Friday, November 20, 2009

Gunn to the Rescue

While flipping through the channels yesterday afternoon, (before rolling up my sleeves to make dinner from scratch for the husband, like a good unemployed wife) I was thrilled to see that my favorite man in pinstripes was on Oprah. That's right, Tim Gunn! (This was probably only the second time in my life that I've actually sat through an episode of Oprah, but I'd do anything for Tim.)

Like me, Tim is baffled by what he aptly describes as the "slobification of America". I'm unsure of exactly when utility replaced femininity, but I'm nonetheless acutely aware that at some point the desire for comfort overtook any underlying effort at presentation. Several guests wrote in to Oprah with a myriad of complaints about their mate, friend, or relative (mullets, 80's t-shirts, baggy jeans, torn sneakers). Despite the fact that some of those felonies are actually on trend right now (the unfortunate 80's revival, and the new 'boyfriend fit' loose jean) the pool of candidates for Tim's style rescue was deep and treacherous. Gunn tells it straight, just look for the big 3: silhouette, proportion, fit.

Carson Kressley of Bravo's Queer Eye offered a few basic guidelines that even the fashion offenders worthy of Oprah's selection could effortlessly follow. Just as women must avoid 'mom jeans', so must men steer clear of 'dad jeans', those denim nemeses featuring whiskering, acid washing, intentional tearing or any other such adornment. Men should stick to straight, medium rise, classic blue jeans that meet the tops of their shoes with room to crease slightly. And as far as footwear is concerned, Carson and Tim both loath sneakers outside of the gym. No excuses. (Luckily for my husband, I was willing to overlook the fact that when I met him for the first time at a friend's party, he was wearing badly beaten gray New Balance kicks with pants that barely touched the tops of those atrocious sneakers.) Now if Bravo would just bring back Tim Gunn's Guide to Style....


  1. Besides you, I thought I was the only breathing person who loathes sneakers! Though I grudgingly don them for my daily walk on the treadmill, once I'm finished, so are the sneakers. Maybe this is the appropriate forum to confess that the sneakers I currently own are probably only the 3rd pair I've owned since growing out of my Keds as a preteen! In my opinion, that's a fact of which I'm proud.

  2. I die over Tim Gunn, he's adorabale!

  3. But what if you're going to walk a lot and you want to look casual? I understand that ratty gym sneakers aren't fashionable, but what about a nice pair of Pumas? Or Adidas? Are they only for the more athletically inclined?

  4. I think cute Converse or Pumas are totally fine when running around town doing errands or shopping, they are certainly acceptable and loom put together when paired with some cord or denim. I think the 'no sneaker' rule is more to discourage people from wearing clunky, heavy gym shoes all the time when there are much more sophisticated alternatives that are extremely comfortable (such as all the Cole Haan styles that feature Nike Air cushioning).


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