Magnificent Bastard

Thursday, July 24, 2014

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Monday Morning Quarterback Week 15

Monday Morning Quarterback Week 15

It's Week 3 of Monday Morning Quarterback, a feature that combines our love of chronic traumatic encephalopathy-inducing bloodsport (aka, the NFL) with our passion for style.

Each week we break down the postgame press conference film and pick the best and worst-performing quarterbacks from around the league. We take their actual Passer Rating, multiply it by the proprietary Magnificent Bastard Dresser Rating, to arrive at their Total Magnificent Bastard Quarterback Rating.

Jay Cutler

Passer Rating: 102.2

Dresser Rating: 63.1

Total Magnificent Bastard Quarterback Rating: 64.5

This week Cutler's presser dressing symbolizes his quarterback play: Occasional brilliance — scarf tied in loose "playoff tuck" style — marred by a boneheaded pick, like this skully.

EARLIER: 7 Ways to Tie a Scarf Based on the Game-Time Temperature at Lambeau Field

Geno Smith

PR: 68.6

DR: 57.3

TMBQBR: 39.3

Hanging a big, pressed woven collar outside a crewneck is a rookie mistake, as is over-accessorization. Go with either the Jets-colored boutonniere or the pocket square, not both.

EARLIER: Collar Tucking with Crewnecks. JFK and William F. Buckley

Mike Glennon

PR: 75.5

MBR: 45.3

TMBQBR: 34.2

Mike Glennon has added reading Monday Morning Quarterback to his game-day preparation. Two consecutive weeks with large jacket gapes split wide to his right, he's clearly seen a tailor to tighten his collar coverage.

Carson Palmer

PR: 100.8

DR: 29.0

TMBQBR: 29.2

Just two weeks removed from winning MB Player of the Week honors as an NFL quarterback disguised as a professor, Palmer is hit for a big loss, with the age-inappropriate tandem of hoodie and skully each recording half a sack.

EARLIER: MB ANALYTICS: Hoodie vs. Cardigan Chart

Eli Manning

PR: 31.9

DR: 59.3

TMBQBR: 18.9

Manning could've dressed like Tom Brady on his best day and still been well down the MMQB rankings due to his comically bad performance against the Seahawks. Layering is an MB principle, but that value (3) should never be exceeded by the number of interceptions (5). Nor should the number of quarter-zip mock sweaters (1) ever exceed TD passes (0).

EARLIER: Layering: A Key MB Principle

Andrew Luck

PR: 82.8

DR: 0.0

TMBQBR: 0.0

Three weeks into Monday Morning Quarterback and Andrew Luck still can't read the reporter blitz and is missing wide-open showers. Luck looks like the Geico caveman, only worse-dressed.

EARLIER: Andrew Luck Sacked Again by Blitzing Reporters

Ask the MB: Triple Threat Boots?

Ask the MB: Triple Threat Boots?

Q: very happy to see that you guys are back to a regular posting schedule, and it couldn't have come at a better time for me because i'm in need of some black boots and need your advice.

i'm a public defender, and i need black footwear that'll look good with a suit, but i also want something that i can wear with jeans. and i live in alaska, so i need boots to trudge through the snow. the hydrogen-1 brand you recently endorsed would've worked, but they don't have boots available in my size. i'm about to pull the trigger on these frye chukkas, but wanted your input first
—Preston

A: Counselor:

An Alaskan winter will be like felony assault on those Frye boots. There is only one boot we know of that can pull the triple duty you desire — biz, cash, sludge — and it's the Prada 'New Tolbak' Chelsea boot, a dressier version of the Novo we've previously recommended.

Unless you’re on the take, though, we suspect they may be a bit pricey for your employee-of-the-state budget.

What we propose instead is to take custody of these terrific Swims 'Mobster Boot' Overshoes. They're $149, but completely vacate the elements, and feature a soft, insulating lining that buffs your shoes while you walk.

As for the shoes getting buffed, with the Mobsters in defense you can court the much larger (but still small) quantity of low-cut shoes that sit on the biz-cash knife's edge we're always looking for, like the Hydrogen-1s, and just about anything from their more expensive predecessor, Common Projects. (FWIW, the new Hydrogen-1 collection, available in a wide range of sizes, is here.)

This way, you'll have boots when there is snow to trudge through, and shoes for those rare Alaskan days when there isn't.

