Magnificent Bastard

Friday, November 27, 2015

From the Shop ↷

Game-Day Belt

Facepainting & foam fingers are not you. A belt made of NFL football leather is. Understated fanaticism FTW!

Game-Day Luxury Box

Transport your game-day suds in style, on a carpet of AstroTurf & a handle made of NFL football leather

Secret Agent Belt

Look like a fictional British Secret Service agent for just $30.07

300-Year Sterling Silver Buckle Belt

Built to look great forever — even if you live to 300

organic materials

Get Dressed: Packers vs. Chargers — October 18, 2015 at Lambeau Field

Get Dressed: Packers vs. Chargers — October 18, 2015 at Lambeau Field

Our annual pilgrimage to Lambeau is expected to be colder than we were expecting, with a high of just 52 and low near 40. So we're getting dressed. (As always, check Pourcast to determine what cocktail to be consuming at any day and any time at any place around the globe.)

1. Pants. The best 5-pocket corduroy pants we've ever worn are Uniqlo's Slim Fit Corduroy Jeans. Indeed, you have to be slim and fit to wear these, but as the product description says, they do in fact "create slender, fashionable lines," work during the week, and have the versatility to play on Sundays. We're wearing them in off white. A tremendous value at just $39.90. They're vanity sized about 1 inch in the waist (so size down).

2. Belt. A critical element of our understated fandom gameplan is our own Game Day Belt. Made from the same Horween leather that's used to make the official NFL footballs, and constructed right here in the Twin Cities. Fits perfectly true to size.

3. Shirt. Five years ago we all got this Red Jacket long sleeve anti-jersey and they're still playing in the league. Yes, there is some legibility on the back, but it's the name of perhaps our favorite Packer and MB archetype Paul Hornung, famous less for his football than for his womanizing, drinking, and gambling. Fits true to size. (Lots of other options available from Mike Ditka to Johnny Unitas.)

4. Shoes. Sneakers and exposed ankles are usually the play call for mid-October Packer games, but given the forecast we're audibling into ankle boots. Since our all-time favorite TST chukkas have seemingly gone the way of Peyton Manning's arm strength, we're substituting them for these Joyks with beautiful thick white rubber whitewalls. (We may additionally substitute free-agent white laces.) Fits fractionally small.

5. Vest. We have a thing — bordering on fetish — for goose-down puffer vests. 313, Montecore, and Marville provide the best value, but if you have the cash Duvetica is the way to go. This version — along with a Hall of Fame headbuzz — will stiff-arm the dramatic post-game cool-down, and the blue-and-gold color combo is a subtle, tasteful nod to the Packer throwback jerseys (which the team will be wearing on Sunday). We always size down one for puffer vests, and this is no exception.

Introducing the Game-Day Belt

Game-Day Belt via Magnificent Bastard, $95.00
Game-Day Belt via Magnificent Bastard. $95.00.

No, this is not the official belt of the NFL. That wouldn't make sense, because NFL players don't wear leather belts. For us, though, our new Game-Day Belt has become an indispensable part of our viewing uniform. We have couch-tested in throughout the entire preseason, and we are now looking forward to see how it performs in regulation play, when everything's on the line. For more information, visit our shop.

Just in Time for Opening Day: The Magnificent Bastard Game-Day Luxury Box

Game-Day Luxury Box via Magnificent Bastard, $90.00
Game-Day Luxury Box via Magnificent Bastard. $90.00.

Exhibition games are mercifully over. Final cuts have been made. It's time for a new season of NFL action, and that means it's also time to introduce our latest lifestyle accessory: The Magnificent Bastard Game-Day Luxury Box. Crafted by fourth-generation woodworker Kyle Huntoon of Hunt & Noyer, this Super Bowl-caliber six-pack caddy is constructed from sturdy furniture grade pine, real football leather from Horween, genuine AstroTurf, and our own hard labor. (It's true; we screwed the straps into the boxes ourselves.)

Let's huddle and break this down in a little more detail. The box itself is made in Detroit. The strap comes from a Chicago leather supplier. The strap was cut and finished in a Minneapolis leatherworks, and all the finishing touches were done in our garage by Packer fans. Talk about a team effort — that's 100% of our all-time favorite division, the NFC North!

Buy one this week, and we'll throw in a six-pack's worth of Disposable Letterpress Beverage Shields on the house.

