I hope you will find it of interest as she finally agreed to let me reprint her thoughts anonymously here at Trust Your Style just in time for the long weekend.
mj: What are your pet peeves?
"I can't stand Birkenstocks or Tivos on men. I don't want to see men's feet in sandals or flip-flops unless they're at the beach. The exception to this rule is the tanned feet and legs of surfers who effortlessly look great in leather flip flops and slip-ons. Oh did I mention legs? I don't care how trendy the trend, I really don't want to see a guy in shorts--surfers excluded--unless it's the Fourth of July. Especially when they're pasty white. Please don't wear shorts with athletic socks and big white leather tennis shoes, it's the equivalent to the Juicy Couture sweat suit for women. Yuck. And the men who wear polo shirts day in and day out here in So Cal--so horribly un-chic!"
mj: What about suits?
While an expensive suit is a step in the right direction, don't get me started on tight Italian suits that look good on skinny actors but practically no one else. It just screams of trying too hard. It may sound boring, but since so many men have ventured out to 'creatively' express themselves with fashion, my advice is stick with classics that are tailored. Less is more."
mj: Okay then. Thank you for sharing.
I think trying too hard is the key to the whole issue. If you think I'm kidding, there's a style forum where comments about men trying too hard in fashion rages endlessly and pages of google results for "trying too hard, men's fashion".
So what do women really want to see men wearing? I think a blog over at Men.com nailed it ages ago when I read and heartily agreed with the fact that a man who doesn't try too hard to look good is sexy. Personally I like classics on men. And a guy who spends more time picking out their clothes and putting them on than me is a red flag. (Don't be shocked, not counting hair, I'm usually done in under 5 mins, or 10 if it's a big event). I'm a big believer that any time spent on clothes should happen before they're purchased not after. For casual, which is where most fashion craziness seems to happen: worn leather bombers, aviator sunglasses, jeans--not the designer kind, desert boots, bucks (but not two-toned leather oxfords) are some of my favorites on men. I'd rather see a guy wearing a good watch than an embellished shirt or designer jeans any day. Everything worn in but not worn out. Clean but not overly manicured. Of course, there's an exception to every rule and I think a guy can wear anything as long as he does it with confidence and I'll leave it at that.
I also love Sam Shepard's style but a black tee with a suit, not so much (exception being Armani and George Clooney in Armani).
Alright ladies, what do you like your men to wear?
If you're thinking I'm being unfairly harsh on men today, to balance it out I encourage you to read this insightful look into what men want women to wear, entitled, Darling, you look...an absolute fright, actually"--apparently there's very little that stylish men like about current fashion trends on women.