Ask the MB: Kombi Captain Freedom Gloves

Bucco Bruce Top; Wigens Bearclaw Gloves Bottom via amazon.com, $150.00
Bucco Bruce Top; Wigens Bearclaw Gloves Bottom via amazon.com. $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: http://www.snowshack.com/detail/SNW+KB-30324+L). 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?
—Andrew


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: Aspesi Down Jacket

Ask the MB: Aspesi Down Jacket
Q: Hey MB. I also went into an alcohol-fueled spending spree after the devastating loss to the Giants. I did my damage at Mr. Porter's sale, but I have a question about the fit of those Aspesi down jackets. What size did you order? I am 5'10" about 170, 33 waist. I want to replace my rotting Patagonia down jacket, but I wasn't sure what size to order of the Aspesi on The Corner. All that is left is a Large. Any advice?
—Ben


A: Like most Italian brands, Aspesi fits small. Their XL pushes it for us, but we're all quite a big bigger than you, so our strong hunch is the large Aspesi down jacket will fit you perfectly and be a significant upgrade over anything Patagonia, rotting or not.

If you want to take it up even another notch, get into Z Zegna. Slip it on and you'll agree that the additional $202 was totally worth it. (Zegna fits much more traditional American.)

Ask the MB: Color Matching Anxiety

Ask the MB: Color Matching Anxiety
Q: Winter is upon us, and I've developed a case of "color matching doubts and anxiety".

— Black pea coat with denim?
— Dark blue sweater with black pea coat?
— Brown sweater with black jeans?

All these look OK in my mind, but I've heard there are rules. Generally, how to wear black other than with black? Please help clear my mind.
—Shane


A: Black and blue are a natural pairing, so wear #1 and #2 with confidence. We would never try #3, not because it can't work, but because we don't own a pair of black jeans, primarily to avoid ever looking like anything resembling Justin Theroux. (We don't care if he's plowing The Hottest Woman of All-Time. 40-year-old in a Siouxsie and the Banshees T? Even money says this dude's never even been to a show.)

Anyhow, if you're still suffering from color matching doubts and anxiety after reading this we recommend avoiding black entirely and opting instead for charcoal grey for the outerwear and blue for the jeans. Both of those go with anything.

MB Endorses: Swims 'Mobster Boot' Overshoes

Swims 'Mobster Boot' Overshoes via Allen Edmonds, $149.00
Swims 'Mobster Boot' Overshoes via Allen Edmonds. $149.00.
When a pair of galoshes is the year's best purchase, it could be argued that 2011 was a pretty lousy year for gear. Either that or Swims' "Mobster Boot" Overshoes are that good.

Whether you wear Chuck Ts or wing Ts to work, these protect them from rain, snow, sleet, (and even hail!), keep your feet warm, and they pair as nicely with a pair of denim as pair of wool trousers. They even have a reflective square on the heel for inclement cycling, which is what we've adopted them for. $149 is not cheap for something that may cost more than the shoes you're trying to protect, but they're totally worth it.

MB Endorses: Columbia Men's Utility Hoodie

MB Endorses: Columbia Men's Utility Hoodie
Ninety-nine percent of the time, we favor a senseless lack of utility in the stuff we furnish our lives with, but sometimes you just need a sweatshirt that doubles as a kitchen utensil. As the marketing copy for this windproof, spill-resistant hoodie explains, it's treated with Omni-Shield advanced repellency and perfect for "beer drinking and bro-in' down with your BFFs" because it features "a built-in bottle opener that is always on hand." It also comes with pockets that are "strategically designed" for holding beer bottles.

We're not sure what these are for — when you're in bro-in' down mode, constant contact between your beer and your hand is a given. Other than that, though, we love this thing and think they ought to come in six-packs, so we could have one for every party night of the week. (We take Wednesdays off to catch up on Sons of Guns.)

Ask the MB: What to Wear to Bears-Packers NFC Championship Game

Ask the MB: What to Wear to Bears-Packers NFC Championship Game
Q: Thanks for your style advice for attending sporting events. I will be attending an epic playoff game in Chicago this weekend. Any tips for a MB in training when attending (outdoor) winter sporting events? I don't want to do the snowmobile suit or work coverall look and some of our midwest neighbors are wont to do. Or, is it a conflict of interest to even provide advice to a Bears fan?
--Ryan


A: Your squad is 3.5 point dogs at home, against the #6 seed ... have you thought about wearing a Packers' jersey?

