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Sep 20, 2021

Your Fall Preview for Men’s Fashions: Stylin’ and Smilin’ Through

Going rogue with what’s in vogue

By Ed Goldman

The advent of autumn in two days, and return of wool suits entirely too soon, reminds me that when it comes to men’s styles, I may well be fashion-backward.

For example, wherever the concept of “man shorts” came from, I’d like to suggest it go back there. Coupled with a polo shirt, loafers and no socks, “man shorts” make most men past the age of 45 look like players on the LPGA tour. 

Edgy Cartoon

Dress to Depress

This is especially true if the shorts are extra poufy, which makes them appear to be “skorts” (skirt-shorts hybrids) or what I believe are called “culottes.”

The latter shouldn’t be confused with “coulottes,” which are fatty (ergo, really juicy) steaks. Only Lady Gaga can rock a dress made of beefsteaks.

I also have some issues with the increasing, perhaps even exponential, dominance of the “man bun.”

I’ll admit my own hair would cause even a disheveled zombie to say, “Not really an optimal look for you.” But at least I keep what’s left of it next to my scalp, not pile a clump of it atop my head as though it’s a follicular penthouse.

This leads us into a brief song, to the tune of “Young Girl,” by Gary Puckett and The Union Gap:

 🎶 “Man Bun, get outta my sight.

You call it fashion but it’s really a fright,

Hope you can run

With that damned Man Bun.”

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Okay we’re back, if not improved.

I should point out that women’s fashion is more of a mystery to me than men’s—just as women are more of a mystery to me than men have ever been or ever will be (except for the ones who sport man buns, who, to me, remain conundrums wrapped in enigmas with a side of fries).

For instance, there’s apparently some scientific evidence establishing that when hemlines go up, so will the economy. Yet it’s important to note that shorter skirts and dresses allegedly serve as predictors, not as examples of true cause and effect.

If the latter were true, however, and businesses-too-big-to-fail got together and bought miniskirts for all the female brokers at the New York Stock Exchange, would this constitute either market manipulation or insider trading? And if the women switched to wearing Hillary-style pantsuits, could we expect a slack season to follow? Let’s break into small discussion groups so we can have small discussions about this.

Even fashion terminology confuses me. For example, When one pronounces “tres chic” correctly, it sounds like what one might find in the employee cafeteria at an emirate.

Similarly, and probably just as humorless, “Haute couture” sounds like something you’d find in a towel store in Indiana. (Terre Haute, Terry Cloth. Please rate this translation.)

I think I’ll lie down for a while and ponder all of the above as I wait for my man shorts to come out of the dryer.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).