You men will be relieved to learn that fashion designer Donna Karan has come out with a list of menswear items that you must have. This is a big load off my mind. I hate making my own menswear decisions. I hate everything about buying menswear.
Especially pants. I can never find pants in my size, which is 33-31 (these numbers refer to what are technically known as the "waist" and the "instep"). I would call this an average size, but for some reason, the pant industry makes only about two pairs of 33-31 pants per year, and they're always gone by the time I get to the department store, leaving me to paw through the Mutt and Jeff Designer Clothing Collection.
In an effort to find something at least close to my size, I end up trying on a lot of pants in those changing booths with the postcard-sized swinging doors that offer you the same level of privacy as you'd get if you tried on pants while standing on a counter in Ladies' Cosmetics. Privacy is a problem, because there are always women lurking around the changing area, making sure their husbands buy pants that fit. They know that their husbands hate trying on pants, and will, if left alone, purchase the first pair they put on, even if it does not have the correct number of legs.
So the women stand just outside of the changing area, peering in, trying to get Pant News Updates:
Woman: Michael? How do they fit?
Man: They fit fine.
Woman: Michael, I want to see them.
Man: I said they fit fine.
Woman (barging into the changing area, causing guys in there to scurry): Let me see them.
I personally consider this kind of behavior to be degrading to the husband. I never shop for pants with my wife. This is why I personally own several dozen pairs of pants that don't fit.
I'd like to buy just one set of clothes, the right clothes, and never have to buy any again. That's why I'm so pleased about the new Donna Karan Fashion Essentials catalog of "must-have menswear items." This catalog, according to an accompanying press release, is being distributed "to select consumers."
You will be pleased to learn that the Fashion Essentials catalog does not include a skirt. This is good news, because Donna Karan does sometimes have her male models appear in fashion shows wearing skirts. But for now, at least, you will not be required to purchase one.
I was surprised to note that the Essentials catalog also does not include underwear, which most guys I know view as an essential clothing item, both for formal occasions and for mopping up beer spills. What the catalog does include is a 100 percent Scottish cashmere jogging-suit ensemble, consisting of a "hooded zip-front jogger" for $1,960 and a "drawstring sweat pant" for $1,465.
I know what some of you men are thinking. You're thinking that you're not going to spend $3,425 on a jogging suit unless it also comes with a car. I'm sorry, men, but that is exactly the kind of bad attitude that keeps you off the list of select consumers. This jogging suit is essential, and so are all the other items in the Donna Karan Essentials catalog, including the cashmere crew ($650), the biker jacket ($1,200) with cotton mock knit ($135), the leather vest ($495), the balmacaan ($860), the silk pajamas ($600) and the cashmere robe ($1,925). Altogether, the catalog features 25 essential garments, requiring a basic fashion investment of $18,452.50.
(No, I don't know what a "balmacaan" is. Just shut up and buy it.)
I am certain that all the essential garments in the catalog are very attractive. Unfortunately, I can't really see them. Most of them are, of course, black, and they have been photographed under dim light against a black background. The catalog is a festival of gloom. In most of the photographs, the only thing you can see clearly is the ghostly, floating face of the model, who, like most male fashion models, has a facial expression normally associated with prostate surgery.
But that's his concern, men. Your concern is bringing your wardrobe up to minimum acceptable fashion standards. So I want you to sell that extra kidney, go to a store that carries the Donna Karan Menswear line, and start purchasing your fashion Essentials. While you're there, pick me up a size 33-31 balmacaan.