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A man’s guide to style

So you want to be an Ubersexual...like Obama, Amitabh Bachchan, George Clooney, Pierce Brosnan, Bill Clinton, U2 lead singer, Bono? (and may their tribe increase!) TeleLIFE tells you how.


For starters what or who exactly is an Ubersexual, which is fast replacing the word Metrosexual? Derived from the German word 'über' (meaning superior) it was coined by O'Rielly and Salzman in their book Future of Man as a variant of Metrosexual. The term refers to:


• The straight guy who likes to look good and take holistic care of himself and can never be mistaken for a gay.

• A dynamo in every which way – style, intellect, passion, education, professional success, fitness.

• He is totally masculine but sensitive to others' feelings and respectful to women.


Among birds it is only males that show off their fine feathers. The male sandpiper has a special neckpiece of handsome feathers that he dons only for the mating season. The Great Indian Bustard spreads his white wing feathers and swells around the neck. And, of course, you're familiar with the peacock.


Ever since man first discovered fire, he has been looking out for ways to look better and more stylish. It boils down to status and image; (No wonder Hyundai has borrowed the term über to sell their latest model Hyundai i20!) and the simple fact that clothing defines who we are before we say a single word. Remember Clark Gable shedding his shirt in It Happened One Night to reveal a bare chest. Legend has it that this diminished sales of vests and drove men to buy button-down collared shirts. It was a dropping off point in men's fashions.

 

Then there was the David-Bowie-inspired glam of the Seventies, the Bomber Jackets of the Eighties and the gelled hair of the Nineties. Voila, the ubersexual male icon of the 21st Century has come of age – and it doesn't mean frosted hair tips, pale pink nail polish and poodles. But clothes don't make the Ubersexual


“They are just a fantastic accessory; you need to work with your body type,” says Vinita Alvares Fernandes, Mumbai based Corporate Etiquette Consultant. According to Michael Flocker, author of Metrosexual's Guide to Style (a Handbook for the Modern Man): “Personal style is not the same thing as fashion, which is just the latest offering from the fashion industry. Your personal style makes you different from everyone else. It goes easily from the bedroom the bar room to the boardroom. It's about what looks good on you, how you combine things, what makes you comfortable and how you choose to portray yourself to the world around you.”


Fernandes stresses that while “creating your own style you can be inspired by Page Three Celebrities and Men's magazine, it's all right to break the rules, but it does help to have self awareness about what can work for you.”


Make you style statement with these helpful hints from Fernandes and Flocker:

• Stay with solid colours and clean lines. Darker tones are for the night. Daytime shirt colours are pastels, light grey, off - white, sparkling white, slim pin stripes. Team with grey, brown, black or navy blue trousers; all in cotton, linen, porous fabrics with a little synthetic mix for noncreasability.

• Wearing the right size is essential. Let your clothes conform to your body. Too tight, too loose and the look falls apart.

• Suits are single breasted with 1, 2 or 3 buttons. Always secure the top button. Button all for double breasted. Let one inch of the shirt cuff peep from the jacket sleeve. Keep 1 or 2 back coat flaps to give you freedom of movement, especially while sitting. That's when you can open all the buttons.

•Trousers should have a flat front, specially if you sport a pot; Let pleats and pockets fall flat. They end at the heel of the shoe, allowing 1” to be seen. Maintain the crease line forever by ironing along it.

• Never roll up long sleeved shirts, keep them buttoned down. For a no-tie look, let only the top button loose. The sleeves end at the wrist and the shirt pocket houses only a pen. Iron collars flat, not folded. Dress shirts are 100 percent cotton and professionally laundered. Suspend on a hanger, not folded, to avoid creases.

•Match your belt to your shoes – black to black, mahogany to mahogany. Let it sit below, not above your paunch (then get rid of the latter).

• Your tie seamlessly complements your shirt. And falls up to the belt buckle.

• Matching cuff links and tie pins are elegant.

• A silver stainless steel or dull gold watch strap teams with everything. Sports watches are for sporting times.

•Rings have no stones — leave rocks to the girls. Brackets are of the same material as your watchstrap. Wear a small diamond or gold ear stud if you can carry it off.

• A simple gold chain will do — not too long or too thin. Tuck the pendant into the shirt, well out of sight.

•Leather or bead neck pieces are firmly casual.

• Wear quality accessories to dress up a simple outfit, not expensive clothes with cheap accessories.

• Get someone trusted to give you a second opinion on your eyeglasses.

• A slim billfold or money clip prevents bulges in the wrong places.


Fear is out, fun is inLoose baggy shirts, ill-fitting pants, goofy ties, faded shirts and worn-out socks make you fizzle, not sizzle. Also passé, totally -- pleated trousers, pre cuffed jeans, very low rise jeans, meshed shirts, cropped pants, hot pants, gym socks with shoes, boots with shorts, platform shoes, tatty undies, too much jewellery, loud patterns, buckles, zips, brightly coloured eyeglasses, gigantic garish watches, socks with wide horizontal strips, thongs, back packs, shiny ties, broad ties, acid washed anything. Also lose anything that you haven't worn for two years.


