If you’ve got a question that needs the female treatment, chances are you’re not the only one who wants to ask it. Beth is our source for the answers. From opinions on men’s style to decoding the sometimes mysterious ways of women, she’ll take on a different question every Thursday. And don’t worry, your identity will be protected too. Click here to get to know Beth, then get in touch with her by sending your question to: email@example.com
My issue at present is that I am of two, very different and very distinct, stylistic minds. As a college history major, I have a fetish for antiqued things ranging from wax seals on letters to fountain pens and swing dancing. This is beginning to translate into my fashion choices as I start to favor pocket watches and wingtips or tailored khakis over the traditional college uniform of ill-fitting basketball shorts and high-top Nikes (It’s summer here). While I perceive this as a good thing, there is another side to me that favors the exact opposite, namely: Neon sneakers, shutter shades, and overall a more toned down Kanye West.
So Beth, as a woman, do you think its more appealing when a man is consistent in his attire, or tends to surprise with contrast? Should a young man be consistent in his style or have an…artful dichotomy?
As our fearless Dappered leader remarked, you must look like you fell out of the 19th century one day, and a NYC club the next. I understand this pull to two (or more) different aesthetics. I suspect that some of our readers feel the same way…though perhaps less extreme than what you’re describing here.
However, I have to cast a vote in favor of consistent style. I think other people should be able to recognize you on a day-to-day basis. There should be a common thread (or a common century, at the very least). I’m not advocating a uniform, but I like the idea even of a single consistent piece that is your calling card. Maybe you always have an interesting–and varied–watch. Maybe you live in jeans (though different styles/cuts/colors) and dress around them. Maybe you own man cardigans in twenty different colors.
You ask whether it is appealing for a man to surprise with contrast, but I don’t think that’s really what you’re doing here. Sherlock Holmes on Monday and Kanye West on Tuesday is beyond contrast. It’s time travel. Surprising with contrast would be an unusual color combination, or busting out a hat one day when you typically favor a bare head.
But I hate telling people they can’t wear something, or laying down style rules that are unflinching. So here’s the challenge I’m presenting to you–pick one aesthetic over the other, but see if you can incorporate DETAILS from the other.
Go with Kanye, steer clear of the neon, but then use a pocket watch. Go with Sherlock but subtle, classic aviators (sorry, I don’t think shutter shades would translate, and in fact, I don’t think they translate on anyone in any time period, but that’s a different column). It might fail, I mean, you’re trying to meld two very different styles, but it’s worth a try.
So there you have my take, but as I often do, I’d love to hear what the faithful Dappered readers have to say. Are you pulled to more than one aesthetic (and if so, which ones)? Do you think it’s more important to be consistent, or to satisfy your style cravings?
Got a question for Beth? Send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org