Columns » Hightower

New man-wear for spring




Attention, men. Yes, you — you with the Y chromosomes — it's time for some man-talk. Specifically, we need to address how you dress.

First, the good news: At long last, the "metrosexual" look, style, demeanor, and even the idea of the metrosexual man is dead, officially proclaimed passé by the "styles" section of The New York Times. About time, too — it was so Bush era, and who misses that?

However, your typical man-person will not be thrilled to hear what the world of fashion has in store for us next. The driving force that will determine what we'll be wearing is called "Henry." Not Longfellow or Thoreau — both are so old-school — but a spiffy acronym that stands for "High Earner, Not Rich Yet." Worse, a Wall Street fashion analyst gushes that the new model for men's couture is — ready? — "A Yummy." That would be a Young Urban Male. Makes you miss "yuppie," doesn't it?

And what is this style? A Times photo shows a tall blond Yummy wearing an overcoat that looks as if he has draped a shower curtain around him (albeit a cashmere shower curtain). "We needed a kind of fresh look," says the head of Zenga, a men's fashion purveyor.

By "fresh," he's talking about silken coats that resemble bathrobes, shirts with yard-long sleeves that you scrunch up — oh, and narrow pants are in, very in. As one retail executive explained, "[it's about] the way a narrow trouser makes you feel." Hmmm, I think "squeezed" would be my answer to that.

Speaking of squeezed, we're talking luxury duds — a Yummy suit runs between $5,000 and $17,000. And don't forget your luxury man's bag. These are "a growing segment," enthused one investment manager, adding that, "I'm not the only one in meetings now with a luxury-branded bag."

I guarantee you he'd be the only man-bag toter in any of the meetings I go to. But then, I'm not a Yummy.

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit

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