Readers, today's MPB Guy Week post will no doubt spark controversy. Nothing lasts forever, even in the relatively stable world of men's fashion. I categorize most the garments below under "Going, Going, Gone," and store a few in my heretofore top-secret "Good-bye and Good Riddance" folder.
I share them with you today gladly, but please note: if you or someone you love is still hanging onto and arguably enjoying one of the following garments, please exercise compassion: men's emotional connection to tatty old garments that have outlived their usefulness is complicated. In some instances an intervention by a healthcare professional is not only warranted but also necessary.
So here goes.
Friends, once again we must make an example of the very quirky, very something Thom Browne (yes, that Ice Follies nightmare is one of his creations). Sock garters, if you've never heard of them, were once worn by men to keep their socks up. They also tended to cut off circulation to one's feet. They fell out of favor for one obvious reason: the invention in the late Fifties of synthetic stretch fibers like spandex, which tolled the death knell for so many fashion favorites. Let's grieve and move on.
Perhaps you or your man likes to indulge in a puff of tobacco now and then. Once upon a time this was a pastime enjoyed by a majority of men and women but alas, no longer. So it should come as no surprise that the beloved smoking jacket is going, going, gone.
I don't doubt that there are a few fashion eccentrics out there who will cling to their smoking jackets and I say live and let live. Next!
I am the proud owner of many a vintage bow tie and I actually know how to tie one. But is there any doubt that these are relics of another era, a time when men also wore....
The last time I saw spats, a bow tie, and a straw hat on a man, I was watching Fred Astaire in Ziegfeld Follies. If you're interested, you can actually purchase these items (separately of course) on Amazon. If not quite gone, soon to be forgotten.
On their way out, at least outside the UK, where traditional men's fashion is a fetish, are suspenders, or as they're also known, braces. Like sock garters, these no longer serve a purpose for men who don't aspire to dress like Edward VIII. Worn with jeans and Doc Martens they only look scary and let's face it: clip-on anything is always a little cheap looking.
Finally, friends, we have the most controversial choice of all and I don't mean synthetic wigs.
I predict that in a generation or two, no one outside the BDSM community will recognize a jockstrap.
This embarrassing knit accessory has long outlived its usefulness, as today we men have a plethora of sports garments made of miracle space-age fabrics which will more effectively support, caress, and protect our cherished male parts. I have never seen a jockstrap on a man in the gym under 60. Guys who play basketball or run generally wear things like this:
Jockstraps will no doubt always have their place, just as lace garter belts, french maid uniforms, and serving-wench bodices continue to have theirs. But these are costumes, my friends. If you, male reader, are unable or unwilling to part with your jockstrap, I pray I have not incurred your wrath. Please don't shoot the messenger.
It seems we're out of time and I haven't even covered tie clips or toupees. Oh, well!
What do you think, wise male readers and the women who love them -- am I right or wrong about these endangered garments? Is there anything you think should be on this list but wasn't included? "Wife beaters" or acid-wash jeans, perhaps?
More specifically, what are your thoughts about jockstraps, if you ever do have thoughts about jockstraps and who doesn't, if only in a fever dream? We don't judge here at MPB and all views are welcome.
Jump in -- well-supported, of course!