Friday, 24 August 2012

The Bi-Polar World Men Order

While recently analysing the trends between what went on the menswear runways during the fashion weeks in Milan and Paris, and as Summer comes to an end and bodies start covering up, here at The Style Examiner we could not help but wonder if the Summer of 2012 has confirmed a very positive, albeit polarised, affirmation of the male body.

A few years ago, it was indubitable that the skinny look was unavoidably ubiquitous. Designers like Hedi Slimane banked on this look because, according to a certain view of fashion, clothes hang better on young, thin people and it’s always profitable to invest in the youth myth. However, as the end of the first decade of the new millennium approached, athletic bodies have become increasingly more accepted in the male fashion industry, to the extent that the sartorial world has become somehow bi-polar in its acceptance of more than one dominant ideal type.

Joe Manganiello - a Type A

Below is The Style Examiner’s list of this polarisation of masculinity for your consideration and enjoyment.

Type A
Type B
Ideal body type
Approximate age decade
Professional range
Middle management and going upwards, usually in the corporate or entertainment industries
Internships, lower or middle management, usually in the creative industries
Men’s Health, GQ, Esquire, Wallpaper, Monocle
Nylon Guys, A Magazine, Another Man, and most magazines with experimental typefaces and fashion
Eating disorder
Bigorexia (muscle dysmorphia)
London neighbourhoods
Soho, Vauxhall, Kennington
Shoreditch, Hackney, Dalston
New York neighbourhoods
Chelsea, mid town
Williamsburg, Lower East Side, Hell’s Kitchen
Europe holiday hangouts
Ibiza, Mykonos, Barcelona, most places with beaches
Berlin, Tbilisi, Copenhagen, music festivals, most places far from the seaside
Americas holiday hangouts
Hamptons, Punta del Este, Florida beaches, Brazil, Argentina
Mostly road trips
Brazilian city
Rio de Janeiro
São Paulo
City hangouts
Cafes, restaurants, hotel bars
Own and friends’ apartments, art galleries, city parks
Blackberry preferences
Work email on the go
The messenger capability
Vintage aviators or most recent lines as long as they are black or tortoise
Redesigned contemporary aviators or most recent lines as long as the frames are colourful
Fashion week
Male model
David Gandy
Ash Stymest
Sartorial decade for inspiration
Food type
Protein, as in meat and protein shakes
Fibre, as in edamame and salads
Facial hair
Clean shaven or full beard
Clean shaven or moustache
Body hair
Acceptable to have body hair, maybe clipped
Undesirable to have body hair
Plain, unpleated front, classic cut
Slim, skinny, or carrot cuts, and turn-ups
Casual shoes
Loafers, white trainers, most stuff in black or brown
Desert boots, deck shoes, colourful trainers, gladiator sandals, plimsolls
Jeans colours
Dark blue
Any bright colour, stone washed, black
White with two or three buttons undone
Plaid and buttoned all the way up
Summer top style
Tank top/vest
Hawaiian shirt or v-neck t-shirt
Skin tone
Summer shorts
Cargo or tailored shorts
Cut-off jeans with turn ups
Head wear
Nothing usually, or maybe a trilby, flat cap or sports hat
Definitely a trilby (when not messing up the hair)
‘Twilight’ male actor
Taylor Lautner
Robert Pattinson
TV male role model
Jon Hamm (aka Don Drapper in ‘Mad Men’)
Chace Crawford (aka Nate Archibald in ‘Gossip Girl’)
Film male role model
Hugh Jackman, George Clooney
Zac Efron
Prescription glasses
Tom Ford eyewear or contact lenses
Anything geeky, black and thick-rimmed
Fashion labels
Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, Armani, D&G, Dsquared2, Tom Ford, Aussiebum, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, Gap
Dior Homme, most Belgian designers, American Apparel, Uniqlo, Lyle & Scott, Penguin, Farah, Topman, friends’ designs

And the list could go on and on...

Ash Stymest - a Type B
Tom Ford - a Type A
Relativist post-structuralism has taught us that type A is not better or worse than type B just because it comes first. So these columns are devoid of any hierarchy and are best read with a touch of irony.

If you feel that, as a male reader of these columns, the way you see yourself does not fit in either of them or you can actually zigzag between these basic descriptors, consider yourself lucky. If we have learnt anything from gender theory as described by the likes of Judith Butler, it’s that it’s in the rich grey in-between areas that identity has always gained affirmation.

Enjoy being the man that you are!

Chace Crawford - Type B

David Gandy - Type A

David Gandy - Type A

Hugh Jackman - Type A

A Type A Body

A Type B Body

A Type A Magazine

Type A Food

Type B Food

Type B Magazine and Actor

Type B Look


  1. Hahahaha I love this. Am totally zigzagging my way down the list!!