Ask the MB: Give Us 100% Cotton or Give Us Death

Ask the MB: Give Us 100% Cotton or Give Us Death

Q: I appreciate your effort, but it looks like your Trump Tie Sale isn't doing much to stem The Great Toolbag Rebellion of 2015. The latest polls show that Trump is now "the clear leader in the race for the GOP nomination."

Is it time for all MBs in arms to take up more extreme measures and get a Hillary t-shirt?
— Alex

A: $30 for a "union printed, American made" t-shirt that's 50 percent polyester? Seems a bit expensive to us. For comparison's sake, Bernie Sanders is offering a 100 percent cotton t-shirt that is "union-made and printed in the USA" for half the price — $15. So we guess we know who UNITE HERE is backing.

We also think that stylish campaign-wear is extremely difficult to pull off. In fact, the only successful effort we can think of off-hand is Ronald Reagan's cheerleading squad from the 1966 California gubernatorial election.

So we're going to pass on the t-shirts for now and just take our chances in November 2016. If worse comes to worst, our bunker is stocked with more than enough Bulleit and Apfelkorn to see us through the Trumpacolypse.

EARLIER: How Donald Trump inspired our sale.

Get Dressed: Tennis Match During Wimbledon

Get Dressed: Tennis Match During Wimbledon

We're trying something new: Get Dressed.

We get a lot of "what should I wear?" questions at Ask the MB, so we thought than on occasion, when we're having an occasion, we'd share what we wear. Articles and accessories will reflect core MB tenets like archaism, Anglophilia, artful dishevelment, and a few others that don't start with the letter A.

The first occasion: A singles match at the club during Wimbledon.

For any tennis played during this fortnight we always channel two of our all-time favorites, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe, and split the difference where we can. We also strictly follow the Club's hopelessly vague and wonderfully antiquated "almost entirely white" rule.

1. Shorts. While ATP players' shorts have not yet reached the slacks-like length of the NBA and NCAAB, they're still far too long for our taste. We want zero restriction as we go wide to reach for our opponent's cross-court volley, and tanned thighs nicely accompany a down-the-line winner in response. 4" max inseam here, and cotton of course (principle of organic materials). So we're wearing these Sergio Tacchinis (the McEnroe brand) from a terrific UK eBay shop called honourabletype. Bookmark this one. $43.69.

2. Shirt. McEnroe got the shorts, so naturally Borg gets the shirt. What else but Borg's iconic Fila striped polo with oversize collar and 4-snap placket? $41.99.

3. Shoes We could take the court with the left foot wearing a Borg Diadora and the right foot in a McEnroe Nike, but instead we're opting for the classic style, relative obscurity, and archaism of Pantofola d'Oro low-tops in white. Launched in Ascoli Piceno, Italy in 1886, these are made for the street but hold up great on the court, and no one else wears them. $210.00.

4. Socks Simple. Wigwam King Knee High Tubes. Push 'em way down, exactly opposite as pictured. $8.00.

Ask the MB: Reversible Belts

W.KLEINBERG Ostrich/Croc Reversible Belt, Navy/Brown via Bergdorf Goodman, $374.00
W.KLEINBERG Ostrich/Croc Reversible Belt, Navy/Brown via Bergdorf Goodman. $374.00.

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.

Finally, yes, that buckle does look familiar. Same one we use on our cashmere belts. Good eye!

Ask the MB: Watch Bracelets and Straps

Ask the MB: Watch Bracelets and Straps

Q: I'm so glad to see you guys back and actively posting again. You all are hilarious!

I recently got my first metal/bracelet watch, and I'm not sure how loose or tight to wear it. I generally wear my leather strap watches relatively snug, but I saw someone at work with a suit wearing their metal bracelet watch much lower. It looked pretty cool going along with the rest of the cuff game. I wanted to ask, is a low-slung watch MB, or just sloppy?

A: We hate to disappoint a longtime reader, but you asked, and we can only offer our honest opinion. Even by its name — you tellingly called it a metal bracelet — your new acquisition falls into the category of jewelry. Check out our jewelry channel to see what we think about jewelry, but the short answer is that 95 percent of what we spend on jewelry is intended for some woman's neck, ears, or nipples.

As for wearing a metal bracelet loosely, our feeling is that this just compounds the error. We grant that such calculated sloppiness might be viewed as artful dishevelment, but for us it just conjures hazy but unpleasant memories of handcuffs. Our ultimate advice: Nip this metal bracelet phase in the bud and stick to your leather straps (organic materials principle). And while we're giving out watch-wearing advice, a reminder. Keep the watch case to 40mm or less.

