The spectre of Greece electing an anti-austerity, anti-bailout party has contributed to the Euro falling to an 11-year low against the US dollar. What does this mean, besides the increased possibility of a Black Friday-like rush on De Wallen by Omaha-based bargain shoppers? Incredible discounts on some of our favorite European clothing brands, of course.
Take SWIMS, for instance. The fine Norwegian outerwear and shoemaker trades in Euros and ships to the US, and makes the Mobster overshoe, one of our all-time favorite accessories. It's an impenetrable rubber and neoprene shield that protects our footwear from the cold and snow of bike commutes, the slush of mid-day crosstown dashes, and the blood and vomit of Wednesday night happy hours spun completely out of control.
SWIMS wants €79.00 for a pair of Mobsters, which at today's exchange rate is $88.78. Add in the current swims.com 20% discount code Celebrating10! and they're just 71 bucks. By contrast, the price at US retailer Allen Edmonds is $149. If you're wondering, shipping isn't an issue. Buy two of anything at SWIMS and shipping is included.
The market has already factored in Alexis Tsipras as prime minister, so be sure to act before it starts correcting.
Things you should make out of leather: Briefcases. Golf bags. Wallets. Bondage gear. Bicycle seats. Shoes. Club chairs.
Things you should not make out of leather: Jogging pants.
We admit the senseless lack of utility is high here. A pair of leather jogging pants is essentially a sign to the world that says, "No, I have absolutely no intention of jogging today, or ever."
But when we try to picture JFK wearing these things, we can't do it. Paul Newman? Nick Nolte? Steve McQueen? Johnny Depp? Nope, nope, nope, nope — not even Johnny Depp. Jennifer Lopez' fourth husband, a 24-year-old back-up record producer named Ziqué? Yes! Now we are pretty sure such a creature does not actually exist. But his pants do, and these are them.
Q: I am preparing the groomsmen attire for my upcoming wedding. Naturally, our gentlemen will wear bespoke formalwear, as selected by the bride and I. Thin arched lapel, two button classic style coupled with a tapered, fitted jacket. I call it the Lafontaine. Here’s the kicker: the suits will be black, likely with white shirts (also fitted). In true bastardly fashion, I am considering offering the groomsmen a lasting, memorable gift: a woodworked, Quebec-issued bowtie made of noble wood. Given that I will be wearing a black (silk) bowtie, I'd like to differentiate them with another color. Can the men wear a brown on black style or must it be black on black?
Please advice, O wise Sensei.
A: We don't place much stock in the sanctity of marriage, but when it comes to the sanctity of marriage attire, we're strict traditionalists. If things go well — and we sincerely wish you the best — there's a chance your wedding photos will be hanging on your wall for 20, 30, even fifty years. Do you think your groomsmen's prospective wooden bow ties will stand that test of time?
So while your desire to offer your groomsmen a lasting, memorable gift is admirable, we'd like to steer you away from your current choice. You need timeless wedding attire, and that means ties that come from a silkworm's ass, not a tree.
As for a gift for the groomsmen, we recommend an engraved glass cocktail shaker. It's lasting, it's memorable, and if your groomsmen are worthy of being your groomsmen, it's a gift they will use often and appreciatively while getting shitfaced for years to come.
Q: Hi, MB! My husband loves his Unicorn Belt!
Is it still cool for guys to wear shoes with colored soles? I am looking at some Ferragamo's for him- they are kind of expensive... — Deb
A: Even when we're aiming to make a statement, we tend to go for subtlety. Colored soles are permissible on certain occasions, especially those that involve jibing and tacking. But even in these instances, we gravitate toward dark blues and dark reds. To make our preferences perfectly clear, we've created a chart. Our general rule of thumb: If a shoe's soles are a shade so vibrant they might attract a poison dart frog, or even worse, Guy Fieri, they're too colorful.
In late December, the Dow Jones topped 18,000 for the first time. The U.S. economy is taking off like a Titleist driven by the invisible hand, arm, torso, and Ping G30 of Bubba Watson. Even President Obama's approval ratings are trending upward.
