Magnificent Bastard

Monday, September 1, 2014

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Ask the MB: White Pants

Ask the MB: White Pants
Q: The MB-ness of white jeans has been well documented, but what about white cotton dress pants? Denim is too casual, but I would like to step it up at work this summer.
—Dave


A: White pants.

White pants!

WHITE FUCKING PANTS!

Were we previously not clear on the MB-ness of white pants? Sorry.

On summer days when we're not wearing blue jeans or white jeans, we're wearing white pants. However, they're not without their challenges, namely finding them and keeping them clean.

For the former, we have YOOX's white pants latest arrivals on speed dial. If there is a bigger collection of white pants outside of a Naval Academy graduation, let us know. For the latter, just make sure your wife/girlfriend/launderer is aware of the stain-fighting power of Ivory + OxyClean. They're going to need it.

Earlier: Billy Mays: The Best-Laundered Huckster on TV

Ask the MB: Arnie Wear

Ask the MB: Arnie Wear
Q: Do you have an opinion on Arnie Wear?
—Mark


A: We absolutely love the idea behind Arnie Wear — who doesn't want to look like Arnold Palmer did in the '60s — it's the execution we have a problem with, with too-long sleeves on the polos, too-long inseams on the shorts, and far too much nylon and quick-dry polyester on everything.

The King never wore quick-dry polyester.

One item we'll be trying out, however, is the Leaderboard dress pant in (mostly) cotton, with a low rise and gentle boot cut (inset). Good golf pants are hard to find, and it looks like you could wear these into the office after a round (unless you get them in Lemon). Plus they'll go great with the Sambas.

Long before Arnie Wear came along, what we've done to put our twist on the '60s Palmer look is find a pair of casual white pants on YOOX, a slim-fitting banded-cuff polo from J.Crew (always on sale), and a fine-gauge cashmere-silk cardigan usually by Cruciani. Add a $4.99 plain white visor from e4hats.com and you are Palmer personified (except for his game).

Earlier: Visors. How and when to wear them.

Ask the MB: Suit Pants

Ask the MB: Suit Pants
Q: I have a Christmas party for a large bank coming up in a few months, and since I've managed to navigate life thus far without a respectable suit I thought I'd get one made from a local tailor. As we were going over the fit and style of the suit, he asked if I would like pleats. Being a long-time MB reader and knowing your stance on such things, I replied that I did not.

This raised a problem - being a former speed skater and avid cyclist, my seat-to-waist proportion is a bit out of the normal range. Without pleats, the standard slit pant pocket would be stuck slightly open giving the impression that the pants do not fit. The tailor recommended I go with continental-style pockets, which are more similar to the style used in jeans. What does the MB thing of this dilemma?
—Andrew


A: Andrew, we top out at around 15 mph on a pair of skates. But even so, we love Continental-style pockets on dress pants, precisely because they make them less dressy. So listen to your tailor on this one, and make sure to have him style the jacket to match, preferably with double vents. Single vents are great but are also more traditionally American.

Ed. note: We got this response from another thick-thighed reader and thought it worthy to post here.

I relate to Andrew of today's continental pockets question as I, too, have been endowed with strangely muscular legs. I have 26" thighs (Schwarzenegger had 28.5" at his peak). I found your answer to be incomplete in that, while I, too, find continental pockets to be both magnificent and especially bastardly, any tailor that can actually construct a suit should be able to make even on-seam pockets lay flat. My tailor has done it with off the rack pants, so fully custom is no problem. The other thing to watch out for is a too tight waist; the tighter the waist the more the pockets will flare.
—Tyler

5 Incoming Style Tips to Avoid

5 Incoming Style Tips to Avoid
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.

Tasseled Loafers TASSELED LOAFERS

They Say:
"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."
Details, 11/10

We Say:
Sorry, Tom, the only place we like tassels is on the nipples of an aging stripper named Frenchie.
Pleats PLEATS

They Say:
"As Michael Bastian explains, 'Changing the proportion a little changes everything.' Get yours with a single pinch and tapered legs."
Details, 11/10

