Aloha, all you cold weather party people. Since the temperature here in New York City is approximately zero dark negative thirty, I think it's time we have a chat about appropriate winter wear. Most specifically, earmuffs. More specifically, on men.
I'm not here to make any excuses or solve any problems, but let's all just get one thing straight: dudes in earmuffs look ridiculous. Just look at Zac Efron here taking a break while filming Are We Officially Dating in NYC and tell me he doesn't look absurd in his muffs.
It's not fair and I totally get that. Kids can wear the shit out of earmuffs and so can women. It's only men who aren't allowed to don the cold-weather accessory, unless, of course, they're over 80 years old, in which case, it's absolutely adorable.
Which begs the question: why? Why can't guys wear earmuffs? It's an excellent inquiry, and thank you for asking, but the answer, I'm afraid, is not very straightforward. Since I don't think you'll be satisfied with just a "because they can't", let me try to explain.
I've surveyed a handful of people and we all agreed that the earmuff in and of itself is girly. It's essentially a headband, and headbands are ostensibly for girls. And, no, sorry, it doesn't matter if the earmuffs have the headband part not on the head, but along the back of the neck. That just makes things worse. It's like saying, "I know I look stupid, so I'm just going to try and hide the headband in the back here and hope no one notices." We notice. Not hot.
Another point of contention is that the look is also childish. Again, it's not fair (and possibly not right, either) that women can pull off childish styles (high knee socks, pigtails, pink in general), but it's not our fault society has OK'd girlish fashions on women because they like to keep their sex objects youthful. That's just the way the Girl Scout cookie crumbled.
Let it be said that hats are more than acceptable; in fact, they're a highly encouraged winter accessory for men. Even the ones with the puffy balls on top are cool -- Tom Brady happened to look stunning in his hat all season. Sure, cheekbones for days, but still, every guy can pull off this look.
There's just something about the earmuff that screams "my mom laid out my clothes until I was a senior in college, and yeah, duh, that means she home-schooled me through university, gosh."
And lest you think I'm the only one with an aversion to men in muffs, type in "can men wear" in Google and notice that the eighth auto-fill is "ear muffs."
The answer, if you haven't figured it out by now, is no. "It's not right", as the late, great Whitney Houston once said, "but it's OK."
So dudes, sincerest apologies, but if you're wearing a headband or a neckband with little warmy things attached to the ends right now? It's time to trade them in for a good old-fashioned hat.
Your ears, which are obviously red with embarrassment right now, will thank you.
So -- am I crazy? Or should men never wear earmuffs.
Photo via Pacific Coast News
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