I’ve spent a couple of weeks now categorizing my posts as So Right, as in those style choices that attract men. Now it’s time to introduce what’s So Wrong, a rundown of things that men don’t seem to appreciate so much.
The first of these is the high collar. The magazines are predicting a big year for collars. They are all over the catwalks, they tell us. They adorn our favourite celebs, from Alexa Chung to Michelle Williams to Zooey Deschanel. The high street is literally crawling with collars, sometimes lacey, often rigid, always proper.
I, however, am not convinced – and I don’t think that men are either.
First of all, collars hide breasts. You’ll hear plenty of men extol the makings of that secretarial/sexy librarian fantasy: a white button down, BUTTONED DOWN (wear a black bra underneath and it’s your ace in the hole), but a prim collar, buttoned to the top, peeking out over a cardigan or something equally obstructive? No sir. It’s too much of a challenge, mentally and physically, for a man to undress you.
Secondly, collars in our day and age are distinctly masculine, associated with executive position or industry uniform (and this is precisely why female executives suit up – to demonstrate equality). Imagine you’re a man, you’re on a night out and you’ve spent a long day at work – would you rather be reminded of your working day or the promise of the night ahead?
On an emotional level, a collar literally keeps your heart centre in check. I do a lot of yoga (a sentence that I also find men typically like). Shining a light on our heart centre is core to the practice; it makes you stand tall and keep your posture open to the world – two things that attract people of any gender. Why would you want to close this area down unless you’ve undergone open heart surgery? Search me.
Sociologically, I see something vaguely sinister about the comeback of the collar. Distressingly, and potentially ushered in by the Royal Wedding and the subsequent focus on the posh party set, it is on trend to celebrate classism. The prim propriety that comes with a collar seems to be a part of that trend, and any inequality raises the hackles of this feminist.
Finally, on the subject of raised hackles, some of you have asked if I am promoting styles that attract men who want to shag you vs. men who want to marry you, and I’m sure many of you feel that collars are acceptable to the latter. I will of course state the obvious: the shagging kind and the marrying kind are not mutually exclusive – thank God. I’ll remind you here that women also do the choosing, thank you very much. But more simply I’ll say that connection is connection. Categorisation of right and wrong might work for blog posts (I’m hoping so). When it’s applied to people at first sight, it will close more doors than it opens.