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Fancylad's Style Guide for the Modern Cad

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by Emerson O'Sullivan III aka FancyLad, for outsideleft.com
originally published: March, 2005
Sounds like maybe it's time to see an orthopedist, Frankenfoot.

I’ve always been under the assumption that men’s accessories such as a wallet, a belt, shoes should all be the same shade of leather—either all black or all brown or all whatever the color may be. Am I right or do I have OCD? —Kevin Dorado, Wheaton, Illinois

I’m with you on this one, old friend. Of course, I draw the line on the wallet because it only makes one or two appearances a day—besides, you can always go with a silver or platinum (gold is gauche) money clip if you’re that worried about the billfold situation. However I think a lot like you and I also own several black and brown wallets, but life is too short to flip-flop depending on the shoes I’m wearing. I do however; own both black and brown driving gloves to accommodate my choice of dress on any particular day. I also worry about brown-briefcasing it with black shoes, and I’m hoping that Hugo or Calvin are reading this and send a couple of free samples so Fancy can test drive the merchandise.

White shirts worn under dress shirt: optional or mandatory?—Brett Long, Laguna Beach, California

Instead of “optional or mandatory,” I’d say “traditional or modern.” Every time I see the outline of a cheap white, cotton T underneath a nice dress shirt, I think, “This cad is probably too cheap or lazy to have his shirts dry-cleaned after he wears them.” That’s just my opinion though. But let’s analyze it—worn under a dress shirt, the white cotton t-shirt falls under the heading of underwear, which kind of suggests that it shouldn’t be seen. If you open your shirts at the neck, a t-shirt visible underneath looks less dressy, sometimes even school boyish—especially if it’s a white shirt. Of course, if you sweat like Michael Moore, an undershirt may be advisable. That’s why God invented the v-neck. Yours truly swears by them on chilly days to avoid chaffing the old nipples—that is, until the sports bra for men is invented—and accepted.

I have really fucked-up feet, and I’m really only comfortable in sneakers and running shoes. I’ve also gotten a job in New York City that’s going to require me to look and dress like an adult, not to mention the fact that I’m going to be doing a lot of walking in the city. I’ve tried just about every dress shoe there is known to man—what do I do?—Jim Williams, Hoboken, New Jersey

Sounds like maybe it’s time to see an orthopedist, Frankenfoot—adult shoes shouldn’t hurt that much unless you have serious feet problems. Short of that, Nike makes a pretty nice air-cushioned dress shoe (without the tacky swoosh) that you might consider until that company health insurance policy kicks in. There are also many solid black athletic shoes, like the ones worn by basketball refs that are pretty subtle, so long as you have a desk job to hide them under. You can also try a pricey brand of shoe called Mephisto. They’re made in France and hard to find, but you live in nearby Hoboken, New Jersey and Fancy recalls a Mephisto purchase while in Manhattan once. Of course, taking into consideration that you do live in Hoboken, New Jersey, your financial state is probably going to limit you to the Nikes. Irony sucks, flatfoot.

Need advice? Does it concern fashion? Style? Affairs of the heart? Fancylad shoots straight from the hip pocket. Send him all of your questions to info@outsideleft.com—the intern-monkeys will be sure to pass them on to him.

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