Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 55, Tuesday July 26, 2005





Metro mania

Frailty, thy name is woman. Not anymore! Gone are the days when men cribbed about how much time and money their wives/mothers/ sisters/daughters spent at the beauty salon. Because chances are they're doing exactly the same thing.

Meet the new man; no longer dirty and unkempt, no longer gluttonous and untidy, nor longer insensitive and brash: the metrosexual.

Oddly enough, the term has nothing to do with sexuality. Not in the dictionary yet, the word was first coined by British journalist Mark Simpson in 1994 to refer sarcastically to an urban heterosexual male, a narcissist not only in love with himself, but also with his lifestyle. The metrosexual is very in touch with his feminine side- he has beauty treatments, he colour coordinates, he cares deeply about his looks and clothes. Such activities are traditionally associated with homosexual men but metrosexuals are more or less always straight.

One of the most famous metrosexuals that we know of is David Beckham. Married to ex-Spice Girl, Victoria (Posh Spice), Beckham is well-known for his frequent hairstyle changes and still regularly appears sporting a radically new look. In May 2003 Manchester United manager ordered David Beckham not to wear his hair band during matches. It has been speculated that he believed it to be too effeminate. Other famous metros are Shahrukh Khan, Colin Farrell , Saif Ali Khan and Ryan Seacrest of American Idol.

The predecessor to the metrosexual is the dandy, a character we find in most 18th and 29th century english novels. The poet Charles Baudelaire wrote that an aspiring dandy must have "no profession other than elegance. . . no other status but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own persons. . . . The dandy must aspire to be sublime without interruption; he must live and sleep before a mirror." The fop, a stock character who appears from time to time in fiction, is a person who makes a habit of fastidiously overdressing and putting on airs. He could also be regarded as another forerunner to the metrosexual.

And then we have the retrosexual: a man with a generally poor sense of style - not necessarily a boor; rather, someone who rejects being finicky about physical appearance. It is the opposite of a metrosexual. One could say that the retrosexual is also taking his cue from the metrosexual; that is to say, the former is only such so that he can stand apart from the latter. Just goes to show how metrosexuals are taking over the male community!

By Aditi Charanji

Handy hints

Choosing your T-Shirts

You've worn them since you were a baby. You throw them on without thinking twice. Did you even consider that you were ahead of the fashion curve all these years?

The T-shirt has emerged as one of the hottest trends to hit the streets, although it's been around for what seems like forever. With all the different options out there, you can't really go wrong by wearing a T-shirt. Between the bright colors, striped patterns, polo collars, retro designs, and cool statements, chances are you'll be sporting one of the season's most popular styles.

The Polo
Basic polo T-shirts are stylish, but if you really want to go all the way, then you should sport a polo T-shirt in either a bright color (orange, yellow, green, and aqua blue are very popular), or that features stripes. Or mix both trends and wear a bright polo with stripes.

The Striped
Horizontal stripes of any size are huge this year, and are showing up on ties, soccer shirts, and other items. With stripes, there's a wide range of how bold you can go, depending on the size and thickness of the stripes, and the colors used.

The Ringer
Basic crewneck T-shirts have always been a fashion staple for men, but now they're more of a trend than a necessity. Ringer Ts specifically feature a separate color on the collar and around the sleeves, as seen on this one by Theory, giving an otherwise plain T-shirt a touch of detail. Whether you wear yours while working out or hitting the beach, these T-shirts will ring the ladies' bells.

The Statement
If you're not afraid to wear your thoughts on your sleeve, then try a statement T-shirt on for size. With a sentence or slogan emblazoned on the front, these have been spotted on male celebrities and trendsetters. From a harmless statement or single word to political or religious phrases, T-shirts have become billboards of sorts. So don't mince words and let others read your mind with the easiest fashion statement you can make.

The Graphic
In addition to statement T-shirts, graphic T-shirts are in this year. Whether the picture on the T-shirt is a logo, a fancy design, or resembles a vintage advertisement, T-shirt wearers are getting graphic. Although these have always been around, they seem more prominent today than ever.

The Retro
In addition to the vintage-looking T-shirt, whose colors and logo give it that old-school touch, there's a whole other league of retro T-shirts: the '80s T-shirt. Of course these take on new meaning with children of the '80s, but even if you're from another generation, '80s T-shirts will definitely strike a chord with passersby. You're sure to be recognized for your sense of style (and humor). Can you think of a better icebreaker?

Finally, here's a trend that's easy to adopt. Between the polo T-shirts, ringer crewnecks, graphic Ts, statement shirts, and retro tops, short sleeves have never been so stylish... or fun.

By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam


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