Why all this good news? Correlation does not equal causation, but we can't help but notice that Mr. Obama is dressing better on the golf course. Granted, he had nowhere to go but up. As we've covered in the past, the nation's Executive-in-Chief has typically looked more like a hapless mailroom schlub while walking some of the best links in the land. Baggy cargo shorts. Voluminous polo shirts that would like right at home in Walmart's 4-person tent aisle. And who can forget that awful moment in 2008 when a driving range swing launched his Blackberry into the atmosphere like a doomed space shuttle. NASA, we do not have lift-off.
Now, he's still nowhere near embodying the casual kinetic assurance that says, "Yes, America, I am leading you toward prosperity, security, and overall well-being, and I still have time to get in 18 holes on Sunday."
But at least President Obama has apparently ditched the cargo shorts. He's wearing slimmer-fitting polos that leave his elbows uncovered. In his new garb, he looks more graceful and assured — and that in turn leads to greater grace and assurance. The impact is personal — his golf game has improved dramatically. But there's a macro element as well. America sees a more commanding figure at the helm, and almost magically, gas prices start dropping, consumer confidence increases, the Dow starts climbing, etc.
Okay, this is it — our last deal of 2014. From now until December 19, when you buy a tie or belt, we're throwing in a tin of Alfred Lane solid cologne — the Vanguard scent. Eventually we're going to be selling this in our store for $17.95. But it's Christmas time, we're feeling festive, and so we'll be handing them out for free to anyone who gets a tie, a belt, or oil painting.
Until December 19, that is. Then we're headed to Costa Rica to surf for two weeks, and we won't be back until January 3. (You can order merchandise during this time; we just won't be shipping until January 4.)
Okay, got it? Now, we suppose, it's time to address a question longtime readers may have. "Wait," you're probably saying, if you fit this description. "You guys don't like cologne. Why are you selling it in your store?"
And it's true that while answering a question about Axe, we once exclaimed, "We're not fans of cologne per se." And then followed that up a month later with an even stronger declaration: "Ben, no such thing as a 'hot new fragrance' in our book. We've recently made our case against cologne."
But that was in 2008. We're six years older now, which means we're six years smellier. Someone gave us a tin of Vanguard a while back, and we were pleasantly surprised. Unlike traditional cologne, it's solid, which makes it easy to apply with a (literal) subtle touch. Just a dab on our gullet, and its crisp and manly scent — sort of like a filtered pine forest in which a slightly inebriated Nick Nolte is enjoying a bottle of top-shelf bourbon — neutralizes the faint whiff of impending death that now emanates from our wilting telomeres.
What we're saying is we use the stuff, and like it enough to carry in our store. And if you a buy a tie or belt before December 19, you can make your own assessments, on us. Merry Christmas!
Here at MB HQ, it's that time of the year where our conversations turn toward the ever-worsening trend we describe as the Halloweenification of Christmas. You know what mean: Millions and millions of adults, dressing up in clownishly garish Christmas costumes to honor the birth of our lord Carrot Top.
Has anything ever provided less joy to the world than a grown man or woman, half-sloshed on 100-proof eggnog, trying to camouflage his bone-deep holiday despair by wearing a naughty snowman on his chest?
On December 12th, the 'weenification' of Christmas will reach its awful apex on National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. We understand the profound global forces underlying this phenomenon. Social media has connected us all more tightly, made us all more visible to each other, and yet, paradoxically, all more invisible to each other as well, as everyone battles for attention.
The urge to stand out intensifies in this new milieu — and what better way to signal one's singularly charismatic sense of style than in a context where looking ridiculous is the explicit goal? Talk about a tradition tailor-made for an era where self-esteem and convenience rule.
To all this, we issue a hardy and heartfelt "Bah humbug!"
And advise you to cede National Ugly Sweater Day to Utah. On December 12th, put on a garment that will truly make your heart swell with gratitude for this incredible world we live in, where impeccably crafted garments are always just a click away. We recommend this Rice-Knit Cashmere Cardigan in Burnt Red Melange.
