June 24, 2016

"And take careful note of the American man’s v-neck sweater. That’s the uniform of a man who is owned by a woman."

That's Scott Adams hating on the v-neck sweater in a blog post titled "The Humiliation of the American Male in 2016." He uses a Cascade TV ad to illustrate his point that "the humiliation of American men is now institutionalized in the media" — and he sees that as a big undercurrent in the rise of Donald Trump. I guess "Make America Great Again" translates, psychically, to Restore My Manhood and consequently — according to Adams — there's going to be a massive turnout of men sweeping thrusting Trump to victory.

But what's so awful about the v-neck sweater? I was struck by Adams's certitude about the unmanliness of the v-neck. How could the shape of the neck matter? Is he reading the letter "V" and thinking of the prominently feminine V words, vagina and vulva? But there are masculine V words: virility, valiant, vigor (JFK's word), vitality, victory.

You may remember that on Christmas eve in 2014, I was puzzled by something a saleslady in Austin, Texas said to me as I was looking for a sweater to give to one of my sons (both are men in their 30s).
She pulls one out that she thinks might be suitable, but then says in a somewhat apologetic tone: "It has a V-neck."

ME: Is there something wrong with V-neck sweaters? People have some kind of problem with V-necks? What's that about?

SHE: Well, my husband doesn't like them. But he's black.

ME (resisting the urge to say "Black people don't like V-neck sweaters?"): V-neck sweaters... are... square?
I blogged that really not knowing what the problem was with V-neck sweaters. Did the commenters help? Well, Jason said "Get back home, Loretta," refers to Loretta Martin, the character in the Beatles' "Get Back" who "thought she was a woman but she was another man." But it wasn't Loretta who was "wearing her high-heel shoes and her low-neck sweater," it was her mother, who was waiting for her back home where she once belonged.

And lemondog said "Uh... oh... V-neck," linking here:



Wow! He's got his hand in the position seen in picture of John Calvin I put up in yesterday's post about the Café Fellatio (where I was hoping you'd read that hand gesture in phallic terms?).



Anyway, I was very interested in getting a solution to this v-neck mystery from Scott Adams. The v-neck, in his view, is aggressively, horrifically emasculating:
How many of the married men reading this blog have received those same sweaters as “gifts” from women? Personally, I’ve received about 25 over the years. None from men. I received three of those sweaters so far this year. I throw them away. Nice try.
Ah! But wait! Wait, Scott Adams: You need to get your mind around this painting of Donald Trump that hangs in his Mar-a-Lago estate:

84 comments:

Nonapod said...

I've never read any connotations into it, but personally I've always hate v-necks. Every uncollared t-shirt, undershirt, sweater, and sweathshirt I own is a crewneck.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Hmmmm....what's the rest of that old Latin phrase that begins, "De gustibus non..."?

Birches said...

Especially today, v necks are worn without shirts underneath. Not cool. My spouse has a v neck sweater, never wears it.

Birches said...

Doesn't the v neck exist to show off cleavage?

jaydub said...

V-necks are fine with shorts.

Paul said...

Look at the difference in body language, and countenance for that matter, between Trump and Hussein. Says it all.

JAORE said...

Some irrationally freak out and attach odd connotations to V-necks, some to shorts.

It's OK, my wife is terrified of snakes.

Rob said...

Ann, v-necks are acceptable as tennis sweaters. Trump gets a pass.

rehajm said...

V necks are popular with people who play golf. Facing the common dress code requirement of a collared shirt, as a layer the v-neck offers greater comfort and mobility vs. a crew neck.

Our president(s) know this.

Sydney said...

Things real men shouldn't wear - Shorts, V-neck sweaters, and what I call "thongs" but my children call "flip-flops."

Hagar said...

When I was growing up, dark blue V-neck sweaters with a white band outlining the V was de rigeur for skijumpers; not a particularly meek group of characters - in fact they were generally known as a rather rowdy bunch on the road.

Virgil Hilts said...

I was just reading the Dilbert Blog and thinking "I bet Ann will pounce on the v-neck sweater stuff" and lo and behold.

BDNYC said...

I wear v-neck white undershirts, and that's it. Crew neck white undershirts are very flyover state.

rhhardin said...

V necks are for women showing off boobs. The male standard is crew.

Bill Peschel said...

I'm as puzzled as you are, Ann. I like v-necks worn with a collared shirt (like Trump's portrait; I just realized I have that same sweater in my closet). Crew-necks rub against my throat, irritating me.