If that's too extreme, we recommend a fairly conservative approach. With good seats running between $1000 to $2000 on StubHub, you're probably shelling out a lot just to be there. With that in mind, do you really want to blow even more cash on a jacket there's a strong chance you'll only associate with depressing memories of Aaron Rodgers doing the Championship Belt in your house? Take Jennifer Aniston's lead and go with a Spiewak snorkel parka. It's as warm as it is cheap.

Ask the MB: Faux Leather Motorcycle Jacket

Ask the MB: Faux Leather Motorcycle Jacket
Q: I don't normally shop at Zara, but I've found some decent pieces in their collections. I've been looking at their faux leather motorcycle jackets. In your eyes, are they a worthwhile investment?
--A Bastard Striving To Be Magnificent (Manny)


A: We are not familiar with Zara, but unless you drive a motorcycle, we don't even recommend real leather motorcycle jackets. And if you do drive a motorcycle, why get a fake leather jacket? That's like screwing Sophia Loren, then activating an e-cigarette instead of lighting up a Marlboro.

Earlier: See where the e-cigarette is plotted on our fad/toolbag chart, and why The Fonz still casts a long shadow over the leather jacket.

Ask the MB: AllSaints Pea Coat

Riven Coat via AllSaints, $285.00
Riven Coat via AllSaints. $285.00.
Q: I'm about to pull the trigger on a pea coat from AllSaints. Have you come across this coat in your considerable pea coat research?
--Mark


A: Despite its bona fide Anglo roots, AllSaints is not really on our radar since a visit to the Lincoln Road store last year. Their Singer sewing-machined storefronts are easily the best retail facade going, and the interior fixturing is nearly as appealing, however in our experience the clothes themselves do not fulfill on expectations. While we totally get and even endorse a neutral palette, AllSaints has pushed it too far, into Children of Men and even darker, dingier Orwellian dystopia territory. With skulls.

Having said all that, don't let us discourage you. The pea coat you have your eye on certainly looks like it's worth a try, especially since it's on sale and shipping is free.

Ask the MB: Pea Coat Epaulet Removal

D&G Cropped Wool Peacoat, With Epaulets via Saks Fifth Avenue, $1015.00
D&G Cropped Wool Peacoat, With Epaulets via Saks Fifth Avenue. $1015.00.
Q: I finally got around to ordering the Spiewak McKenzie Peacoat you recommended in 2008. Naturally it has shoulder straps, which you've since informed us are post-peak. However as virtually all peacoats I've ever seen have shoulder straps is it really worth while getting a tailor to remove them?
--Tadgh


A: We've finely-tuned a lot of clothing that's raised both our tailor's eyebrows, like shortening a t-shirt hem by 1", narrowing a tie by 1/2", and, yes, having epaulets removed. But if epaulets are ever OK in a mid-term election year such as this one, it's on a pea coat, military-themed outerwear that's a wardrobe basic. If you're not convinced, rather than spending money on epaulet removal, stick it in your closet until 2012 when they will be sewn back on everything.

Ask the MB: College-Affordable Raincoat

Welder Raincoat Freecut via muji.us, $12.75
Welder Raincoat Freecut via muji.us. $12.75.
Q: As a poor college student, what does MB suggest I wear for when it's raining out? I know you recommend a Mackintosh Coat but those a little too expensive for a student's budget.
-Peter


A: Muji Welder Raincoat Freecut. It looks like Prada and it's $12.75. But that's not even the best part. Whether you've got long arms or short, long torso or short, it doesn't matter; just grab a scissors and cut along the dotted lines on the hem and sleeves. (Scissors not included.)

UPDATE: Peter, here's what not to wear when it's raining: Sun Mountain Rainflex jackets and pants. Americans at the Ryder Cup had to abandon this permeable rain gear in favor of nonpourous ProQuip outerwear available at the merchandise tent.

MB Endorses: Spiewak Vintage NYPD Jacket

TOP: Symbionese Liberation Army leader Donald David DeFreeze<br />BOTTOM: Spiewak Vintage NYPD Jacket, Autumn/Winter 2010
TOP: Symbionese Liberation Army leader Donald David DeFreeze
BOTTOM: Spiewak Vintage NYPD Jacket, Autumn/Winter 2010
Typically it's the criminals from the 1970s who are remembered for their style (top). But what about the other side of the law? No, we're not talking about that sloppy undercover hippie, Serpico. We mean the men in uniform. Sure, corruption, urban blight, and a host of other ills turned the Big Apple into a mugger's paradise in those days. But when the thin blue line got so damn thin it looked like a Photoshop ruler guide, there was one thing keeping the world's greatest city from turning into utter chaos, and it wasn't Charles Bronson's Fu Manchu. It was the sleek, no-nonsense style of the NYPD's wool jackets.

