Last night, Mr. Porter (Net-a-Porter.com's brother site) promised that they and "a few dashing friends" would make us "wish [we] were a guy... at least for an evening." And while I wouldn't necessarily say that was my exact reaction upon leaving the event, it was certainly an experience. The setting was reminiscent of a dimly-lit whiskey lounge frequented in Mad Men, though most of the 'dashing friends' looked more Chuck Bass than Don Draper (not that we're complaining).
Scattered amongst the cocktail-bearing guests were various "classes" being taught by some gorgeous gents, meant to show us women folk how to be more like men. Or, how to please our men with our manly skills. Or, how to show our men how to be more like the real men they should be. Even if the closest thing to a man in my life right now is a betta fish named Banana. Whatever.
So, looking to share some gentlemanly tips with the men in your life? Here are some of the best ones we picked up over the course of the evening:
• The key to a killer martini (and they mean killer--do not attempt consumption following a single salad meal) is the right gin (London Dry), a splash of absinthe, orange bitters, Maraschino liqueur, vermouth, and the perfect stirring method. Ignore that old Bond quote; shaking this fairly deadly but truly delish concoction breaks up the ice too much.
• Tying a bow tie is as easy as tying shoelaces--and according to men's accessories designer Alexander Olch, who was on-hand to aid in the festivities, I'm a natural! Secretly, I think I've always known... The newest bow ties are asymmetrical and less perfect-looking than their fussy predecessors. And casually bunched pocket rounds are cooler than pocket squares.
• And saving the best and most uncomfortable for last, we learned just how a man is supposed to undress. In front of a lady! Or, in this case, about eight ladies eagerly squashed together on the back of a leather couch, awaiting the show lesson. First went the shoes and socks (immediately smushed within shoes). Next, the shirt ("because there is no excuse for a grown man to be left standing in just a T-shirt"), and finally the pants-- at which point a fellow femme guest was asked to help with the belt un-fastening. Life-altering stuff, really!
I momentarily felt a random tinge of embarrassment for the model left standing awkwardly in his mini skivvies as the slack-jawed audience sauntered off--that was, until a clothed Chuck Bass informed me that naked Chuck Bass had clamored for the revealing role during casting. Seems you can put a tailored jacket and bow tie on a man (or, in this case, take them off), but you really can't take the man (read: teenage boy) out of gentleman. Or... something like that.