This must be Adams' persuasion technique at work, making you care about something that doesn't matter a bit. Sort of like the sit-in Democrats in Congress drawing attention away from Obama's security failures.

Paddy O said...

Real men wear what they want to wear. Insecure men worry what bloggers, commenters, and cartoonists think.

Plus, it's an established fact that turtlenecks are really the symbol of a man owned by a women.

Virgil Hilts said...

Do a GIS for Putin v-neck sweater (nikto).
I wonder how many Meade has (kind of a suspiciously omitted detail by Ann). Actually, if Meade does have a lot v-necks I would rather not know about it.

Mike said...

I wear v-necks when appropriate, which is almost never in Palm Springs, but was quite often when working in Sweden and England. Usually I sport a black or other solid color T shirt underneath that contrasts with the color of wool used in the sweater. Of course I exude manliness no matter what clothing I wear. Maybe Mr. Adams just feels emasculated.

Will Cate said...

Out of 20 or so sweaters, maybe two of mine are V-necked. I don't need help looking any dorkier, so they generally stay at the bottom of the pile.

virgil xenophon said...

Man O Man how times change! When I was an undergrad ('62-"66) almost EVERY well-dressed college fraternity guy had several V-necks to wear with button-down, Gant shirts. Didn't matter what part of the US--East, West, North or South--if you were a clothes horse you owned a bunch, preferably cashmere or merino wool at least. Of course one also owned crew-necks, but these were generally cable-knits while the V-necks were smooth weave. Only dorks wore them under sport-coats. Best way was over a pair of blue, tan, or gray slacks with cordovan loafers (preferably weejuns) "Back in the day" every sorority susie 'jes luuved 'em. Great to go to class in during cool wx or on a date later that night. Look up college year-books from that era and you'll see what I mean..

tim maguire said...

I don't see many V-neck sweaters, not in years. So reading this post, I was trying to think of someone wearing one and what might be wrogn with it and I could come up with only 1 example.

Dr. Smith.

https://thiswastv.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/lost_in_space_featured.png?w=608&h=280&crop=1

https://thiswastv.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/robot_will_drsmith.png

buwaya puti said...

I only wear Cuban shirts. In winter.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Nobody is going to say it? OK, I will. That painting of Trump is awful.

I had a street artist in Paris do a drawing of me and I think it is better than that and when we showed it to a friend she asked "who is that guy?"

The most accurate aesthetic term I can think of to describe it is "cheesy."

It looks like the kind of painting you see in a movie where they are making fun of the guy in the painting for liking the painting.

buwaya puti said...

Someday people will wake up to the wonder of the barong.
Hopefully technology will make it practical.

Ann Althouse said...

"Do a GIS for Putin v-neck sweater (nikto).
I wonder how many Meade has (kind of a suspiciously omitted detail by Ann). Actually, if Meade does have a lot v-necks I would rather not know about it."

I don't notice the shape of the neck of a sweater. It's really meaningless to me, the difference between round and v.

Frankly, it seems more effeminate to me to have an opinion about the relative masculinity of neckline shapes.

I don't know if Meade even ever wears a sweater. He'd normally wear something fleece that zips up.

The reason for v-neck sweaters for men is, I thought, so a man in a suit with a shirt and tie could get in an extra layer in colder weather. It's a way to fit your shirt in there isn't it and to show something of your tie?

Curious George said...

"Sydney said...
Things real men shouldn't wear - Shorts, V-neck sweaters, and what I call "thongs" but my children call "flip-flops.""

I think you need to google "thongs"

Limited blogger said...

That's not a 'V-neck' sweater, that's a 'Tennis sweater'. Much different.

MadisonMan said...

The only v-necks I have are undershirts (evenly split between them and crew-neck T-shirts) and sleeveless sweater vests, knit by my wife.

Why is the v-neck of an un-buttoned-up shirt good, but a v-neck sweater is bad?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

V necks look good on women because they make our necks look longer; it's a nice unbroken line from chest to face. In my opinion a woman should never wear a crew neck anything. If I have to for one of my kids' teams, etc, I cut the neck out, 80s style. My BAND BOOSTERS t-shirt looks awesome when I'm helping unload the marching band truck :)

I have no opinion on how they look on men. My husband doesn't wear them.

And I laughed out loud at how that woman spoke to the man in the commercial.

Paddy O said...

¿Quién es más macho?

This guy or this guy.

BDNYC said...