Spiewak made them then, and now Spiewak's bringing them back -- this time for civilians. So put away your buffalo plaid and get into some real workwear -- this 26 ounce wool melton jacket with corozo dome buttons, a badge tab, and four front pockets. (That's two for your ammo and two for your bribes.) Sorry Paul Bunyan, but there's nothing more authentically American than a 1970s cop shaking down a bookie on a freezing winter morning in the Bronx.

Here's where you can find it this fall:

* Blake - Portland, OR
* Local 35, Portland, OR
* Salmangundi - Boston, MA
* Z life - Rye, NY

Ask the MB: British Harrington Jacket

Ask the MB: British Harrington Jacket
Q: As light jacket season is upon us in the Midwest I have seen several poorly plagiarized examples of the classic British Harrington jacket. I was hoping you could say a few words about the merits of purchasing the genuine article: the Baracuta G9 Harrington (preferably slim fit). Unlike many readers of this fine blog, I do not need to ask whether this is MB, as it simply is. But I think it is important to highlight a company that still makes many of its garments in England and has never strayed from its core business. This classic will never go out of style.
--Steven


A: Steven, not much to add here, except that Steve McQueen is combining Persols with his Baracuta. No doubt one of the "poorly plagiarized" examples you mention refers to the $109 L.L. Bean "Signature" Canvas Jacket we recommended to our dads a couple of weeks ago. (Hey, their 401Ks are in the tank.)

We agree. If you're going to own this jacket, get the real McCoy.

Ask the MB: L.L. Bean Signature Line

Ask the MB: L.L. Bean Signature Line
Q: Looks like ol' Leon Leonwood Bean has teamed up with Alex Carleton, a designer with an MB-endorsed pedigree, and launched the new L.L. Bean Signature line today. I'm sure you've seen the hype in the magazines and on the world wide internerd as nothing seems to escape your discriminating gaze. Here is my two parter. 1) Is the L.L. Bean signature line bastardly, magnificent, or both in any way, shape, or form? 2) If so which pieces should an aspiring MB spring for?
--Bub


A: Bub, in form, the Signature line certainly represents a departure from L.L. Bean's traditional products, which generally feature the tailored fit of a dropcloth.

Indeed, our dads, who are the only people we know who shop at L.L. Bean, are going to have to go on a diet. Signature features fitted shirts and low-rise pants, and frankly, if you've seen our dads, you know that's not going to work unless they drop a few pounds. They're going to look great in the Canvas Jacket, but we're going to pass ourselves. We prefer Carleton's work when he's not being haunted by the ghost of mail order past.

Ask the MB: How to Make It in America Jacket

Ask the MB: <em>How to Make It in America</em> Jacket
Thanks for the tip on How to Make it in America, I'm really enjoying it. Any idea where to find a jacket similar to the grey one Ben wears in the first episode?
--Sean S.


A: The tip on HTMIIA came from fellow reader Sean Z. The jacket you refer to has a very Varvatos-esque vibe, and he showed up in Episode 2. It will be tough to find anything in herringbone tweed this time of year, but if you're looking for a similar silhouette for spring and have a grand, try this John Varvatos convertible jacket. Neiman Marcus will even throw in free shipping.

Ask the MB: Canada Goose

Ask the MB: Canada Goose
Q: Is a Canada Goose jacket OK?
--Fredrik


A: The Canadians are as good at outerwear as they are at hockey. Er, they're really good at outerwear!

Canada Goose is great as long as you choose wisely. Because their stuff is engineered for arctic conditions, it can quickly make you look like the Michelin Man. Also be wary of the logo patch, which especially if you're the gentle, caring type, will quickly have people mistaking you for a volunteer waterfowl rescuer.

Our favorite from last season was the Calgary, but good luck finding one.

