Spring sprang upon us last week, forcing me to once again contemplate one of life’s big questions: What will my fellow menfolk be wearing this season?
As you probably know — because I remind you every year — I’ve long been known as a trendsetter and fashion icon.
I wear jeans and black sweaters in the winter. I wear jeans and black T-shirts in the summer.
What’s cooler than that?
Philanthropist that I am, I also do my part to support all the needy Laurens, Armanis and Versaces out there.
Every year, I splurge on a few pricey articles of Big Name clothing that I will eventually wear (once) to some fancy event, throw onto the floor the minute I get home, and then, two years later, toss into a Salvation Army bin.
(Does it stay on the floor for the entire two years? Yeah, probably.)
Because I’m short, bald and not particularly attractive, people often assume I am a male model.
Or, more precisely, a supermodel.
Not every short, bald, not particularly attractive man becomes the idol of millions.
Some of us are real people, just like you.
Some of us are even — ahem — a tad overweight.
At 206 pounds, I am, according to my doctor, 3 pounds short of being “morbidly obese.”
According to the chart at bannerhealth.com, I’m supposed to weigh between 133 and 163 pounds.
A few other charts insist I’m supposed to be precisely 149 pounds.
Unfortunately, I like to eat.
(For the record, I don’t eat cookies, cakes, junk food or processed food. I eat healthy! I just eat too much healthy.)
Now, as you may have noticed, it’s become très chic for designers of women’s clothing to populate their fashion runways with females of different ages, heights and sizes.
This is because we are living in the roaring 2020s and no one wants “plus-size” ladies to feel left out, unloved or unappreciated.
Isn’t that nice?
Because of this, one might assume that men’s fashion runways are equally diverse.
Male runway models tend to be tall, thin-waisted and covered with untold acres of lean muscle.
This may be why, according to French Vogue, one of the hottest male fashion trends for the spring and summer seasons is…
Vogue notes: “Next summer’s fashion statement? Men will partially strip down, to reveal a resolutely masculine part of the body: the torso. Enhanced by translucent pieces at Dior, an open shirt worn effortlessly on the shoulders at Etro, or in crop top form at Courrèges, this is a trend to look out for.”
Several other designers appear to be on the same page, with ab-exposing shirts, vests and jackets.
Going shirtless to the beach makes perfect sense. But, no matter how cute your belly button may be, nobody wants to see it on the subway, at Sunday Mass or during dinner at Le Bernardin.
As you may remember, in 2022, it was suddenly cool to untuck all (or part) of your shirts and let them dangle down the side of your pants, or peek out from under a sweater.
For 2023, GQ insists that “tucked-in everything” is a trend. I don’t know what they mean by “everything.” But, whatever else you might have sticking out, this may be the year to tuck it back in.
GQ is also all about sleek trenchcoats, dressy trousers — even for non-dressy occasions — and loud, clunky flip-flops.
The popular men’s magazine is also insisting that zip-up hoodies are BACK! (I never stopped wearing mine, so am I “in” or “out”?)
This British edition of GQ says this spring calls for baggy pants, metallic fabrics (for shirts, pants and jackets), denim tops and bottoms (worn together), and — ugh — lots and lots of exposed stomachs.
GQ’s most curious pronouncement: “Men wear skirts now. Get used to it.”
Can we do that?
I have a few friends who wear kilts on special occasions — and they have always insisted they’d wear them every day if pants-less-ness were more accepted.
In recent months, John Cena, Brad Pitt, Robert Pattinson and Harry Styles have all shown calf in kilts, skirts or skorts.
(The last one is a hybrid skirt-short.)
I can’t bring myself to show up anywhere in shorts, let alone skorts.
Plenty of men do have ugly legs. I’m not one of them. But I don’t like prancing around sans pants, no matter what the season or occasion may be.
If you Google #boysinskirts, though, you’ll find tens of thousands of stories and photos of, yes, boys in skirts.
(In August, CNN reported that on TikTok, the hashtag #boysinskirts had been viewed over 240 million times.)
Skirts may be comfy (and trendy), but I have no intention of going pants-less this year. Most American males aren’t likely to do it, either.
But it won’t be my fault if they do.
Don’t kilt the messenger.