men are the new women

Men Must Shop for Newly Trendy Preppy Things, And They Are Loving It

Hey, men! Take a look at your outfit. Might you have on a three-button suit with a plain light blue or white shirt and solid-colored tie? Then you may consider yourself gauche, crass, and out of touch. Take a look at Zac Efron on the cover of GQ, who is not only the epitome of virility and good looks, but represents, in that outfit, exactly how you should look now, according to the Times. The three-button suit used to signify success on Wall Street. But no one in their right mind wants to be associated with success on Wall Street these days (Tarp whores, they). So men are ditching the work-wear of boom times and going for something more interesting visually. That means gingham, seersucker, V-neck sweaters, skinny wool ties, and Madras. Okay, so they say Madras is in every spring. But this time they really mean it.

The new trend is causing men to behave more like women in their shopping patterns. For one, while women are scrimping, men are out there buying things to wear. Retail sales figures show sales of men’s clothing costing more than $100 were up 4.3 percent in the six months ending February 28, 2009 compared with one year earlier. Not only are men shopping more, they’re having fun doing it. Just like women!

“That stodgy look is kind of dead,” said Eric Blumencranz, an insurance broker in Manhattan, who was shopping at Bergdorf Goodman last weekend. “I used to wear a plain white shirt. Now I’m wearing stripes and checks, and ties that are a little more fun, too.” But, he pointed out, propriety has to come first. “It’s got to be professional, with a little style to it,” he said. “You can’t come in in an old polo shirt and ripped jeans.”

Look at him go! It’s heartwarming. He can save his ripped jeans for the weekend but still have fun wearing his Dorothy gingham during the week. Before we know it, husbands will be shopping for their wives. Dogs will be walking people. Cats will be dogs. Women will take up a majority of seats at sports bars with their own pitchers beer — wait, no. No, that last thing will never happen.

When No One Wants to Look Like a Banker [NYT]

Men Must Shop for Newly Trendy Preppy Things, And They Are Loving It