Ask the MB: Camel Hair Coat

Camel Hair Trench Coat via J. L. Powell, $2297.00
Camel Hair Trench Coat via J. L. Powell. $2297.00.
Q: Any tips for a camel hair coat (tan?) for winter wear? I'm looking for an alternative to urban-type coats and would like something more classic. Or is it too old-fogey classic?!
--Gerald


A: We checked traditionalist sites Ralph Lauren, Pendleton, Brooks Brothers, and J. Press, and couldn't find a single camel hair coat. Gerald, this is a sign, either to abandon the idea or double down with this $2300 trench from J. L. Powell (originally $4950).

Ask the MB: Diesel Age Appropriateness

Diesel Winquil Jacket via zappos.com, $195.00
Diesel Winquil Jacket via zappos.com. $195.00.
Q: Dear MB: I'm 37, look 3-4 years younger, very much in shape. Can I pull off this Diesel jacket? Or does it put me in aging-tool-in-denial territory? http://www.zappos.com/diesel-winquil-jacket-dark-grey
--Lou


A: Lou, even with your apparent youthful looks and strapping bod, as you can see from the chart below, you're pushing it. Not to mention, if you're going to go moto make it leather and not polyester (principle of organic matarials).






diesel age appropriateness chart

Diesel Chart

Ask the MB: Big-Time Winter Coats

Spiewak N3B Snorkel Parka via evogear.com, $164.95
Spiewak N3B Snorkel Parka via evogear.com. $164.95.
Q: Winter is upon us and I was wondering what is a MB winter coat? I'm talking for below zero, snowy conditions. I figure puffy, bubble coats and bright colored ski jackets are out. So what is a MB to do when it gets really cold and you have to go out?
--Jon G.


A: Puffy coats are definitely not out. Moncler made some of the earliest versions, and the Italians deemed them worthy for the initial ascent of K2 in 1954.

However, if you don't have an extra $900-$1000 lying around we really, really like the Spiewak N3B Snorkel Parka (also developed in the '50s) and it's just $164.95. Yeah, it is a little overkill for your garden-variety winter weather, but a good defense when Jack Frost is nipping at your nose like a pit bull trained by Michael Vick.

Ask the MB: Toggle Coats

Ask the MB: Toggle Coats
Q: Toggle coats, yes or no? I've never found one that doesn't make me look huge. Now I'm just thinking this is the MB's way of telling me to stop looking.
--Kyle


We've never been a fan of toggle coats, but not because they make us look huge. It's because when we see one, it invariably reminds of a front door with seven deadbolts on it. It's as if the wearer is worried that someone is going to break into his coat and steal his sweater. These overfortified coats are everywhere this season, but you can safely avoid.

Ask the MB: In Search of the Perfect Peacoat

John Varvatos Star USA Suede Peacoat via Bloomingdales, $895.00
John Varvatos Star USA Suede Peacoat via Bloomingdales. $895.00.
Q: I would hope that you are continuing your search for the perfect peacoat this year. It is a bit early in the season, but have you found any potential candidates? Price is not a factor.
--Aaron


A: Aaron, if you haven't noticed, as a result of the economy, most fall 2009 collections suck pretty hard, and peacoats are no exception. There is one standout, though, and it's this John Varvatos Star USA suede model. A real statement piece. The only bummer is that the collar is faux fur (principle of organic materials).

If $895 is too rich, GQ just published a Best Coats Under $500 piece that's worth checking out.

Ask the MB: Non-Winter Winter Coat

Ask the MB: Non-Winter Winter Coat
Q: Ok here is my question. I am looking for a winter coat but I don't want something insulated because I tend to wear a lot of wool and cashmere sweaters. Essentially I am looking for something waterproof but longer than a ski jacket but not a full length trench but still long enough to cover a sport coat. Am I SOL?
--Josh


A: Anything else? Does it have to come in black and be made in Scotland? Well in that case you're in luck! Try the classic Mackintosh. Yeah, it's $813 but it will stay in style as long as you're alive.

Tip the MB: MB Deal of the Week

Tip the MB: MB Deal of the Week
Following the Spiewak outerwear tip, I dug up some crazy deals at 6pm.com. Including that snorkel parka at $80.50! Now the dilemma is *which one*?!? (or, at those prices, two?)
--Andy


A: Unless you live above 45° N, an MB only needs one snorkel parka. (Incidentally, we're at 44° N and change here in Pulaski, WI.) If you insist on buying two pieces of outerwear, make the 2nd one this McClary Field Jacket in charcoal.