Yes, that name sort of makes it sound like this sweater belongs on a menu rather than your back, but don't be deterred. The cashmere comes from the Bayangovi region of Mongolia, where zero-degree days qualify as "hot" and the local livestock develop suitably thick and fluffy coats to compensate. Nomadic herders hand-comb the wool from these magnificent creatures, and each of these sweaters comes with a label that specifies the exact herder who did the combing! Add some genuine horn buttons, and what you've got is a Christmas sweater that looks as stylish as it does cozy.
Seriously, you're planning to get up at 5AM to stand in line and then slug it out with a bunch of coupon-clipping housewives over a cut-rate flat-screen? If you lived in the Soviet Union, circa 1975, we could understand such behavior.
But it's 2014. We are blessed to live in a golden era of mindless consumption. We have so much more to be thankful for than crowded parking lots, long lines, and heavy discounts on last year's straight-out-of-Guangdong tablet. We have e-commerce, home delivery, and 100% wool, made-in-New-York ties, for the mindblowing price of $40, shipping including. And if you buy two or more, we'll throw in a complimentary Secret Agent Belt to help you celebrate the bounty of the season. (Just remember to tell us your belt size.) Finally, if you are an elected member of Ukraine's Parliament and can authenticate this fact, we will send you the tie of your choice, for free.
Our Magnificent Bastard Black Tieday Sales Event starts now and lasts through 11:59 PM, Central Time, Sunday evening. At which point it turns into our Magnificent Bastard Tieber Monday Sales Event and continues for another 24 hours. Unless we run out of ties before then, in which case it ends.
So have yourself a leisurely Thanksgiving. Sleep in on Friday. Get up when you want, check in here, gather your loved ones and friends around your laptop hearth, click a few buttons, and just like that, experience all the magic of America's most sacred and beloved holiday, Black Friday, with absolutely none of the hassle.
And just because Black Friday is an American holiday, this doesn't mean that only Americans and Ukrainian officials can participate in our Sales Event. If you live outside the U.S., are not a member of Ukraine's Parliament, and still want to buy a tie for $40, just send a note to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us what items you want, and we'll let you know how much the shipping will cost, how you can pay, etc.
In the end, as Black Friday approaches, it's easy to get caught up in the frenzy of the holiday and lose sight of its true meaning and value. So we'd like to take a moment to reflect on that. At its heart, Black Friday is a celebration of abundance, convenience, and the enduring meaning and connectedness we all derive from retail transactions involving cherished consumer goods. We are honored to do business with you, and hope you feel the same.
As we explain in the shop, just putting on these mint-condition specimens from the golden era of aviator glasses will make you feel bolder, nobler, and a little reckless. But what we only learned today, through further self-experimentation, is what happens when you pair the Girard 3700s with our Secret Agent Belt.
Simply put, you achieve a state of mind we can only describe as "Double-O DiMaso." All the boldness, nobility, and recklessness remains, but it is now undergirded by a deep sense of lethal and rock-solid competence.
It's a sensation too wonderful to keep to ourselves, and that's why, in the spirit of the holiday season, we are throwing in a complimentary Secret Agent Belt to anyone who orders a pair of the Girard 3700s. Just remember to include your belt size when you complete your order — use the Note section on the order form — and we will take care of the rest.
Earlier this year, while vacationing in California, we sampled some gelato made from water buffalo milk, and it was the smoothest, creamiest gelato we'd ever had. It got us to thinking — if water buffalos can be the foundation for great desserts, why not great belts too? So we started investigating, and months later, we've got a new product in our shop — The 300-Year Sterling Silver Buckle Belt: Water Buffalo Edition.
Like the first and no-longer-available version of this belt, this new edition features a beautifully crafted .925 sterling silver buckle by artist Mary Daughtrey. But this time around, the strap is made from water buffalo hide, which, as the photo attests, exudes a blend of rugged but polished character that makes it an understated show-stopper. Wait, rugged and polished? Understated and show-stopping? "You're throwing around a lot of paradoxes, guys," you may be saying to your screen right now. "What exactly are you trying to say here?"
We're saying your waist is going to be getting a lot of admiring double-takes if you buy this belt. And people are going to be asking you a lot of questions.