If you are wearing a shirt and tie, a crew neck sweater can make your neck area look cramped, busy and a bit ridiculous. A v-neck sweater is usually better, so long as it is not a plunging v-neck, which is uber-feminine. I typically do not wear sweaters in the winter, but when I do, I go for a half-zip. Which I guess is a kind of v-neck.

tim maguire said...

Ann Althouse said...The reason for v-neck sweaters for men is, I thought, so a man in a suit with a shirt and tie could get in an extra layer in colder weather. It's a way to fit your shirt in there isn't it and to show something of your tie?

That makes a lot of sense--the v-neck lets you see the tie. Otherwise it's just this weird bulge around your throat. And if you're not wearing a tie, then there's no point to the v-neck.

I wear v-neck undershirts so I can unbutton the collar of my shirt without showing off the undershirt.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

SNL Digital Short: V-Neck

Buzzfeed: Jude Law Deep V

LYNNDH said...

Almost as bad as Men In Shorts?

Jeremy said...

Here's the definitive hierarchy of sweater styles. V-neck is clearly more formal than crew, but note the assumption that they're both being worn with collared shirts underneath. V-neck sweater with a solid crew T-shirt is mom-jeans territory.

http://dappered.com/2014/03/the-mens-sweater-style-hierarchy/

HoodlumDoodlum said...

V-neck? Sure, but only with a sweater vest and only in combination with shorts (madras where practical) and flip flops.

Michael K said...

"what I call "thongs" but my children call "flip-flops."

We called them "go aheads" back in the 50s because you could not go backwards without them coming off. That might have been a California thing, though. Just like "Bitchin !" was a California thing.

I hate v neck tee shirts.

Anglelyne said...

..."the humiliation of American men is now institutionalized in the media" — and he sees that as a big undercurrent in the rise of Donald Trump.

No, not "men", but white men, and, specifically, white men of WASPy persuasion. Those V-neck sweaters are very "white", and we're all supposed to think that the old-school white gentleman/suburban dad/etc is an uncool, emasculated loser. The Tee-Vee says so.

That crappy portrait of Trump is very Gatsby - i.e., a young man appropriating the outward symbols of upper-class status. These became symbols of a hated class of "oppressors", opposition to which has become a status symbol flaunted by another class of aspirants to Top Dog status. Ironies within ironies here.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...Frankly, it seems more effeminate to me to have an opinion about the relative masculinity of [INSERT ANYTHING HERE]

GQ and Esquire exist, though, and it seems like only a few years ago that Media was all "product" this and "men's accessory" that.

Seems like SouthPark did an episode on the (related) "metrosexual" phenomenon...(season 7 episode 8).

But anyway, Professor, we all know how important fashion is to human history, so let's all agree this is a very weighty topic.

tim in vermont said...

I agree about V necks with Adams. I can't tell you why, any more than I can tell you why I like to see boobies on women, but not on men, or why I prefer a certain shape to a woman's body.

tim in vermont said...

Why do we wear anything if not desiring to be judged in a certain manner? Or are we at the point where people can demand to be judged according only to their intent?

WTF is wrong with shorts? Oh yeah, if you are striving to be considered part of a certain class, you must not wear them if you are a man, I forgot.

tim in vermont said...

If they ever make a Caddyshack III, that painting needs to be in it, right next to Rodney Dangerfield's golf bag.

Quaestor said...

...where I was hoping you'd read that hand gesture in phallic terms?

Could you repeat the question?

Paddy O said...

"Men of Carthage, ever princes of Africa, ennobled by ancient memories, blest with modern felicities, I rejoice that times are so prosperous with you that you have leisure to spend and pleasure to find in criticising dress. These are the "piping times of peace" and plenty. Blessings rain from the empire and from the sky.

"Still, you too of old time wore your garments— your tunics— of another shape; and indeed they were in repute for the skill of the weft, and the harmony of the hue, and the due proportion of the size, in that they were neither prodigally long across the shins, nor immodestly scanty between the knees, nor niggardly to the arms, nor tight to the hands, but, without being shadowed by even a girdle arranged to divide the folds, they stood on men's backs with quadrate symmetry. The garment of the mantle extrinsically— itself too quadrangular— thrown back on either shoulder, and meeting closely round the neck in the gripe of the buckle, used to repose on the shoulders."

~Tertullian, On the Pallium

coupe said...

Sometimes a v-neck is just a v-neck...

mockturtle said...

Somewhere I have a photo of my father in a letterman's sweater that, I'm quite sure, had a V-neck.

grackle said...

I’ve worn a sweater maybe three times in my life. I cannot remember the last time I possessed a sweater. The winters are moderate where I live.