Ask the MB: College Budget Outerwear

Modified N2B Snorkel Parka  via Spiewak, $155.00
Modified N2B Snorkel Parka via Spiewak. $155.00.
Q: It's starting to get pretty chilly here in PA, and I've been looking into getting a new winter jacket for some time, but I'm not really sure as to what brand. So, what would an MB recommend for a college student, preferably within the $300 price range?
--Mike


A: Mike, if you've been reading for a while you've seen "MB Deals of the Week" on a Helmut Lang Blizzard Coat and a Rogues Gallery Snorkel Jacket, both in your price range. If you don't like those then we're going to go into broken record mode: currently the best outerwear value on the market is Spiewak, plain and simple. Check out their new fall line at their new site, and you can actually order a few styles at Nordstrom. You'll stay warm and still have enough bread left over to throw a pretty decent kegger.

Ask the MB: Trench Tying Technique

Ask the MB: Trench Tying Technique
Q: How should an MB tie his trench coat belt? I really don't like the way people buckle it at the back. And not having a belt doesn't seem like a good choice either.
--Cole


A: If your trench coat comes with a belt (and that's OK but we prefer beltless) there is only one way to tie it: in an artfully disheveled double knot just like the MB's MB.

Ask the MB: Leather Jacket

Ask the MB: Leather Jacket
Q: Fall season is upon us, and I really need to get a leather jacket. Recently, GQ did a piece on popular leather jackets for the upcoming season but I wasn't sold on any of them. Where can I get a timeless leather jacket that won't break the bank? How about this one from Banana Republic?
--Christopher


A: We weren't sold on them either, Christopher, and we're not really sold on that BR jacket (bottom) you're suggesting, either. It's just one epaulette away from Members Only.

Unfortunately, Arthur Fonzerelli's most lasting cultural influence was irreparable damage to the leather motorcycle jacket. He's basically the sun, and that BR jacket is the equivalent of wearing Icarus's wax and feathers. And we all know how that turned out.

To avoid his fate, look for something non-black with texture, either in the form of quilting or washing or nappa. This Salvatore Ferragamo quilted leather bomber isn't just timeless, it's an heirloom. And probably a bank-breaker, too. If that's too rich, try this Diesel charcoal leather field jacket. Exactamundo!

D&G Ski Jacket Sets High Bar for Fall/Winter 2009's Ugliest Thing

Colorblock Ski Jacket via Neiman Marcus, $1215.00
Colorblock Ski Jacket via Neiman Marcus. $1215.00.
For the super Type-A toolbag who's not satisfied with merely wearing one ugly jacket at a time, here's D&G's Colorblock Ski Jacket. It's like they took three really ugly ski jackets, added a really ugly couch, and threw them into a blender. Then, they took the resulting garment and shot it up with collagen and Botox until it achieved the grotesque puffiness of Joan Rivers' cheeks. Voila, a jacket so hideous even Helen Keller would hate it.

MB Endorses: John Varvatos Work Jacket

John Varvatos Star USA Men's Four Pocket Work Jacket via Bloomingdales, $296.25
John Varvatos Star USA Men's Four Pocket Work Jacket via Bloomingdales. $296.25.
Regular readers know we're pretty big John Varvatos fans. His strongest suit is perhaps outerwear, like this olive green herringbone four pocket work jacket, now on sale at bloomingdales.com. You can wear this in fall and early spring, and we can virtually guarantee it will become your favorite jacket. (Order one size larger than normal.)

5 Must-Haves for Spring -- Rich Bastard Version

5 Must-Haves for Spring -- Rich Bastard Version
Here are five things you need once the snow melts, and you have about $2K burning a hole in your pocket:

1. Khaki Trench
The khaki trench doesn't just protect you from the elements, when left unbuttoned all that fabric can create the illusion of a man of action, intrigue, and dramatic flair, even if you work in a cubicle. And it goes with everything (except, of course, khakis). To avoid looking like Inspector Clouseau, choose one without a belt and all those cluttering loops, like this Tiger of Sweden version.

2. Lightweight Cashmere V-Neck Sweater
The average April temperature at our Pulaski, Wisconsin offices is just 48 degrees, so this Lono Piana sweater is practically a necessity. No matter where you live, toss it over a rumpled, washed white shirt with denim, or under a blazer and you're suddenly oozing casual elegance.

3. White Pants
Conventional wisdom holds that unless you're a rock star or live in South Beach, white pants are strictly a Memorial Day to Labor Day thing. As we've said before, baloney. By the time your favorite team has gone through a couple of pitching rotations, you can start rotating in white pants. This season, Gucci's 5-pocket denim are especially inspired, and at $595 they better be.

