"My husband is looking for his first pair of 'nice' jeans and is clueless about where to start. Where are some places he should go if he doesn't want something too fancy?"
Dear Jean Jenny,
I'll be real with you: No dude likes to try on jeans. Despite the critical role they play in our wardrobes, it sucks having to wiggle, worm, jump, inhale, and exhale our way to find well-cut jeans that won't make us look like hipster freaks, banana smugglers, or Sad Dads.
That said, there are plenty of brands making slim but not tight jeans nowadays, so finding a pair for your man won't be too tough if you can get him to try on a few different cuts. Let's talk specifics about color and fit. To achieve a more polished, dressier look (something that he could potentially wear with shoes, a blazer, and a button-down collar shirt), have him get something in a dark, deep blue. The jeans should hit at the top of his shoe (any longer and he is going to look sloppy) and have a clean, pleasing line all the way down. Nothing (cough, cough) should bulge, swell, or disappear when he is wearing them. I am going to get hell from my homies for saying this, but make sure his butt looks good in them if you go with him to the store.
While he may want to go with something real cheap (Arizona Jean Company, I see you!) just to get it over with, you need to appeal to his manly urge to invest in something of quality. Shitty, cheap jeans look passable at first but terrible after three months, so have him spend a little extra on something like these slim-fit, dark-blue jeans from J.Crew, and they will pay for themselves in no time. Another option is a Levi's 501. And if he wants to ball a bit, you can never go wrong with A.P.C. New Standards.
"Do most men truly like Valentine's Day? Or do they look at it as an obligatory holiday to celebrate because many women go ga-ga over it, and they know if they don't step up to the plate they will never live it down?"
Dear Valentine Valerie,
My first response is to say that we dudes are really, truly scared about dropping the ball on this one, and often, it's that fire under our asses that motivates us to really get it together. So, yes, we go out of our way to make sure the wine (a nice bottle, something foreign), the flowers (pretty, not from a bodega) and the overall experience (quality time and at least three frisky runs under the covers) are all on point. Because we love you. And also because we are scared. But mostly because we love you.
Every couple celebrates this special day in their own way, so whether you are balling out at Le Bernardin or sparking a spliff at the crib and cuddling to Fleetwood Mac, try to go with the flow and put him at ease. A lot of dudes overdo it and drop mad coin on high heels and Champagne and all that shit, but personally, I think Valentine's Day should be laid-back and all about enjoying the wit, charm, and incredibly sexy looks of your partner. Sorry, where was I? Yeah, we try hard not to screw this one up. After a botched V-Day, the doghouse is cold, but the text messages you send to your #girls the next day are straight ice daggers.
"I'm going on a blind date this weekend, and literally am clueless about everything. I don't even know where we're going or what we're doing because he wanted to keep it a surprise. The only thing I know is that we both love music, so I have a feeling that we might be going to a show…or maybe not? I don't know! How do I dress for a truly blind first date?"
Dear Blind-Date Bethany,
You should dress the same for a blind date as you would for a second or fourth date. In real talk, this means you shouldn't overdo it and arrive in a full-on "Save The Last Dance For Me," rainbow-dream-prom-queen getup. That's a clear sign you don't go on many dates. But on the more practical side, you definitely don't want to look like you just got out of a PowerPoint presentation either.
You want to put your cuteness on blast when it's time for your first hang out, so wear something that merchandises your best assets and try to avoid stuff that can be construed as drab or severe. Avoid beige, dark gray, and black if you can and definitely stay away from potentially "mousey" things like cardigans or khakis. Every man loves a woman in a dress that shows a little skin. Pick your favorite (it should be colorful) and wear that.
I love it when a gal shows she can accessorize herself on the go, so if you are coming direct from work, spice up your look with something splashy, like a animal-print scarf or, you know, a red bag. If you have the benefit of taking a little more time to throw your outfit together, dress for the moment, not for a wifey audition. If your man is going to take you to a music show or a DJ party, probably best to rock some cute booties or something with a more modest heel. Good luck, you are going to do great! And if your man turns out to be a nice guy but not much of a dresser, you can have him hit me up, too.
Photo: Courtesy of Elliot Aronow