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Dressing "Vanilla" Anyone?


 An fictitious ideal, for many of us, but you take my point I hope.  There is nothing vanilla about the man.

There's an interesting post over on the Put This On blog today on the challenges faced by clothing companies like J. Crew.  The piece concludes by singing the praises of their menswear, in particular, as reasonably priced (Fine.  I've got a few J. Crew pieces myself.), ubiquitous (Um, wait a second. . .), and vanilla (Stop right there!) enough to suit most personalities, places, and situations in which American guys might find themselves in 2017.  Just let me catch my breath for a moment before I continue.  I'll  be better directly. . .

There now.  While I certainly would never suggest that grown men stray near more dandy territory, like we might find in the pages of a Rose Callahan photographic book on the subject, if this is not their sartorial aim, do we really want to dress in a way that is, ubiquitous and/or vanilla?  Good God! 

First of all, suggesting that people to strive for middle of the road -- vanilla -- in anything is completely incomprehensible to me.  Second, there is the issue of ubiquity.  Who in the world wants to be ubiquitous?  Are most men really so fearful of somehow sticking out that they are satisfied by blending into the sloppy sweatpant gray mass that has become the visual backdrop of society during recent decades?  No need to answer.  It was meant rhetorically.

So, what's the point of today's mini-rant?  Men, for the love of Pete, don't be afraid to add some variety, flavor, and spice -- in other words a smidgen of personality -- to your daily attire.  Continuing with the analogy, what about dressing a bit more in the direction of Mint Chocolate Chip, Rocky Road, Neapolitan, or Butter Brickle for example?  

Whatever your preferred flavor of ice-cream, never, ever stray into vanilla territory when it comes to the details of your personal appearance, or how you live your life for that matter.  Let's all strive for a bit more panache where our clothes and daily behaviors are concerned.  There's nothing wrong with standing out, but let's do it in the right way.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


 And what would a post ranting about "vanilla" style be without a photograph of our wintry weather here in Mid-Michigan all day today. . .  April 6th mind you.  Some of the wettest, stickiest damn snow I've ever come across anywhere.  Definitely not the powdery, fun variety.

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All opinions are welcome here. Even those that differ from mine. But let's keep it clean and civil, please.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

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