We Say:
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 DOUBLE BREASTED SUITS & BLAZERS

They Say:
"Oh, and one insider tip: The cool kids are calling them 'D.B.'s.'"
GQ, 1/11

"Slimming and stylish, the modern six-button blazer has left the midtown office behind for the downtown scene."
Details, 11/10

We Say:
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.
Club Collar CLUB COLLAR

They Say:
"It's a shirt with a little bit of nostalgia that packs a whole lot of cool."
GQ, 2/11

We Say:
All the sensitive nerve endings are in the tip of your collar -- do not circumcise it.
Saddle Shoes SADDLE SHOES

They Say:
"Say goodbye to the classic blue and white. These versatile two-tones will take you much further."
Details, 2/11

We Say:
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.

Betabrand Seven Sins Series: Envy Pants

Betabrand Seven Sins Series: Envy Pants
Magnificent Bastard sponsor Betabrand/Cordarounds launched their "7 Deadly Sins" line with the Gluttony Pant, believed to be the first pair of pants to ship with a large cloth napkin.

For Envy, they're auctioning off a 3,000 year-old pair of pants once owned by libertine pharaoh Smutankhamun, better known as King Smut. With gold disco-ball exterior and lined with a pornoglyphic print, we agree: the winner will surely be the slobbering envy of every trouser-wearing man on the planet.

Current bid stands at $430. Auction ends today at 2PM CT.

Up next: Wrath. Or Lust.

Ask the MB: Blazer and Pants Combo

Ask the MB: Blazer and Pants Combo
Q: My husband and I are visiting NYC this summer and have reservations at an upscale restaurant that requires jackets for men. What jackets/blazers do you recommend that can be worn with non-jeans without looking like a total toolbag?
--Melissa


A: A jacket requirement at a time when the record-breaking NYC heat is forcing at least one Prospect Park woman to cook dinner in her underwear is reason to instead consider, say, holing up in your air-conditioned hotel room and ordering room service.

If you do decide to venture out, we hear what you're saying about matching blazers with non-denim. While nearly 100% of blazers go with blue jeans, the success rate with trousers is no better than 10%. Unless they're white. White pants are nearly denim's blazer-matching equivalent, so rather than go shopping for a new blazer, find him a great pair of white pants (and they're all on sale now).

Ask the MB: Dad's Tuxedo

Tom, what happened?
Tom, what happened?
Q: Hello! I'm sending my mother and father to the San Francisco Opera for Wagner's Ring Cycle and it has been formally requested that all men wear tuxedos to opening night. This has sent us on a search for the perfect tuxedo. Now, we already know that you recommend a double-vented jacket for maximum bastardliness, but on the matter of the pants: pleated or plain? Thanks so much for your magnificence!
--Amanda-Louise


A: In Apocalypse Now Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore had his boys play Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries because "it scares the hell out of the slopes!," but it shouldn't scare your father from flat front trousers. Middle age is no excuse for pleats. Like smoking grass leads to heroin addiction, they're gateway attire to sweatpants, followed closely by full-on tracksuits.

Ask the MB: Pants Rolling

Ask the MB: Pants Rolling
Q: Is rolling pants magnificent? It doesn't seem so, but there it is, apparently. nytimes.com/2010/07/15/fashion/15ROW.html
--Zac


A: We addressed this in early spring as the fad was emerging, in a Steve McQueen-Erkel side-by-side. As with most novelties to sweep the streets of Manhattan, we don't get it. Yeah, exposed ankles can be a very good thing, but pants rolling effectively shortens your legs, making you appear, uh, shorter. It's too bad 7' 7" Manute Bol recently died; he was a perfect pant-rolling candidate! Finally, the fact that the craze was popularized by the shrunken, man-shrinking designer Thom Browne really seals the deal. Our advice: Wait this one out (it won't be long).

