There's an incredibly Times-y debate happening at the New York Times today — is it possible for men to dress in too youthful a style? If so, then what should be the penalty for men who dress to squire-ly? Lashings? Violent eye-shaming? Will the Fashion Police be dispatched? THERE'S ROOM FOR DEBATE!
The four-part Room For Debate piece is in response to another debate between a Details writer and pocket wearing icon of dapperdom Simon Doonan, initiated by a piece that flat-out theorized that yes, it's possible for men to dress too young, and that they ought to stop it right this instant. So, this debate is about a debate. And now we debate it.
Debates about how other people "should" dress always bore the hell out of me, and it's not because fashion isn't interesting, or that it can't be fun or exciting — it's because there's a clear right or wrong answer. The right answer is: leave everyone who is not participating in a specifically fashiony event the fuck alone. The wrong answer is: don't let people dress how they want. There's really no room for debate there.
If the Times had asked this question about whether it's possible for women to "dress too young," everyone with half a brain and an MacBook would have rolled their eyes and dismissed it as regressive crap so out of the realm of acceptable that it's not even worth addressing. But now that we're talking about men, it's somehow fresh and new and novel? God.
Contrary to the campfire stories of people who find feminists scaaaary, wanting women to progress doesn't come at the expense of men being able to continue to live their lives outside of the bullshit scrutiny with which we currently deal. Progress shouldn't mean everyone has it bad in the same way; it should mean we leave stupid crap behind. Stupid crap like telling men that now they, too, must have face skin fresh and sexy as a baby's ass well into their fifties. Like telling men they need to wax their ball hair. Like telling men to work out and tan until their torsos look like buttered overcooked corncobs. I don't have the energy to keep subjecting 100% of the population to impossible aesthetic standards; I have a difficult enough time eradicating the socially-imposed impetus to judge the lady half. I'm exhausted.
I do not give a shit about how men dress, as long as they're comfortable and happy with how they look and aren't being jerks about it. I do not care in a box. I do not care with a fox. I do not care in a house. I do not care with a mouse. Etc.