8 Things

Impressions of Modern Life with David Coggins

In a time before the dominance of Instagram, when reading a blog sort of still seemed interesting, a small 259 word piece by David Coggins managed to provoke the ACL faithful. (Another true outburst was here.) To me, it seemed to be a fairly standard reaction for this site. Though, I think the kerfluffle caught David slightly off-guard. Maybe it was shocking to him in the same way that readers would be taken aback by the idea that being dressed in a certain way, in a certain place can be a positive thing? A comment from Keith G said. “Wow. Really? You can’t be serious? I’m never reading this website again. Why do you even care about what other people are wearing and where?” Chances are we actually never did hear from Keith again. One can only assume that this very minute he’s in a coffee shop, wearing sweatpants with his laptop (and mouse) asking for the Wifi password.

Frequently I would board a plane and see someone Facetiming in public, or using Apple Airpods and I would wonder what David thought of such modern developments. I don’t want to imply that David is a fuddy-duddy (he’s not), but he does have strong opinions about manners, modern life, and this ever-changing technological world. So every time I had an impulse to ask David his take on something seemingly innocuous (yet probably infuriating to someone) I would make a note and eventually emailed him these 8 things. Below are his thoughts.

Athleisure
You knew this would upset me. A word as bad as what it describes and an expensive way to look unflattering. You communicate that where you’re going is more important than where you are. The world, thank goodness, is not the gym. So don’t wear exercise clothes unless you’re surrounded by other people sweating. No fabric whose name is trademarked or ends in X wants to be seen out and about.

Apple AirPods
These made me very uneasy and at first looked like q-tips people forgot to take out of their ears. But I’ve grown used to them since they’re more and more common. They still look absurd when men talk on the phone with them while they’re walking down the street, but men on the street on the phone look crazy anyway. I got so tired of dreadfully designed Apple earphones and their twisty cords did they make them so bad on purpose so we would buy these so I finally broke down and bought a pair. Will report back.

Luggage with Wheels
One of the world’s deceptively bad inventions. People should pack less, not more, in nicely designed bags they can carry. If you’re a photographer heading to your shoot with a Rimowa, fine, wheel away, but there’s always a time in a trip” going up a bridge, across cobblestones, hurrying to catch a train when you’ll wish you packed lighter and wheel-free. Also, packing less forces men to think more about what they wear and why. A good edit clarifies the mind and makes you a better dresser.

Pajamas
Definitely approaches the preciousness of any lead character in a Wes Anderson film, but they don’t have to. Just diffuse them somehow. Fred Astaire wore them and looked great, but you can get away with them more easily than you think.

Wifi
I stopped buying data plans when I travel. I am less connected to the internet and paying more attention where I am. We all know we should do this we just need a reason to disconnect. Hopefully, your life is more interesting than anything that’s on your phone. And nothing is worse than somebody who arrives in a wonderful restaurant or historic museum and the first thing they ask about is the wifi password.

Shirts with Tiny Collars
These are everywhere, but should they be? Just because something looks good on Don Draper does not mean it will look good on you. Small collars make large heads look larger and look silly with most ties because the knots are too big and out of proportion. Large collars flatter more men than they realize don’t judge them until you wear one. Our friends at Drake’s know what they’re doing and they make terrific long-point collars.

Flip Flops
Nobody, even loved ones, likes the sight of a man’s toes. At the beach, if you insist. But no place without sand. I beg you.

Light Beer
I do like light beer. Don’t think of it as a bad version of good beer, think of it as a good version of water. When I’m fishing I swear by light beer, but not until I catch a fish. Actually, if it’s lunch and I haven’t caught a fish I usually break this rule. But don’t push it. Not a good habit at bars where a drink costs more than $5.


Comments on “8 Things

    Johnny Aon March 28, 2018 @ 1:07 AM:

    You need to stop shaming flip flop wearers. There are many areas of the US – esp. in Southern California, Hawaii, etc. – where flip flops are acceptable footwear, even in semi-formal situations. Just because someone has pasty white feet with yellowing toenails doesn’t mean we all do. In fact, those of us who wear flip flops for a significant part of the year have nice, strong, tan feet. So stop telling us that flip flops are gross or that no one wants to see your feet. Maybe that’s the case in Manhattan (although I have a number of friends that risk sandals on the mean streets of NYC) or rural Maine, but where I’m from, a nice pair of tan feet in a comfy pair of Rainbow sandals are the envy of everyone.

    Jimmieon March 28, 2018 @ 10:40 AM:

    The man knows more than a thing or two. Thank you for gently reminding all of us that a little effort goes a long way in making the world a better place. We can all use more of that now.

    Michael Williamson March 28, 2018 @ 2:41 PM:

    Amazing. I personally tend to agree with you. I’m 100% flip flop in Hawaii. But good luck convincing Coggins.

    Billon March 31, 2018 @ 12:32 AM:

    Amen! NO FLIP FLOPS ON MEN! YOU may be proud of your tanned coifed hairy feet…..but no one else is and they do not care to see them.

    Jay Hailson March 31, 2018 @ 12:04 PM:

    Coggins knows that his opinions are just his own, and keeps them in perspective—appropriately, because he compiled a bestselling book of men’s opinions. Thanks for posting this food for thought.

    Kyleon April 6, 2018 @ 11:00 AM:

    Yessss. Please no more flip flops. Ever.

    lucason April 6, 2018 @ 11:54 AM:

    i wish i had a dollar for every time someone asked me where i bought my athleisure outfits. i rock them daily through the streets of manhattan. ladies love me, girls adore me, i mean, even the ones that never saw me! snap back coggy… you’re slippin’. your advice is just soggy and tired at this point. i get it, you wrote a book… so did my 4 year old niece. do this… don’t do that… these are acceptable… these aren’t… really man?! it just makes you sound like a conceited old beard. but, maybe that’s what you’re going for? i don’t know… spread some cream sauce on top and buzz off.

    Another Davidon April 19, 2018 @ 11:53 AM:

    Wait a minute …I surely can’t be the only one that has noticed ..this guy has a mullet..a Heritage Mullet?

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