Growing male appearance obsession depicted in documentary ‘Mansome’

Mansome,” the latest documentary from the director of “Super SIze Me,” provides an in-depth look at how male vanity is on the rise in America today.

“We’ve created this society where what you project externally matters, almost more than anything else,” said director Morgan Spurlock after a screening last month. “To say it doesn’t matter how a man looks anymore is untrue.”

“Mansome,” which opens in select cities this week, features vignettes on individuals such as champion beard grower, a pro wrestler and a barber who creates customized toupees.The documentary also includes commentary from actors Jason Bateman and Will Arnett.

“I think male vanity has lived in many different forms,” Ben Silverman, an executive producer of the film told the Boston Globe. “But it may be entering its most superficial era ever. It was once tied with Darwinist elements such as procreating. Now it’s about six-pack abs and fake tans.”

The New York Post, however, panned “Mansome” in a review that said “The movie purports to be a lighthearted look at changing notions of masculinity and appearance. But unless you find something intrinsically hilarious about a man getting a pedicure, laughs are scarce.”

The consistently sweet smell of a succesful actor

Raul Esparza, who stars Jonas Nightingale in the musical “Leap of Faith,” has a cologne    ritual for his plays.

He uses particular colognes to conjure sensory images. “A particular smell puts me in a place so much faster than any intellectual work I could do,” he explained to the New York Times Magazine.

Esparza selects a scent and wears it until the show shutters. He’s been wearing Tom Ford for Men for this role.

For his Tony-nominated role in “Company,” Esparza chose Royal Water by Creed. “It smells like money — expensive, crispy and chilly,” he told the Times magazine. “You inhale it and ummmm, wealth! I saw my character, Bobby, as an advertising executive living in SoHo: extraordinarily successful and an ice-cold human being.”

For those looking to conjure sensory images on a budget, Esparza has also been known to sport Old Spice, because he is drawn to tobacco-y musky smells.

The modern manzere, or is it the bro?

Our friends at Askmen.com recently tackled the age-old question of how to contain man-boobs that was the basis for a classic “Seinfeld” episode. The modern day answer is far removed from the memorable bro versus manzere debate between Kramer and Mr. Costanza.

Q: I am fighting the man-boob battle. What clothes should I be avoiding and which ones should I be wearing?

A: Women have been using shape-wear for years to help smooth lumps and bumps in order to get closer to achieving their ideal figure. For some reason, though, shape-wear for men has virtually remained a secret, despite being readily available. Try starting with a shaping T-shirt as your base layer, like a seamless nylon model from One Flat Jack. It will compress your chest without feeling uncomfortable, leaving you with a slimmer looking physique. Over top, layer a dress shirt that skims your body but has breathing room, and pair it with a single-breasted, dark blazer worn unbuttoned.

‘Mad Men’ Bring Plaid Back

Mad Men Plaid

'Mad Men' enters the plaid dimension.

The fifth season of “Mad Men,” which premiered on AMC recently, made a statement in Men’s fashion with the return of the plaid sport jacket.

Set in 1966, this fifth season features a departure from the drab suit colors of previous episodes. Colorful checkered suits and sport coats, which pay homage to the mid to late 1960s, have made a comeback on runways this spring. Gucci and Costume National debuted check jackets at spring/summer shows this year.

The throwback plaid jacket look may become a must-have this summer.

Style matters even to the hunters

Now more than ever, men are focused on what image they project based on what they wear.

In the age of Internet, men can research their suits and sport coats online like they would with a new car.

“I’m not just talking about a `fashion guy,’ ” said Gilt Groupe’s Tyler Thoreson. “For many men, your wardrobe is part of your program of discernment. They’ll learn about it like a car or a wine or a watch.”

Men then hit the stores or online retailers, such as Suitbargains.com, like they are on a mission, said Eric Jennings of Saks Fifth Avenue.

“Men travel in herds, and when it’s OK in your friendship group to care about how you look on the weekends, it spreads pretty quickly,” Allen Edmonds CEO Paul Grangaard told the Associated Press. “Since the recession of 2008, you’re always networking. Men dress better for midweek coffees and lunches and on weekends because you never know who you’ll run into where. You always want to look secure, stable and reliable.”