For me it was the behavior of the guy in the commercial, not what he was wearing, that marked him as a wimp.

Quaestor said...

Actually that v-neck sweater portrait (or was The Donald playing cricket back then?) is risible in the extreme. The goofy lighting with those messianic clouds, the silly one-leg-up pose, and that lifeless left hand — I hope he didn't pay too much for it.

It dates back to the Ivana days, evidently. It looks like something right up her alley, taste-wise.

grackle said...

We called them "go aheads" back in the 50s because you could not go backwards without them coming off. That might have been a California thing, though. Just like "Bitchin !" was a California thing.

I was in LA in ’65. Everything good was called “boss.” “Hey man, that’s a really boss tie-dye T you got on today.”

Michael McClain said...

When I wore a military uniform, we had the "Wooly Pully" sweater with a very shallow V-neck. Quite masculine and practical. Since retiring, all of my civilian sweaters are crew-neck.

Lyle said...

Donald Trump's painting is clearly pro-gay propaganda. He loves everyone and wants them to feel welcome inside all of his properties.

CStanley said...

Things real men shouldn't wear - Shorts, V-neck sweaters, and what I call "thongs" but my children call "flip-flops."

Pretty sure that men who want to be manly don't wear the things that your kids refer to as "thongs" either.

My hubs wears flip flops but they're the khaki canvas strap kind, so manly enough. I have n problem with them except when he tries to sneak them in with an outfit that is less casual.

wholelottasplainin' said...

virgil xenophon said...
Man O Man how times change! When I was an undergrad ('62-"66) almost EVERY well-dressed college fraternity guy had several V-necks to wear with button-down, Gant shirts.

****************

Yes! And many of the v-necks were made of "velour".

CStanley said...

The tennis sweater like in the Trump painting, as well as many other V neck sweaters and vests, are preppy. It's country club attire, for the subset of manly men who have enough money to wear this particular style. I've always assumed there was a bit of intentional irony in it, because it really is pretty effeminate but is worn by very traditionally minded men.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Archer season 6 episode 5:

Archer: Cyril, let's get that sweater vest off buddy
Cyril: I'm sorry?
Archer: I know! Nobody makes you wear them.


[later]
Archer: Well then, it's official. The sweater vest is officially good for nothing.

Cyrill Figgis: v-neck sweater vest
In this defense it looks like he's celebrating StirFriday in that image.

Deb said...

¿Quién es más macho?

This guy or this guy. The second link doesn't work but it doesn't matter; nobody can compete with Daniel Craig.

Paddy O said...

Deb, indeed.

Both links work for me. They're links to images so maybe a link to the page would work better.

Deb said...

Yeah, I got a message saying no hot links allowed. But again: no comparison. :-)

Virgil Hilts said...

Ann Althouse said..."Frankly, it seems more effeminate to me to have an opinion about the relative masculinity of . . ."
So its fine if women and gay men comment on men's styles, but if straight men do it we get accused of being effeminate? Hmm - I guess when you think about it that seems perfectly fair and equitable! So - any masculine man who looks at the following web site and has an opinion as to the lack of masculinity of some of these styles is just messed up: http://www.peaceonthat.com/list-o-rama/fashion-faux-pas/
I bet Meade (still my hero) can look at that site and not feel even a tiny twinge of opinion.

Mom2Es said...

A man in a v-neck sweater with a t-shirt underneath looks about the same from a line perspective as a man wearing a button-down shirt absent the tie and a t-shirt underneath.

Here's a picture of Scott Adams in a v-neck knit shirt. Why the concept of knitting the same shirt out of a thicker thread is abhorrent and unmanly to him, I don't know.

William said...

I've gone full mezzo-soprano and wear cardigans on the few occasions that I wear a sweater. I used to wear sports jackets, but now I wear a cardigan. Age has its privileges as well as its ailments...........The best garment is a sweatshirt. It's soft absorbent fabric makes it not only comfortable to wear but useful for wiping BBQ traces off your mouth. It can be thrown into the washing machine after wearing, and the various lingering food stains create interesting and evocative patterns. You can't go wrong with a sweatshirt.

virgil xenophon said...

