This is exactly why I stopped buying American men’s fashion magazines. The content is so lean in terms of what is actually meaningful, and so full of off-topic pandering fluff pieces– I can mine any nuggets that may be there in about five minutes or less at the magazine rack, and save my four bucks for something useful. Case in point–
The magazine: GQ March 2009.
The title: The 10 Most Stylish Men in America, Starring Justin Timberlake.
My reaction: “You can not be serious. Hell, he’s not even a man, let alone stylish.”
GQ– short for Gentlemen’s Quarterly, and once the gold standard for men’s style is now GQ– Getting Questionable. Yeah, your credibility takes a hit in my book when you’re consistently extolling the virtues of teeny-boppers and hip-hoppers. I think of those guys as trend-seeking, fashion-wagon opportunists, not icons of style. Weren’t they wearing white belts not too long ago? Give them their props somewhere else– not in GQ. I used to laugh at what rags FHM and Maxim were, but now everyone is starting to migrate to the shallow end of the style gene pool.
Oh, those nuggets I was talking about? Well, here they are– GQ’s most stylish man talking about what he knows best– the delicate intricacies and subtle nuances of men’s fashion–
“Nobody dressed like my dad,” Timberlake says. “When he worked at the bank, he looked like Richard Gere in Gigolo [I have to jump in here- It's actually American Gigolo, and it was the film that launched Armani's career-- show some respect]. And he would do it all the night before, laying out the suit he’d wear the next day. Even on weekends, if he had to go into the office, he’d wear a trouser pant [trouser pant, JT? Is that like a coat jacket, only for your legs?] with a V-neck sweater and tie. And I was like, I want to dress like that! He was just so cool.
“When he’d get his pants hemmed, he’d ask for them to be slightly longer in the front, because he wanted them to bow [Son, when Daddy gets his pants hemmed a little extra long for that "bow" that drives you so crazy-- that's call a "break". You can get a "slight break "which hits the top of your shoe, or go a little longer for a "full break" which is nice and flopsy like Daddy likes it]. So when he walked, he had this Travolta thing going, where the pants would ﬂop a little bit. And it was cool, man! Some days my mom would come get me out of school a little early, and we’d go meet my dad for lunch. And I remember him walking out of the bank, and with his pants it was like he was gliding down the sidewalk.”
This is our guy? Sounds like what he knows about style wouldn’t fill a friggin’ thimble. Hey, don’t get riled at me– he’s hanging himself here. And how about GQ? They hold him up as the poster child for American style, then print this dribble. Oy. Makes you want to run out and buy some William Rast, doesn’t it?
Other blatant GQ misses–
Yeah, Rushmore was cool. But that was 10 years ago, and I’m sorry to break it to you Jason– it’s not cute anymore, man. It’s kind of like Beaver Cleaver grew up. Lose the windbreaker, comb your hair and get some proper footwear. Save the tennis shoes for the court– recess is over. Not aging gracefully is a great disservice to one’s self. It’s time now to evolve your look–take it to the next level. You could have great style. Bono is singing your song, brother– “You’ve got to get yourself together– You’ve got stuck in a moment, and you can’t get out of it.”
I don’t think I could stand like that all day just for a hat– my neck would kill. Sorry, who are you again?
What GQ got right–
Sid Mashburn (and staff)
Haberdasher, Southern Gentleman
Sid Mashburn is a throwback to a time when looking sharp was about a lot more than labels. His philosophy—the one reflected in his Atlanta store—is that good style is about knowing how to tie a tie, dress right for an occasion, and be comfortable in your own skin.
“My look is kind of an amalgam of different things: European, preppy, southern. Preppy is often times pejorative, but if you really boil it down, it’s nothing more than classic clothes—a pair of khaki pants, a Shetland sweater.”
Sid Mashburn would put a serious beating on Justin in a Celebrity Dress-Off.
GQ’s Style Guy
Find us an icon of New York’s punk/new-wave scene who looks as bold today as he did in 1978. Fact is, most are dead, washed-up, or worse—banking. The secret to Glenn O’Brien’s style longevity: He hasn’t strayed from his roots.
“How have I stayed stylish? I’ve always worn the same clothes. I have ties older than my wife. I think I’ve had this suit for twelve years. And it’s my favorite suit. Style is about expressing your personality, and it’s not like that changes from one year to the next. Winston Churchill had incredible style, and it was permanent. When I had shoulder-length hair, I wore the same kinds of clothes I wear now. I never wore bell-bottoms. It’s also about dressing with respect. My grandmother was a big influence on me in that way. If I was going on a date, she’d say, ‘You can’t wear that pink shirt—what’s the girl’s mother going to say? Have some respect.’”
Love the tartan mack and Belgians, Glenn.