Not sure if you should wear that Tommy Bahama shirt out tonight? The magnificent bastard is here to help. Go ahead. Ask away.
About this time last year Esquire ran a terrific little piece on top designer Michael Bastian, and how he couldn't afford his own clothes due to an expensive relationship with launch partner Brunello Cucinelli.
We speculated at the time that Bastian was shopping at J. Crew.
By going out on his own it was thought Bastian could lower his prices by 20%, but in fact it seems prices for his clothes have increased by about that much. Just in at thecorner.com:
* $810 for a Western shirt
* $2,915 for a blazer
* $360 for a pair of shorts
* $225 for a tank top
* $1,800 for a cashmere sweater with a ridiculous logo
That cashmere sweater (pictured) has us interested in the emerging field of Designer Algebra. In the Michael Bastian equation, a grey cashmere v-neck sweater is $300. Suede elbow patches are a buck seventy-five. The felt appliqué is 50¢. Put them together and it adds up to $1,800.
Magnificent Bastard is collaborating with this year's Michael Bastian x Randolph Engineering collaboration and giving away a pair of the MBxRE sunglasses. What do you have to do to win? Simply identify the six celebrities wearing Randolph Engineering frames below and identify the Randolph Engineering frame they're all wearing (hint: note the singular use of the word "frame") and email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The winner will get to pick their favorite MBxRE frame whether it be the Sportsman, the Aviator, the Aviator II, the Intruder, or the P3 in any combination of frame and lens color. It's between a $165 and $225 value. The deadline to enter is Friday, October 7. We'll put all the correct entries into our Super Bowl XLV hat and pick a winner to be announced on Monday, October 10. Good luck!
The correct answers are:
They are all wearing the Randolph Engineering Aviator frame
Congratulations to reader Eric Bangerter for being skilled enough to answer correctly, and being lucky enough to have his name randomly picked from a hat. Way to go.
Are you telling us a wide tie wouldn't improve Paul Weller's look?
Q: Just read your skinny tie entry and reasons for disliking. The list of people of legendary style status who favored skinny ties is endless. Fat ties are the choice of Vegas club doormen, the kind you can smell from 10 feet away and wear Affliction in their off time. The reasoning (more for your money) is beyond me, and goes against your own tastes in the few entries I've read - a pleat gives you more more material for your money, so does a tassel on a shoe, and nearly every bad thing about clothing is about addition. The guys on sportscenter and The Sopranos vs. Paul Weller, JFK, Miles Davis. You should really rethink this one.
A: Loosen up your tie and relax, Chuck! At MB, we believe that giving our readers a good deal on a great tie calls for levity, not complete seriousness, and thus our joke about preferencing wider ties over skinny ones because you get "more for your money" was just that, a joke.
Rest assured that our often-expressed preference for wider ties has a sound aesthetic foundation. In short, we believe that one's tie width should echo the width of one's lapels, within 1/4". If you're like us and subscribe to Tom Ford's way of thinking that wider lapels "make men look more masculine, less boyish, and in general more powerful," it follows that one's ties should be equivalently wide.
These days lapels are following Ford's inevitable lead and fattening up, nearly as much as Christina Aguilera. Michael Bastian, who just won Menswear Designer of the Year, won't sell you a blazer with a lapel under 3 1/4". Others will soon follow.
As for pleats and tassels, you are absolutely correct, and if you ever catching us recommending them, even in jest, please reprimand us accordingly. There are some things that should never be joked about.
Earlier: Michael Bastian Forced to Shop at J.Crew?
Earlier: 5 Incoming Style Trends to Avoid, including tasseled loafers and pleats.
At approximately $10 a year for a subscription, GQ and Details are now nearly as free as the Internet. But as with the Internet, don't believe everything you read in them.
"They're about as Waspy as a shoe can get, but in the hands of Tom Ford, the favored footwear of country-clubbers everywhere has acquired some genuine sex appeal."
Sorry, Tom, the only place we like tassels is on the nipples of an aging stripper named Frenchie.
"As Michael Bastian explains, 'Changing the proportion a little changes everything.' Get yours with a single pinch and tapered legs."
Even with a single pinch, pleated pants make us think of ironing, PowerPoint presentations, and bad cologne. We never want to think about any of these things.
||DOUBLE BREASTED SUITS & BLAZERS
"Oh, and one insider tip: The cool kids are calling them 'D.B.'s.'"
"Slimming and stylish, the modern six-button blazer has left the midtown office behind for the downtown scene."
Unless your height-to-weight ratio is 2 lbs. per inch or lower -- like Kid Cudi, pictured -- double-breasted suits or jackets will simply make you look fatter than you are, even if you call them D.B.'s.
"It's a shirt with a little bit of nostalgia that packs a whole lot of cool."
All the sensitive nerve endings are in the tip of your collar -- do not circumcise it.
"Say goodbye to the classic blue and white. These versatile two-tones will take you much further."
Even in such understated incarnations, saddle shoes are possibly the only footwear a pimp, a schoolgirl, and John Daly might get in a fight over. Stay out of the fray.
Q: MB. Emergency. I've been watching the price on an Michael Bastian Winter 2008 NWT Orange w/corduroy detail ski jacket/vest. Cool or uncool? $400 including shipping? Pull the trigger? Product is modeled on the Bastian website, FYI.
A: We love just about every stitch of clothing Michael Bastian has created since launching his line two years ago. The only problem is his ridiculous pricing. Dude, you're not Tom Ford!
The ski jacket's original price was $1685 -- for that, we think a pair of Rossignols and a season pass at Vail should be included. But at $400, we bless this purchase decision. You get a cool jacket and a cool vest, so it's like getting 2 for 1 (OK, maybe 1.4 for 1, 1.5 tops).
Last week Esquire inexplicably named dress-by-the-numbers Prince Charles the world's best dressed man, and also bagged pretty hard on London mayor Boris Johnson for having "jacket pockets like second-hand bookshops, and hair the result of an encounter with a ghost in a wind tunnel." This had us Googling "Boris Johnson" which immediately lead to an idea for demonstrating artful dishevelment vs. full dishevelment.
Top: Designer Michael Bastian (artful)
Bottom: London mayor Boris Johnson (full)
Hot designer Michael Bastian put on a how-to clinic in a recent issue of Details:
1. Long, thin face indication of superior breeding and maintenance routine.
2. Tie knot artfully disheveled to precise degree.
3. Peak lapels add subtle dramatic flair.
4. MB-approved pocket square execution.
5. Jacket with real buttons.
6. Two said buttons unbuttoned.
7. Antiqued belt buckle turns "casual" knob a notch or two.
8. Un-creased pants turns "casual" knob one notch more.
via Neiman Marcus. $530.00.
All Hail Moleskin Pants! With Jack Frost finally nipping at our collective noses, it's time to get into a pair of moleskin pants, like this ridiculously overpriced version from Michael Bastian. They're soft, comfortable, and warm enough to prevent your nuts from turning into a couple of croutons.
Q: I was curious if it was appropriate to tuck just the front part of one's shirt in his pants, thus exposing his fashionable belt buckle. It is so clearly depicted on the front page of the site. In fact, it is almost luring me towards such mentioned behavior. So I ask: Appropriate, or Toolbag-ish? That is the question.
A: The banner photo doesn't show it, but the white shirt is fully tucked in save for that wisp to your left. It took the Magnificent Subject and Magnificent Photographer's Handlers about 20 minutes to achieve the precice amount of artful dishevelment for that photograph.
Also pictured is Michael Bastian from the August GQ. He, too, with a fully considered amount of artful dishelvelment; and he's about the best designer going right now.
Hope that answers your question, asshole.