Here are your answers: You got it from Magnificent Bastard. The water buffalos came from India. The buckle was made in Arizona. The belts were manufactured in Minnesota. It only cost you $100, which, yes, is pretty amazing price for a belt that will stay in style for at least 300 years. (Amortize that, and it's less than a penny a week!) You're not sure if they can get one too — only a limited number were made. But they can try, if they hurry!
The Giants' World Series victory parade through downtown San Francisco was an alarming if not unpredictable display of brute toolbag power. Like a murderer's row of Jersey Shore extras, one player after the next swung for the fences and knocked good taste out of the park.
Luckily, relief finally showed up in the unlikely form of little-used pitcher Tim Lincecum. Though the one-time superstar only saw 1 ⅔ innings of action in the series, during a Game 2 loss to the Royals, his victory parade mechanics were in top form. No team colors? Check. No trash-talking commemorative sweatshirts or visible logos of any kind? Check. Well-tailored shacket paired with an artfully disheveled scarf and what looks to be a cashmere beanie? Check.
Put this guy back in the starting rotation, skip! He's ready to play.
Sometimes legendary newspaper man Ben Bradlee — who presided over the Washington Post during Watergate — stood up to White House power. Other times he sat down and snuggled with it. Both approaches took a bedrock sense of self-assurance that every man should aspire to. RIP, Ben Bradlee.
We know the NFL would like to project a less sociopathic image these days. But in our book, wearing two pieces of conspicuously wholesome flair on one appendage constitutes an illegal formation penalty. Seriously, a wedding ring, in the middle of a game? From coin toss to the final tick of the game clock, the only ring any NFL player should be thinking about is a Super Bowl ring. You don't play for the Minnesota Grooms, Mr. Ponder. You play for the Vikings. Five yard penalty!
As a young, London-trained barrister, Mahatma Gandhi wore traditional business attire and pulled it off with aplomb. But it wasn't until he shed his suit and tie in favor of simple hand-spun sheet of locally produced cloth — aka khadi — that he emerged as a world-changing force. While rulers and revolutionaries alike typically signal their power and/or aspirations to power through crowns, brocade, epaulettes, sashes, and other ostensibly dazzling sartorial semaphores, Gandhi went in the complete opposite direction. His entire wardrobe appeared to consist of a bedsheet.
But if clothes make the man, it's also true, though much rarer, that the man can sometimes make the clothes. Gandhi donned a simple sheet and established himself as an icon of understated but indomitable will. His message was so true, and his convictions so strong, that he didn't need to clothe them in anything more elaborate than plain white cloth.
Now let us be clear here. We're not saying everyone — or really even anyone — should dress like Gandhi. If we said that, we'd never sell another belt or tie. But talk about artful dishevelment! Talk about not trying too hard! While Gandhi's wardrobe lacked variety, it had style to spare. And that's why, today, on Gandhi's birthday, we are breaking out the Bulleit and the Laphroaig and toasting the father of an independent India — and the father of business casual. Before Hef went to work in a bathrobe, before Steve Jobs prowled the hallways of Atari in bare feet, before Mark Zuckerberg taught mankind to share everything in a hoodie, there was Gandhi, showing the world you don't always need a power tie to be powerful. Our glasses are raised in his honor.
Q: Hey MB. I'm going to a wedding next week; I was planning on wearing a navy Hardy Amies suit with a (Deo Veritas) dark lavender gingham shirt, black shoes and no-show socks. Would you give me some tie recommendations? I have been waiting for your summer tie but was thinking maybe a solid lavender tie might do in its place. Thanks so much for all your advice. Seriously. —Cristian
A: With your Hardy Amies suit and Deo Veritas shirt, we suspect you're already going to be better dressed than the groom, and possibly the bride. That said, you don't want to outshine them too much — it's their day to be in the spotlight.
Thus, we are going to suggest something fairly low-key: A solid knit tie in burgundy. With a dark lavender gingham shirt, you're already making a statement — so you don't need a patterned tie adding yet another loud voice to the conversation happening on your chest. The tie we're envisioning weighs in silently but noticeably, with its rough texture and complementary shade adding visual contrast in a subtle but intriguing way. We predict that bridesmaids will be fondling your neckwear all day.