4. Gingham Shirt
Nothing signals longer days, warmer weather, and bugs quite like a gingham shirt. Fear not, this ain't your granddad's Sunday brunch gingham shirt. It's a classic interpreted with a couple of twists by Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana.

5. Walking Umbrella
So you're rocking a few of the items above and it starts to rain. Don't veer toolbag with one of those $5.99 popups or a contrast-panel Titleist better suited for a shower on the 15th green. Paul Smith has you covered much more stylishly with his signature stripe trimmed, chestnut-handled version.

Ask the MB: Florida to Washington Relocation

Ask the MB: Florida to Washington Relocation
Q: I will soon be moving to Seattle after having lived all my life in sunny Florida. I am not well equipped for the weather, and was hoping you could recommend appropriate overcoat and footwear options (I cringe at the thought of exposing leather shoes to that much moisture). Would you consider a raincoat too plebian?
--Alex


A: Hey Alex, kind of a good-news/bad-news scenario, eh? You just reduced your melanoma risk by 100%, but elevated your risk of SAD by at least that much. For the latter, up here in northern Wisconsin we've discovered heavy doses of alcohol usually does the trick. And it sure beats chemotherapy. Anyhow, we digress...

Footwear: Rubber-soled leather shoes will hold up well. Camper is an affordable all-time MB favorite. Depending on your relocation package, also consider Prada (a bunch of new options now at Saks). Just stay away from suede, or keep a suede brush in your laptop bag at all times. Also consider just strapping on some Swims over your existing footwear, and put all your money towards:

Outerwear: Two words: Mackintosh Coat. Your move has provided you with an opportunity to wear this iconic outerwear a lot. Yeah, they're expensive, but a Mackintosh coat is one of those rare pieces that you can wear for a lifetime because it will never go out of style. Go for the original (left, $813.00), or the slightly updated J. Crew version (right, $800.00).

Most importantly, follow Dan Rather and Humphrey Bogart's lead and be sure to turn up the collar.

Ask the MB: Trench for Short Guy

Ask the MB: Trench for Short Guy
Q: What does the MB have to say about trench coats for short guys? I'm around 5'6" and looking for a new coat for the winter.
--Don


A: Follow the example set by the indomitable Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther cartoons. The Pink Panther is about 6' tall, so Clouseau has to come in at around 4' (including the hat), and he goes with a shorter trench that ends above the knee.

Ask the MB: Black Coat

Ask the MB: Black Coat
Q: Need a good black winter coat. Got any favorites?
--Tripp


A: Tripp, your email comes from Duke University, so we'll assume you're at least somewhat on a college guy's budget, and it ain't like Durham gets that nippy even in January. Anyhow, Spiewak always provides great value. For the price ($132.00) we sure like their McKenzie Coat. For a little more dough, this season Banana Republic has a surprisingly good peacoat. If you've been saving up your beer money, for whatever reason, Diesel makes Dean's List.

Ask the MB: Leather Motorcyle-Inspired Jacket

Ask the MB: Leather Motorcyle-Inspired Jacket
Q: Alright, I've been looking for a bastardly leather jacket for a while. Motorcycle inspired without being too Joey Ramone. Found some really nice and really expensive ones from the likes of Rick Owens and Burberry among others. Of course the ones I really like are the most expensive. Any suggestions for a nearly as cool but not nearly as pricey option?
--keska


A: "The ones I really like are the most expensive." Funny how that works when you're an MB. It's our burden.

Anyhow, we don't really have an answer you're going to like. If you want to get into a motorcycle-inspired leather jacket and don't want to veer into Aurthur Fonzarelli territory, you'll have to pay.

Ask the MB -- North Face Fleece

Ask the MB -- North Face Fleece
Q: Fall and winter are looming on the horizon and the need to stay warm is quickly becoming a concern. What is your opinion on "The North Face" craze? Past peak? I hope not since I own several of their jackets for casual/ski wear and still love them.
--Matt


A: Matt, is there a resale shop near you?

