At this time of year I definitely go to my share of parties, like everyone else. Obviously, this activity is fun, exciting, full of opportunity and even the promise of romance. Who doesn't love a party? For most girls, anyways, parties give inherent permission to get dolled-up: we don special dresses, put on extra eye makeup, teeter in our highest heels, and make certain the hair is bouncy and gorgeous. We take the time to look good; it's a given, in most cases.
Upon arrival at a party the girls find their friends and complement each other on their stylistic decisions and overall party-going sartorial *specialness*. Then, we get a glass of champers, start to settle in and get introduced to...Mr. Schlumpy.
I don't know why or how, but Mr. Schlumpy seems to know everyone and attend just about every party in town. He's certainly on the C-list and B-list, but surprisingly enough he dominates the A-list a lot of the time too. He's everywhere, and he looks like...a slob.
Mr. Schlumpy finds his faded, misshapen black t-shirt appropriate as a "dressy" option, and coordinates this with oozy black rubber shoes, the kind commonly found on security guards and line cooks. The shoes are especially noticeable because his jeans are so old and shrunken that they end at the ankle instead of extending over the footwear. Mr. Schlumpy believes that the term "jacket" means another beat-up misshapen layer of sagging leather that last looked well in 1990. As far as grooming goes, the hair needs a cut and a style, and his three-days of stubble somehow missed the "rugged" look and went right into scruffy and unkempt.
Mr. Schlumpy is a character that believes his discretionary income is better-spent on video games and Miller High Life than proper clothing. Mr. Schlumpy does not own an iron, nor does he ever throw anything away.
Let's face it: we all know a Mr. Schlumpy or have encountered him at a party. The worst part of this is, if he is a "friend" he probably wants to be introduced to your single girlfriends (the ones looking so pretty and special,) or he wants to be introduced to you and get your phone number. I had such a Schlumpy following me around at a party recently and I narrowly escaped the venue without getting cornered into giving anything away. But that didn't stop him from asking my friends about me later! Yes, Mr. Schlumpy is the kind of fellow whose misguided confidence seems to know no bounds. It's too bad that such self-promotion cannot be better-expressed in the presentation.
If it were up to me, Mr. Schlumpy would get introduced to another character known as Charles Bass. Charles has the kind of style that lands between Lord Byron and your Grandpa, but he definitely knows a thing or two about a thing or two. Chuck takes chances, buys the best, loves color, and keeps a sense of humor about it all. Chuck knows how to tie a tie (and an ascot), how to sport a crisp collar, and would never enter a party without a well-tailored jacket. Chuck also knows how to stretch into festive mode with a little dash of sparkle or a lush texture of velvet.
I know that the Chuck Bass style is a bit extreme, even for the most confidently heterosexual male, but still, there's a lot of good stuff here. I only call on Chuck because I think he is the perfect standard bearer in the battle against slobbishness. Death to Schlumpy!
I am simply tired of the party-going double-standard of style: girls look pretty, and guys look haggard and sad. So, since this is one of the biggest party nights of the year I am asking Mr. Schlumpy to please dress accordingly: starched shirt, tailored jacket, dress shoes, okay maybe jeans are fine, but you must shave and get a haircut. Bonus points for a dress scarf or pocket square.
Please, I'm begging you: make me swoon!
Chuck Bass images courtesy of CW.com
Top image from "Animal House" - Tom Hulce, John Belushi, & Stephen Furst