Earlier: Big Watches Favored Primarily by Toolbags

Ask the MB: Kombi Captain Freedom Gloves

Bucco Bruce Top; Wigens Bearclaw Gloves Bottom via, $150.00
Bucco Bruce Top; Wigens Bearclaw Gloves Bottom via $150.00.
Q: I was all set to pick up a pair of the MB-approved Kombi Captain Freedom gloves for a ski trip in Jackson Hole, when I discovered that the folks at Kombi have altered the design. (new one here: It's like New England getting rid of the Pat Patriot helmet. Some things just don't make sense. Nonetheless, the gloves are still pretty sweet. Do you approve?

A: What's worse? New England getting rid of Pat Patriot or Tampa Bay abandoning the winking pirate Bucco Bruce? We say the latter by a nautical mile.

At any rate, we were completely joking about wearing the Kombi Captain Freedom gloves for skiing. (Though we weren't joking at all about wearing the Naked and Famous Snowpant Denim; they are terrific for banging bumps.)

What we're wearing this year is Wigens bearclaw gloves (bottom). Made in Sweden, these not only protect your fingers from Jack Frost, they also double as part of a Halloween costume if you're dressed as a black bear. 100% goat leather plus 100% rabbit on the outside, the only problem with these is they're too warm.

Ask the MB: J.Crew's Mougin & Piquard Watch

Real breasts
Real breasts
Q: Just saw on J.Crew's website that J.Crew has teamed with Tourneau to create a watch by former watch makers Mougin & Piquard. I think it would be a great watch to add to the collection. What's your opinion on how MB it is and is it worth the $425 price tag?

A: Normally we're in favor of watches made by defunct Swiss manufacturers that require a pronunciation guide — it's pronounced mooj-awe and peek-are — but this watch is a definite pass. It's ironic that J.Crew is resurrecting a brand that was killed off by the quartz movement craze of the '70s, yet with Tourneau's help fits this watch with a quartz movement!

We've said it before, but quartz vs. a mechanical movement is the equivalent of motorboats vs. sailboats, or gas fireplaces vs. wood fireplaces, or fake breasts vs. real breasts. It's a corollary to the long-standing MB principle of organic materials. For around $300 you can get a decent Swiss-made military-inspired mechanical watch and save enough money to buy a cord of firewood.

ELSEWHERE: The "quartz crisis" that laid waste to Mougin & Picard and many other Swiss mechanical watch manufacuters.

Ask the MB: Espadrilles

ASOS Gingham Espadrille Shoes via, $17.24
ASOS Gingham Espadrille Shoes via $17.24.
Q: What is your take on espadrilles?

A: In the June 2011 GQ creative director Jim Moore stops just short of endorsing them but recognizes their popularity saying they're "a big trend this summer," and that they're best "anytime you'd wear your flip-flops." [page 58]

Even though they were invented in the 14th century (principle of archaism), and are usually made of canvas and rope (principle of organic materials), for us they fall into the footwear no-mans land between a shoe and a sandal, currently occupied by MB bête noires Sanuks and Crocs.

However, if your preferred pedicurist is booked — June is Pedicure Awareness Month, BTW — we say go for it, as long as they're a. less than 20 bucks, and b. gingham.

Earlier: Brad Pitt wears Sanuks so they're OK. Right?

Earlier: 4 year-old Rory McDermott lost the nail on his big toe thanks to Crocs. Ow!

Ask the MB: Prince William's Big Hat

Ask the MB: Prince William's Big Hat
Q: Is it considered MB to wear an animal's entire wardrobe on your head?

A: Well, it's pretty magnificent to be heir to the throne of the fading empire that gave us the Magna Carta and golf, and wearing hats like the one Prince William was wearing this weekend is part of the job description.

As for anyone else? William's bearskin hat is certainly characterized by a senseless lack of utility, and scores high on archaism, organic materials, and Anglophilia as well. But its primary historical purpose — to make a soldier look bigger and more imposing in battle — violates the principle of understatement and essentially establishes the garment as elevator shoes for your head.

As you allude to, the standard hat of the British Foot Gaurds is made out of an entire bearskin. It weighs 1.5 lbs. and, most consequentially, stands 18.5 inches high. Getting in and out of limos and taxis would be a huge hassle while wearing one of these things, so until horseback reemerges as the predominant form of travel, we say "pass."




  • 3 shots rye whiskey (or to taste)
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Peychaud's Bitters
  • quarter shot of Absinthe
  • lemon twist

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.

In-Depth Sazerac Coverage:

Ask the MB: Spring Cocktail Guide


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