Now here's the thing about knit ties: The industry standard is to circumcise them and leave a flat edge at the bottom, and starve them to boot. DO NOT GET A SKINNY CIRCUMCISED TIE! (Yes, for the record, that is the first time we've ever used all-caps on this site.) You need a tie with a pointed end, and it must be at least 3 inches wide.
We looked around for a tie with these specs, and stumbled upon an online store called The Knottery. The name gives us pause, and so does the price point of their ties — just $35. These ties are probably not made in the U.S. — you'll need to spend at least $45 for that. But the Knottery's merchandise has gotten positive press from GQ, Esquire, Kempt, and many others. So we encourage you to take a chance on this burgundy knit. It fits our specs — pointed end, 3.25 inches wide, 100 percent silk — and you can apply the money you save on it toward a wedding gift. Give our best to the bride and groom!
Q: A lot of fellas are buttoning their collars all the way to the top these days, was just wondering your take & if the old MB shirt buttoning rules still apply. Just received my chocolate sandwich cookie cashmere belt btw, my waist is happy. —Andre
A: Our goal here is style, not fashion. And style is ultimately about ... math. Ratios, angles, golden means, etc. In other words, good rules for style aren't just rules. They're laws, as immutable as anything Sir Isaac Newton ever put down in his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica.
So our take on buttons remains the same as always. For polos, N - 2.
When you're wearing a buttondown with a jacket and tie, button all the way to the top. If you take off your jacket, then ask yourself What Would Newman Do? The answer: Unbutton your top button and loosen your tie.
If you're wearing a sports shirt, there is no simple rule of thumb, because the answer depends on multiple sartorial and biological factors, including collar size, button spacing, and chest follicle density. See this post for elaboration, but in general, we encourage restraint. Just as you never want to go full Grimley, you also never want to go full Cowell. And even Newman himself can misstep when he starts heading in the latter direction.
Finally, we're glad to hear you like your belt. Thanks for your patronage.
A: As loyal readers know, we are suckers for a senseless lack of utility. And a timepiece that can't make it on its own from dawn until dawn surely qualifies as that. In addition to its presumably short battery life, the Apple Watch will use wireless charging — which introduces even more paraphernalia to the mix. As we understand it, to fully use an Apple Watch, you need an iPhone, the Watch's wireless charger, and, say, a Timex, to determine how many minutes until your Apple Watch runs down and to keep track of the time while it's juicing up again.
All told, that's not a "watch" — it's a time-telling system almost as technologically clunky as our beloved Geochron.
And yet here's the issue as we see it: The Apple Watch starts at just $349. And even the higher-end versions aren't likely to be that expensive — the Business of Fashionpredicts a price point of around $1000 for the 18-karat gold model. In the realm of luxury timepieces, this qualifies as "sensibly affordable." And the $349 Apple Watch is downright cheap.
Throughout its history, Apple has always functioned as much as a fashion company as a technology company. (When it was designing its breakthrough product, the Apple II, co-founder Steve Jobs couldn't find a shade of beige for its case that pleased his discerning eye — even though the vendor he was working with offered 2000 choices.) Now, with the Apple Watch, it's leaving technology almost entirely behind and attempting to disrupt bling. For the $10,000 or so you might pay for a used, lightly scratched Submariner, you can get Apple Watches in a couple dozen different varieties. Or to put it another way, the 21st century finally has a Swatch to call its own.
In short order, these things are going to be ubiquitous, and that's why we want no part of them. At least until we've turned Pourcast into an app that sends you an alert every time you step within 100 feet of a bar stocked with all the ingredients that a Magnificent Bastard cocktail requires. Alas, unless someone invents a watch that magically adds a few extra hours to each day, that's still a ways down the road.
Sometime last year, the data scientists at Trivago figured out a simple metric for identifying potential customers: If you can't afford a belt, you probably are in the market for a good deal on a hotel room. Thus, an advertising campaign was born. In a commercial that started airing last year, a pitchman who would ultimately become known as Trivago Guy began captivating television viewers. Bedraggled, bleary-eyed, and, to connect with the target audience, beltless, Trivago Guy looks like he has spent the last 20 years draining hotel room mini-bars dry while leaving the pillows untouched. And yet who can deny the easygoing but absolute assurance he projects when explaining what to look for in an online hotel reservation service?
#trivagoGuy, in short, was a hit. But now that he has apparently captured the unshaven-and-beltless traveler demographic, Trivago has decided to give him a makeover. Share a photo of what he should look like on social media, and you can win a five-day trip to Berlin.
In the old days, of course, only new CEOs were allowed to wreck winning ad campaigns. Now, thanks to the democritization of media, we all can.
We think our Adam Smith Cashmere belt in Chocolate Sandwich Cookie is exactly what Trivago Guy needs to perfect his look. And to emphasize this fact, we're having a sale, from now through August 30, or until we run out of belts, whichever comes first. Regular price $90. Sale price $50, shipping included. We're sure Trivago Guy himself would approve — he knows a deal when he sees one.
Ferguson, Missouri's police department has approximately 54 uniformed officers — and according to the city budget, it has spent more than $213,000 on "wearing apparel" over the last four years. That works out to just a little under $4000 per officer, and from the look of things over the last few days, much of that is being spent on camo. So we have to wonder — where are they shopping?
While menswear designers have been bombarding shoppers with an endless barrage of weaponized swim trunks and combat-ready varsity jackets for the last several seasons, the War On Plaid has mostly been a losing battle. Everywhere you look, camo is on deep discount. With $213,000, you should be able to outfit an entire U.S. Army division! So the Ferguson police department isn't just trampling on the 1st Amendment rights of American citizens. It also appears to be wasting their money.
When you're chasing extremely fit and agile villains up scaffolding in the midst of a chaotic but scenic construction site in the Bahamas, do you really care what time it is? Or is it more important that your belt remains secure? We're not secret agents ourselves, but we know a guy at The Sardine Can who swears he is — or was, until he learned a little too much about Area 153. (Nope, we'd never heard of it either, and of course that makes sense. It's three times more top-secret than Area 51.)
Anyway, Spiro — probably an alias — assures us that a secure, durable, and dashing belt would be an incredibly useful item for a genuine secret agent. So rather than give the world one more lookalike watch strap, that's what we've created. Based on the iconic color scheme of the watch band James Bond wore in Goldfinger, we present the Secret Agent Belt. Country of origin: China. Price: $30.07. Ships concealed in a handsome semi-automatic box, and available in our shop now.
Society's best defense against bad men wearing bad belts are good men wearing unusually stylish belts. Will you answer the call of duty?
In reality, Kanye West is a reported 5' 8", i.e. just a tiny bit shorter than the average U.S. male. And yet despite his statistically confirmed averageness, West, who appears on the cover of the August GQ, is also a rare example of a celebrity who apparently aspires to be smaller than life. Over the last five years, we've watched in puzzlement as he has shown an increasing attachment to an extreme form of sartorial foreshortening. The deadly combo?
* Tshirts that cover more leg than any dress in Miley Cyrus's wardrobe.
* A "bunched" pants aesthetic that should be left to Sharpeis.
Decreasing the apparent length of your legs from both above and below frequently results in a highly identifiable visual brand — as both the Oompa Loompas and Mr. Magoo can attest. But while it works for them, are these really the role models Yeezy wants to emulate? Unless you are a grotesquely adorable cartoon character, we discourage this method of dress.
See the full-size, shrunken-down Kanye West from the August 2014 GQhere.
Q: I am looking for a cool weekender bag with good organization. I found the perfect one in the J. Fold Trooper bag, but unfortunately it
appears to have been discontinued as I can't find it anywhere. Do you
know of anything comparable I should consider? —Eric
A: We are sad to hear the Trooper bag no longer appears to be in production — we continue to use ours often and four years down the line it is holding up well.
The Trooper had a fairly distinct profile that was based on standard-issue Soviet military bags from the 1960s and 1970s. Alas, in a quick survey of our favorite bag manufacturers, we were unable to find any offerings that closely approximate the Trooper's doctor's bag-like shape in weekender-style dimensions and materials.