My local heroine here Anglelyne @ 10:18 scores a direct hit. I guess I'm doubly cursed because I'm a member of an old-line college fraternity (Phi Delta Theta) and was a member of LSU's varsity tennis team (MORE V-necks :) ) and am a WASP in good standing as well (1/2 English, 1/4 Scots-Irish and 1/4 Dutch-German) who is TOTALLY unashamed of it all. When I was an undergrad my social set, my generational cohort, as it were, nation-wide WERE the unchallenged "hipsters" of our day, period. And then, even worse, I became a Vietnam era typical AF self-centered egotistical fighter-pilot, just oozing macho superiority. And to top it off I'm also a trustafarian. So everyone else can eat their livers--this old fossil white WASP hipster is on cruise control, so wear my v-necks with mucho elan. :)

PS: In undergrad days the sweater was ALWAYS long-sleeved and worn with an open-collar long-sleeve button down underneath. For more casual occasions, say w. tennis shorts, the wearing of a contrasting color polo or Lacoste tennis shirt underneath with the collar either out or "up" (ala Jessie Watters) with the sleeves of the sweater pushed up to the elbow is de rigueur.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

You've proved Scott Adams point, Donald Trump was owned by Ivanka and/or Marla at the time he purchased Mar-a-Lago and had that painting done.

Herb said...

On a related note, when I was in the US Navy (1969-1989) the uniform tee shirt had to be crew neck rather than vee neck.

richardsson said...

I read that Scott Adams article and I thought it was just silly. I have a much larger than average neck size for my build and round neck sweaters in my size are very uncomfortable. Can you say, choking...to paraphrase a famous sweater wearer. I don't think it is unmanly for a man to let his wife choose his clothes, as long as she has reasonably good taste, she gets the sizes right, and she's not colorblind...but then, more men are color blind than women.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

The v-neck design enhances the appearance of cleavage.

mockturtle said...

V-necks? Meh. Real men don't vote for Hillary!

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

You are standing watch at 0200 hrs. It is 20 degrees, and the wind is 20 knots, head on. You go full wooly-pully. You do not want a V neck sweater.

OK, tennis or golf where mobility is important, yeah - maybe.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

I was in LA in ’65. Everything good was called “boss.” “Hey man, that’s a really boss tie-dye T you got on today.”

Tubular!

Fred Drinkwater said...

Zoris, not thongs or flipflops. C. 1965 SF south bay.

Larvell said...

Meade, I'm not saying your wife's having an affair with Scott Adams, but ...

Sayyid said...

V-necks are awful. As proof, I've surveyed the first half page of google image results of v-necks, consisting entirely of actual marketing put out by people who think they will entice me to buy a v-neck.

They range from the utterly ghastly: http://thejourney21.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/gucci-v-neck-sweater.png

To the completely emasculating: http://www.sourpussclothing.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/f/r/fred_perry_classic_tipped_v_neck_sweater_navy_1.jpg

To "you're not on a golf course, so that's not OK": http://ak1.ostkcdn.com/images/products/9613476/Mens-Made-in-Italy-Argyle-Cashmere-V-Neck-Sweater-b3621ca8-dad9-4336-bf51-f1059b7b0a3a_600.jpg

To the full-swing midlife crisis look: http://cdn.woolovers.com/files/styles/RollImages/SI_L2_DARK-KINGFISHER_8388-as-Smart-Object-1_big.jpg

And culminating with a massive amount of "hey man, I didn't sell out. I took this six-figure gig so I could travel to [foreign city] to listen to [band you've never heard of] over the weekend." Cases in point,
(1) The guy going to Gothenburg and/or Tumba to listen to Amon Amarth: http://www.ralphlauren.com/product/index.jsp?productId=99308396&parentPage=family
(2) The guy going to Edinburgh to see Elton John perform live: https://cdnc.lystit.com/photos/2013/10/05/ralph-lauren-hunter-navy-jersey-polo-merino-wool-vneck-sweater-product-1-13881464-380951398.jpeg
(3) The guy going to Russia to listen to Serebro:
http://www.ralphlauren.com/graphics/product_images/pPOLO2-8004347_lifestyle_v360x480.jpg

Freeman Hunt said...

My husband doesn't wear sweaters, but I don't see how the neckline would matter. I would think v-neck with collar, crewneck with tee.

PWS said...

What does the Sartorialist say?

cyrus83 said...

I don't think it's the shape of the V necessarily - suit jackets essentially also form a V from the button to the neckline. I think it matters though where the V shape is and also what it tends to accentuate.

Men typically wear collars that are a small upside-down V on any kind of formal shirt - dress, button down, polo, etc. They direct the view upward (and mens fashion in general, particularly the more formal dress, tends to accentuate the face while hiding pretty much everything else behind relatively drab, muted colors, leaving the tie as the main focus of interest). A v-neck as found on a sweater or a shirt, when not worn with any other shirt, directs the view downward to the upper chest. The v-shape formed by a suit jacket tends to accent the chest as a whole when not worn with a tie or accent the tie when one is present.

