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Style Guide for the Modern Cad.

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by Emerson O'Sullivan III aka FancyLad, for outsideleft.com
originally published: January, 2005
You have a goatee and you're asking me what's wrong?

Fancy Lad, outsideleft's own in-house self-appointed style expert answers all your nagging questions on fads, fashion, vanity, style and the gentleman's code of conduct.

How much do I tip a washroom attendant? Do I even tip him? The notion of a guy guilting me out of my hard-earned dough seems criminal.
Grady Greenwood, Costa Mesa, California

Good question. I'll go out of my way and put unnecessary strain on my bladder to find an unattended washroom, but sometimes you have no choice and you use what's available. What I loathe is when you finish your business and they turn the water on for you and present you with the towel you didn't ask for. Sure, you can make a run for the door if you don't mind the idea of eating with the hand that was just holding your family jewels, but basically, you're trapped by some poor schmuck who spends his time in a toilet for a living.

I say if you tip more than a dollar, you're just encouraging them. Any less and you'll have to endure his evil, heat-laser stare all the way out. If you feel that you must, give the guy a dollar bill—but not a crisp one.

I have gray hair in my goatee, and I'd like to get rid of it. I've tried just about every over-the-counter dye there is, but either they don't work or they irritate my skin. What do I do?
Jeremy Zachary, Cleveland, Ohio

You have a goatee and you're asking me what's wrong? Dear boy, I think you should be a little more concerned as to why you have a goatee on your face! But maybe you have a harelip, or God forbid, a cleft chin. Anyway, you have a goatee and that's that. Gray hair? You might want to try henna dye. Henna dye has red undertones so this might not work for everyone, but sometimes you can find it specially made in other slightly darker tones. It's all-natural and far less irritating than anything you're ever going to find at the local Wal-Mart. If you're willing to spend a little extra scratch, go on the hunt for a dye called Bigen dye. It's like the Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo of hair dye. It's available at those professional hair salons your girlfriend goes to. If you have the means, I highly recommend it. Now as for that goatee of yours.../p>

Is wearing an ascot pretentious?
Dickey Blake , Chicago, Illinois

Ummm, depends on who's wearing it and where. An ascot is part of man's traditional morning dress, that's why you'll see guys every now and then wearing them at fancy daytime weddings. The casual variety—the kind you'll occasionally find Fancylad wearing—is worn loosely around the neck under an unbuttoned dress shirt. Don't get me wrong, if I encounter an ascot worn by a guy with a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches smoking a pipe, I'm walking the other way. But old chaps like Cary Grant and Thurston Howell III carried them off nicely on the screen. To truly pull off wearing an ascot properly, it should be worn only when sipping a good three-malt scotch, and snuggly tucked into your red leather chaise lounge—and then only when you're alone. Interesting Catch-22, no?

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