I’ll admit that former hockey players and country music singers would not be the first people I turn to for fashion advice, but still — Brooks Laich and Gavin DeGraw are doing their peers a serious disservice.
If you download or stream it, prepare to throw yourself at the mercy of your wife or girlfriend afterwards.
“I would like it if I never had to buy another article of clothing for the rest of my life,” Laich says, admitting that, other than buying a white Lululemon T-shirt recently, he prefers to leave such decisions to Julianne Hough.
“She has much better taste than I do,” he explained. (Having watched the last season of America’s Got Talent, I can assure you she does not.)
Because this is a podcast “about men, by men, for women,” the episode features a guest-star, a one-time Bachelor contestant named Tayshia Adams, who is asked, at one point, whether she would prefer a man chooses his own outfits or lets her pick out what he wears.
“I don’t mind dressing you. I’ll dress you all day,” she says, adding in passing that it’s nice when men make some kind of effort.
Adams’ ideal outfit? “A crisp, white button up tee, a little bit unbuttoned at the top, with a really nice sport coat, a pair of jeans and a nice brown, cognac shoe. And a matching brown belt. Oh my god, that’s so attractive.”
Even Laich can’t help but channel his inner stylist at this point. “Honestly, as a dude, I feel that’s such a cliche,” he says. “It’s just not my vibe.”
Unfortunately, this was where he and DeGraw could have had a fascinating on-air realization that they might, in fact, have a vibe. That they might have a personal, even creative way to express themselves by what they choose to put on.
There’s nothing inherently new about this kind of conversation, of course. Growing up, it was the social norm that men wouldn’t have — and really, shouldn’t have — a clue about fashion and style. It was not just acceptable, it was considered a definitively masculine trait.
Today, it’s not. Today, masculinity includes an ability to make choices about appearances, knowing they reflect something about the person behind the appearance.
Today, deferring (rather than consulting with) all decisions around dressing to your partner isn’t a badge of honour. It’s pathetic. These men have managed to be successful without a sense of personal style, but I’d argue they are the exceptions to what’s become a general rule.
Today, how men think — at least about fashion — has changed a lot. ‘How Men Think’ suggests some guys have a lot more to ponder about what it means to be (and look like) a man in 2020.