Excerpted from By Carson Kressley
Carson Kressley is the most recognizable name in men's fashion today. With a legion of fans who hang on his every tip and quip, Kressley has single-handedly made it cool for the average guy to care about clothes. In Off the Cuff, Carson makes over the tired men's style guide with an edgy, hilarious romp through every man's closet: from socks to scarves, from jeans to leather jackets, from the dreaded pleated khaki to the classic pink oxford.
Trading trends for timeless style, Off the Cuff helps readers abandon the chase for "the newest black" or tomorrow's version of the mandarin collar. Kressley delivers a guide that mines each man's unique personality and physique and lets readers in on his best-kept secret-that the only thing sure to stay in fashion is the man who wears what's right for him.
Vibrantly illustrated with full-color photographs, and written with Carson's signature wit and irreverence, Off the Cuff is poised to deliver what Queer Eye fans have always wanted: Carson in their closet.
Since the dawn of time, men have had trouble figuring out what to wear. It began, well, it began in the very beginning.
SETTING: Garden of Eden
We hear Eve shouting from stage left.
Adam, you're wearing that fig leaf . . . again? Are you kidding me? That is so tired!
And so, fashion was born.
And here we are, all these years later, and straight men still have no idea what to wear. Over the last couple of years, I've spent a lot of time in the closets of straight America. Now I've been in the closet myself for a while, but it was never that scary, people.
I'm serious. It's a mad, mad world out there. There are more athletic jerseys than there are men. Polyester is threatening to take over the world. Men actually think they look good in mock turtlenecks and pleated khakis. So while someone else is looking out for the rain forests, I've got to look out for wardrobes across the land.
How did we get into this tragic situation? Well, it wasn't always like this. Not that long ago, the world was a much simpler place because fashion was very regimented. There was specific clothing for certain things. Most men had uniforms for work, whether it was an actual uniform or a suit and tie, and sportswear for things like hunting and skiing. Like cavemen teaching their sons to hunt bison and make fire, it was a rite of passage for fathers to take their sons to Brooks Brothers to buy their first blue blazer. Fathers taught sons how to tie ties and pick suits and shoes.
And then somewhere along the line-when those pesky cellphones and the Internet became popular?-we became a very mobile society and all those conformities fell by the wayside. Suddenly you could work from your home in your pajamas and fuzzy slippers and nobody knew. (If they did they probably wouldn't be giving you their money to invest in pork bellies and cultured diamonds.) You could get on a plane in a tank top, ripped shorts, and flip-flops and nobody would look twice at you. Fathers stopped teaching their sons the rules because there were no rules anymore.
So we have a whole generation of guys who have absolutely no idea how to dress. And to make matters worse, at the same time there's been an explosion in the number of clothing choices out there, from outlet malls to the Internet. It would be like if you were trying to learn to make a cheese omelet and the only guidance you were given is, "Okay, here are 90 million ingredients. Make something tasty and delicious, but we're not going to tell you how." You'd get frustrated and overwhelmed. You'd experiment and make a lot of mistakes. Like when you thought you were totally cool and bought those acid-washed jeans in the eighties, but it was actually the nineties?
That's where I come in. I'm here, I'm queer, and I can help you. I was going to rescue abused teacup yorkies, but then I realized there weren't any, so straight men it is! I think they're cute and adorable and lovable, like abandoned puppies at the animal shelter. A straight guy is kind of like a little bird who's fallen out of a tree, until a straight woman or a gay man picks him up and says "Look at you! You're the cutest little thing! You have a broken wing, but we'll take you to Gucci and you'll be just fine."