Tom Ford is many things. He is the director of A Single Man, which got Colin Firth nominated for a Best Actor Oscar (and paved the way for his current win). He is one of the big movers and shakers behind the rise of Gucci. He’s one of the most important men in fashion, and has been for twenty years now. And he’s also a man not afraid to offer advice. He’s recently given Another Man his list of five lessons on how to be a modern gentleman.
It seems ungenlemanly to poach the list – and we wouldn’t want to cross Tom Ford – but though the majority of the list are somewhat generic platitudes (“Keep busy to be interesting” “Don’t hate”), it’s number five where he stirs up the hornet’s nest:
5. A man should never wear shorts in the city. Flip-flops and shorts in the city are never appropriate. Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach.
On this divide between pro- and anti-shorts, this would-be gentleman sides with Ford. Comfort around the house and on vacation is one thing, but if one is to present one’s self to the world it seems a little unseemly for men to show their gams, especially with men doing so little maintenance to their legs. Perhaps – with many young men concerned with their fashion sense – this could be the next big thing. But at this juncture, shorts do not command respect and suggest insouciance.
Of course, men could consider his claim sexist as women often wear dresses and skirts without fear of being looked down upon by Ford. But perhaps that will come in his next top five list, as this is directed at men only. Perhaps Ford is not a foot or leg fetishist. One wonders Quentin Taratino’s opinion.
Are you pro-shorts and sandals?