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BEYOND BLUE BLAZERS: The Pants Choices of Professional White Men In America.....

You're just a walking billboard for all the latest brands
You've got no taste in music and you really love our band
You're haircut is atrocious, it's been the same since '83
Your glory days are over and so's your stonewashed jeans

--Local H

Stereotypes. Sometimes they're out there because they're true.

The safest place to talk about stereotypes in the workplace involving race and gender is to to talk about the demographics you belong to. Skinny-jeans

In May, I did this breakdown of professional white guys and the Blue Blazer.  You're welcome.

But it’s time to go deeper (or lower)…Can you make equally useful generalizations about white guys and pants in the workplace?  

I think you can.

Let's do this.

The choices of white guys and pants are broken down by four factors - fabric, fit, pleats and cuffs.  Breaking it down below:

--Pleats and Cuffs - I'm old Gen X, so I grew up mentored by boomer guys who taught me how to dress.  For the most part, that meant slacks with pleats (double pleats for the really serious) and cuffs (anywhere from 1 inch to 1.5 inches with 1.25 inches being the most widely accepted.  If I see you in pleats or cuffs, that means you're a boomer or a Gen X that got taught about fashion by boomers - and has refused to move to skinnier models.  Shine on you crazy diamond.

--Fit - You've got loose fit (also known as classic), modern fit and skinny fit.  Generally speaking, the older the white dude the looser the slacks.  If you're Brontosaurus Rex and you're trying to adapt after the slacks asteroid hit the earth, do yourself a favor and go to modern fit.  Your wife, your family and your nation are going to snicker if you try to go to skinny.  And for you skinny fit guys - I see you - and yes, you are living the metrosexual dream. And there's nothing wrong with that. 

--A little bit more about Pleats - I know, white guy dad. You went no pleats and it's a great thing.  But you're still kicking about in the Jos A Bank loose fit dress slacks.  No pleats and loose dress slacks?  I'd rather you be you - and just kick it with the pleats and cuffs.  Somebody's got to be in charge around here.

--Fabric - The older you are, the more wool or polyester that looks like wool you have in the lineup - that's the area code for dress slacks. The younger you are, the more you're rolling with skinny khakis. Are they cotton or a poly/cotton blend? Whatever let's you flex a little bit is my hope, my man.  Also, jeans are the play in a lot of workplaces these days, but that's a whole other post about how white guys dress. My boys from Local H wrote this little ditty about stone-washed jeans, so suffice it to say, nothing makes me happier than when the boomer boss man goes blue dress shirt, light toned wrangler jeans and yes - the blue blazer.  Winner/winner/chicken dinner.

I'm the Marlon Perkins of how white guys dress. Look it up Millennials.

Comments

Matt Landrum

I like cargo shorts, mid-calf, white athletic socks, GIANT tennis shoes (maybe velcro?) and a Blue Oyster Cult T-shirt.

Winter-time means a Lewboski-style sweater or tightly-fitted sweatshirt from my alma mater.

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