Ask the MB: What to Wear With Blue Seersucker Pants

Have that crease removed!
Have that crease removed!
Q: I'm going to a large picnic out of town and want to look my sharpest. I just bought a pair of blue and white seersucker slacks and a very sharp pair of navy suede loafers with a brass buckle on them. What I was wondering is, what kind of shirt should I wear to complete my summer themed look?
--T.R.


A: T.R., the pants and the shoes aren't having an argument, but they're definitely carrying on a rather loud conversation. In this case the role of the shirt is to observe, quietly. Wear a simple white sport shirt with this outfit, like this slim-fit Theory option. The fabric's subtle lustre offers the desired texture contrast to the puckery seersucker and nappy suede.

A couple of other strong suggestions while you're on the line:

1. One way to make seersucker less Gregory Peck and more 21st century MB is to remove the crease. Assuming they're flat front (and they really need to be), simply staple a "no crease" note to a belt loop for the cleaner.

2. Definitely show some ankle and wear these no-show loafer socks.

Bike to Work Week: Pants

Bike to Work Week: Pants
Knickers are a great bike-to-work option if you work in a bike shop or play bass for a nu-metal revival band. But we like pants that at least flirt with our ankles.

Just a few years ago, casual bike-oriented pants that met this criteria were virtually non-existent. Now, there are more and more to choose from. They tend to be a little bit pricey because they're not produced in great quantities. But if you want a look that makes the transition from bike to boardroom as smooth as a seamless gusseted crotch, they're worth the investment.

1. Outlier 4Season OG Pants. $180.
Just like the Bowery Lane bike we're giving away, these pants are made in New York by skilled artisans. They're not made of steel, but they do repel water, dry quickly, stretch when you need them to stretch, and look great on and off the bike.

2. Nonetheless Dispatch Rider Pant. $188.
These pants are made out of wool and recycled plastic water bottles, which means you don't have to feel so guilty the next time you buy a liter of Fiji Water. Sure, you're adding to your carbon footprint by drinking water shipped from halfway around the world -- but you're also letting a sheep keep his coat a little longer! Life is all about balance. Other highlights we like about these pants: machine-washability, and "slimmer anti-sprocket leg openings."

3. Cordarounds Bike to Work Pants. $90.
By day, they're mild-mannered khakis. By night, thanks to strategically placed reflective material that emerges when you roll up the cuffs and turn the back pockets inside out, they light up like a Las Vegas casino. Or maybe that's overstating things a bit, so let's say a Reno casino. Either way, we're pretty sure they're going to be the brightest pair of pants in your wardrobe. Unless you're John Daly.

4. Swrve Indigo Denim Jeans. $100.
We don't advise riding long distances in jeans -- but with these, we feel like we could if we had to. Why? The seamless gusseted crotch, articulated knees, and touch of Lycra. For utilitarian riding, they've got pretty much every feature you could ask for -- cell phone pocket, reflective stripe at the cuff, low waist in the front and high waist in the back, and back pockets big enough to fit a mini U-lock.


HEY! We're giving away a brand spanking new ride from Bowery Lane Bicycles ($695 value) and all you have to do to enter is take a hot photograph with a bike (and preferably a girl) in it. Click for full details and then get art directin'.

Show Us Your Game Face, Dude! Corpus Cotton Drop Crotch Pants

Show Us Your Game Face, Dude! Corpus Cotton Drop Crotch Pants
Today, we introduce what we expect will be a recurring feature at MB: Show Us Your Game Face, Dude!

The premise: Anyone model can master Blue Steel or Le Tigre while wearing a non-descript pair of wool trousers or a block stripe cashmere sweater. But it takes a real pro to look serious while wearing some of the get-ups that are an occupational hazard of being a model.

Here, our guy ably feigns indifference to the fact that he's wearing a pair of pants seemingly aimed at the fashion-forward colostamy-bag-wearer market.

Ask the MB: John Varvatos Linen Blend Pants

John Varvatos Linen/Cotton Soho Pant via John Varvatos, $298.00
John Varvatos Linen/Cotton Soho Pant via John Varvatos. $298.00.
Q: I like the darker colour of these John Varvatos linen/cotton blend soho pants better than the 100% cotton versions that MB recommended a few months back.

