Ever since I was a finalist and appeared on the Today show, I can't escape discussing my clothes with acquaintances and friends now eye me up and down every time I see them. Even worse, they always look disappointed and skeptical. I wore a blue OCBD under a navy cashmere v-neck jumper and grey trousers with longwings to a holiday party; an acquaintance approached me with a confused look on his face, then stated: "You aren't very well dressed today." Friends keep track of what I wear and say things like "Isn't that the same jacket you wore last week?" and "Oh, I heard wingtips were out of style" and "That's so 80's!" Of course, they also ask for advice, which I try not to give. But then push comes to shove, and I make a recommendation. At least a dozen male friends have asked me what kind of shirts I like to wear casually. When I tell them I like Brooks Brothers OCBDs (and explain what those are), they grimace and point out in a pitying tone that they've already upgraded to Pink or Tyrwhitt. I'm sick of explaining what my "hankie" is for and why it doesn't match my tie. Everyone has asked me at least once where to buy a "cool pinstriped blazer" to wear with jeans. A good friend introduced me to his girlfriend for the first time and pointed out proudly that I was one of the "best-dressed men in America." She laughed and blurted out "But you dress like a dad!" Somewhat sheepishly coming to my defense, he explains that I dress "very unique." Every guy asks me for what I think about their clothes, but in a disingenuous, bragging manner, as if to make sure I know I didn't deserve to be a finalist because his jacket is Kiton/Brioni/Zegna/Armani/RLBL. I always politely say "Very nice. I like it." They follow-up with: "Do you know where I got it?" "Huh, I dunno." "It's a Kiton/Brioni/Zegna/Armani/RLBL." "Oh, cool. Good stuff." "What designer is yours?" "Oh, I had a tailor make it." "Oh . . . well, check out Kiton/Brioni/Zegna/Armani/RLBL. I got a gay friend who works at Bergdorf/Saks/Bloomingdales who says it's the absolute best." And the shoes. Oh god. People look at my shoes like I'm a homeless person with dirty cardboard strapped under my feet. No, they're not Gucci or Ferragamo. Yes, I know I can get them for what I paid for these. Shut up, shut up, shut up. Suddenly everyone's a critic and a fashion editor. It's not my self-esteem or confidence at stake, but my sanity. I don't like talking to people anymore because they can only seem to talk about what I'm wearing. Let this be a lesson to others.
post #1 of 507
6/15/10 at 7:41pm