Thursday, July 22, 2010

Subway Spotted: Business Time and A Brief History of the Moustache

Gays are great and all, but straight men should be able to dress well, too. The subway again provided me with a chance to stalk the well-dressed men of Chicago.

Let's break down this gentleman who caught my eye as I was commuting to work.

Pictured above: Everything I am not, yet wish to be.

1. Glasses

Thick-rimmed, sure, but not in the ironic/hipster way. He doesn't look like a “nerd”, but rather like a guy about to fire someone.

2. Umbrella

Plaid with a curved, wooden handle. The only way it could have been cooler was if it had a sword hidden inside. Or a machine gun. Or an even smaller umbrella.

3. Shirt

Maybe the greatest thing about his outfit. The collar had three buttons. The chicness of the shirt makes him look more dressed-up than other guys wearing ties.

4. Suit

Undoubtedly tailored, and cost probably more than my most expensive suit ($15). I'll bet he spent maybe $25 or even more than $50 on that suit!

5. Beard

Facial hair tends to make most men look more like feral dogs or mysterious mountain men, yet this gentleman strikes a distinguished cord. The clean-cut and well-trimmed nature of his beard make him look even more serious and formal.

Since I have the facial-hair potential of a 9-year-old boy, a beard of this caliber still remains an unattainable goal for me. Speaking of which...

A Brief History of the Moustache

Facial hair has long gone out of fashion, apparent to those of us who follow the presidential facial hair timeline, which reached its apogee at President James “Mr. Muttonchops” Garfield and ended with President William “Mr. Moustache” Taft.

Pictured above: Assassinated because of sideburn-envy. Or maybe the Hawley-Smoot tariff or the Alien and Sedition Acts. I don't remember any of my AP US History.

Few people know that President Taft actually invented the moustache. During his time on the Supreme Court, he presided over the landmark case Goatee v. Handlebars, where he wrote, the 5-4 decision, that both men were to shave their beards into moustaches (or in his words “de-follicle the non-upper mouthing region of the countenance”).

Pictured above: Taft and his creation.

So powerful was this moustache (not “mustache” which the product of WWII propaganda against Hitler's “mustache” and how it “must ache”), that no President since Taft has ever worn facial hair. This is why Hillary Clinton, in her failed 2008 presidential campaign, tried to make her run for the White House even more historic by wearing a fake moustache. But she couldn't beat Obama's Neckbeard of Freedom.

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