more than twenty dollars on any
		item of clothing.  Suits, and other big-ticket items are 
		covered in Appendix A:  "Asking Mom for Help";

	* One item per category.  If you are shopping with your mate and she
		suggests "these slacks are nice," the proper response is "I 
		already *have* a pair of pants.  When your one item is no 
		longer wearable, rise from the dinner table and announce with 
		feeling "My shirt is dead.  I need a new one."

	If I can help just one woman understand why her man wore a Bart "Don't
	Have A Cow, Man" T-Shirt to her volunteer awards banquet, then my work
	is done.  The above is necessarily an abbreviated version of The Rules,
	meant to whet your appetitite for the unabridged book, tapes,
	informercials and seminars.  Until then, "Look Sharp -- Be Sharp!"

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