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Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 12/ 2/2008

Fashion Lesson No. 1 for Men: Do Not As Diddy Does

By Liz Kelly

Guys, I know you. I love you. So I mean no disrespect when I say that you're sometimes a bit muddled when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. Or, getting dressed for an evening event. Or, say, knowing when to say goodbye to a particularly threadbare pair of boxers. There are exceptions, of course, but the vast majority of men I've come across -- brother, husband, co-worker or a man possessed of enough money to field a Lacrosse team comprised of stylists -- just haven't a clue when it comes to assembling a decent outfit. (Seriously -- thanks to men we've been subjected to decades-long trends of mullets, big baggy falling-off-the-backside jeans and Zubaz.)

Which is why it is particularly galling when someone like the walking Burlington Coat Factory below -- aka Sean "P. Diddy" Combs -- presumes to not only declare himself a tastemaker, but also presumes to push his stinky taste on other men -- men who, as we established above, don't know any better.

(Getty Images)

I'm not even sure where to start. Diddy is effectively swallowed by his oversized coat -- a coat so big and bad that one can almost forgive the loud tweed pattern clownishly ample when matched up with enough fur to keep an entire colony of hairless cats snug and cozy. In fact, they may be in there somewhere. Who can tell? Doubtless, Diddy paid a lot for this coat -- the 93 yards of fabric and several dead animals alone would add up to a tidy sum. But, alas, money isn't everything and sometimes less is more.

It isn't just the coat, though -- note the pants pooling around Diddy's ankles, the half-hidden patent leather shoes, the maddeningly incongruous cashmere turtleneck, the sunglasses at night. The man is a walking cautionary tale.

So guys -- if you're keeping up, here's where we are thus far:

1. No pleated pants.
2. No oversized clothes of any sort.
3. Sunglasses are reserved for sunny days or staring into fluorescent fixtures.
4. Less is more.
5. Whatever Diddy does, do the opposite. Despite what this man says and how much money he may make, he is not now and never has been a "King" when it comes to fashion.

Thank you. Talk amongst yourselves.

By Liz Kelly  | December 2, 2008; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  Fashion  
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Those furry lapels make him look for all the world like he has two giant, ratty pigtails.
See, now, I actually love this picture.

Posted by: otherliz | December 2, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

This may be only tangentially related, but I happened to catch an episode of "The Pick Up Artist" while flipping through the channels, and was AMAZED at how awful the "after" makeovers looked for the contestants. I can't believe someone who looks like a goth nerd turned 70s era pimp presumes to tell other guys the best way to dress to meet women.

Posted by: SugarMagnolia22 | December 2, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I keep thinking the fur is a muppet and its going to jump up and do a lil dance.

Apart from that he looks like an unhappy kid who has to wear not so gently used clothes.

Posted by: petalceleb | December 2, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

It kind of reminded me of Jessica Simpson's furry wrappy thingy (it's a technical term) from October. I think individually each item of clothing is fine, but the sum of the parts = BAD!

Except the sunglasses - they're horrid. Not only are they worn at night, but they're the over-sized Nicole Ritchie kind. They're really girly, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised after his recent manscaping revelations.

Posted by: eet7e | December 2, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Hey, "Liz Kelly" (<--typing name to up her Google ranking), these rules do not apply only to men. By your standards, Keira Knightly violates the pleated pants rule, the Olsen Twins violate the oversized rule, and Paris Hilton surely has been spotted indoors wearing sunglasses.

I agree, "Liz Kelly," that Diddy looks like a total doof (otherliz's pigtail comment will have me laughing for weeks -- it's like he's channeling Sacheen Littlefeather) and Tim Gunn surely could give him a few "fit" pointers.

But that said, tell me what is so "maddeningly incongruous" about the turtleneck -- it's a little big on him, but why so brutal, "Liz Kelly"?

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | December 2, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I've had enough. I'm going to come right out and say it. No matter how bad the outfit, Liz's commentary on it is usually worse.

I don't necessarily approve of the Diddy-coat, but in what world is that pattern a "loud tweed"? Looks like a fine-gauge grey herringbone to me, but due to its complete lack of loudness, I can't really be sure of that.

And how can a cashmere turtleneck be "maddeningly incongruous"? I think Tim Gunn would agree with me that a cashmere turtleneck goes with pretty much everything.

Liz, please. You excel at many things. You write well, you're quick on the draw snark-wise, you love animals, which in itself bespeaks great intelligence and personality... but fashion just isn't your bag. I don't want to hear more about pleats or boy jeans or whatever other sartorial peeve you're petting today. Please pick something new to harp upon.


