Thursday, September 03, 2009

TMI Thursday: Sean On Fashion

My mom recently sent me an article by Elizabeth Wellington of the Philadelphia Inquirer regarding where men’s shirts should be buttoned.

"Buttoned all the way to the top is just nerdy, the second button is uptight, and the fourth button is all playboy," said Craig Arthur von Schroeder, 31, a construction law attorney behind fledgling fitted-shirt company Commonwealth Proper.

First of all, I’m not sure that I trust a guy named Craig Arthur von Schroeder. I trust someone with a short name like Mike Tomlin or Dick LeBeau. Craig Arthur von Schroeder? Not so much. However, it is the next sentence(s) of the article that attracted my attention.

In men's fashion circles, the debate is brewing as to where the tieless man should button his button-down. What's certain: Under no circumstances should undershirts show. (It's all about the deep V for today's trendy man.)

Apparently, Ms. Wellington doesn’t travel in Sean’s fashion circles as I wear a T-shirt under everything. A button down shirt for work; a T-shirt/undershirt underneath. A polo shirt for casual Friday or the weekend; a T-shirt as an undershirt underneath. The primary reason I wear an undershirt is because I really don’t want to impose my chest hair on everyone on the bus, Metro, office, grocery store, etc. The T-shirt also helps keep any underarm perspiration from staining the overshirt. (If undershirt is a recognized term, overshirt should be as well.) Noticeably wet armpits are not attractive. As for V-neck undershirts, I feel like they just push the chest hair out.

So what’s a (sort of) fashionable mid-thirties male supposed to do?

I realize that this is a fairly weak TMI Thursday; however, it’s not like chest hair is a common blog topic. Please make sure to visit LiLu for more (and better) TMI Thursdays. Plus, you can click here to see all of my TMI Thursday archives.

You can also view all of my fashion posts by clicking here.


Brendon said...

I button all but the top and I wear an undershirt also. Who the hell pays $250 for a shirt? His website sucks, I can't figure out how to get past the 'join or die' page.

rachaelgking said...

Chest hair in the bedroom? Sexy.

On my morning commute? Notsomuch.

Erica Lee said...

If you like fashion...then I have a show for you. Project Runway recently moved to the Lifetime network on Thursday nights. Heidi Klum, crazy artsy folks, and celeb judges (the caliber of Lindsay Lohan I might add) make for entertaining television.

My husband decided to make it interesting by creating a fantasy team...and now we're hooked!

Sean said...

Hand of Godard - You are a welcome member of my fashion circle! I never went to the guy's website, but $250 is insane for a shirt. I might be able to see spending that much on an authentic Penguins jersey signed by Mario Lemieux, but to wear at a regular office; no.

LiLu - Another new member of my fashion circle!

Erica - I don't think I would ever classify myself as a fashion person. That's what makes my posts about fashion fun and somewhat absurd. I will admit that Project Runway has been on in my home and that I have watched parts of it on occasion. With that written, I would definitely be intested in a PR fantasy league. (This is coming from someone who participated in a Rock of Love fantasy league and another celebrity fantasy league.)

Stephanie said...

I don't think it should matter if the shirt shows, as long as you aren't wearing a green undershirt with a red outer shirt in June or something...

Brendon said...

In the article you linked to it mentioned that shirts range from $100 - $250. Even $100 is ridiculous for a shirt. I wanted to see what was so special about these shirts, but the link in the article took me to a page I couldn't figure out how to get past. Maybe it takes someone of a superior fashion intellect to get in. I'm fine with being on the outside on this one.

Sean said...

Stephanie - I only wear white shirts. Well, every once in a while (never for work), I'll wear a gray T-shirt underneath my overshirt.

Hand of Godard - I never checked out the link in the article. Maybe I'm cheap, but I'll stick with spending $20 for a shirt at Kohl's. Even if I win the lottery, I don't think I'd ever spend $100-$250 for a shirt.

Anonymous said...

Showing your undershirt is like showing your underwear. Commonwealth Proper is not for cows.

Sean said...

Thanks Anonymous for that very insightful comment. Please explain how showing your undershirt is like showing your underwear. Really, I'd like to know.

And what's with the line about Commonwealth Proper not being for cows? I figured that the Commonwealth Proper shirts were for rich people who think nothing of dropping $200 for a shirt. Why would farmers spend that kind of money to clothe cows?

Anonymous said...

First off, his MOM sent him some fashion tips...
Second, look at the picture the guy posted for shirts - incredible - must be from JCPenny's 1998 collection. Really incredible.
Third, the comments are ridiculous. Of course you don't want your T shirt to show when you are wearing a button-down, that's why they invented V-necks.
Fourth, it's rather obvious that if you have Magnum P.I.-esque chest hair you probably should NOT wear V-necks and your shirt un-buttoned, exposing the world to your own chest forest.
Fifth, if you are going to work, and wear a tie, you'd button-up the shirt completely. The question I was asked in the interview was where should you unbutton a casual shirt to, and it's my opinion that generally the third button is buttoned, leaving the first two un-buttoned. It's called style, Sean, ask your MOTHER about it.
Sixth, keep buying your $20 Chinese slave labor shirts from Kohls - I've been to China and have seen it. I also think I've seen you on my morning commute, you look terrible and everyone can tell you are cheap. You probably have a terrible job to go along with your terrible $20 shirt. Buying local makes sense. It may be more expensive, but the quality, longevity and craftmanship you get in return is worth it for a lot of people. Commonwealth Proper is not for everyone, and seems like it's not right for Sean, his MOM and his circle of self-described unfashionable people.
Seventh, our site is under construction. Sean, yours needs to be.

Unknown said...

Sean, I'm glad you don't classify yourself as a fashion person, clearly you are not.

Hammond said...

Wow - just wow. Sean, just by what you wrote I can tell you probably look like a complete slob. Cheap $20 dress shirt, $200 fused Mens Wearhouse suit, $10 polyester tie and $30 rubber soled dress shoes. I'm sure that's what your wardrobe consists of.

A word of advice, don't pretend to be an expert on a subject you know absolutely nothing about. You clearly know nothing about fashion/nice clothing.

I'm sure you'll be back to Kohls next week after your $20 shirt falls apart in the wash.