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  • Lance Mannion
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minstrel hussain boy

i do the nice, usually italian, jacket, over dark t-shirt tucked into good quality jeans (out in the wild west we gravitate to boot cut wranglers), then appropriate, but comfortable footwear.

Bill Altreuter

Sports jacket (a blue blazer is the most versatile, best to have a couple)and khakis, button down shirt, preferably with a stripe. Gray flannel trousers also work well.

At some point jeans stop being acceptable for anything except farming. My father taught me that it is impossible to be overdressed; while this is not, strictly speaking, true, if you avoid obviously formal clothes (a dinner jacket, say, or a white mess coat, placed in your closet by your enemies) you can't really screw up. A tie looks fine, if it is properly tied-- I'm not sure why men with shirts that fit them properly avoid them.

Where many men go wrong is with the shoes. Wear loafers if you must, but under no circumstances should you appear at anything more sophisticated than a barn raising wearing shoes with crepe or rubber or lugged soles. Black, leather uppers and leather soles are the only shoes you need to own, although brown is acceptable for day wear. A good rule is no brown liquor before 5, no brown shoes after.

The trick is to wear things that fit, and to wear things that you have seen well-turned out grownups wear. You are not Don Johnson-- not even Don Johnson is Don Johnson these days-- so don't outfit yourself in a costume pretending to be. A uniform is an apt way to think about being dressed properly. Work with that.


Since anything other than aloha wear is extraordinary out here, I'm not qualified to suggest anything else. I have forty or fifty aloha shirts; worn with dress slacks and loafers, they're good.

What I really want to say about polo shirts, though, is that the top button should not be buttoned. I don't understand that look at all, and I think it's horrid. Why do my fellow males do it?

Doug K

eh, I have no idea.. my uniforms are similar to yours. What I've done for the in-betweens is to add a somewhat snappier belt, and a casual jacket such as this,

I don't know if this actually works, suspect it places me firmly in category B. However I'm with Mehitabel on this,
wotthehell and toujours gai.


It always takes me a moment to differentiate Naomi Wolf and Naomi Klein.
Klein="Shock Doctrine", Wolf= "earth tones". And some good advice on creeping fascism.

In any case, I'm so sorry she passed gas in your direction. V rude. She probably wouldn't do that in Manhattan!


I'm guessing that I'm somewhat older than you (rapidly closing in on 60) but I don't think you're any spring chicken. My comment? I cannot bring myself to wear a polo shirt without tucking it in.
Damn, we weren't supposed to get this old...

Kathleen M

The single worst mistake men make when trying to look young enough for someone their daughter's age (and/or too young for a woman born within the same 15 year range) is: red Converse sneakers. No Chuck Taylors, either. No vests over a bare torso. No spray-on tans, leather bracelets, necklaces or pants. That last is important so I'll reiterate: No leather pants, Lance. No fedoras, pork pies, or eye-patches, either. Just cover those tats, and you'll do fine!

Ken Houghton

Now WAIT JUST A MINUTE THERE. No Chuck Taylors? Converse =are= from my (though arguably not the youthful Lance's) generation; I sprained an ankle almost annually wearing them before that 15-yr-old was even a glimmer in her mother's diary.*

Similarly, leather pants can be worn if you can wear leather pants. If there's a question in your mind where you can—you can't. QED.

*Yes, I am assuming that 15-year-old men's diaries do not concern themselves with the children they hope to raise. Contrary research, citings welcome.

Bill Altreuter

Chucks are off the table: "Sneakers as a fashion accessory should be carefully approached in our adult years. Let’s face it, we stopped being able to carry off that punk rock insouciance a long time ago, and when that left, so did our ability to get away with sporting a pair of Chuck Taylor high-tops. Joey Ramone is dead and it’s time to move on."
(You may have to click around; you're looking for "Vanity Wars")

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