What the hell has happened to women’s fashion over the last 10 years?  It has seemed to be over run with the sort of extremes in color, fabrics, skin, and any other facet that can be named that make most chicks today look more like caricatures than regular women.  And not that I don’t like a splash of color and the showing of some skin, but some of these designers today are channeling more of their inner Cyndi Lauper and less of their inner Jackie O.  And before some of you read this and say I am some out of touch lame that has no sense of style……..well…..you might be a little right, but if that is the case so are a lot of guys.  And I find it is fascinatingly disgusting and refreshing at the same time.  Because while guys think that most women they see out on the social scene today look like candidates for the Mayor of Clown Town, it is nice to see that there are still some women that don’t entirely live to impress a man. (even though quietly I wish some women would realize that all guys like and RESPECT women who dress to give off Casually Understated Beauty instead of our lusting response that we give to the ladies who give off the Shiny Tatalicious appeal)  Because guys don’t really like the things that ladies wear a lot of time and they totally know it.  I have heard countless women speak with the confused wonderment about having guys approach them more when they are just out at the gas station with glasses, sweat pants and hair pulled back in a bun.  Uhhhh…newsflash ladies.  That’s the real you! Not the Maybeline Masked warrior I met at the lounge the other night.  And guys really love to see the real beauty that is underneath.  But since women totally are in this tacit sort of competition with each other over what they have on and how high their heels are, guys can no longer use the way a woman dresses as any sort of measuring stick to evaluate a woman at all.  We don’t have the luxury of being concerned with whether a girl has a mean shoe game or a sassy sort of style.  Because it is usually so over the top that we wind up not having the proper level of appreciation for it any way so why even be concerned.  And I think this is a good thing.  Any single person that is still entirely fixated on how  someone dresses or how much someone needs a makeover is the real lame.

I like to look nice when I go out.  I like classic styles and try to stay away from faddish sorts of trends.  I have never worn colorful suits, skull and bone t-shirts, belts that are over decorated with big heavy pieces of metal or bottle caps or what ever the hell your favorite rapper is wearing.  Because mainly I think that it’s……Corny.  So I am entirely part of the problem.  I call guys corny all the time.  For the way that they seemingly are trying to go to hard in an attempt to get some sort of attention.  It is a sort of unmanly trait that I abhor in men. Conversely, I totally accept it as just being a member of the fairer sex.  Primarily because I am exclusively into women and if I start crossing women off my list because I think they have a not so appealing style then I may never get a date.  (Saying that I am exclusively into women seems almost like I am saying no homo and I hate that, but it has sometimes become a necessary point of clarification in DC) And until yesterday I thought that I was so over that phase in my life because I had gotten older and that all people over 27-28 would feel that way.  I was sadly mistaken.

Just this past weekend I was at a cocktail party and sitting in a booth chatting it up with some ladies I knew from college. (it’s cool for me to try to pick women’s brains about relationships and such so that when I write I don’t have a strictly male dominated viewpoint about dating) And as they scanned around to see the crowd of guys I heard a couple of them let out that word that I had heard so many times in college.  That word that was always used as a way to be dismissive of guys as if to say that they are not worthy of a woman’s attention….He’s Corny! Now, like I said, I have certainly used the word to classify guys who I thought were dressed in a flamboyant, over the top manner but I have deaded the term as a way to describe women who are equally over the top.  Because I just realize that women are not likely to really even care what a guys opinion of their style is, because a lot of women consider us woefully ignorant to what is HOT.  And more importantly, seeing a woman with a funky sort of style only gives me a surface level assessment of who she is.   But I realized that these particular women are not affording guys the same pass.  I understand that it is difficult to date a guy who is socially awkward, abrasive, verbally abusive or too insecure and uncomfortable to be himself around a pretty woman.  But I also couldn’t believe that so many women are still using words like stylish, swag and slick as the sorts of descriptive qualities that they first mentioned when I asked them about their preferences.  I was shocked.  The term was thrown out there to describe one particular guy who I personally knew to be a nice, sincere, and loyal guy.  And it just made me feel….weird.  Because if I couldn’t feel comfortable vouching for this guy as someone who would be a guy that they might like then I don’t know who to introduce them to!  And it just made me feel like so many of us are still sitting around acting like The Cool Kids in the Lunch Room.

In high school we used to make fun of the smart kids who were not that cool.  And in college we made a mockery of the kids who were not equally as concerned with their wardrobe as they were their prospects for grad school.  But when we get to be adults and we cannot shake ourselves away from noticing if a guys jeans say Rock and Republic of if a girl has designer emblems on the side of her handbags and sun shades…….who is really the cornball? The people who are above other folks superficial characterizations, or the adult cool kids who still find some sort of self-validation in pointing and snickering at shallow, superficial flaws that don’t have anything to do with the character of a man or woman who they dismiss?

@jacksonbracey

Jackson.Bracey@gmail.com

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