28 March 2011

Be A Man About It

I think there's something darkly ironical about needing tips and what amounts to a pep-talk on how to be a man but let's hear it form the aunties Tom Ford and Glenn O'Brien shall we? In the latest issue of Another Man Miss Ford holds forth on the "five easy lessons in how to be a modern gentleman," including not wearing shorts in the city. Then Madam O'Brien— GQ columnist and author of How to Be a Man, writes down his version. In an entire book. And I always thought the appeal of masculinity was a total natural-ness of it all.
Tom Ford:

• You should put on the best version of yourself when you go out in the world because that is a show of respect to the other people around you.

• A gentleman today has to work. People who do not work are so boring and are usually bored. You have to be passionate, you have to be engaged and you have to be contributing to the world. • Manners are very important and actually knowing when things are appropriate. I always open doors for women, I carry their coat, I make sure that they’re walking on the inside of the street. Stand up when people arrive at and leave the dinner table.

• Don’t be pretentious or racist or sexist or judge people by their background.

• A man should never wear shorts in the city. Flip-flops and shorts in the city are never appropriate. Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach.

Glenn O’Brien:

• Having sex with women is natural and most of us manage to pull it off eventually. The trick is simply to find ways to have intercourse with women (in the various senses) without giving them undue power or influence over you.

• The girls on Sex and the City sleep with typical hetero men. But socially they prefer the company of gay men. Even the ancient Mayans probably had fag hags. In the interest of evolution, or at least more peaceful relationships, we must learn to be gayer heterosexuals.

• Since the world’s religions have spent the last millennium disgracing themselves, what have we left to believe in but fashion? It is more faith-based than anything else I can think of, and yet it doesn’t contradict science.

• Style is the way Clark Kent took off his glasses. The way Jean Cocteau rolled up the sleeves of his suit jacket when he read Le Monde. The way Louis Armstrong played the cornet with a handkerchief draped over it. The way Michael Jordan wore his shorts. The way Sinatra held a cigarette. Style is in the details, in the nuance.


  1. I agree that manliness is a very natural thing, gentlemanliness probably needs some learning but what we all want is machismo . No ?

  2. it's scary they think they are an authority on the subject and this is what they say. I hope they meant it tongue in cheek.

  3. Dear Anon: What the world needs now... machismo! All those "gym-tops" need not apply, nor the "straight-acting".

  4. Dear Beauty: I don't think they mean it tongue in cheek - they are deadly serious people - especially madam ford.