Fancylad, outsideleft’s own in-house self-appointed style expert answers all your nagging questions on fads, fashion, vanity, style and the gentleman’s code of conduct.
I have a friend who insists that the correct way to eat a sandwich, especially in a posh restaurant, is with a knife and fork. I say that eating a sandwich with your hands is correct everywhere. —Joseph O’Keef, El Paso, Texas
I’m with you, Sloppy Joe. Unless we’re talking open-faced hot roast beef, turkey with gravy, an overstuffed sauce-dripping meatball hero, or something generally unwieldy and dripping. And it should go without saying that you should wash those meat hooks before gripping anything going in your maw.
I’ve been a vegetarian for about 3 years now—I’m not morally opposed to killing animals, I just don’t like meat. Is there a tactful way to let others know this without sounding offensive or ungrateful when invited to dine?—Richard Cochran, Pasadena, California
If you’re eating at someone’s home, the best thing is to eat what you can and leave the rest. (Not on your plate, in the serving dish.) You don’t have to explain why you’re not eating any particular item. In fact it’s much better not to reveal your dietary philosophy when you’re a dinner guest—there’s nothing more annoying than when some tree-hugger tells me I have 5 pounds of impacted red meat in my colon as I bite into a cheeseburger during a friendly bar-b-que. You can always explain your diet, if anyone is interested, on another occasion.
My girlfriend makes fun of me because I wear white cotton briefs. She says only guys over 40 and nerds wear briefs. She bought me boxers and I tried them, but they bunched up like Hefty garbage bags under my pants. Do I take her crap and keep wearing briefs, switch to boxers, or go commando?
—Karl Oetken, St. Paul, Minnesota
Dear boy, never go commando—that’s delicate, calibrated goods down there! You don’t want that stuff swaying free-range, risking irreversible damage or God forbid, loss of sensitivity due to chaffing against your denim dungarees. A gentleman always wears some mode of undergarment when out and about—even swingers like Hugh Hefner and Wilt Chamberlin were known for their fine silk undergarments. In other words, life is not a hardcore porno—we wear underpants on this planet. If white briefs render you secure and comfortable, wear them proudly. If you want to mix things up a bit, why don’t you put come color in those underpants. No, I don’t mean giving up on the toilet paper, I mean go to some of your better department stores and buy colored briefs—there’s just about every color of the rainbow now and they usually sell at 3 for $10. If you’re feeling particularly saucy, you can always delve into the boxer/brief combo (a snug boxer look with a brief feel) that seems to be all the rage these days. I personally find great comfort and support with Calvin Klein’s line of boxer/briefs and at $10 a pop, can still step lively known that the family jewels are in good hands.
Need advice? Does it concern fashion? Style? Affairs of the heart? Fancylad shoots straight from the hip pocket. Send him all of your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org—the intern-monkeys will be sure to pass them on to him.