This article in the Dallas Morning News asks the question: Do American men have less style than British men? It’s a complicated question. Certainly, Americans have a reputation for a more casual style. Generally speaking, the British don’t go outdoors in their pajamas, whereas many Americans will wear sweatpants and slippers to the grocery store. (See The Big Lebowski for evidence).
But style isn’t just a matter of swank and swish, and American casual style could be said to carry more weight internationally than British swish – see the international popularity of the baseball cap. As Brits will tell you: They don’t play baseball, and they don’t really respect it. “It’s like Rounders, mate. Rounders is a girl game.” And yet many will wear baseball caps, especially Yankees caps they buy “on holiday” in New York. Hmm.
London fashion week began in 1984. It takes place twice a year and is considered one of the “big four” fashion weeks, along with Milan, Paris, and (yes) New York. Now here’s a case where New York has a head start, as New York Fashion Week goes back all the way to 1943. Indeed, it was the first organized fashion week; so in that sense, the U.S. wins over the U.K. London Fashion Week only introduced men’s collections in 2012. The plot thickens.
The complaint in the cited article about American men is summarized as this:
“What is the deal with American men? At work they show up smartly dressed in suits and such, but then after five o’clock they turn into total slobs as sweatshirts and ball caps replace the suits.”
So what’s the gripe? American men dress up for work but dress way down for play, whereas it’s more typical for British men to stay up until the night’s through, apparently. The implication is that American men are slobbish. Naturally, there are plenty of slobby Brits…because there are slobs everywhere!
People are people, and people are different everywhere you go. There are well-dressed Americans and well-coiffed Brits and total slobs on both sides of the Atlantic; and sometimes people have bad hair days. The bottom line: Don’t judge a book by its cover; and just because you’ve seen the brand of humanity shopping at 2AM at a Tennessee Wal Mart doesn’t mean you’ve seen “America.” And anyway, chill out: Appearance isn’t everything.
Okay, appearance is kind of a big part of everything…but you know what we mean.