Dear Cougar

Dear Cougar: The Return of the Tighty-Whities? Say it Ain’t So GQ!

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This isn’t so much a “Dear Cougar” as it is Cougar completely disagreeing with the men’s fashion bible otherwise known as GQ, and wanting to educate you on why they are wrong. I’m going to have to come up with a new name for this section…

Gentlemen’s Quarterly October 2012 boldly proclaim’s “THE RETURN OF THE TIGHTY-WHITIES!” I added the exclamation point, because trust me, I can tell they are excited about this over there at the Condé Nast HQ.

The issues proclaims:

Designers have de-briefed the brief.

The flattering low-rise cut is the best of both worlds: it won’t peek out from under your waistband or put your junk in a choke hold.

You won’t be the only one to appreciate how soft these new briefs are to the touch.

To writer Andrew Richdale and GQ I say, wrong! Wrong you are on all accounts!

There is a REASON we all (well, most of us) switched out of tighty-whities in middle school! Tighty-whities were like training pants for male adolescence. That bridge some of us needed post-diaper, from the cool white swaddle that covered our behinds, to having to actually relieve ourselves somewhere other than at-will in our pants.

I’m sorry I’m not sorry for disagreeing with this plug, but we are big boys now GQ. No woman that I know (please correct me if I’m wrong) is going to be hot in the pants when I display the whiteness and tightness down below. I mean, I’m awesome and somewhat in shape, but I’m not this guy (see below) and very few dudes out there are. Honestly, Exhibit A is ripped, but even he’s not pulling them off either.

GQ, stop trying to send your readers back to grammar school. Like Barack says, Move it Forward!

– Cougar

Dear Cougar: Current Thoughts on the Pinkie Ring? A Response to Esquire’s Nick Sullivan

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As I did in last week’s Dear Cougar, deconstructing advice from “experts” in the fashion editorial world seems to have become something akin to shooting the proverbial fish in a barrel. I was flipping through Esquire‘s October issue when I landed on a page of advice so absurd I snorted and gagged simultaneously.

The question: “Can you tell me your current thinking on wearing a pinkie ring?” – Care of some goof here in LA.

For Nick Sullivan, Esquire’s Fashion Director , this should have been an easy one word answer. No.


“My current thinking, I think, is that I’m for it. I think that signet rings, for that’s what we’re speaking of here; the term pinkie ring makes my toes curl – have a seedy dash about them no matter whether you are to the manner born of, and they are favored by toffs and toughs alike. Either way, there is a whiff of the show-off about them. I would say that if you’re going to wear one, keep the rest of the regalia (on wrists and fingers) to an absolute minimum. And do not, under any circumstances, refer to it as a pinkie ring.”

Don’t get my wrong, mad love for Nick Sullivan. Generally Nick knows what is and what is not right in the world of men’s style. Nick, sorry dude, but this time you’re uncharacteristically just wrong.

My current thinking about pinkie rings is not that they make you look like some super fly 70’s pimp or a seedy intimidating gangster like John Gotti, but more like Keith David’s character Big Tim in Requiem for a Dream. This is the type of guy who wears a pinkie ring…

So, if you want to be that guy, by all means get your pinkie ring on.

Well, what do you know? Maid Marion. (Chuckles ) I’m little John.

Ugh, barrrrffff. Makes my skin crawl.

Nick, no. Don’t go around making little John’s out of us merry men.

– Coug

Dear Cougar: Should You Cuff Your Dress Pants? A Response to GQ’s Return of the Cuff

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The shoes are the only thing right about this picture…

This isn’t so much a “Dear Cougar” as it is Cougar completely disagreeing with the men’s fashion bible otherwise known as GQ, and wanting to educate you on why they are wrong.

Fashion is subjective, right? No, there is good taste and there is bad taste. That’s why there are “taste makers” and that is why you follow Left Coast Fashion in the first place. Anyway, in the September issue of GQ they endorse the “Return of the Cuff.”

That’s right, cuffs are back, and this season you should add them to every suit pant, flannel, cord, and khaki in your new fall wardrobe. Cuffs anchor your pants so they hang stylishly straight while also adding a subtle hint of character. Tell your tailor to give you an inch and a half of cuff, and get him to hem your pants a good half inch above your shoes to show some sock.

