I admit it. Sometimes when I check my hotmail account, those headlines on MSN are too catchy to resist. Sure, it’s easy to skip the latest about Britney’s baby fat and a video of an octopus killing a shark, but then “10 things every guy should have in his closet” is impossible to say no to. So, what should I have in my closet:
“1) WHITE OXFORD BUTTON-DOWN SHIRT: The white button-down can be worn with a suit and tie, on its own with a pair of jeans, or underneath a sweater. May we suggest: Cotton button-down shirt ($40) by Izod.”
Oh, please. Asking a Mormon if he has a white button-down is like asking a Texan if he owns a barbecue.
“2) LIGHTWEIGHT CASHMERE V-NECK SWEATER: A thin cashmere sweater can be worn every month save for August. Goes with jeans or underneath a suit jacket. May we suggest: Cashmere V-neck ($178) by Banana Republic.”
Forget for a moment the absurdity of spending nearly $200 on a sweater. Ask yourself: when is the best time to wear a sweater in Houston? When it’s hot and humid, or just hot?
“3) SUNGLASSES: Obvious for their functionality (that whole sun-in-the-eyes thing), but also necessary as an accessory that adds the all-important final touch. May we suggest: Sunglasses ($174) by Persol.”
OK, I own sunglasses for the “whole sun-in-the-eyes thing,” but what kind of final touch are they talking about? Is that the last thing I put on when dressing for my job as Secret Service agent? Lifeguard at the neighborhood pool?
“4) A DARK PAIR OF JEANS: Make sure they are crisp and able to be worn with a T-shirt, button-down, or the jacket from your suit. May we suggest: Vintage “Capital E” jeans ($178) by Levi’s.”
OK, who the hell wants to wear “crisp” jeans? The entire function of jeans is to be comfortable. “Vintage” jeans are never dark or crisp or cost $178. Mine are proudly faded, worn, and cheap.
“5) ONE SET OF CEDAR SHOE TREES: You need only one pair, to keep your just-worn shoes in good shape. May we suggest: Cedar shoe trees ($60) by Zegna.”
Nothing screams “metrosexual” like cedar shoe trees.
“6) WHITE T-SHIRTS: Sleep in them, wear them to the gym, or use them underneath a shirt or sweater. May we suggest: Cotton T-shirts ($30 for a pack of three) by Calvin Klein.”
Again, the last thing an exMormon wants is to wear anything resembling a white undershirt, much less one that costs $30 for 3.
“7) BLACK LACE-UPS: Clean, dressy black lace-up shoes will work with any color suit and still look at home at the foot of your jeans. May we suggest: Leather lace-up shoes ($495) by Tod’s.”
OK, I have a pair of those. But I’m thinking that if I followed their advice, people would be pointing and snickering, “Look at that idiot wearing crisp jeans and $500 shoes.”
“8) OVERNIGHT BAG: Because a man never knows when he might have to flee at a moment’s notice, make sure it’s big enough to carry two nights’ worth of stuff. May we suggest: Taiga-leather Kendall bag ($1,510) by Louis Vuitton.”
Overnight bag: check. Lost the temple accessories, but kept the bag. And, holy crap, how much does an editor for MSN get paid to be able to spend $1500 on a small suitcase?
“9) THREE-BUTTON NAVY SUIT: Navy is the most versatile color for a man’s suit. Extend its life by wearing it with a shirt and tie, or wear just the jacket with jeans and a button-down. May we suggest: Three-button wool suit ($1,595) by Canali.”
Mine is charcoal gray. Navy was just too, you know, bright and radical for a Mormon.
“10) MEDIUM-WIDTH TIE: If it’s too skinny or too fat, you limit the types of shirts you can wear with it. A medium width, in a neutral color and pattern, has the most versatility. May we suggest: Silk tie ($95) by Jack Spade.”
Hmmm. Neutral colors and patterns. Even Boyd Packer would have a hard time arguing with that.
So, what have we learned here? MSN is ridiculous, and I’m cheap with little fashion sense. But then I already knew that.