We are in the middle of an epidemic. And by we, I mean women. And by epidemic I mean this: men everywhere have stopped asking us, “does this look okay?” Slowly but surely, the once highly regarded woman’s opinion is slipping in the ranks as a sartorial standard. My lady comrades and I are entirely confounded.
The source of my personal anxiety is rooted in a fanatical appreciation for menswear which itself stems my fanatical appreciation for my Italian heritage. As a descendent of southern Italian tailors, I was raised by men who respected a finely made suit the way they respected a finely made meal: it was only good in the presence of others, and with a woman’s touch.
In Italy, arguably the cradle of menswear culture, this mentality was lived out daily, through the tradition of la passeggiata, or “the walk,” wherein gents would casually stroll together, regaled in their finest garb, through the town’s central piazza. Sure, the intention was to project a finely crafted image to society, but it was equally about turning the head of a finely crafted lady. The passeggiata was both appreciation of the allure of style and the most elegant and flattering of courting rituals.
Now, here we are, and the modern man’s dressing custom has become a staunchly bro-ish affair. Cubicle mates and menswear bloggers are his new targets to impress. It’s a dress-by-numbers approach and the feminine perspective is seemingly no longer in the game, benched in what once was a two-team sport.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m thrilled that dudes are trading their flip-flops for double-monks. Men are giving a sartorial damn, a development that merits a grand celebration. Please do parade, unabashedly, in your bench-made footwear! Clad yourself in that double breasted Boglioli! But do so with this in mind: If the reblog has been the yardstick by which you’ve been measuring your swag, the ladies in your life can tell—and they’re not impressed. Because nothing can replace the well-bestowed compliments of a woman and nothing will ever be as authentic, distinctive or dashing, as a man’s endeavors to seek out her opinion.
Marisa of The Significant Other as well as the tumblr Sig Et Al asking all you dapper gentlemen to stop dressing just to woo the internet masses and try dressing to charm us ladies (because it is an undeniably effective way to the heart) over on the newly launched Park & Bond.