With the summer season in full swing, many of us are ready to begin a season of much fun, plenty of sun, and(even) more fun with much more sun. Yes, summer can be the time of year that brings everyone out and together. The events, the festivals, the road trips, the vacations. There really isn’t anyone that doesn’t love at least one thing, if not everything, that the summer season has to offer. The only bad thing about the season may be that it is too short. Sometimes the heat can be a little bit unbearable also. However, that’s really a minor thing when you consider how bitter cold winter can be. Here in Philadelphia, you kinda get the best of both worlds. A warm, beautiful spring and summer, followed by a cool, crisp autumn and winter. Fortunately, the city offers many different (cultural/lifestyle) venues for people to get away from the “unpleasantries” of such unwanted weather conditions like the blazing inferno heat of summer, and the blustery, bone chilling winds of winter. One can quickly and easily hideout in a variety of malls and shops in the area, or spend the day in one of the many museums and/or art galleries. There are also tons of coffee shops, luncheonettes, restaurants, and dessert eateries that one can stay in all day and/or all night. The only thing that one may be missing is good company. Most of these places are warm and inviting to a variety of individuals that live in (or visit) the Tri-State area. The only thing you’ll need to check other than your GPS while en route to one of these places is the atmosphere and the desired/expected guests (or visitors) for any of these places.
Since a fair majority of these places are located in or around Center City, one must be prepared to expect the unexpected. In most cases, women are usually prepared for most unlooked-for situations when going to one of these places. An unlooked-for situation in this case does not mean pepper spray, mace, or stun gun on hand within the easy to reach compartment of her hobo or satchel. The unlooked-for situation in this case has much to do with her appropriate (and desirable) appearance for an inviting opportunity to spontaneously romp around the area for the weekend, not for her defense in case she is attacked. Women are rarely given a hard time for looking out of place because they are under dressed. But, there are plenty of cases where men are misrepresenting the type of guests/visitors many places are accustomed to serving, as well as their “better-half” and themselves. Even when men visit places that would seemingly be inviting and accept the way that they are dressed, there may still be something awkward or out-of-place about their appearance. This has indeed happened to me. One night, a group of friends and I headed up to Northeast Philadelphia to go to a bowling alley/sports bar near Franklin Mills Mall. We had two car loads of people ready to go in, talk trash, and try to back up the talk by taking it to the lanes. When we arrived at the door, a friend and myself were denied entrance. We were told because he had on Timberland boots, and because I had on a basketball jersey, that we could not go to either the bowling alley nor the game room where you could watch the sporting events or play some of the table games (e.g. pool, air hockey, etc). We were all confused as this clearly was a misrepresentation of a “sports bar” as I was wearing a basketball jersey; A “Dr. J” 1978 Philadelphia Seventy Sixers throwback jersey. That night, I said that this would never happen again. That was back in 2001. Now in the year 2012, I still see an enormous amount of men looking to be turned away at the door of many establishments that are slightly more upscale, but (at the same time) open to accepting a variety of guests with an array of acceptable styles of dress. I also see far too many women that have their spouse, partner, mate, beau, date, or “bed buddy” looking much like Joe “The Plummer”, Mike “The Mechanic”, or the frumpy looking rap “artist” that has yet to move on from their glory days of high school and/or young adulthood (i.e. ages 18-24) from the mid to late 90′s.
Though many women are (unfortunately) accepting of a guy walking around with a dusty Abercrombie & Fitch tee-shirt with a stretched out collar/neck line, dirty and faded Yankees fitted cap that has seen its days numbered due to way too many hot days filled with sweat and severe weather, over sized hoodie/sweatshirt, army fatigue pants or shorts that have only seen combat inside the washer and dryer, (skinny) jeans, Adidas warm-up pants, and/or mesh shorts sagging way below one’s waist to reveal that he too is a fan of Joe Boxer or Ralph Lauren knit boxer briefs, Adidas shower shoes with black or white crew socks (still holding on to the days of dorm life after dropping out of school during his third and final semester in 1998), cargo pants or shorts with an “Austin 3:16″, “nWo”, or ”Degeneration X” tee-shirt, and the “Yes, I too am a union man for/at Local 424″ Timberland boots is a style (if I can even call it that) which has gone on far too long. The days of looking like one just came home from doing jail time, or the most “hoodedest” thug loving ”pioneering hip-hop artist”, or reading utility meters while looking much like an over worked, under paid environmental maintenance engineer (i.e. janitor) are (fortunately) over. Also, save the football, hockey, soccer, basketball, and baseball jerseys for game day, not an evening out on the town with a woman. Furthermore, if a man has on a pair of retro Jordan’s, LBJ’s, Nike Air Max, or any other type of name brand sneaker, they have more than enough to invest in a pair of shoes. The $120-$220 that some men spend on a single pair of sneakers is more than a sufficient amount to purchase a deck/boat shoe, loafer, casual oxford, or driving shoe from the likes of Cole Haan, J.Crew, Ralph Lauren, Kenneth Cole, Banana Republic, and countless others. What is even more surprising is that some men make several purchases throughout the season(s) to either replace sneakers that are (in their minds) outdated by a couple of months, or to simply pair with something new to go full circle and complete the look. For some odd reason, they never quite see that the wealth invested in “running in place (while) chasing the style” with countless pairs of sneakers, Timberland boots, jeans, tees, warm-up pants, hoodies, sweatshirts, mesh shorts, ball caps, and jerseys all have a significantly short shelf life (that arrives almost two seasons after the initial purchase) as oppose to shoes, sandals, pants, blazers, and button-up shirts which are essential timeless pieces that expands the repertoire of a man’s wardrobe, and which one would invest far less in (over time) while being prepared for almost any and every occasion. And, for the man who just wants something to get/kick around for a weekend event, festival, or any other outing, buying cheap pairs of sneakers or shoes will only get you by until you need another pair (which in some cases is relatively soon). Don’t be fooled by high-end/designer brands either. Gucci, Prada, Louis Vutton, and others that offer rare, exclusive, or limited editions sneakers are ok at times, but they are often very expensive and say more about how much one is willing to spend to be in that circle of those who have that much wealth, or in many cases pretend to, rather than display a distinguishable, noticeable sign of class.
