Objectively, you’d have to admit there has to be a reason for the increase in the popularity of menswear among guys like me, who a decade ago, couldn’t care less about a Goodyear welt. My guess is—in part—we want to know the rules of manhood, and menswear provides us with a pretty simple road map and score board. The simple math is “x” number of reblogs usually equals “you’re doing it right” with regard to dressing well. But the other areas of manhood aren’t as explicitly defined. I think for the rest of it, it’s worth having a conversation on the matter.
Case in point, a close friend of mine had a first date at Roast here in Detroit coming up, and he wasn’t sure if there was a rule as to who should order first. This might seem banal, but he really wanted to make the right impression while remaining faithful to his personal budget. My advice has always been to order first if you’re the one who’ll receive the bill. It helps to set a soft price range precedent. I’m not exactly sure where this fits in the pantheon of “real men do this” advice, but it’s far better to be practical than suave as I see it. It’s even better if you can accomplish both.
A small part of being a man in today’s world is about managing two seemingly opposed, yet equally desirable ends: the eagerness to present an image of a gentleman poised and in control at all times and the restraint to not go broke doing so. It’s not always an easy feat, but along the way I have come to enjoy the journey a great deal.