Ever since I wrote this column about The Breakup Buy—as in, the impulse purchase that kind of / actually / okay, yeah helps you mend a broken heart—I've been getting lots of mail. It's got a very common theme, probably best summarized by Meredith from San Francisco. She tweets, "@FaranKrentcil What if instead of getting over a dude, you want to just GET him?"
For that, I offer the following disclaimer: I can tell you all about getting dudes to notice you, but as far as keeping them, go talk to Gwyneth at Goop or something. I've been pining for the same lame guy for like three years, and he's not even a Gyllenhaal.
But if you really want to listen, I've wrangled an expert from the other side of the battle lines. Boppers, meet Mat Devine, the frontman for the cult rock band Kill Hannah who's also a Broadway actor, a presenter on Fuse TV, and the dude I may or may not have made out with at Alexander Wang's Fashion Week party. Oops. (Note to you, and Mat, and whoever else cares: this is not the guy I've had a perpetual crush on, so, uh, let's move on.)
I'm a big advocate of dressing for yourself, not for guys. I say this because, frankly, what you think of yourself is way more important than what the hot guy in your bartending class thinks. Mat says this for another reason. "When a girl shows up for a first date and she's dressed like me—not like herself—it's kind of a turn off. Like she doesn't have a strong sense of identity. If you're normally in nice dresses and cute blazers, and all of a sudden, you show up in a brand new Iron Maiden T-shirt, it's pretty transparent. What's wrong with the nice blouse you had on when we met?"
"Then there's the quandary about baring skin," says Mat. "You don't need to show up in a dress that's going to dissolve in water—really, it gives us the wrong idea. Quality girls lever LEAD with their physical assets. If you want a guy to think about you in a more, uh, physical way, make your outfit suggestive but not overt. You don't have to wear a push-up bra, you don't have to expose any cleavage. I know girls' magazines always say the opposite, but for most guys I know, seeing a shoulder and little bit of an exposed bra strap is okay. Most guys have a really vivid imagination so it gets me thinking, probably, I mean, you know, inappropriate things."
My favorite claim from certain women's magazines is that men hate "high fashion" outfits. Mat debunks this. "I think it's impressive when a girl's wearing a high-end outfit, as long as they can own it. If you're comfortable in - what's that thing called -a peplum? Then do it! It's cool and when a girl has her own sense of style, it means she has her own identity. There's nothing better than that."
Not even super-sexy lingerie? "Oh gosh, please no. When I was young, I had a girl show up wearing a full candy apple red corset, lingerie, garter belt. It was such a turnoff because I felt like it was so unnatural! It made me uncomfortable. I think the only thing about underwear, getting back to reality, is that it's important to have nice underwear—not fancy, but nice—because you can see a red flag with underwear. You can get away with a tattered T-shirt but you can't get away with a sweat-stained, dirty bra. It's like, if a dude shows up with a nice car but it's covered in dirt. You're like, 'Why can't this dude keep his car clean?' It makes you ask questions. If you can't keep your underwear up to code, I don't want to know what else you can't handle.
"Oh, and there's one more thing—am I allowed to veto sweatpants on a date? I would like to veto sweatpants on a date. Unless you are going to play basketball, or you are a professional rapper—a very successful one!—then no. Are you dashing from your Maybach into Starbucks on a Sunday afternoon with a Grammy in your hand? Then no, you can wear something besides sweatpants.
"This is all very hypocritical for me, by the way, because I'm always wearing like, I'm-on-tour-I-don't-do-laundry clothes."
Note to Shopbop: your new menswear section can't launch soon enough.