WRONG. “Subtle hint of character.” Um, if the character you’re referring to is Kramer from Seinfeld…by all means. Add an INCH and a HALF of cuff? Seriously, that’s like building a retainer wall at the bottom of your pant leg. “Hem your pants a good half inch above your shoes to show some sock.” Yes, please Mr. Tailor…please prepare my expensive dress pants for the high waters of the coming flood. So stylish!

Cuffs don’t go with flat front pants. Cuffs make you look shorter. Cuffs were essentially added to pants to add weight to the pant leg and make the pleat stand out more. If you’re still wearing pleated pants after 1989, there is little I can do for you.

Oh, uh, it’s the pleats… the pleats in the pants. It’s an optical illusion.

I’m sorry Jim Moore and GQ, but you are wrong. Stop trying to send your readers backward in time to the not-so-golden area of pleats, oxfords, loafers and the piano key neck tie. It just ain’t right!

– Cougar


Dear Cougar: John’s Obsession with John

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DEAR COUGAR: My boyfriend and I have been together for six years. We finally moved in together a year ago. Things have been going pretty well, with the exception of an unusual habit of his that has become more evident since living together. He spends anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 1/2 hours in the bathroom every day. A couple of times he has even fallen asleep in there.

He takes his computer in the bathroom because he claims he gets a lot of work done. Some days I barely get to see him because he works late and then spends the rest of the day you-know-where.

I have told him more than once how much it bothers me, but he continues to do it. It’s driving a wedge between us. Am I overreacting? Is he purposely trying to put space between us? — Tired of Watching the Throne


Dear Watching the Throne:

Not going to lie, picturing you going about whatever it is you do, with him just sitting in the bathroom doing whatever it is he’s doing. Hilarious.

You mean to tell me in six years you still haven’t figured this mega mystery out? If this is what’s driving a wedge between you I think you have much bigger issues to tackle.

Normally I would say, “a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do,” but let me break it down for you. Your guy is:

A. Escaping you.

B. Has IBS.

C. Play World of Warcraft and/or watching copious amounts of porn.

D. All of the Above.

None of these answers are good, but one of them is probably right. Bust down the door. Who cares if it starts an argument. Either you talk to him about it and find out what is up, or confront the issue head on and see for yourself what is up.

I suggest going in with nose clips on just in case.

– Cougar

You can read Dear Abby’s way boring answer to the original question here.

Dear Cougar: What Goes with Red Jeans, Bro?

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DEAR COUGAR: Hey bro, what color shirt should I wear with red jeans? – KOOL-AID LOVER


Dear Mr. Kool-Aid

Bro, BRO! You just hit me with an easy one. White, blue, purple, green…basically whatever you want. Wearing red pants is a statement and all focus will really go on them. Whatever you have up top will be secondary. You can literally even wear a red shirt as long as you have a cool jacket or sport coast to break up the monochromatic party.

Keep in mind, we’re going into Fall / Winter, so its a good idea to go with darker colors and heavier fabrics once it cools off a bit. Tweed will never steer you wrong.

Its all good bro. My suggestion is to go red jeans, purple button down and a slick navy striped tie. Check out the video above for an example of what I would do.

– Cougar

Dear Cougar: I Fear Clothes Bought Online Won’t Fit. What Can I Do?!?

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DEAR COUGAR: Here is my fashion conundrum, I regularly fall in love with clothes I see online, especially things from Modcloth and Topshop. Now, at the Gap my size in jeans can range from a 6 to an 10 in the store, but if you look online and go by the measurements, I’d always be a 8.

I never feel comfortable ordering anything online, especially in Euro sizing, because I always feel I need to try everything on. On top of that, I’m only 5’2″, so inseams matter…a lot! What do you recommend? I don’t always want to be stuck with the clothes available within driving distance! – ONLINE CLOTHING DAY DREAMER


Dear Dreamer,

I wish I could say I feel your pain, but for us guys shopping is so much easier! Our sizes are pretty straight-forward and we always make it fit…or we just don’t care.