'STYLE STAPLES FOR UBER COOL

• Three black tees

• Two pure white tees

• Two pairs of well fitting jeans

• One dark suit

• One single-breasted jacket, well tailored in navy, coal or grey

• Two pairs of dark, straight leg, non pleated trousers. Consider pin stripes.

• Three well cut, solid-coloured buttondown shirts (one white)

• Quality sunglasses in a style that fits, not fights with your face

• One expensive watch or one sports watch

• Flattering underwear. Make it combo boxer briefs for clean lines

• “A man bag” which can carry Blackberry, I-pod, wallet, keys, sunglasses, pen, moisturiser, hair moulding paste, deodorant, et al.

• “Investing in a small selection of great items can make a huge difference in your wardrobe,” decrees Flocker. Let the brand name or designer logo be unobtrusive.


FEET TO BE SEEN

Think of your footwear as a worthwhile investment and treat them as such. Get these basics in place.

• Two pairs of black shoes that can be worn with jeans and formal trousers or a dark suit. They should not be too attention grabbing or trendy. No fraying laces either.

• Sneakers still have their place in society and high fashion. Get a good pair for the gym and a stylish pair (think Diesel or Puma) to wear out at night for the blasé sports-star look.

• One sturdy masculine pair of leather sandals to mate with shorts or jeans. Don't even think of teaming these with socks.

• Match socks to your shoes, not with trousers. Keep them muted with simple colour contrasts (no white). Make sure that they are long enough so that no skin shows.


YOUR WAY WITH COLOUR

• “Cool, dark colours such as black, gray and navy are safe bets. Warm, brighter colours can look great if chosen with care,” pronounces Flocker.

• Red is warm, sexy, passionate. Good on a date. A red tie shows boldness and confidence.

• Blue is calm and approachable when light. Dark denotes solid strength.

• Green Bright is OTT (Over The Top), but dark is a comfortable choice for casual situations.

• Yellow is a warm and happy colour, but looks terrible on most men.

• Use purple in small doses; nice on ties and pinstripes on shirts.

• Pink is the badge of a true metro sexual. Baby pink is not shocking.

Orange is a no-no, especially when bright.

• Brown is earthy and masculine in every shade.

• Gray or charcoal is good for suits. Silver goes with any other colour.

• Black conveys confidence and a bit of devil-may-care. You need it.


MEN'S CLOTHING DE-CODED

• Formal Simple classical, tuxedo, dark suit, band gala (Nehru jacket

• Casual chic Break all rules. Jacket optional. Cargo pants or jeans. Fancy shirts.

• Friday dressing - Relax so that you can go pubbing straight out of office. Not faded jeans, sandals, track wear or sockless shoes.

• Poolside brunch Modesty prevails with shorts, rather than basket hanging Speedos.


METRO Vs über: WHAT'S THE DIFF?

• A Metrosexual guy will dress according to what the latest fashion by Gucci decrees during fashion shows.

• An Ubersexual guy dresses nicely and smartly based on his own reflection of the cultures and arts from his travels.

• A Metrosexual guy will spend more time grooming his hair.

• An Ubersexual guy spends more time thinking and beautifying his thoughts.

• A Metrosexual guy goes to gym to be a gym bunny and to be an exhibitionist during “parades” or night clubbing.

• An Ubersexual guys take up sports and/or fitness activities because they want to be healthy and comfortable with their appearance.

• A Metrosexual man has a lot of girl friends and they sometimes bitch around.

• Ubersexual man has a lot of guy friends but he is down-to earth and respects his girl friends.

• A Metrosexual guy gets excited when others are talking about fashion and beauty.

• An Ubersexual guy talks with strong views and confidence on any topic through his reading and observation of the surrounding.

• A Metrosexual guy sometimes dresses so excessively that he looks like a girl.

• An Ubersexual guy dresses to retain his masculinity but he is very approachable to girls.


WITTY & WISE

According to The Metrosexual's Guide to Style (a Handbook for the Modern Man) by Michael Flocker, Being a 21st century male trendsetter willing to embrace his feminine side isn't just about clothes and possessions. It's about leading a confident informed lifestyle and exhibiting classy behaviour wherever, whenever. The handbook celebrates the return of the perfect gentleman a.k.a. the Metrosexual Man — informed, intriguing and well moisturized. Unfortunately the Ubersexual Now Movement has now replaced the term, although many tips in the chapter on style endure.


Read it if you want to makeover your life or just want to know what the buzz is all about. Chapters include guidance on these and other pressing concerns.

• “Playing shy can be good behaviour at a social do and if done well can be quite endearing.”

• “At an art gallery do keep a respectable distance from the paintings”.

• “For taming your hair, product makes perfect, but an overly shellacked 'do is taboo.”

• Ten alternative ideas for dates.

• Massage options for restoration and relaxation.

• Lists of albums, books and fi lms you should own.

• “Never laugh at your own jokes.”


The handbook would have benefited from stylish photographs instead of the unappealing little sketches that adorn the pages. It is also unabashedly American; the Indian reader would identify more with a few “desi” touches, especially conversions of dollars into rupees.


 

Article by: TeleLIFE

Posted: May Issue 2009


 


 


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