Posted by: WDC2 | December 2, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Somewhere a sad Sasquatch is crying hot tears over his stolen thatch.

Posted by: possum_pouch | December 2, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Is there a comment form of whispering discreetly? I love the snark. I don't love the misuse of comprise rather than compose.
Sorry Liz!

Posted by: otherliz | December 2, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The turtleneck fails to work because the neck part must be smooth. I am sure Tim Gunn would say a GOOD turtleneck goes with anything. This, not so much.

Perhaps the coat is so large to hid his gun. God knows he doesn't want to get caught with one in NYC right now. Esepcially since he doesn't have J-Lo to hide the gun for him anymore.

Posted by: epjd | December 2, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

It does look like an outfit that might have worked, had it been in moderation. The old-fashioned stole would need to go -- it reminded me a little of the outfit Alan Rickman wound up in the third Harry Potter movie. I can't say whether the tweed is actually loud or not because the picture's been resized. It could be horrible in its original format, but doesn't seem too bad at the current size. The turtleneck and the pants need to be scaled back a little, but it's not overall a bad look. Perhaps he expected the whole outfit to shrink during the evening, so he bought it a little large? :)

Posted by: CentrevilleMom | December 2, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Those furry lapels make him look for all the world like he has two giant, ratty pigtails.
See, now, I actually love this picture.

Posted by: otherliz | December 2, 2008 11:01 AM


I believe the effect he was going for can be called "Diddy Longstockings."

Posted by: byoolin1 | December 2, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to add to Liz Kelly's (thanks, td in baltimore) list:

6. Ditch the comb over-embrace your baldness. If you feel that you just gotta fake it by wearing a toupe`, then, please, oh please, get a good one instead of that piece of road kill that most men insist on buying and wearing.

7. Black athletic shoes are not a substitute for proper dress shoes.

8. Another hair-related item: Long hair on men is not for everybody. I don't care if you have a full head of hair or not.

9. Soul patches: It makes you look like you missed a spot, shaved in the dark, or (insert snarky remark of choice here).

10. Colored nail polish on men-just plain ew; maybe even ultra-ew.

Posted by: ripariandweller | December 2, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Somewhere a sad Sasquatch is crying hot tears over his stolen thatch.

Posted by: possum_pouch | December 2, 2008 11:37 AM


Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | December 2, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I wish that I were so rich that I could wear any kind of schmatta I pleased without worrying what people thought of me.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | December 2, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I wish that I were so rich that I could wear any kind of schmatta I pleased without worrying what people thought of me.

At least you wear a fur-coat that's PC.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | December 2, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Fur coat but no comb-over.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | December 2, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

He looks bad, really bad. Also, like he might tip over - maybe it's the 40 pound coat . . .

Posted by: MILW | December 2, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Hair on lapels is gross. But hairy feet will always be hep if you're of the yeti persuasion.

Posted by: possum_pouch | December 2, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

If you want to get a closer look at the tweed pattern of the (awful) coat, there are lots of pics here

If that doesn't work, go to and search Diddy under the editorial category....

Sometimes tweed looks weird when photographed even though it just looks like tweed in real life. I think that's the problem here. Although the lack of "loud tweed pattern" does not make this coat OK.
"Diddy Longstockings" is great!

Posted by: VaLGaL | December 2, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Even worse than Diddy was Alec Baldwin on the Rosie O'Donnell variety show the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

That is the worst dressed I have ever seen any TV personality, who wasn't on purpose trying to look bad. What were the producers thinking to allow him to go on stage looking like that? They look better in elementary-school-homemade costumes than he did.

Posted by: c-clef | December 2, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I used to have a winter coat that looked a lot like Diddy's. Used to...around 1972. Lapels weren't "real" fur, though. Used to have hair on my head, too...around 1972.

Posted by: angelos_peter | December 2, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree the ensemble is bad. The coat looks like a 40s era coat worn by short fat lady with a hat or alternately like a Russian soldier. Just missing the boots and the hat with earflaps.

I don't care for the sunglasses but I think he looks weird without them. Also, when you have the paps flashing bulbs in your eyes everywhere you go, I'll cut him slack for wearing them at night.

Posted by: hodie | December 2, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Also guys--no backwards caps.