Personally I think a v-neck is okay if it's going to be worn with a collared shirt or a tie. But I wouldn't go out in public with a v-neck by itself.

Leigh said...

Several theories come to mind about Adams's adamant aversion to v-necks: he has strong feelings about Mr. Rogers and his neighbors and he's worried he'll be mistaken as one. After all, a man who lives in California and bashes v-neck sweaters puts himself at serious risk, in his own mind or ours, of grievous physical harm. It may also be that Adams believes Bill Clinton is a big V-neck-sporting man and imagines Hillary to be a modern-day Valkyrie and his blog post was motivated by security reasons. There are odder ducks than Adams, granted, but few who are better arbitrageurs in the Trump sphere.

As for Trump's unusual Liberace-like painting, it could just be wildly humorous: an in-your-face admission of the Mayflower lineage he doesn't have. If the painting is on black velvet, all the better and funnier still. That Trump so willingly admits he lacks Manhattan's Mayflower-prized bloodline -- indeed, he's never even tried to fake it, which is more than can be said for mandarins like George Will, who probably owns a clock mounted on a cross-sectioned, shellacked tree-stump -- makes him even more endearing. Or, maybe a friend or close employee painted it for him as a gift and Trump proudly hung it and gave it pride of place -- an equally, if not more, endearing trait.

Recall when then-candidate Jeb Bush lamely joked that Trump walks around his apartment in the morning wearing tiny "T" monogrammed slippers? It was not, shall we say, endearing. The Colonial Dames are not exactly a huge voting block. Sorry ... were we talking about sweaters? My slippers took me off the trail.

Eric Landgraf said...

By virtue o accentuating the chest, the V-neck is playing to the female symbol. The chest in modern times is overwhelmingly associated with women in these prurient times. Only devotees of body building and the martial arts prize the chest; alas their numbers are too few in these feminist times.
Crew necks rule.

bbkingfish said...

Trump's "portrait"is a generic illustration with the buyer's (in this case, Trump) face painted on it. If he paid more than 200 bucks for it, he was bamboozled.

southcentralpa said...

If it's any help, your anathema against shorts on men puzzles me ...

Zach said...

Problems with the sweater vest:

1) Large neck holes and exposed collar bones make people look waifish, which is a bad look on a man.

2) It looks ok with a button down shirt and a tie, but those are indoor clothes that you can't get dirty.

So you're looking at middle aged office uniform, self conscious preppy, or unbearable hipster.

Middle aged office uniform: Cyril Figgus

Self conscious preppy: Trump portrait

Unbearable hipster: see links by Sayyid.

The exception that proves the rule is English shooting wear, which looks good but does not connote living on a leash. But that's not what Americans wear when they do outdoor activities, so it's an affectation.

https://www.google.com/search?q=english+shooting+wear&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjetZnAj8TNAhVH3mMKHW0DB5cQsAQIMw&biw=1164&bih=616

Char Char Binks said...

I usually wear flip-flops, shorts, a v-neck sweater and a bow tie.

pahapoiss said...

If you caught on to Adams' persuasion thing, you might conjecture that he's simply observed that V-necks are somewhat (or considerably; it's not very relevant) less popular than round-neck sweaters with most people presumably not very conscious of why they don't wear or like V-necks much, just because most people most of the time aren't very conscious of why exactly they like one style over another unless they're a fashion or art critic.

Now Adams comes along and delivers a manifest example (the dude in the commercial *is* portrayed as a douche) of an emasculated man wearing a V-neck: Zing! Now the majority of readers are placed in a position to associate their dislike or merely lack of preference for this particular garment style with wimpish, emasculated behaviour. Thus spurious causation is attached to pre-existing bias.

That's how I thought the post worked for (or on) me. I felt V-neck sweaters look daft unless worn with a button-down shirt and even then as Zach and Anglelyne point out, it doesn't play unless you can carry the middle aged office thing or are unashamed to do the ironic preppy hipster. Mind you, there is a hint of pseudo-cleavage in the white t-shirt underneath the V-neck. In fashion, nothing is done without a reason, so why this white triangle there on the douche's neck?

But all that said, I have a counter example: The louche politician character played by Benoît Magimel in the French drama Marseille wears a V-neck with apparently nothing underneath in one scene showing off a hairy chest with a gold chain. The French are allowed to project machismo in that way.