Geek Fashion Fix: Fictional Style Icon | Jean-Ralphio Saperstein
Bear with me, guys. I promise you this isn't a joke.
Think of all of the iconic fictional wardrobes out there. Now, think of how many of them belong to men. If you only thought of one, and it's Don Draper, I want you to take a closer look next time you turn on the TV.
Fashion is one of the very few places where women have infinitely more choices than men. I'm never flipping through a magazine or turning on some good old-fashioned red carpet coverage to see shot after shot of the same black tux. Menswear, for what it is, has never presented itself as something exciting, and when it does, it's probably because someone opted for a blue suit rather than black (I'm looking at you, Chris Evans.)
That's why when I chose my first male style icon, I did what I always aim to do and strayed from the obvious. I could have easily conjured up a bunch of nonsense to post in between pictures of Jon Hamm in pinstripe suits (and yes, he looks damn good, no shade whatsoever), but where's the fun in that?
Enter Jean-Ralphio Saperstein, a man with hair as big as his ridiculous ambitions and a style that speaks to his all-around ridiculous presence. There's a lot to love about Parks & Rec and he is most definitely a part of that long list.
What would Jean-Ralphio be without his signature outfits? Would Carrie Bradshaw be the same without a closet full of designer shoes that rendered her profession unrealistic? And did I really just compare Jean-Ralphio to Carrie Bradshaw? I did and I'm not taking it back.
How many male TV characters have you seen that dress like our beloved Jean-Ralphio that weren't used to merely perpetuate a stereotype? I can't think of any, personally, which is enough to put him in a league of his own.
Double denim? Been there, done that. How about triple denim? Ever seen a galaxy print bomber? You have now. Mixing prints? Oh, you're telling him everyone doesn't do that?
Jean-Ralphio said it himself: he's open-minded as hEeEeEeLl, and it shows through his fashion choices. He left the neatly-pressed suits to his partner in crime, Tom Haverford. For himself, it was always loud colors and prints, and enough scarves to make you question where in the world he kept them all.
Those looking for a male style icon can take a few pages out of Jean-Ralphio's book, even if they still feel the need to tone down some of his bold choices. He's the proof we need that menswear on television has the right to be everything but boring.
All seven seasons of Parks & Recreation are available in all their binge-worthy glory on Netflix & Hulu. Stay inside and watch them all this weekend.
If you love the ridiculousness that is Jean-Ralphio's wardrobe, then I'm sure you'll love extra-in-all-the-right-ways-icon Cher Horowitz.