Stylewise Well Dressed MenAs a single girl, I’m frequently asked what my ideal man is like. Friends in long-term relationships ask—most of the time in an effort to set me up. Mothers of similarly single gal pals ask—perhaps to understand what young folk are into nowadays. Even the salesladies of the stores I pull out from ask—you know, just a little tsismis between us girls.

The questionnaire is pretty much the same across the board. Do I prefer mestizos or morenos? Pretty boys or rugged rakes? Shy or aggressive types?

But most of all, because they know what I do for a living, they pose one particular query: Does he have to be maporma?

My answer to that is always the same. No, he doesn’t. What does it matter if he isn’t dressed like a GQ model when first we meet, so long as he’s smart and kind? That’s not to say that I like my men sloppy—no way. But he doesn’t need to be a fashionisto if, at the very least, he’s neat and clean. I’d consider it.

Having said that, if Mr. Man just happens to be sharply dressed and suavely groomed—and makes a habit of it too—I’d totally love it. I’ve never thought of it as a requirement, but I certainly see it as a great bonus!

I have this long-running daydream of how every perfect man should be dressed the first time you see him. I call it the “hot guy after work” look: crisp white shirt pushed up to the elbows, perfectly tailored trousers that aren’t too long or too baggy, great leather shoes (the kind you want to comment on, if only to break the ice), and the sort of carelessly cool, heartbreaker hairstyle that he can run his fingers through. Yes, he’ll show up like that—and when he saunters into the room in slow motion, hands in his pockets like all leading men, how the girls will whisper!

It’s a silly fantasy, I know—albeit highly amusing. But in some ways, it does put across a subliminal message which I’ve always found to be valid. Style and grooming are important to women—not just for ourselves, but for our potential mates too. While we won’t take it against a guy if he doesn’t share Ryan Gosling’s knack for clothes, we also can’t help ourselves if we swoon at the sight of a true sartorialist.

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When all is said and done, stylish men are just harder to resist—and here are five reasons why.

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(Flashbox photo from Crazy, Stupid, Love courtesy of Warner Bros.)

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