4 Problems With Men's Dress Clothes Nobody Talks About
When I was about nine or so, my grandmother died. My parents needed to outfit me for a proper funeral, as most of my clothes had Ninja Turtles or chocolate on them. My only slightly ill-fitting (but entirely dapper) funeral ensemble ended up being a pinstriped charcoal grey suit with a trilby hat and a black trench coat. I looked like Eliot Ness's much smaller partner. I cut a pretty fuckin' smooth figure. I was a classic gentleman. And I really enjoyed the look -- so much so that I've tried to keep it alive ever since. But being a classic '50s gentleman in the fashion sense is no easy task in the modern world, when every aspect of it gets shit on at every turn.
My little-man trench coat was fairly lightweight -- and more of a glorified raincoat more than anything -- but it did bring the whole ensemble together, and I enjoyed it immensely. So much so that throughout my life, I've probably owned about six trench coats or dusters of varying quality. My current coat is egregiously overpriced leather, but it's very nice-looking and supremely comfortable in all weather. It's also a tragic curse.
The problem with a leather coat that hangs to your calves is that you've basically sealed yourself inside the fashionable carcass of another animal, like Luke inside the tauntaun. And maybe nine times out of ten, that's no issue at all. But I invite you, when you have a chance, to put on a heavy leather trench coat, do it up, and fart. Then just stand there a moment. Sway a little -- maybe take a step or two in whatever direction.
It'll smell just as good on the inside as it will out there.
A warm fart in a cold leather coat has but one direction to go. It will meander slowly but surely up your spine, over your shoulders, and up your neck, right into your face, like the hand of a late-night kidnapper with a rag of ether trying to subdue you into a shit-scented state of unconsciousness. It will happen every single time, as there's literally nowhere else for the fart to go. It's hot air; it's going to rise. Your only chance is to literally try to run away from it and achieve enough speed that the tails of your coat fly up in a sort of Batman cape behind you, and the fart is sucked free in your wake. And how is that even an option? How can you, as an adult, seriously contemplate outrunning your own fart on the street?
"I'll be back once this gas goblin's given up on tracking me down. Keep that job offer warm for me!"
No coat maker on Earth will admit this, but I often suspect that slit up the back of a number of coats is there not so the material can spread when you go from sitting to standing and not get all bunchy, but in the vain hope that maybe your farts will slip out the crack if you move just so.
The Matrix / X-Files / Trench Coat Mafia
The X-Files premiered in 1993. The Columbine massacre occurred in 1999. The Matrix film series lasted from 1999 until 2003. That's a decade. A decade of what, you ask? A decade of people referring to your trench coat as the most relevant aspect of culture they can think of at that period of time.
As I said, I got my first trench coat when I was nine, and as far as I knew, only guys in black-and-white movies ever wore them, really. In 1993, however, I learned that I was Fox Mulder. I got called "X-Files" and/or "Mulder" at school for several years, in fact. Because people assumed that's the reason I was wearing a trench coat. I have never called someone wearing Nikes "Kobe" or a guy in beige pants "Jeb Bush," but I guess this cause-and-effect method of clothing identification only works for certain forms of outerwear.
"Hey, Mulder! You gonna make tons of money and score with a gorgeous redhead, Mulder? You're such a fuckin' Mulder, Mulder."
I didn't realize how much I'd long for "X-Files" until two shits in Colorado decided to shoot up their school after leaving a sticky note somewhere with the words "trench coat mafia" on it. I don't recall Columbine that well, but I am fairly certain that term -- the idea that the shooters were in some kind of gang -- was a fairly small and inconsequential aspect of the entire event. Nonetheless, thus began a solid several months of being semi-jokingly questioned about my involvement. And not by children -- by fully-grown, dumbass adults.
"Say buddy, are you in the Trench Coat Mafia? Looks like you're in the Trench Coat Mafia!"
"Does it? Oh, because I'm in a trench coat? And they're a mafia who wear trench coats? Holy shitsack, I see how you stumbled upon this realization! You got me!"
Lucky for me, this terrible school shooting was quickly overshadowed by the cultural phenomenon known as The Matrix, and for literally a decade I was called "Neo." Never by people who knew me -- it just seemed like a thing people should say upon meeting me, made more and more relevant with each year past the time the movies were released. The fact that it still happens once or twice a year, in 2016, is really touching, and shows just how influential those films were. I hope Keanu appreciates how much his work has touched people.
Except for Revolutions. Even he thinks you're insane for remembering that.
It's worth noting that nine out of ten people who engage in this brand of bumblefuckery will simply call me "Neo." The expression on their faces suggests to me that they're quite tickled with their wit, and I usually let them have it. Good for you, I think, smiling and nodding. You noticed that I have a coat like a movie has a coat. Good for you.
But curiously, a funny thing happens every so often with that mysterious tenth person. Instead of calling me Neo, this person will ask if I am Neo. Go on, picture that. Picture me, an adult who has attended an orgy for comedy purposes, standing still while another man -- let's imagine him with a lazy eye and a big Slurpee of all the flavors mixed up -- asking me if I am Neo. From the movie The Matrix. And then there's that expectant pause, during which his mouth is agape just so, as he grins and waits for my reply. Eternally waiting for my reply.
