February 5, 2004

Manly men

I swear that I'm never going to figure this out. Apparently this colour combination...


is not manly.

I asked Joe, the manliest of men, his opinion this morning. He said that "he wouldn't wear it", and also that is was "a funny green". Joe is not a good barometer for manly colour though, he is so firmly imbedded at the straight-newfoundlander-man end of the colour sense scale that you can't rely on him for any sort of realistic vision of what other men might find acceptable. Joe's personal rules for colour combining are as follows.

1. He will wear any colour as long as it is grey, black, dark blue or brown. Deep murky green may also be acceptable as long as it is so dark as to be indistinguishable as a colour.
2. He will not wear a garment that combines two colours, even if those colours appear on the acceptable colour list. Exceptions may be made for subtleties, like black stitching on a grey shirt, but this is pretty dodgy.
3. Although it should be obvious from point #2, Joe will not wear stripes. In fact if Joe sees another man wearing stripes he will often giggle to himself and mumble things like "whoa..what's HE thinking".
4. Joe will not wear garments that are too tight (you know, what most people would call "tailored") and he will not wear garments that are too loose. These are not manly.

Inexplicably, Joe owns and wears a bright yellow raincoat with a silver stripe on it. It's just a little curve ball that he throws in there to attempt to keep me a little confused for the duration of our entire marriage. Clearly I'm not taking his opinion on the sage green. I call my friend Ken. Ken sits firmly on the other end of the what-men-might-wear scale. Ken actually wears colour, and in combinations. He has even been known to be a little avant-garde with the colour thing...there were these yellow ochre pants. Very styling. In any event, I phoned Ken. I told him the colours, and he asked what they were for. "Clogs", I reply. I know that I'm going to be vindicated. Any man who would wear an orange shirt and a Utilikilt isn't going to shut me down. See, the key to getting support is knowing who to call.

"I dunno" ponders Ken. "On your feet? Men don't really wear colour on their feet. There's a line there with green...how dusty is the green?"
For crying out loud. I strangle back the urge to say things like "big talk from the man in the skirt" or "shut up...you're probably wearing stripes...I can't believe I called you".

If somebody could just tell me what the rules are so I could nip down to the knitting shop and pick up a ball of something that doesn't endanger the flow of testosterone around here I'd really appreciate it.

Posted by Stephanie at February 5, 2004 10:30 AM