Always a Bridesmaid
by James Tuttle
I was just going through the arduous task of deleting today’s Facebook friend requests when I decided to flip on the TV to make the process less tedious and what should appear on the screen but a little gem called Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids. The episode was about half over, but I already had a really clear idea of what was going on courtesy of the very descriptive title. Anything that says “bridesmaids” is bound to be an overflowing bounty of estrogen and ego.
In one salon, a lovely African-American bride-to-be was having trouble achieving clarity on what she wanted her bridesmaids to wear and the bridesmaids in question weren’t really helping because they basically complained about everything. I have to say that, when it came to a shiny burgundy number with a cape thing attached to a huge cluster of fabric flowers on the back that the bride just adored, I was on their side.
Their consultant Brandon had questionable taste in sending out cheap-looking knockoffs of red carpet-style gowns, but what can you expect from a hyperactive twinkie with a faux-hawk wearing a black shirt with a white tie and his pants tucked into riding boots? They finally found a winner in a slim strapless fuchsia silk gown until Brandon referred to the color as pink and, though it clearly wasn’t, the bride vetoed it because she doesn’t want even a thought of pink at her wedding.
Down the hall, a redneck wedding party was trying to narrow down their choices and the eye-rolling maid of honor was being very vocal about her preferences. She insisted on a short dress and when the conversation veered toward the possibility of a long one, she gave the bride the hand and told the consultant that she wouldn’t spend her money on something she didn’t like and wouldn’t be in the wedding “if it’s like two hunnerd dollars.”
As she huffed off back to the fitting room, everyone seemed disturbed by her selfish attitude. I was just wondering why she wanted to wear a short dress so badly when her legs were about as big around as my torso. They ended up with a long strapless peacock blue thing that wasn’t too bad and the bride-to-be and bitchy maid of honor kind of fake hugged. Aren’t weddings romantic? After that, I watched about four more episodes so if you see my brains running out my ears it’s because in only a couple of hours, I saw enough ugly dresses and stupid people to last a lifetime.
Anyway, I finally got a haircut today for the first time in over six months. I’d put it off at first because I was busy with the holidays, and then I saw Brad Pitt with his jaw-length hair on Inside the Actors Studio and decided to see how mine would look long for the first time in years. There was the added benefit of saving a few hundred dollars that I could spend on polo and I still need new boots. It looked pretty cool and a few people were gunning for me to keep it long, but it made me feel that I had to dress more conservatively to balance out the wild hair and that got boring.
I also got to see my friend Arch at West Hollywood’s 9022 Salon who has cut my hair for years and, even though he instinctively gave me the perfect cut, I asked what he thought were the latest hair trends for men. There are people out there who will be giving you the smoke and mirrors about all kinds of great new styles but they’re really just variations on a few basics.
Arch tells me that a lot of guys are asking for very short, clean cuts like George Clooney might have. He feels that many of his successful professional clients are really going for a polished, put-together look with the right suit, tie, watch and manicure and a clean haircut ties into that perfectly. A good example of the softer side of this style is Chris Evans in Captain America although, if you look like Chris Evans in Captain America, you could cut your own hair with a Flowbee and still look hot.
The other end of the spectrum is the messiest possible hair that a lot of younger guys are going for. This could come in layered cuts, in letting naturally curly hair do its thing or the very popular Undercut styles that feature closely cropped hair at the sides with longer locks at the top. Arch is frequently asked for a variation of this cut he calls “The Horn” with the hair at the top being left longer in a triangular configuration that he sweeps up into a spiral.
The Modern Pompadour has been around for a while now, but I think it’s getting a little softer and less severe. This style was originally named for Madame de Pompadour, the official mistress of Louis XV, in the mid-eighteenth century but we know it more from Elvis Presley and his musical contemporaries. It’s characterized by short, slicked sides a high, combed-back top that can now be slicked or soft and wavy. The Spiky cut is similar but goes one further with the shorter sides and spiked up in the middle. I’m not a big fan of this one because you end up looking like a Jersey Shore reject.
Though it’s not really a top trend, I’m seeing guys with long hair all over the place. Hey, even I just did it for a few months. Not everyone can pull it off or would even want to but, if you do, keep it wavy and beach-like because straight and shiny is too prissy. Think surfers or Kurt Cobain. Ashton Kutcher is currently representing this style well even though he’s not doing such a killer job on Two and a Half Men.
In the end, my advice will be just like that on how to dress: go with classic, look for quality and do what looks best on you, not some skinny model on the D-Squared2 runway. If, on the other hand, you happen to be one of those skinny models from the D-Squared2 runway, you can basically do anything you want.