But knowing linen's terrible tendency to wrinkle (these are 53% linen) I'm prevented from clicking the buy button for fear of looking like I've cruelly robbed the trousers straight off the legs of a style-conscious hobo.

No less a figure than H.P. Lovecraft is reputed to have discovered a long forgotten fabric treatment that prevented linen from wrinkling, however the side-effects were horrendous...

So, failing the precise execution of a Lovecraftian material trans-mutation ceremony enacted in the tomb of an Egyptian Pharaoh; 53% linen fabric OK, or not OK?
--Tadgh


A: Despite our extreme prejudice against 100% linen, linen blends can work. In general, we prefer that whatever material the linen is being blended with retain at least a 51% ownership stake, so you're tempting fate with those particular pants. But if you're feeling lucky, go for it.

Overheard on Twitter: Ashton Kutcher and His Pants

Overheard on Twitter: Ashton Kutcher and His Pants
@ashtonkutcherspantz dood i am totally punking your ankles rite now!

@aplusk wut?

@ashtonkutcherspantz srsly i bet people are wondering if you got me from yao ming's last clothing swap.

@aplusk check it pantz! It's strategic. Im 32 now. But my giant suit makes me look 14 and RELEVANT. Junior high FTW!

@ashtonkutcherpantz maybe if kevin smith went to your tailor they wouldn't have kicked him off that plane. ur 4 sizes too big look = slimming!

@aplusk zackly! that's why j alba's wearing an ll bean gunny sack instead of a dress.

@ashtonkutcherpantz u guys should totally make emma roberts teach you to dress like grownups.

@aplusk haha, so true. thank u for being my pantz, @ashtonkutcherspantz! so cool ur on Twitter

Ask the MB: Pants and Shoes that Work Together

Ask the MB: Pants and Shoes that Work Together
Q: I've noticed that certain combinations of shoes and pants lack the seamless blending/transition at the overlap, such as flare pants with skinny width shoes. Are there any tips to get the right balance? See Exhibit A (top) and B (bottom).
--Mike


A: It's only January 7th but we're pretty sure this will be the most astute observation made all year. Well done.

While our answer should probably take the form of a pseudo-scientific chart, the only tip or guide you need is to follow the architectural principle of proportion. Or, why wearing narrow-outsole sneakers (like a Puma Roma) with bootcut denim feels totally weird.

Similarly, a jacket's lapels and tie should be of like widths. A big part of the problem with the skinny trend (RIP) was the poor bastards who merely dipped their toe in and bought a skinny tie to wear with a traditional-width lapel suit. Like so many breast enlargement surgeries, it looks wrong, and there's a reason why.

Ask the MB: New Year's Party With Black Velvet Blazer

Tartan Trousers via Brooks Brothers, $250.00
Tartan Trousers via Brooks Brothers. $250.00.
Q: What types of shirts and pants combinations can be paired with a black velvet blazer for a semi-formal New Year's Eve celebration?
--Black


A: The shirt is easy: white, pressed, no button-down. If you have one, an evening shirt with studs would be MB. The pants? Hmmmmm ... time is short ... is there a Black Fleece-stocked Brooks Brothers near you? The blazer + the shirt + these subtle tartan pants will definitely get you more than the obligatory New Year's peck on the cheek.

Ask the MB: More on Pant Tucking

Ask the MB: More on Pant Tucking
Q: I like the look of high/riding boots, but think it's too much to wear unless you're in the English countryside or riding. The other day I saw a guy wearing a nice pair of leather ankle boots, like a ferragamo or gucci boot, with his pants tucked into them. I couldn't decide whether it looked ridiculous or courageously cool. What say you?
--Tom


A: Tom, we answered your question about a year ago, calling it TTHTLLYS (Trying Too Hard To Look Like Yosemite Sam), and still oppose this overly affected style. Weather the pant-tucking trend for now as it will be completely gone by next fall, except on re-runs.