I don't wear hats often, but I'd like to thank Reddit and the general Men's Rights Movement for inexplicably co-opting hats. Fuckin' hats. Ever see old news footage of the 1940s or '50s? Literally every man wore a hat. A fedora, a trilby, a derby, whatever. It was the thing to do. Then it fell out of style, and now, if you wear any of those, you're a cock rocket.
I don't know how those hats came to be in the realm of douchebags, but they did. And they're generally nice hats. But if you wear one, you look like a dick, because so many dicks wear one. It's not your fault, unless you are a dick.
Even if you bottle-feed baby animals every day, people will just assume you filled the bottle with arsenic and old piss.
The problem with fedoras and their like is that they represent class and style, but are not themselves class and style manifest. You wore a nice suit and hat back in the day, and you looked good. That style fell out of vogue throughout the '60s and '70s, and then, one insidious day, the hipster was born and tried to co-opt some of that style for himself.
I'm not here to rag on hipsters. I don't even get hipsters. But I will rag on the style ghouls who may be lumped in with hipsters and those eerie neckbeard types who will wear a Bart Simpson T-shirt with a fedora, who don't seem to understand how the hat completed an outfit in the first place. If you don't do the full outfit, then the hat becomes the equivalent of a maraschino cherry you're eating out of the jar with your fingers. It's not the accent on the sundae -- it's the reason you cry when you're alone.
This guy probably puts ketchup on his filet mignon, and absolutely drinks 30-year-old Merlot out of a Ronald McDonald sippy cup.
If I wear my hat today (which I never do (and it's not a fedora, it's a trilby)) with my trench coat, I almost have to stop and beat myself up when I pass reflective surfaces. I'm a walking Internet cliche. I'll only ever do it in a full suit, because at least then people assume I'm going to a funeral again, and not Comic-Con. And that also means I'm generally actually going to a funeral -- or, on some very rare occasions, a job interview. For the most part, the hat is just an accent in my closet gathering dust, daring me to wear it when I haven't shaved so people can ask me what I think of Warhammer.
Whether or not you know the term, you're aware of post-micturition dribble. It's that last drop of piss that clings inside your wang with a superhuman death grip until the moment you tuck the little bugger back in your drawers, at which point the dribble says "fuck it" and deploys like a HALO jumper. It happens to the best of us.
Your post-pee dribble is usually not an issue. The magic known as denim can withstand a piss onslaught of several drops and barely show anything, and you get to leave the bathroom looking like a man who doesn't have the bathroom skills of a medicated toddler. But that's when you wear jeans. And I'll concede a good pair of black dress pants can handle this as well. But woe be to the man in grey dress pants.
Grey dress pants are designed, at a molecular level, to deploy some kind of intense magnification technology the moment urine is detected on the fabric. One single drop spreads like a computer simulation of a plague in an '80s movie, traversing your crotch map with impunity, threatening to leap out and moisten people within arm's reach of you.
Instead of your boss giving you a raise, now you'd be lucky to wrangle a decent Depends coupon out of them.
Now, some of you might think this isn't a big deal. Just shake it once more. To that, I raise my eyebrow and nod toward the name of this entry. I didn't call this "my bad case of dribbly dick" or "how my prostate is failing." It's post-micturition dribble. I don't even know what the fuck "micturition" means. This is a full-on fancy medical name for a legit thing that happens to nearly everyone, including you smug ladies who think only dudes are walking around with piss spots. Not so fast; you're all piss-spotty too. You're just lucky enough to get away with it more easily than us, thanks to piss geography.
"Welcome to the Mafia, ladies. We have punch, pie, and all the Charmin you'll ever need."
Fact is, you can beat your dick like a robbery suspect and slap it against the wall for ten minutes after peeing, and the moment you let the little thug free, it's going to vomit up one more drop of bladder champagne. That's just how it works. And the more fancy your clothes, the more obvious it's going to be.
There's a second wave of this issue that you might not be aware of as well, and that's the post-post. Say you tuck the pube tube back in the cave and get your massive pee spread, but catch it before you leave the bathroom. Then, you cleverly half-mount the wall and fuck that hot air stream from the hand dryer like an old pro, until you've basically evaporated your problem away. Looking good, right? Not at all. Thanks to the nature of suits, you're now almost guaranteed to have that terrible phantom outline on your pants, looking for all the world like your dick took up map-making and tried to draw the coast of Greenland on your crotch. If you're big on calcium, you may even have the faintest of white encrustulated residue left over. At this point, nothing sort of dry-cleaning the suit can cure the problem.
Worse, that dryer will not stop calling and reminding you of the good times.
When they say the past was a simpler time, they're wrong. We just romanticize the past because we didn't have websites writing about all the piss stains that were occurring back in the 1950s, so everyone forgot about them. There's no going home again, and there's nothing easy about looking like a gentleman.
Learn how an appropriate gentleman commits white-collar crime in A Gentleman's Guide To Etiquette. And find out how to master the art of subtle seduction in The 10 Creepiest Craigslist Casual Encounters.
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