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Recently, a girl wrote an article in my college’s newspaper promoting the scarf accessory on men. She said, “What would your European counterpart do? Well he’d keep that attractive short-sleeved T-shirt on and accessorize with a scarf.” I can’t say I’m on the scarf bandwagon (and the fact that she wanted us to dress more European), but do women like it or does it come across as “metro?”
I love a scarf on a man. Whether it’s a soft cashmere or a toasty, bulky knit, I think it looks elegant and modern. Some other examples I love are this pinstriped scarf, this reversible style, this crinkly texture, and this beautiful plum color.
But I have to say I disagree with the coed you quoted. I like appropriate clothing for the appropriate season. I live in a place with all four seasons, so when I see a woman sloshing through the slush in open-toed high heels in January, I say to myself, why, Beth, why? Put the peep-toes in the closet until the thaw, darlings. So I say, reserve the scarf for late fall, winter, and early spring. You know, like when your neck might actually get cold.
As for the question of whether or not it’s metro…look, I hate to break it to all you male sartorialists out there, but “metro” is most frequently tossed around by men whose yearly clothing expenditures are equal to what they spend on coffee creamer, and by women who believe there’s only two kinds of footwear: athletic and flip-flop. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but come on, those of us hanging out in this corner of the Internet have different…priorities). Are you metro compared to Mr. Coffee Creamer? Yes, you are. Should you care? No, you shouldn’t. If you like a scarf, by all means, wear a scarf. If it’s not your thing, leave it by the wayside.
Since we’re talking about this more rhetorical question of men and fashion–what styles count as metro? Is being considered metro bad?–can I make a plug for the documentary Bill Cunningham New York? It came out on DVD in September, and it’s about the New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham, and his eye for spotting trends on the street. He also speaks, just beautifully, about the value of fashion.
For those of us who possess both a sartorial eye and a social conscience, it’s a bit of validation. Style, like movies and books and music, can be an escape from everything painful and bleak in this world. There’s also a current of tension throughout the film about a man’s place in the world of fashion, which is sort of addressed, but also sort of ignored. Good fodder for the theoretical discussions about “metro” style or interests we sometimes veer into here on Ask A Woman.
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