I realized I love to write about menswear and male style. I find it a bit more challenging. So, let’s start this third post with these words by Charles Hix, the author of “Looking Good: A Guide for Men” and other best selling books about men’s style and self-care. In the ’70s and the ’80s, Hix also provided style advice on the pages of GQ. We live in a world where appearance counts. It always did and probably will always do. Taking care of ourselves, which includes the way we look, is a form of self-love and self-respect. And dressing well is a form of good manners.
CINEMA AND STYLE INSPIRATION
“A Single Man” is a must-watch film. Every framing, outfit, interior is so refined. What else could we expect from a film directed by Tom Ford? Colin Firth and Julianne Moore both look great but my favorite fashion moment is the scene with Aline Weber and Nicholas Hoult laid down on the lawn. They both look so beautiful and stylish.
MEN AND STRIPES
Vertical stripes are among the main trends of summer 2018. I love stripes and I think vertical stripes particularly flatter men while horizontal stripes look better on women (it’s a bit of a cliché but they lend us a Parisian look). I know there’s already plenty of choice when it comes to classic striped shirts, but this summer men can indulge in something a bit different. Play a bit with colors and the size of the stripes and you’ll look stylish and cool.
I love unbuttoned shirts worn with white tees.
And worn without tee but not so unbuttoned. Instagram is not reality.
WHAT WOMEN WANT
Good manners. Because they make a difference. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “life is short but there’s always time for courtesy”. I know we’re living in times where chivalry may be mistaken for sexism. I know women who would consider a man who holds the door for them a male chauvinist. But there’re women who deeply appreciate what they simply consider a kind gesture. If you do a kind, chivalrous gesture and it turns out not to be appreciated, just think that it’s not you, it’s the other person who is not civil enough to be grateful. But, of course, don’t overdo. If you see a woman (or a man) who is easily carrying a suitcase, don’t think she (or he) is waiting for somebody who will do it for her (or him). Don’t offer your help and insist. That’s not chivalry, that’s intrusiveness.
As writer Joyce Rochelle said “what a loss it would be if feminism killed chivalry”.
Personally, I particularly love these gestures:
It’s considered pretty outdated now, but I love when a man pulls out a woman’s chair to make her sit. There’s a scene, in the third season of Fargo, where Ewan McGregor/Ray Stussy pulls out Mary-Elizabeth Winstead/Nikki Swango’s chair when they arrive at a bridge tournament. I find it so gentlemanly! But very few men do it, nowadays, and they’re often waiters in restaurants of a certain level.
When a man walks outside of a sidewalk/street, letting you walk on the inside and safer side. The origin of this gesture is ancient (and disgusting). If a man walked on the outside part of the street he prevented the contents of a chamber pot from being emptied on a woman. With the passing years (and the invention of toilet), walking on the outer side of the street has been considered a kind gesture because it prevents the theft of a woman’s bag. I also appreciate when a man walk behind me while we climb a staircase and walk in front of me while we descend it.
When a man holds the door. To every human being, no matter the sex and the age. It happened to me, a few times, that a man saw I was behind him, in a store, and not only he didn’t hold the door for me, but he even pulled it to shut it in front of my face, as if I shouldn’t benefit of his effort. That was beyond rude.
Be sure that a woman gets home safe, waiting for her to enter her house is not only a kind gesture but a sign that you are a human being.
I consider myself a feminist, even if this term is often misused, and I appreciate chivalry. It’s not about gender equality, it’s about being kind and show a woman (a partner, a friend, a colleague, or a complete stranger) that, in a way or another, you care. For the record, I hold the door for other people and it shows that men appreciate it, too. I like to pour water or wine when I eat with someone and I do many other things. I appreciate kindness and I am kind. Believing in gender equality means that, as a woman, I wish to be treated equally, not that I want to be treated unkindly. Being kind and chivalrous with a woman doesn’t mean you consider her a lesser human being, that would extremely sexist.
A BRAND TO KNOW
Holiday Boileau is a French brand I recently discovered. I like men with white pants and these, with the blue piping, are perfect to put together a cool summer look. The brand takes its name from Holiday magazine, a famous American magazine published from the ’40s to the ’70s and recently revived.