This is such an interesting topic though, and I think I can help! Now there is very little standard in women’s clothing, especially on the global level. As you know, a size 8 at the Gap is not a size 8 at Forever 21 or Chanel. You have a great eye for what’s hip, which I can tell by your wanting of the hot newer retailers like Topshop and Modcloth. For those who lust for an body accurate online clothes shopping experience there are actually a number of companies that have popped up in the last year or two that are trying to alleviate your sizing nightmares.

Start-ups like Fitiquette and Bodymetrics try to give shoppers a “virtual fitting room” experience that is more true to your body measurements. Another interesting start-up, Styku, uses Microsoft Kinect to do a body scan and gives users the power to have custom garments made to their exact fit. The problem is that these start-ups and their technology aren’t universal…they are works in progress, and interesting ones to follow.

For right now the best advice I have is tailoring. I know it is a pain in the butt to order stuff and have it tailored down every time, but its a simple reality until the technology catches up (and becomes universally adopted) to give you as close to the real fitting room experience as possible from the comfort of your own home.

Two things I do:

1. Get your exact measurements taken twice a year. Once in the summer around June or July, and once in the winter around November. Obviously our bodies change throughout the year, some more than others, so its always good to know your seasonal sizes. Having this info on hand will make ordering online a little easier.

2. Tailoring pieces worth the investment. I know you want jeans that fit and other cute wardrobe pieces, so look at them like mini-investments. I always get my jeans hemmed when I get a new pair because I’m in-between sizes. Same with my jackets, and yes even shirts from time to time. You can’t do this with everything, but spend a few extra dollars on pieces you love…pieces that you want to keep around, and get them fit to you.

I hope this little bit of advice helps! Let me know if you have any further questions.

– Cougar

Dear Cougar: Seersucker at an October Rehearsal Dinner…in Chicago?!

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DEAR COUGAR: I’m heading to a wedding in Chicago this October. Can I wear a seersucker suit to the rehearsal dinner? – SEER-SUCKER IN NORTH CAROLINA


Dear Seer-sucker,

Alas my friend I’m sorry, but no. I often joke that Chicago gets about 9 months of winter, which may not really be a joke at all. While us Californians can arguably stretch the usability of a summer seersucker suit (SSS) well into October with our lingering summer days, Chicago…not so much. The average temperature high in October for Windy City residents is, gasp, 60 degrees!

Now, the fact that you asked me if you could wear seersucker in the first place leads me to believe you want to make a statement. Two wintery wovens are perfect for making a statement and will keep you insulated as those temps drop to the 40s at night, Tweed and Houndstooth. eBay is the place to find jackets in either pattern that will be affordable, the rest of your ensemble might as well jump out of a J.Crew catalog.

This is how I would do it:

Paired to day with a great purple gingham J.Crew shirt, J.Crew slacks, a preppy as hell tie from Express and a purple paisley pocket square from around the LA Fashion District.

I hope that helps!

– Cougar

Dear Cougar: Is There a Cure for “Frumpy Mom” Syndrome?

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DEAR COUGAR: Can you recommend a look for everyday that doesn’t look like a frumpy mom? – Grumpy Frumps in Indiana


Dear Frumps: Everyone, mom or not, should have the right to reject frumpy. So, if being a mom is making you bored with your everyday attire, what can you do to breathe new life into your closet?

Well I scoured the net for examples of non-frumpy moms, and you wouldn’t believe how many articles, tips and tricks, and advice columns there are out there on this very subject.

Let me just start off by saying that I am NOT an expert in womenswear. I grew up around women, I am a lover of women, but your level of options far exceeds my level of attention span. That being said, I do have some general thoughts that can help get you out of your fashion slump as an attractive young mother:

  • Don’t dress like you did in college. Plain and simple, whether that meant sweats, booty shorts, hooker heels, trashy Forever 21 weekend wardrobe…just don’t do it. You’re a mom now and should not embarrass your children, or yourself.
  • That being said, do be unafraid to be sexy. Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you have to stop being a hottie. Accentuate what you love about your body all while keeping it classy.
  • Pick something to love about your body. You might not be in the same shape you were pre-mommyhood, but that’s life. If you can’t find something to love about yourself to dress up, then we have a whole other set of problems to deal with.
  • Buy a unique statement piece. Find something you love that only you have. If you’re tired of wearing the same types of outfits all of the time, blending in with all the other moms, buy a piece that is unique, classic and sets you apart. For me it is a watch which the shape always catches eyes and compliments. Buy a costume ring or a really eye-catching necklace, but not something you’ll easily get tired of wearing. Make a statement with a statement piece that has meaning and brings you happiness to wear. I happen to know someone who is fantastic at statement pieces

For visual inspiration on how to be a non-frumpy mom follow the Digital Mom Pinterest account.