It is quite sad and humiliating to notice a woman with a man who does not compliment her, yet she looks as though she belongs to/with a man who completes her (in every way) and is much more likely to appreciate her intelligence, attitude, beauty, sophisticated style, graceful ”je ne sais quoi”, delightful/pleasant charms, class, and status amongst her peers as well as those in society that either want to be in the inner circle that she may belong to, or have a strong desire to have a lifestyle very (much) similar to the one that she has and shares with her man. All the while the man she’s with looking very much out-of-place, outdated, out classed, or all of the above. This causes friction between couples at times because one has an inferiority complex about their appearance, who they are, and what they are trying to (re)present, while the other is trying to look, act, and play the part of an adult that has proper etiquette, class, and self-awareness about public perception, presentation, and values their partner’s image/reputation (without going overboard with regards to one’s appearance and falling madly in love with materialism, vanity, arrogance, and falsehood). Some men don’t see what is wrong with just hanging out with a pair of jeans, old faded polo shirt, and an old pair gym sneakers that they have had since 2001. To some degree this is true. There is nothing wrong with wearing these things if you are just going to hang out… with a group of male friends watching a ball game at someone elses house. ”Hanging out” with a woman is a little bit more intimate, a little bit more exclusive. Therefore, they want to be treated like such. While food shopping on a Saturday morning may call for the simple jeans, tee-shirt, and sneakers look, sometimes simply cavorting around and about the city can turn into something completely unexpected that may require a more sophisticated-casual look of a pair of jeans (or chinos), oxford/button up shirt, and a pair of loafers/driving shoes. A stop in a coffee-house here, an arts and poetry festival there. Visiting old college friends that are newly engaged here, getting a bite to eat at Sahara Grill, Kabob House, or Marathon Grill there. A trip to the Philadelphia Art Museum for the new Picaso exhibit here, a delicious dessert from “Sweet Ending” followed by a walk in Rittenhouse Square Park there. These are just a few of the places and things that some women enjoy with their partners, spouses, beaus, etc. While some men may feel as though they are surrendering or giving up too much of their manhood if they iron a shirt, purchase a pair of criss-cross strap sandals (or thong sandals), or wear anything other than a Nike “Swoosh” logo, the fact of the matter is they will be much more presentable to/for the woman who is accompanying them. While it may seem a bit “punkish” to dress to the liking of a woman, remember that it is one’s appearance that immediately is accepted or rejected by a woman’s interest in a man that leads to great things or nothing at all. Furthermore, it is quite misleading and/or hypocritical of a man who is not “concerned” about his appearance to go to a job interview, religious ceremony, or appear in court in a suit, tie, pocket square, cuff links, watch, and shoes (totaling $1,500) all because society’s pressure on image/appearance dictates a standard to be followed if they care anything about social acceptance, an honorable reputation, and freedom.
Being presentable for a woman does not transform a man into an effeminate man or metro sexual male (much like Kanye West). Nor does it mean that a man is now a quasi-homosexual either. It simply means that a man has (now) accepted, embraced, and transitioned from being a young man to a much more desirable, distinguishable, refined man with character, class, style, intelligence, and freedom from style boredom, stagnant maturation into manhood, fashion complacency, and/or overly concerned about what his peers may now think of him. However, this type of man should be careful as he may find his name coming out of his peers significant others’/spouse’s mouth whenever intense debating/comparisons about how men should dress and present themselves when out and about with their significant other/spouse. And, even if he was viewed as a(n) effeminate, metro sexual, or quasi-homosexual male that feels comfortable being himself within his own skin, unlike his peers, he’s more than likely aware that a large majority of the fashion industry’s designers are effeminate, metro sexual, quasi-homosexual, bisexual, or gay. They design both men and women clothing/apparel. Right down to those nice, pretty, dainty little Nike Air Max, Gucci, Prada, and Luis Vutton sneakers that so many masculine, heterosexual men (that are fans of Kanye West) like to wear while” hanging out” with their friends that are impressed by their sense of style, dress, and taste. Too bad their significant others/spouses never get that much effort and attention to detail so that they too could/would/should be impressed and pleased by such a delight for/in caring about their feelings, acceptance, and reputation as well.