North Face fleece violates at least three MB principles:

1. Principle of organic materials.
2. Principle of no logos.
3. Principle of not looking like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Ask the MB -- Tie Extinction

Ask the MB -- Tie Extinction
Q: I am saddened to think that I will see two great things become extinct in my lifetime: the internal combustion engine and neckties. Richard Whitbread, marketing manager of Tie Rack, said: "Since the doom and gloom (bad economy) set in, sales of ties have picked up. We have seen a 10 percent increase in sales over the last quarter. When people start to be more concerned about their jobs, they start to smarten up. Also a lot of people are looking for jobs at the moment." What he forgets to mention is that necktie sales are 15% of what they were 15 years ago. That's such a huge decline, it leads me to believe that hasty Father's Day gifts and funerals make up the bulk of necktie purchases. In your opinion. will neckties go the way of knickers?
--Eric


A: We'd expect the increase in tie sales to continue. Also incoming for Fall 2008: flannel suits, long topcoats, hats of all shapes and sizes, and general black-and-whiteness.

Top: Run on bank then.
Bottom: Run on bank now.

Ask the MB

Ask the MB
Q: Dear MB: I like to think of myself as an MB in training and the one thing that I want for Christmas is a new coat. Preferably one as MB-like as possible. Does this Three Quarter Coat from Banana qualify? Or should I go the moleskin route? I need your guidance!
—Chauncy


A: Well, given the two choices, go with the wool/cashmere option. The moleskin version looks like something ol' granddad would wear (if he were still alive). Chauncy, we gotta tell ya: on a lark we ordered a couple of coats from Banana this season and were appalled by both the quality and the completely un-MB-like fit. Use Banana only for the basics, like this wonderful pair of cashmere socks.

Michael Kors Sucks; Spiewak Not So Much

Spiewak Dugan Peacoat via Evo, $159.00
Spiewak Dugan Peacoat via Evo. $159.00.
As regular readers know, this season we've been on the hunt for the perfect peacoat, ordering about 8 or 9 of them, and they've all been returned.

We're fucking cold!

The worst of the bunch by far was this Michael Kors travesty. Fit like a goddamn smock and made in China (imported!). The guy has absolutely no business holding court on Project Runway.

Anyhow, our last best hope is this very affordable version from one of our favorite outerwear sources: Spiewak.

Dictators Always Wear the Coolest Clothes

Dictators Always Wear the Coolest Clothes
Check it: Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf declares states of emergency in style with this natty fabric-buttoned military jacket. Who needs elections and all that democracy bullshit when you're rocking it to this extent?

And Now a Note From This Site's Secret Admirer

And Now a Note From This Site's Secret Admirer
From the MB mailbag:

Dear Magnificent Bastards,

If you'll indulge me a brief roundup of your recommendations to date:

1. White jeans are gay.
2. Jute mandals are gay.
3. Unless you're in an 80s period movie, you wear brown shoes and belt with a navy suit.
4. Tucking in part of your shirt screams "trying too hard to not be a toolbag".
5. Like it or not, a velvet blazer is almost required apparel for any New Year's party.
6. The UPS Whiteboard Guy looks almost cool next to the smug "I'm a Mac" guy, particularly since a human Mac would be something more along the lines of Carson Kressley.
7. If you buy a coat with a fur collar, you might as well wear it over your Michael Vick jersey.

Otherwise I agree with everything you're doing. Keep up the good work.

—Andre

MB.com Response: New Year's Eve parties are for fucking amateurs.

'Nobody Wears a Trenchcoat With the Collar Down'

'Nobody Wears a Trenchcoat With the Collar Down'
That's Dan Rather's quote from this clip sent to us by reader William Schroeder, which shows Mr. Rather debating for 19 minutes and 42 seconds about whether to wear a coat, and if so, whether the collar should be turned up or down.

These are big decisions.

In a previous post we were down on popping collars up, but that was specifically for polo shirts. Here, Mr. Rather is correct. What you see him struggling with in the video is achieving the correct amount of artful dishevelment, as demonstrated by Mr. Bogart (aka MB) is "that scene" from Casablanca.

Shearling and Fur and Animal Carcass

Dolce & Gabbana Plaid Coat via Neiman Marcus, $3760.00
Dolce & Gabbana Plaid Coat via Neiman Marcus. $3760.00.
In the world according to Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, you're out this fall if you don't have either shearling or fur or some other animal carcass snuggling your neck. Magnificent Bastards the world 'round heartily agree. They've both gone completely mad for fall 2007 with some ridiculously good-looking (and ridiculously expensive) coats; our favorite being the grey plaid coat with shearling collar. Worth embezzling from your employer for.

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