I hope this helps!

– Cougar

Click image for outfit pricing and shopping details.

Click image for outfit pricing and shopping details.

Dear Cougar: I’m a Young & Happy Guy, but Never in “the Mood.” What Gives?

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DEAR COUGAR: I am a 24-year-old man with a good job, a good relationship, a level head on my shoulders and a great family. Life has had its ups and downs, but I have always been optimistic and appreciative of my blessings.

My issue is with me. After 10 months or so of dating a woman, I always lose my physical attraction to her. It has been my downfall in both of my previous relationships. My current relationship is with a woman I should marry. She’s gorgeous, intelligent, and we have an incredible level of communication. I could not imagine a better partner. But my lack of desire to have a constant physical relationship is driving her away.

I occasionally initiate, but I’m usually not in the mood. I’d be happy with every week or every other week, but I’m only 24. Is this crazy? I know I’m making her feel unwanted, and it has become a sensitive subject for me.

Is this a sign that I’m not supposed to be in this relationship? Other women excite me, but I have no desire to be with someone else. What are your thoughts on this? – LACKING DESIRE


Dear Lacking:

This is such a complex subject, but a huge issue for relationships and men that I felt I had to put my two cents in. First, your normal…let’s just put that out there. You’re 24 so if you went to the doctor and asked them to test your hormone levels they would probably laugh. You’re a young man seemingly on a good path. Things should be great in all areas of your life, right?

The deal is that simply you are a man. I’ve heard it said before that “a man is only as faithful as his options,” which I don’t  agree with, but you have to remember that your male brain is hardwired to keep looking. It’s not like your girlfriend has become less attractive, but she has become familiar, and I can only guess that wherever you live you’re not surrounded by just a bunch of dudes throughout the day.

Options. Our male brains are always looking at options. Obviously men deal with that in several different ways, and most do so unknowingly.

My best advice to you is if you think she might be the one (or nearly), then focus your sexual attention on her. That means don’t direct it in other places that guys tend to direct their attention. I’m sure you can get what I’m saying.

Make a point, put a reminder in your phone if you have to, to make her feel sexy and wanted at least once a day. It doesn’t always have to be sex…but make her feel like you desire her in at least one way a day.

Desire can become habit forming. My hope is that if you’re into this girl, even in love with her perhaps, that she’ll become your habit.

Good luck.

– Cougar

PS…I would also suggest picking up The Male Brain. That explains everything.

I swiped this from Dear Abby because her answers bore me.

Dear Cougar: Am I Weird for Wanting to Dress Up My Jeans with a Blazer?

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DEAR COUGAR: I need advice. I want a fitted blazer, but one I can pair with a set of jeans, and a white v-neck. Am I weird? And what color would you shoot for? Keep in mind, I’m a GIRL!

This isn’t for a special occasion, I’m just looking for a good solid new staple to add to the closet before fall hits. I love my jeans but figure I’m out growing the jeans and sweatshirt daily combo that I adore. Help!



Dear Puzzled:

You’re not weird, you’re awesome! Personally, I wear that exact combination a frequently, and as a woman who loves her jeans this is certainly a common, easy and unisex look to pull off.

My suggestion going into fall would be to pair your jeans with a navy or dark grey blazer. Navy is the only one you can wear with both black and brown shoes. NEVER wear grey with brown shoes! Some people argue about that, but I’m a stickler for no mixing greys with brown shoes in fashion.

You can find great fitted blazers at an affordable price, at both Zara and H&M. Click the names and I’ve linked the appropriate search pages for you!

Keep in mind you should definitely wear heels and accessorize the heck out of this combo. You don’t want to go out too much on the masculine side of the line. Or maybe you do…I don’t know.

For great affordable accessories try Zara, Forever 21 and my favorite, BCBG. Links included of course.

I hope this helps!

– Cougar

Easy, duh! and $39.95 at H&M!