Ask the MB: Black with Brown (Again)

Black pants, black shoes. Period.
Black pants, black shoes. Period.
Q: So I work in a bank now, and the attire demands shirt and tie. I'd look a little overdone in a suit. Can I wear brown dress shoes with black dress pants? (I know the policy on strictly wearing black shoes with a black suit, but since this isn't a suit...)
--Christopher


A: Christopher, rules are definitely meant to be broken, but to break this one you have to know what you're doing. It has to be just the right black pant and brown shoe combination. In other words, if you have to ask, stick to black footwear with your black pants.

Ask the MB: Black with Brown

Ask the MB: Black with Brown
Q: After long debate and no conclusive answer, my friends and I decided to ask the MB gods for the final say. Black and brown together?
--Christopher


A: Brown shirt and black pants? Only if you're a UPS driver who moonlights as a member of the New Zealand All Blacks, and your shorts are in the wash.

Black shirt and brown pants? Only if you're a UPS driver who moonlights as a member of the New Zealand All Blacks, but vice versa.

Black suit with brown shoes? A black suit is useful only for weddings and funerals, and then should be paired with black shoes.

Brown suit with black shoes? Now we're getting somewhere. Though make sure the combo is appropriate by consulting the black shoes-brown pants chart.

Ask the MB: Tropical Southeast Asian Attire

Ask the MB: Tropical Southeast Asian Attire
Q: I live in a tropical South East Asian country with temperature averaging between 31 to 34C in the day. How would a MB dress here?
--Sebastian


A: Would it be Indonesia by chance? Even if you're only living in the vicinity, rent 1982's The Year of Living Dangerously and then study Mel Gibson's wardrobe. Unbuttoned double cargo pocket shirts (tucked in of course), flat-front khakis, and perfect sleeve-rolling. Accessorize with cigarettes and/or Sigourney Weaver and you're good to go.

Ask the MB: Pant Creases

Never wear pants that can moonlight as letter openers.
Never wear pants that can moonlight as letter openers.
Q: Most of my slacks don't have pleats, but my dry cleaner still presses them with a center crease. I prefer no crease for a clean flat front, and instruct the dry cleaner to press "no crease" - but they can't get it right. Every time they press a pant I have them redone without the crease. Is my dry cleaner stuck in 1980 or do I need to adjust my no-crease look?
--Moxie


A: Moxie, your style instincts are good, but we have doubts about your resolve. If your dry cleaner can coerce you into changing your style, what is going to happen when you have a wife?

We are strongly anti-crease in virtually all situations, and don't even consider buying pants unless we think we can get the crease out. You need to get your dry cleaner on the no-crease plan or find a new one who is completely fluent in English. They will be lazier than newly arrived immigrants looking to impress, and happy to keep your pants creaseless.

Loudmouth Golf Pants

Loudmouth Golf Pants
We're all in favor of bringing back some '70s style to the course -- the MB in the header photo is wearing vintage flowered Lilly Pulitzer shorts -- but Scott Woodsworth's Loudmouth Golf is an homage gone horribly wrong:

Top: John Daly at the BMW PGA Championship at the Wentworth Club, England, over the weekend in Loudmouth Golf's "Disco Balls" pants. Looks like a clown's pajamas.

Bottom: The "Chicks Dig Loudmouth" photo gallery is a toolbag extravaganza.

Ask the MB: Long Pants in Galveston, TX

AG Protege Lightweight Jeans via Neiman Marcus, $172.00
AG Protege Lightweight Jeans via Neiman Marcus. $172.00.
Q: I read your article about shorts at night and wanted present a more specific scenario. You said, "Wearing shorts after dark is strictly for college boys and parking valets." However, I live on an island (Galveston, TX) where local culture seems to allow shorts at any time and nearly any place. Would shorts after dark be MB-approved in this situation?
--Justin


A: Sure, you can wear shorts after dark in Galveston, but only if you're planning to make an appearance on COPS. If you are, we also recommend ditching your shirt and your teeth too, to complete the outfit. If a COPS cameo is not in the cards, get to know lightweight denim like this AG version; they will change the way you think about jeans. Just don't pair with those boots.

