In case you hadn't noticed, I almost never make mention of men's fashion here on ASJiNE.
There are several reasons for the omission, most notably that I have very little knowledge of and experience with menswear labels, cuts and accoutrement. Half-Windsor, single-vented, double-breasted, French-cuff, spread-collar -- sure, I could identify each of them in a line-up, and sure, I know that I personally prefer this to that, but to match body-type 'X' with silhouette 'Y' to create flattering look 'Z' is a task in which I'm neither particularly interested nor one for which I'm remotely prepared.
There is one exception to my no-boys-allowed rule, however, and it involves an all too commonplace practice I've dubbed "the Lachey way" in honor of its earliest and most frequent offender, Nick Lachey.
Now, before I point out what it is about this good ol' Ohio boy - and most men within ±10 years of his age (34) - that frustrates me to no end, let me first say that from what little I know of the former Mr. Jessica Simpson, I actually quite like the one time boyband-er. He seems awfully levelheaded, extremely well-adjusted, and blonde simpleton aside, he certainly has good taste in smokin' hot half-Asian women. Despite his tribal arm tatts and Staten Island gel-helmet, you can be sure I'd sooner accept a second date with Nick than most men who give me 'the eye' at a K St. happy hour.
That I have nothing against Mr. Lachey personally should lend some credence to my argument against his namesake offense, otherwise known as always dressing two to three times more casually than his lady escort.
Take the picture above, for example, one of many just like it I've come across in the decade or so Nick Lachey's coming and goings have been tracked in the tabloids. Big-time movie premiere, Friday night in Hollywood, red carpet, woman in a white cocktail mini and strappy metallic evening sandals. To complement her, you decide to throw on a pair of baggy stonewashed jeans, a white tee and a brown blazer-style leather jacket?
Given that I've always been in relationships with men who place as high or higher a premium on their appearance than I do, I don't know what it is that causes good men to go brain-dead when they slip on jeans/cords/khakis, opt not to iron and forego shaving in semi-formal and formal situations. Having witnessed the his-her outfit disparity enough times in enough cities in enough social circles, however, I have no choice but to accept that what started out as anomalous behavior of the boyus fraternus has somehow made its way into accepted, even standard male practice.
If Jessica, Vanessa and all the well-dressed women I see on city streets, college campuses and in the pages of my favorite magazines won't do anything to curb this epidemic, I feel I should do what little I can in my capacity as a fashion blogger and not only ask the Nick Lacheys of the world, "Why?" but also snap my finger in the Z-formation and say, "Nuh-uh, buddy, put on some flat-front dress trousers and your 'good' shoes."
Just as pink Reefs disrespect the aesthetic of a cowl-necked, cap-sleeved tweed sheath, so too does a man in cargo shorts cheapen the cocktail dress of the woman on his arm.
So guys, if you manage to land yourself a fabulous woman for whom looking put-together and polished is a top priority, why not demonstrate your appreciation by at least attempting to class it up?
Who knows, your efforts this New Year's Eve might even be rewarded with a midnight kiss more passionate than last year's...
More of Nick giving his ladies "the Lachey way" treatment: