Not sure if you should wear that Tommy Bahama shirt out tonight? The magnificent bastard is here to help. Go ahead. Ask away.
Labor Day has passed, which means you have to put your white pants on furlough for about nine months or so. But only if you have a time machine and plan to visit 1935 for the rest of the year. In 2011, the dictum against wearing white pants between Labor Day and Memorial Day makes about as much sense as making a special trip to the mall to pay $17.98 for an album that only includes three songs you're actually planning to listen to. Some people still do it, sure, but why?
A more sensible approach: Wear white whenever it is weather-appropriate, which is to say, whenever, it's warm enough to have sex outside. For years we've said white pants are okay through the end of the MLB regular season, assuming you live where we do, at about 44° N (northern Wisconsin). We'd like to add an important corollary to the White Pants Doctrine and extend the wearing period five days for each latitudinal degree you are south of Pulaski, until you reach 30° N, where you can safely wear white pants year-round.
See the table below.
||Last Day for White Pants 2011
|St. Louis, MO
As for the pants themselves, our all-time favorite white jean is the AG Protege
(now 33% off at Nordstrom if you're a 33 or 32). For trousers, Costume National Homme makes great whites that can easily be dressed up or down, and they are all on deep discount
this time of year.
Q: Hi. I am a college student with an athletic build and I am going to be starting a job that requires a shirt and tie. I am going shopping soon to get some clothes to start off with and was looking at the Express Mens 1MX shirts. They seem to have a good fit, what your take? Thanks
A: We are not familiar with the Express Mens 1MX shirt, and we have to say, any garment with a name that would work as well for a missile as a shirt gives us pause. But the 1MX does seem to have quite a cult following: the Express 1MX Modern Fit is averaging 4.8 stars (out of a possible 5) over 266 reviews, and the Express 1MX Fitted is doing almost as well, averaging 4.6 stars over 164 reviews.
The only thing more highly rated than these shirts is the news of Osama bin Laden's death.
Additionally, many reviewers own dozens of these things, and some even claim to have one in every flavor — that's 22 shirts!
Oh, did we say flavor? We meant color. Unfortunately, many of these shirts come in colors that remind us of sherbet and may lead you down paths you don't want to go. "You can not go wrong with this shirt," one poor bastard writes. "It fits great and there are so many color varieties available its almost impossible to not find the color you want. My girlfriend wanted to wear matching colors for a Christmas photo, and she wanted purple, and it was not hard to find."
Still, we agree that the fit looks good, though, and while it may surprise some of our readers, we are fans of stretch cotton — which is to say, cotton spiked with a splash of spandex or elastene to add a note of comfort and keep maintenance to a minimum. (Retrieve a good stretch cotton shirt from the dryer at the right time and you're done, no ironing necessary.)
And at $59.90 a shirt, or $89.85 for two, these 1MX shirts are affordable enough to take a chance on. If you get one, we recommend you go with True White.
But before you go that route, do some digging at yoox.com and see if you can find a white or blue stretch or 100% cotton dress shirt from Costume National or Ferre' for a price that makes sense for you. They'll have an equally good fit, mother of pearl buttons, and construction that will last more than a 1/2 dozen trips to the cleaners. (Even when there's no ironing involved, laundry is something we prefer to do only in emergencies.)
Q: I have been searching (and saving) for a pair of the Prada Novo Calfskin Boots you featured in your masthead a couple years ago, and thought that these zip boots from Costume National Homme could tide me over in the interim. They have one pair left in my size. Are they MB or should I hold out for the Prada boots?
A: Josh, first thanks for reading that long. Second, our barbershop masthead series was shot almost three years ago, in February 2008. The New York Times published a piece about "barbershop renaissance" on November 25 (2010). Finally, we hope you grabbed those boots because they're sold out. Costume National footwear has been very good to us and if you like anything from F/W 2010 it's all 50% off. Based on previous years' sale timing, if you wait a couple of more weeks it will go to 70% off.
via Costume National. $1214.00.
For the Magnificent Bastard who you think has everything, we bet he doesn't have a wool cardigan lined with rabbit fur. We're pretty sure it's like carrying around the lodge at the Ahwahnee Hotel on your back -- it's that cozy and luxurious. Like the rest of Costume National's Fall 2009 collection, it's now 40% off.
via YOOX. $155.00.
We dig almost anything Ennio Capasa's Costume National does, and his accessories are no exception. His entire Spring 2009 collection is 60% off, including these three bags that, while still relatively expensive, you won't see slung across anyone else's shoulder.
Of course you'll wear yours with a collared shirt
Q: I am planning on pooling some X-mas money together to purchase a suit (the purchase would double this MB-in-training's collection). I am looking for something that says I'm ready for the position/adventure. I've asked for gift certificates to Banana Republic from a couple people, so if you had a few suggestions, maybe you could start there.
A: Matt, for a fella who's just starting out you could do a lot worse than a Banana Republic suit. Just make sure it's a two-button version, and nothing too trendy like the 3 external jacket pockets they're showing on some of their Monogram line.
One other place you should explore before making a decision is yoox.com. They have better, more unique suits than BR for equivalent prices. Even the least expensive Banana pant-jacket combo is going to run you $475. For an additional $100 you could get into this Costume National suit (originally $1000) that would announce very clearly you're ready for the adventure, and set you apart from the competition.
via YOOX. $498.00.
Q: Where can I get a suit for a reasonable price? And what would the MB consider a reasonable price?
A: In their November 2007 issue GQ said you needed $1,000 to get into a good suit. MB sees GQ's $1,000 and lowers it $500. Finding nice, inexpensive suits is fairly easy because they're always on sale, and especially now that fall is beginning to get closed out (see our retailer links on our home page). For example, our favorite retailer YOOX just slashed prices on fall, allowing thrifty and stylish MBs to acquire this Costume National Homme (currently our favorite designer) suit for just $498.