Much Better

After my rant last week about men who shame their wives by dressing like slobs, I’m glad to report that at least some men have got the memo.  Here’s someone apparently named Alyson Hannigan at a recent awards show, with her hubby:

Now that’s how a man should look.  Absolutely faultless appearance.  And she’s combined sexy with demure, with excellent results.  Well done, both of you.

And these guys get kudos as well, all dressed like grownups:

Maybe there’s a glimmer of hope…


  1. Alyson Hannigan, best known for her her famous line in ‘American Pie’, “One time at Band Camp”.

  2. Hannigan played Willow Rosenberg on _Buffy the Vampire Slayer_. She was my favorite character. Apparently she also had a role in _How I Met Your Mother_, but I’d exiled my television by the time that came out, so I never saw it.

    She’s put on a few pounds, and I can’t say I care for the neckline of that dress. Still cute though.

    1. She’s currently the host of “Penn and Teller: Fool Us” and does so much better than the guy they had before.

  3. I’m another one with a weakness for redheads (momma was a redhead, go figure!) and IMO Alyson Hannigan has only gotten better looking with age.

  4. “..these guys get kudos as well, all dressed like grownups..”

    Kim, I get what you’re trying to say, and I mostly agree with you. Formal occasions demand formal attire. But if you want to know why millennial men are rebelling against this sort of thing, just look again at those two pictures. Combined, there are six women and three men. The six women are wearing six *very different* outfits – six different colors, six different styles – and they all six look great in them.

    The men? Well, except for the the one bow-tie, they are all three *exactly* the same.

    I know, I know, as men it’s our lot in life.

    I am not a millennial but I hate suits. I own several and I will wear one when decorum and respect demands it – weddings, funerals etc. but the minute I get home, I am out of that penguin suit and into something else more comfortable. (..and don’t get me started on the absurdity of having to wear a coat and tie outdoors – during summer – in the south!)

    1. I can see your point about the lack of variation in style for formal men’s wear. Dress pants, button up shirt, jacket, tie…not a whole lot of variation there. Where the Millennials seem to go wrong though is generally to demand informal attire replace formal attire with some kind of hip and trendy moniker to excuse their slovenly appearance.

      One of the roots of the issue here is a significant difference between men and women. Men are far more visually attuned than women are. Since much of our dress is wrapped up in attracting members of the opposite sex, it makes sense for women’s clothes to be far more visually appealing, including visually diverse, than men’s clothes are. Women are far more attracted to characteristics in men that are not visual so men’s clothes are less about visual appeal but conveying a message of stability and strength.

      Another root of the issue is the general indifference men are conditioned to give to their appearance. Nearly every aspect of our grooming (shaving, hair cutting/styling, extraneous hair trimming, etc.) now is all about doing things quickly rather than about doing a better job and investing the time into your appearance.

    2. > Well, except for the the one bow-tie, they are all three *exactly* the same.

      That’s what black tie *is*. If you feel the need to *constantly* be the focus of attention, then it’s not the clothes that are the problem.

      However, outside of black tie events there is MUCH greater degree of freedom than most men are willing to go with.

      > I am out of that penguin suit and into something else more comfortable

      I find suits–properly tailored–to be perfectly comfortable.

      I wore one (nice navy flannel one with light blue and white chalk stripes) Saturday night for out dinner with my wife. Best dressed man in the restaurant, not that the competition was all that stiff.

      > don’t get me started on the absurdity of having to wear a coat and tie outdoors – during summer – in the south!

      It’s not absurd, it’s a pretty good idea (well, the “coat” anyway). Fabrics like seersucker (a loose weave cotten) and linen, when constructed into an unlined coat and trousers, block the sun from the skin while allowing a airflow. Paired with lighter weight shirt you’re going be fairly cool.

      It used to be much more common to find open weave wool sportcoats–I have one from Samuelsohn that they don’t make anymore because the mill stopped weaving it–that are very comfortable as the temperature climbs.

      And let’s face it, *nothing* is going to be cool when the temperature hits triple digits. The best you can do is face the adversity with class.

      But dressing well doesn’t mean wearing a suit, it means having pride in your appearance and putting yourself together. I would argue just because Mr. Hannigan put on a tux doesn’t mean he’s “well put together”. He should have stood a little close to the razor that morning, or (knowing this event was coming) started his beard a month earlier so it wasn’t in that half way state.

      One can look well put together in shorts and a shirt.




      Of course, if you’ve REALLY got the self confidence to pull it off:

  5. I don’t know, Kim. That suit does not fit him well, nor does it appear to be well made: The lapels are puckering, the jacket is rather short (well above his cupped fingers), the trousers are a bit short.

    And for G-D’s sake, does no one know how to shine shoes anymore?

    1. The puckering on the lapel is…I forget the term, but it’s supposed to indicate that the suit was hand made,, and hence of higher status than a machine made one that has a smoother finish.

      Personally I think it’s an affectation that is visually unappealing. Yes, fully handmade suits are “better”, but only if they don’t show that sort of cr*p.

      As to the shine, it looks like those are “real” leather, and well used. the toes do shine like they’ve been waxed recently, but if you REALLY want to get picky, he’s wearing a bluchers/derbys (open throated, semi-formal) when he should be wearing a balmoral.

      However, Our Host’s point was that he was at least in the ball park, if not the game.

      Edited to add: Pick stitch. That’s the term. And I may be wrong about that being the cause.

      1. I’ve got a half-dozen or so hand made (bespoke, not made to measure, in England, not Hong Kong) suits and none of them suffer from that.

        The jacket is still too short (the bottom of the jacket should be cupped in his fingers), the trousers are too short (although he may have just pulled up his pants – again, not fitting well), and the shoes are damned near worn out. And not that well shined.

        But at least he’s trying

  6. As a Gentleman of a Unusual Size, even the best tailored suits will never look all that good on me, but I still enjoy dressing nicely when I go out. One of the biggest visual cues that I take to heart when I travel is look at what the guys in first class are wearing. Not business, but real first class. Seat 1A on that 747 bound for Europe.

    I’ve seen an awful lot of sharply dressed men in suits, but an equal number who can rock a pair of dark jeans and a sport coat. They *must* have on a pair of shined leather-soled shoes, however, for that look to work, and preferably French cuffs and cufflinks and a non-ostentatious timepiece. Their look is completed by a classy full grain attaché case and/or a top-quality piece of luggage. And never, ever hurried.

    Now with all that said, I would rather see the guy dressed a bit shabbily but holding the door and chair for his wife over an impeccably tailored and coiffed “man” with no manners.

    1. I am also of ‘unusual’ size – 6’4, 39″ shirt sleeves, 255#.

      I can look like Cary Grant in his heyday, if I wish…it requires a good tailor, several fittings, and most importantly, the will to look …. well.

      But I agree with your statements. Jeans and a sports coat are appropriate in some situations (I live in Montana, ffs) where a bespoke suit isn’t. But well fitting, and well maintained clothes are key to looking good.

      Shoes that are worn out and need polishing? Sad.

  7. Thank heaven! All six of the ladies in these pictures are wearing dresses that actually look like dresses! Well, one is wearing a pantsuit, but it looks enough like a formal dress that it works. And, if I had to criticize any of them, the blonde in the blue dress with the high slit doesn’t need to show quite so much skin…but I’ll let it slide.

    Most of them, I would say, “I would totally wear that!” Assuming I could find them in my size, being myself a Lady of Unusual Size. (I do have a good source for made-to-measure formals…)

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