Ask the MB: Skinny Pants on Women

Rubenesque, indeed
Rubenesque, indeed
Q: Darling, you have cracked the door, so forgive me if I wedge my foot and possibly my shoulder in and ask (rather breathlessly): What about skinny pants for women?
--Nancy Drew


(Ed. note: "Nancy Drew" is an amateur chick detective who's been trying to find out who's behind this site for, like, nearly two years.)

A: Nancy, in the women's case it's a simple matter of geometry. We call it the "Ass to Ankle Angle" or AAA (try saying that 3 times fast). Simply have someone take a picture of you naked with your feet together and then calculate the angle from your ass to your ankle. If your angle is 5° or smaller, you may wear skinny pants. As you can see, the nude in Peter Paul Rubens' "The Three Graces" is at 10°, and she clearly ain't even close.

Ask the MB: Skinny Pants

Ask the MB: Skinny Pants
Q: What's your take on slim fit pants that hug the legs and ankles? Are they only acceptable on 150 pound male models?
--Todd


A: We have been consistently anti-skinny since this site launched almost two years ago. But it can work in certain situations, like the ones defined by our accompanying skinny pant flow chart. See if you qualify to wear this look.

(In case you don't have your BMI number off the top of your head, you can calculate it here.)

Esquire's Nick Sullivan: Condescending, Wrong

<em>Esquire</em>'s Nick Sullivan: Condescending, Wrong
Esquire is down the list of our favorite men's mags, and Fashion Director Nick Sullivan doesn't help matters with his condescending, bad advice. At magnificentbastard.com if we're wrong, we'll at least be wrong with a joke and maybe some light profanity.

In any fucking case, MB endorses no crease on any pant, even suitpants (except a tuxedo), unless you're old. Otherwise they violate the none-too-neat principle we're always aiming for.

Greg Adamietz of Austin, TX: you've been wronged.

Ask the MB: Fat Bastard Pants

Ask the MB: Fat Bastard Pants
Q: I've got a question about how high or low pants should go. I'm a fat bastard who has been working on slimming down. Down 2 pants sizes in the last year and half. So my wardrobe is in flux. The issue now though is my two suits (especially the pants) are ridiculously too large to go around my traditional upper limit of above the hips. But they're now ok go around my still somewhat larger gut. (I'm still working on that.) The question comes down to, is it ok to wear the pants around the belly or should I pony up the money to have and have the alterations done?
--Moderately Fat Bastard


A: Get your pants tailored for the new you. Wearing them on your gut is like giving up and only wearing sweats and track suits. You're in the process of turning this fat train right around! In other words, a little more Hank Hill (who once lead his high-school's conference in rushing) and a little less Homer Simpson (who once gained 61 pounds to go on fat disability). Please just ignore the look on their faces and their body language and trust us.

Ask the MB: Thom Browne or The Hobbit

Ask the MB: Thom Browne or The Hobbit
Q: Recently in GQ's online series "How to Become a Well Dressed Rebel in 30 Days," Adam Rapoport interviewed Thom Browne and suggested that you forgo the socks with your suit. When they show the pictures of Thom Browne I got a distinct feel that he looked like a 12 year-old that got a suit when he was 7. I guess this can be classified as artful dishevelment but I feel that less dishevelment is better than more Hobbit. Am I completely off the mark? And how should a MB go about the no socks advice?
--Ryan


A: We've never understood the fashion world's hard-on for Thom Browne. Thom Browne this. Thom Browne that. Whatever. His approach to pants is a completely unflattering trend, kinda like women's capri pants from a few years ago. (Like the Terminator, they'll be back.) However, Thom Browne's thoughts on no socks with suits is a good one, but do it in an understated (i.e. MB) way. Go sockless with a normal inseam and then surprise folks with a leg cross or a nicely-timed gust of wind. Just be sure to wear a pair of these socks with your shoes.

