Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 4th 2014 Contents A37
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raged. The jackets were
unisex with broad lapels
to frame the wild flow-
ered shirts. Think the
Mod Squad and Clarence
Williams III with his huge
Afro and bell-bottoms.
By the 80s, the mod-
ern male had a wide choice of profiles, from the
looser fit which allowed him to breathe and enjoy
dessert, to the dread "power dressing" Gordon Gekko
style---double-breasted pin-striped suits, with con-
trast-collar shirts, that made a man look bossy and
The 90s were an imponderable decade. "Urban
decay" actually became a style. Grunge was acceptable
for the street or dinner with the mayor. The hip-
hop explosion legitimised baggy swagger, which
meant guys could look like their teenage selves on
purpose, and go from day to evening, with just a
change of big, gaudy jewelry.
The today style for men has its blessings. The
slimmer look means we have to spend less time
rinsing out our eyeballs, since their underwear will
remain unseen. The reintroduction of fit also reassures
us that bad fashion does not last forever.
As TSB Men put it in an editorial in 2011, celebrating
the universal and timeless relevance of a well-tailored
suit: "Skinny trousers, tightly-cut jackets and narrow
ties recall the slim, sharp bella figura silhouette of
minimalism in the 60s."
But, whatever the trend, common sense always
remains in vogue. So "skinny" and "tightly cut" really
mean "proper fit," with no pleats and folds and extra
pockets as if you are trying to hide an AK47.
In no way at all do such guidelines translate into
squeezing lumps and bulges into cigarette jeans.
And, guys, here is another reason to let out the
seams a bit: medical experts say tight trousers cause
overheating Down There, resulting in decreased
quality of one s little swimmers---and infertility.
Listen closely. I am with Nikki Crosby
on this one, guys: the tapered look is not
Even on fellas who have long, elegant
muscles and have eaten more lettuce than
doughnuts, it can look silly---as if you bor-
rowed your little brother s clothes.
This is Nikki on the radio: "Because tight
clothes in, all kinda fat man wearing tight
pants. Steups. And dey want to talk about
women? Ay, fellas, we could still see your
The pendulum has swung again. Instead
of wearing clothes two sizes too big, men
are now sucking it up for skinny pants and
fitted shirts and jackets. Sheesh! Guys were
wearing "gunmouth pants in the 70s, and
the style was not new then either.
In one of my favourite movies, Beau
Brummell, Stewart Granger, as the bon
vivant who becomes the BFF of Prince
George (Peter Ustinov), stuns his friends by
appearing at a party in "drainpipe trousers,"
instead of breeches and stockings, which
every other 18th-century English gentleman
was still wearing. Brummell, in real life, was
quite the arbiter of men s fashion, and pio-
neered the understated look. His other
eccentricities included bathing every day.
Elvis Presley shock-rocked the world in
drainpipe jeans, essential to his famous "bad
boy" look of the 50s. Then Hollywood 60s
stars, such as the impeccable Cary Grant
in Hitchcock s North by Northwest and the
epiphanous Sean Connery as James Bond
in Goldfinger, popularised the slim, no-frills
grey suit with a plain crisp white shirt and
thin dark tie. "Classic bad-ass," the TSB
Men style blog calls the pared-down look.
Things got a little out of hand in the 70s
when the anti-establishment movement
continued to make the point that the modern
generation wanted to be nothing like their
fathers. Our minds were liberated but our
wardrobes suffered. Disco satin shirts with
balloon sleeves and velvet hipster trousers
Guys, tight ain't always right
Elsa would be proud of comedian and actor Russell
Brand, as his skinny jeans have no pleats and folds
and extra pockets as if he's trying to hide an AK47.
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