Of what we did see, we were most intrigued by this Scout Series Navy Duffle from Wheelmen & Co., which strikes us as a nice combination of durability and modestly understated style. The overall shape is more conventional than the Trooper, but the volume is essentially the same and we suspect the Scout is easy to pack. Silver hardware is always our first choice over the far more ubiquitous brass, and while there are no photos of the bag's interior, we like the sound of it. Multiple pockets (including one zippered) and orange lining (presumably bright) to make it easier to ID small loose items in dim conditions.
So until Putin annexes the U.S. and commands J. Fold to start making Troopers again, we encourage you to consider the Scout. And if you do go ahead and purchase it, let us know what you think.
We have been watching this Jil Sander collar for what feels like years now, wondering who might pay $1480, then $589, and now $147.25 for this item. On the one hand, we were conceptually intrigued by Sander's merchandising innovation — she was trying to appify or unbundle something that had traditionally been considered a part of a shirt or jacket rather than a standalone accessory. On the other hand, there was the item itself, which always made us think, "Damn. Somewhere, there's a really toolbaggy, circumcised leather jacket walking around." Now, months later, the snipped foreskin, er, collar, can be had for a 90% discount. And yet sizes S, M, and L are still available. Verdict: Unsafe at any price!
With professional peacekeepers like these Yemeni riot police dressing with the bombastic flair of a back-up dancer in some lost Janet Jackson video, Givenchy has decided to deploy all its firepower in its effort to put an R&R spin on battledress. The result: An outfit so garish not even the fog of war can dampen its destructive force. We expect to see these on the streets of Baghdad soon.
Male models of the world, a gauntlet has been thrown down. The guy in this latest installment of Show Us Your Game Face, Dude! has already proven that he can maintain a visage as emotionally inscrutable as Half Dome even when wearing a terry cloth hat that would prompt Zeno of Citium into a fit of giggles.
Now, he's taking on — and handily defeating — what appears to be a suit of chainmail that can only hope to offer protection against barbarians with a bad sense of direction. Ladies and gentlemen, our first Game Face two-time winner!
Q: Wondering what you think about reversible belts like this croc/ostrich one — toolbag gimmick or useful wardrobe expansion technique? Also, that buckle looks strangely familiar.
A: At first glance, a belt that efficiently moonlights as another belt might seem to violate the principle of senseless lack of utility. In this case, though, the utility manifests itself in the realm of style. That is to say, a reversible belt doesn't make any claim to hold up your pants better, or provide some other practical benefit. It just multiplies the possibilities of looking magnificent. And that's the kind of utility we can embrace. In fact, we have plans to someday release a reversible belt ourselves.
Nonetheless, while we conceptually endorse reversible belts, there's still the matter of execution. Regarding the belt you've got your eye on, we love the Caiman crocodile side. But we think the full-quill ostrich side should probably bury its head in the sand. In other words, we'd approach this one as a strictly one-sided belt if we were to incorporate it into our wardrobe.
With their covered faces, camo pants, and simple black tees, this strikingly well-coordinated Mahdi Army flash mob almost looks as if they are about to surrender to 2014's most hegemonic force — normcore. And yet note the emphatic gestures of resistance. Fluorescent explosive devices and sweatbands. Skull face scarves. We are astounded that amongst all the upraised right hands, there is not one clutching an iPhone and taking a selfie — because this is the most self-consciously fashion-forward rebel army we've seen to date. When Opening Ceremony decides to get serious about invading the Gap, they know who to call.
Normally we steer readers who ask away from camo. But if there's anyone on earth who should be taking advantage of the collapsing camo market's post-peak prices, it's Blue Steel and Le Tigre here as showcased by this NY Times article. As ISIL runs unchecked across Iraq, shooting anything that moves, these guys are wearing electric vermillion and plaid? While we admire their commitment to style in the face of adversity — if not actually their style — we can't help but wonder about their choices. Even wrapping themselves in a giant matador's cape would be an improvement over their current outfits.
3 shots rye whiskey (or to taste)
1 sugar cube
quarter shot of Absinthe
Soak the sugar cube with the bitters and place in the bottom of a highball glass. Mash with the back of a spoon (or muddler, which we hope has not been used to make a Mojito), add the rye whiskey and fill the glass with ice. Stir for about 30 seconds and then strain into another lowball glass that has been rinsed with Absinthe and filled about halfway with ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.