If you’ve read any of my columns, chances are you know my stance on the Lilly Pulitzer brand as a whole. Yes, I’m prone to belittle the srat-tastic orgy of pastel themed vomit on cotton. Sure, I’ve likened it to something you’d find in the darkened corners of an 80-year-old woman’s closet, right next to her long lost bottle of expired petroleum jelly. And yes, I firmly believe that some of their clothing would serve a much better purpose as Jimmy Buffett’s tablecloth. The crazy truth of it all? I actually don’t mind a girl in Lilly. A major part of the life of a sorority girl is dedication to bright colors and, let’s be honest, occasionally dressing like a slutty grandma. Some girls pull it off, others don’t, but I think there’s one crucial truth about Lilly Pulitzer that we all need to agree on.
GUYS. SHOULDN’T. WEAR. IT.
Just because a popular sorority-oriented brand releases men’s clothing doesn’t mean donning it yourself will ever be socially acceptable. Sure, a few ingredients of proper fraternal attire are there: the colors are bright, the shorts are short, and the patterns exude an aura of “I don’t give a fuck.” However, when you examine the complete package of an overpriced piece of Pulitzer garb, it becomes clear that wearing Lilly is an effective way to completely sacrifice what few shreds of masculinity you have left.
But what about special occasions? Lilly has to be acceptable for warm summer day of yachting at the very least, right? No. Shut the fuck up, and stop trying to justify the $180 flamingo pants you wasted your parents’ hard earned money on. There is only one time to wear Lilly as a self-respecting man: during an “Easter Bunny On Acid” themed mixer.
If there is still any compassion in your mind for this abysmal brand of men’s clothing, let’s take a look at a few specific items so I can prove just how wrong you are. After a quick search of eBay, I found a few particularly cringe worthy pieces from seasons past that will show you just how deep the fluorescent rabbit hole goes.
I first saved this picture to my computer as “clown pants,” and I think it’s fairly obvious why I chose such a description. At their very core, these are just a pair of hot pink pants, adorned with countless pastel…things…strewn across the fabric. I can’t for the life of me figure out what these objects are supposed to represent, but to me they look more like a futuristic plunger than something I’d actually wear on my body. But fear not! In typical Lilly fashion, there are more than a few random flowers in the mix. Because nothing says, “I’m ready to slam some sorostitute poon tang!” like a bunch of soft-hued flowers and plungers covering your legs.
We all remember the world-rocking explosion of men in pink shirts that the late ’90s brought us. Out of nowhere, a color long scorned by the Grunge era had once again become a symbol of nonchalant bravado for straight men everywhere. In a span of a few short years, everyone from preps to hipsters to skaters had at least one pink shirt in their repertoire. To this day, I still don’t find it to be a big deal when a guy wears pink, but the exact shade chosen says a lot about the guy within those sleeves. Light pink? Sure, nothing wrong with subtlety. Regular pink? No worries, cowboy, just don’t go off the deep end. Hot and/or neon pink? That’s where we have to draw the line, you guys. It’s one thing to use your shirt to say, “I’m masculine enough to pull this off.” It’s another thing altogether to walk around town looking like Jigglypuff stuck in a vault of hydrochloric acid. This shirt is the perfect embodiment of how a man shouldn’t wear pink. The color itself is bad enough, but the white hibiscus pattern is just enough to make people want to forcefully rip off your testicles on sight.
Finally, we tackle the ultimate in “HEY LOOK AT ME I’M FRAT” attire: the proverbial bowtie. No surprises here. Lilly’s incarnation sports the exact kind of features you’d expect from it. With its stomach-acid esque blend of yellows, purples, pinks and blues, if this bowtie doesn’t scream “I have no self-respect” then I don’t know what does. Sure, on extremely special occasions an attention drawing bowtie can be acceptable, but for the love of all things holy, there isn’t a single moment in your life when a vivid orgy of flowers should be wrapped around your neck. Solid bright bowties are one thing, but when you’re literally choking yourself with a $65 pastel noose, it’s time to reevaluate your life.
If I haven’t given you enough evidence by now to set your entire men’s Pulitzer collection ablaze, then there’s clearly no hope for you. Feel free to blame the girls every night for being “such bitches” when they wouldn’t hook up with you. We all know the real cause. Nobody has ever gotten laid walking around looking like a flamboyant bisexual shrimp.