I thought I had it bad until I read an article in GQ magazine about a guy who couldn’t get past a first date because the woman was dressed so poorly.

His friends called him superficial and vain, but he didn’t care; her clothing was just that bad.

The article reminded me of how I almost didn’t marry my second husband for the same reason. He couldn’t dress.

On our first date, he showed up in jeans with holes in the knee, a holey T-shirt and a tattered baseball cap. I couldn’t believe it. We were going to a museum and then to dinner. I was so turned off, and although I went out with him anyway, I was miserable. I couldn’t understand why he chose to dress like a bum, especially when he knew it was our first real encounter.

Do clothes make the man?

I’d say yes.

Obviously, I look for other important qualities in choosing a mate, not just outward appearances. But how a man presents himself says a lot. I am fashion conscious, and I can’t be bothered if a man can’t dress for the occasion, no matter what it is.

I once dated a man who wore only hip-hop gear. Imagine how uncomfortable he was when I made reservations to an upscale restaurant downtown. He came dressed like a thug while everyone else was dressed appropriately  — in slacks, dress shirts and dinner jackets.

I didn’t feel bad, nor was I upset. I explained to him beforehand what type of restaurant it would be, and he ignored me. His unwillingness to change caused him unnecessary embarrassment while I sat there enjoying my dinner with a smirk on my face.

Gone are the days when men and women strived to make a good impression by putting on their Sunday best, even if they weren’t going to church. Gone are the days when men wore suits with bow ties and a hat and woman enjoyed putting on pantyhose and wearing dainty purses with gloved hands.

At this point in my life, I feel we should all be striving to put our best foot forward.
The current state of affairs has made many of us too relaxed when it comes to our appearance. We are a society that makes it acceptable to wear jeans to church and mini-skirts to work.

What happened?

I love it when a brother can be versatile enough to wear a suit, then take it to the street to play ball in nice sweats and sneakers, then make it home to put on slacks and a nice shirt and hard bottom shoes for dinner.

I know I’m not alone. My girlfriends have complained to me countless times. Men wearing high-water pants or tight silky T-shirts with jeans have been the fodder of many of our jokes.

Most women have standards (I don’t do dirty fingernails or bad breath either) and it was refreshing to read that some men have expectations as well.

What are your thoughts?

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