Sizzling summer style

Posted on 05 Aug 2009 at 1:49pm
By Arnold Wayne Jones Life+Style Editor

How gay men can beat the heat and look hot at the same time


THEY’LL MAKE MEN PANT: The British-made Pantz offer sexy, cool briefs that work as swimwear, underwear — whatever will get you noticed.

For gay men, staying fashionable in the Texas heat is a juggling act of risky Euro-styles (paisley mesh shirts) and breathable comfort (tank-tops and cargo shorts). And don’t even start to think about more formal cocktail attire. There’s a reason the Black Tie Dinner is held in the fall.

But neckwear doesn’t have to be constricting and stuffy — and it can even be eco-friendly. Gay fashion designer Michael Kuluva has recently launched the environmentally-friendly label Tumbler & Tipsy. Its signature accessory is the Tipsy Tie, an edgy tie made of recycled fabrics.

It helps to see it to believe it: A deconstructed bit of hip fashion looks puzzlingly low-tech in the box, but when paired with an ensemble gets quickly noticed. A golden chain threads through a rough-hewn piece of material (tartan wool, silk, tweed — each is unique), accented with a pin or patch to bring it all together. Wrap around a collared shirt or leave it on a bare neck and voila! It’s free-form art with recycled fabrics giving it green cred as well as style points with a distinctly English sensibility: It’s what Harry Potter might wear when he finally comes out. No two of the handmade ties are exactly alike, making them both playful and eye-catching. (TumblerandTipsy.com.)


Actor Charlie David, left, can make any of the Otter Fashion line look perfect for summertime fun; gay American designer Michael Kuluva braves an English sensibility with his eco-kind deconstructed neckties, right.

Just as head-turning — although heads will typically look further downward — are the tweaky knit shorts from British manufacturer Life Iz Pantz. "Pantz" are not for everyone: A cross between a Speedo and a mesh thong, these brightly-colored shorts come in one size, and are not recommended for anything above a 33-inch waist. But if you have the body for it, they are versatile and sexy.

The designer declares these lightweight (and generally revealing) briefs to work equally as swimwear, underwear, gymwear or clubwear, and that seems to be the case: I’ve worn them at the gym and they always get comments. And because they aren’t made of Lycra or Spandex, they stand out among the sea of banana hammocks out there. They are fresh and flattering, and with several stripe patterns are available, perfect for poolside lounging. (LifeIzPantz.com.)

If you want to look like a dreamboat, it doesn’t hurt if you’re already Charlie David. The star of "Dante’s Cove" and "Mulligans" has teamed with Otter Fashion to promote the gay menswear line. From a cardinal polo to the cotton T (including one that bracingly declares you a "DILF"), the shirts are casually comfy, but there’s also a jewelry, underwear and new swimwear line. Charlie doesn’t come with any of them, but you can’t have everything. (OtterFashion.com.)

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 7, 2009.

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