Posted by: spartan123 | December 2, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

If Diddy wanted to be fashionable, he'd dress like this:

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | December 2, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I agree with hodie re: Diddy has a good reason to wear sunglasses. But the rest of the outfit looks like he bought it off the rack in a hurry and threw it on in the men's room. Whatever happened to the well-fitted, tailored look? (I hope Obama starts a trend!)

The only thing worse than a bad combover is a shaved head to conceal your bald spot. Usually enough of the stubble and roots show to make it blatantly obvious why you shaved your head. If you're a Buddhist monk or an Olympic swimmer, go ahead and shave, but otherwise ... who do you think you're fooling?

My pet peeve: Men who apply aftershave liberally and then don't wash their hands. This means that whoever is next in line at the gas station, or follows them upstairs, or shakes hands with them, picks up the scent too. (And there seems to be a direct relationship between the obnoxiousness of the scent and its likelihood to linger ... )

Posted by: PLozar | December 2, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

to "Liz Kelly" and the rest of youns:

Doesn't Did-dy look like a kid wearing his funny uncle's coat?



Posted by: bmschumacher | December 2, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

As a hip hop metrosexual, if you're going to wear fur lapels, the least you could is dye them to match your "carpet."

Posted by: mdreader01 | December 2, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I also agree with SugarMagnolia's remarks about the guy from the Pickup Artist. He looks gross and I can't imagine him picking up anyone who isn't completely drunk.

Posted by: spartan123 | December 2, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Is that the lame guy who wears the cowboy hat and the sunglasses on head? Hey, I'm not young anymore, but I really think a slightly preppy look works better than slightly pimpy. I think gals really want to date a guy that looks like he has a job and doesn't have a gun stuffed down his awful tweed double-breasted fur-encrusted coatee. The only reason for double-breasted is if you're Cap'n Wentworth, Horatio Hornblower or ScarJo.

Posted by: possum_pouch | December 2, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

As a hip hop metrosexual, if you're going to wear fur lapels, the least you could is dye them to match your "carpet."

Posted by: mdreader01 | December 2, 2008 5:06 PM

Please, don't give him any ideas. Remember yesterday!



Posted by: bmschumacher | December 2, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I keep thinking that this would be something Diane Keaton would wear, if it were all in winter white...

I wonder if Diddy has put on weight recently? That's really the only explanation I can come up with for such a grossly oversized coat. Maybe he thought that an outfit that looks like a 7-year-old trying on his dad's clothes would be slimming? (Hint to Diddy: nicely tailored dark colors are always a better bet.)

Posted by: oregonchick76 | December 2, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh, snap. That is a massively ugly ensemble, but I've never thought well of P Diddy's taste, which is as toxic as his egotism.

Anyway, I've been following your work for about a year LIZ KELLY (Google Bomb!), enjoying all of it, especially the disquisitions on "Lost," but I'm going to have to pitch many pairs of pants to comply with your no-pleats rule. They somehow accumulated in my closet, like those little cat-hair dust-bunnies we have all over the house (from our 3 cats). My spouse introduced me to pleats, so blame her, okay?

If I had my fashion-druthers (and a larger clothing budget), I'd only wear those comfortably-sized (not loose or baggy!) three-piece tweed suits so popular in the 20's and 30's. I'd have them made on Saville Row, too.

In fact, I'd like to live in the 20's and 30's, preferably in the Hamptons, and with Maxwell Perkins as my editor. But that's another fantasy.

Posted by: ahneff1 | December 2, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

He looks SILLY by any measure. We do indeed live in ridiculous times -- Diddy is a fashion icon? I blame it on "W" yes "W." He's maximized the idea of saying something, no matter how outlandish, so many times, that it somehow becomes true.

Posted by: isthisajoke | December 3, 2008 6:39 AM | Report abuse

He looks like a clown. He must have been rummaging around a 1920s Salvation Army outlet... in the dark.

Posted by: itsagreatday1 | December 3, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

When you got his kind of money, why would he care what we think? I know I wouldn't. :-)

Posted by: knighte321 | December 3, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Kinda looks like Mary J Blige should be wearing this but more form-fitting.

Posted by: stikyfingas | December 3, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

OK, the pleats comment annoys me. They've only been fashionable for 60 years and now I'm supposed to toss every suit and every pair of dress pants I own? (6 suits @ $700 each, 10 pair of dress slacks @ $150 each) Who exactly will fund this?

I get that my new stuff should be flat-front, but is it really a crime against nature to have two folds of fabric on the front of your pants?

Posted by: Guyasuta | December 4, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

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