Mar 7, 2011
Today on MPB Guy Week we're looking at male style icons or guy-cons. I dread the banal, and I fear this topic has a little of the in-flight magazine about it but what can you do? We will make it interesting and can I offer you a beverage?
Coming up with the names of ten people I wouldn't mind dressing/looking like wasn't hard. I'll be honest though: I added some of them not because they've influenced me so much, but because I think they've achieved guy-conic status in the wider world.
I think many men aspire to elegance and if there's one thing I'm not, it's elegant. I'm too lazy to think about details like pocket squares, matching socks, shining my shoes (when I wear them), or wearing a belt. We're very casual here in the offices of Male Pattern Boldness -- sometimes we don't get out of our pajamas -- plus we're always working: sewing, writing, and walking dogs. It doesn't lend itself to much fuss.
Anyway, here's my list -- with an admittedly Anglo-American bent.
In no particular order:
1) Fred Astaire (up top)
2. James Dean
3. The Beatles (We'll count them as one for convenience's sake)
4. Kurt Cobain
5. David Bowie
6. David Beckham
7. Cary Grant
8. Sean John
9. Sean Connery (as 007)
10. Steve McQueen
Does this list have a bit of the "same old, same old" about it? That's where you guys come in. Who's missing?
Personally, I take more of my styling cues from my Ken doll than I do from Cary Grant (though I think Cary undoubtedly influenced Ken) but I'm unusual that way. When I was a kid I was very influenced by David Cassidy on The Partridge Family, but I don' t think too many people would consider him a guy-con.
There are a few questions I can't answer.
1) Who are the guy-cons for the contemporary urban lumberjack look?
2) Are we simply so fragmented into our narrow subgroups that nobody has the influence that someone like a Steve McQueen had fifty years ago?
3) Can we expect that a fifteen-year-old from Bed Sty and a fifty year old from Scarsdale are going to look to the same people for inspiration? How many fifteen-year-olds even know who Steve McQueen was -- or care? Is the topic simply too broad?
4) Are we more influenced by the people we actually see in our lives -- even if we're talking the aisles of Walmart -- than some distant celebrity?
Folks, I leave it up to you.
Guys: who -- if anyone -- has influenced your way of dressing? Is there anyone you model your style after? Women: Do you think the men in your lives look up to any of the aforementioned guy-cons? If not, whom do they look up to?
Lastly, how do you earn guy-conic status nowadays? Is it enough to have a band or do you have to show up to a lot of red-carpet events too? Can you blog your way there?
Enquiring minds want to know!