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Thursday, January 3, 2013

MANners: Guy Etiquette

The Zen and Art of Being a Rock n' Roll Dude

Now, one may assume that most guys don't give a shit about how they look, and if they do then they're gay or metro (sexual).  However, many guys secretly do care about what they look like at leaving the house/apartment, so I've laid down some ground rules for dudes, like me, who want people to think they don't care about their appearance, but in fact do.  It's called the  lazy, rock n' roll chic. You want to look like you picked out your clothes after forgetting to pay the electric bill, but in fact, you know full well that your ensemble is in fact just that, an ensemble.

I started the idea for this post because my wife told me that my shirt, a red Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Concert tee, a favorite of mine, had a  hole in it.  It also had some bleach spots on it as well.  She asked me if I wanted to consider retiring said shirt.  I looked at her like she was nuts.  This is the first rule in maintaining your 'rock n' roll' persona as a dude. 

*If your t-shirt is a concert tee, then any stain, hole, bleach spot, etc can remain.  If the shirt is wearable, then by all means, wear it until it's just a thin little piece of cloth hanging from your neck.  Wear that concert tee into the dirt because the rock n' roll dude NEVER, I mean NEVER retires a concert tee, ESPECIALLY if you got it at the actual show.  However, NEVER wear said concert tee to the actual concert.  Unless, that is, the band is sooo unheard of that everyone looks at your t-shirt and asks, 'Hey, where did you get that?  Do they sell those here?'.  With concert tees, anything goes.  Mustard stains and armpit holes add class and character!

*Socks and underwear can be worn two days (sometimes three days) in a row.  This is depending on your general and personal cleanliness.   If you can smell your own crotch or foot BO (yes, that does exist) then it's time to change socks/underwear.  Personally, I only go two days out unless I'm sick or suffering from some awful bout of something or another.  Also, I'm a boxer guy, which if you're a rock n' roll dude, you have to don.  Boxer briefs, okay.  But tighty whities, no dice.  Bikinis, out of the question.  Boxers are the mainstay and so are wool/cotton socks.  The only time to throw them away is if the hole is so big that wearing them would cause discomfort.  For boxers, I test the wearability by pulling at the crotches seem; if it pulls and rips, time to throw them away.  

*Shoes have a considerable variety amongst the rock n' roll guy.  Every dude needs tennis/walking shoes, some dress shoes (for nights out with the 'rents or girlfriend/wife and in-laws), sturdy hiking boots, and of course non-functional shoes (Docs, Toms, etc).  The rock n' roll dude doesn't have a lot of shoes, or if he does, they are many cheap pairs of shoes.  If you're like me, which I assume many are, you wear shoes until the sole is worn thin.  Every 4-5 years, I buy a bunch of new shoes and then don't buy any new shoes for that span unless a pair falls apart.  Generally, I don't spend over $50-60 for any pair of shoes (unless they're Sorrels which are worth the $$).  Even Toms, I think, are overrated.  Make sure you have a pair of shoes for each kind of weather: snow/slush/rain, cold/windy, hot/humid/sunbeaten.  You don't really need a pair of shoes for each season, just each kind of weather.  Some shoes can double up, too.  Rock n' roll dudes don't need 50 pairs of shoes!

*Corduroys are the PERFECT go between for casual and formal.  Cords are everywhere and in every kind of color.  They are like the rock n' roll dude's jeans for formal occasions.  I love love love cords, almost as much as seersucker (and I am a sucker for seersucker).  I even own a couple of corduroy sport coats with elbow patches, one being a corduroy suit (a friend's dad's from the 70's).  Corduroys can be worn to fancy dinner parties, weddings, and even to work.  Someone would never say to you, hey you aren't in dress code, take a hike.  Also, you would never be looked down on at a bar or concert because cords just aren't khakis.  You can still be cool without being too yuppie!  Trust me on this one, cords are essential for any rock n' roll dude.

*Since it's winter, let's discuss outerwear and sweaters.  I like to have an abundance of sweaters.  Some are thick, some thin.  Some have stripes and some are solid.  Each of my sweaters are different and here's the thing, too.  Women think holes are really unattractive on sweaters.  Unless the thing looks like a moth's lunch, it's fine.  Especially true if the holes are at the sleeve and you can put your thumbs through them.  Rock n' roll dudes don't care if their sweaters are a little worn out.  Plus, you can find expensive looking sweaters/coats at Goodwill and Salvation Army.  Which brings me to coats.  Sport coats are just fine for fall and spring.  But for winter, you need a nice coat.  What should you buy; you don't want to look like you just blew $500 and you also need something that is cool yet functional.  Well, my friend.  I would recommend digging through your father or grandfather's closets.  Or, you can simply go to thrift shops looking for that cool, once expensive, but now $20 coat or jacket.  I prefer coats that go below the knee, personally.  However, with coats, you need to be warm but don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.  Even women's coats are okay.  Try on the coats in the women's section at Goodwill.  Rock n' roll guys don't give two shits!  Look at Steven Tyler, David Bowie, Lenny Kravitz, or Scott Weiland.  Those dudes don't care.
*Another thing.  A rock n' roll dude can never go wrong with an ironic hat.  I like looking for hats from random street vendors in NYC.  You have to be fully aware, however, that some guys look awful in hats and some guys just always need a beanie or jaunty chapeau.  Also, accessories in general, you follow your own thing.  I don't wear too many necklaces and bracelets but I know many guys who can pull it off.  Follow the same rule for tattoos and piercings.  Don't do it just because you 'think' it's cool.  If you feel like doing it and you think it's stylish, then do it.  Rock n' roll guys don't give a shit what other people think and often will just follow their own trends and styles.  Just because something seems cool on someone else doesn't mean you should copy it!
*The last thing to consider is your personal hairstyle and grooming style.  Beards and/or mustaches are a must.  You don't really want to be clean shaven.  I look 12 without a beard.  Wives and girlfriends will complain that to kiss you is like 'kissing sandpaper' but know that any rock n' roll dude wants to don a stache or beard.  Goatees do not count, by the way, unless they're died pink or green.  You could get away with being clean shaven and/or bald but only if you have multiple piercings and tattoos (both of which I have neither).  So I use my hair to be edgy and 'alternative'.  You don't need to dye your hair but don't be afraid to look through magazines to get inspiration for trying a new hairstyle.  Also, if you have chest hair, show it off.  V-necks are a must especially if you have a chest rug.  Women love it (even though they won't admit it).  And any guy who doesn't have chest hair wishes he did.  PS: Rock n' roll dudes DO NOT get waxed or shaved, no matter how many times their girlfriends or wives ask.  Also, pedicures and manicures are a no-no as well.

Well, that's it for my advice.  Follow it (or don't); I don't care. I only care about the music.  So play it loud and rock on!

  'If it's too loud, you're too old'

Cranking up the volume,