Ask the MB: Pant Tucking

Ask the MB: Pant Tucking
Q: As we venture deeper into cold weather here in New York, I've noticed many guys walking around with their pants tucked into their boots. Initially, I vehemently opposed. On further consideration, I thought the look might be able to be achieved. Then upon even further thought, I dismissed it on grounds of TTH. Thoughts?
--Josh


A: It's not TTH (Trying Too Hard), it's TTHTLLYS (Trying Too Hard To Look Like Yosemite Sam). Tucking your pants into your boots shortens your legs, hence making you look short. Like Yosemite Sam. Unless you're 7'+, this is asinine and be only somethin' varmits do.

Ask the MB: Flared Dress Pants

Theory Thomas Avenue Pants via Saks Fifth Avenue, $185.00
Theory Thomas Avenue Pants via Saks Fifth Avenue. $185.00.
Q: I love flat front dress pants that appear to have a slight flare at the bottom of the leg (think "Doug" in Mind of a Married Man). But, I have a difficult time finding the cut and fit. I have a great pair by Theory, they are totally MB. Can you point me towards any makers with this fit? Any thoughts on this look?
--Rich


A: Rich, you indeed are an MB. Theory's slight bootcut dress pants make most men look great, and perhaps because of this, fellas have a little extra swagger in their step when they wear 'em. Heck, look at the MB-style pose of the model in this picture! One thing we do not and never will understand is the slim/skinny pant trend, which seems to be peaking (hopefully) in Fall 2008. About 5% of the male population can make this work satisfactorily, and 4% are under-fed hipster doofuses who play in some crap band. For the rest of the guys out there, all this cut accomplishes is making their ass look big.

Anyhow, finding what you want in the slim tsunami is difficult, but John Varvatos is a good option (inset).

Ask the MB -- Cargo Pants

Ask the MB -- Cargo Pants
Q: What are your thoughts on cargo pants? I see no reference under pants?
--Clint


A: Perhaps the best quote from 2007's Superbad is from Seth, played by Jonah Hill: "Nobody has gotten a hand job in cargo shorts since 'Nam!" Yes, we're talking about cargo pants here, but it's probably safe to say no one's gotten a hand job in cargo pants since Grenada, or at least Desert Storm.

Once again, 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham brings clarity to the issue of cargo pants: "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best." In other words, what the hell do you need all those extra pockets for?

Movie Toolbags -- 'Nuke' LaLoosh

Movie Toolbags -- 'Nuke' LaLoosh
It's sometimes useful to look to cinema for reinforcement of style principles. When the creators of Bull Durham wanted to create a shlubby, clueless rookie pitcher "with a million dollar arm and the 5-cent head" they dressed Ebby Calvin 'Nuke' LaLoosh in:

1. Pleated, linen pants. (Note the wrinkles!)
2. Tommy Bahama-style camp shirt.
3. Shiny gold watch and ring.
4. Pinkie ring.

Ask the MB -- White Pants Q & A

Ask the MB -- White Pants Q & A
Q: Please tell me that the bastard on your front page banner isn't wearing linen pants.
--John


A: No, the Magnificent Bastard on the front page banner is most definitely not wearing linen pants, because we've all witnessed the disaster they turn into. Just cotton with a dash of elastane.


Q: Again with the white pants. At the risk of sounding like Tim the homophobe, I'm concerned that you may not appreciate the gay factor of some of these endorsements. I have prepared this graph for your reference.
--Thom




Queerness Chart

Ask the MB -- Cuffs

Ask the MB -- Cuffs
Q: I just picked up a new Boss suit with flat front pants. Before taking it to the tailor I was curious what the MB's opinion was on cuffing. Should one cuff only pleated pants or both pleated and flat front, and if so how much of a cuff should be put in place?
--Chris


A: There aren't many cuffs around the MB offices (or pleats), but we're not opposed to them (like pleats). A couple of suggestions if you decide to go that route:

Leg Opening: Cuffs work best on either something dramatically wide or dramatically narrow (pictured).

Cuff Depth: Cuff it like it's not an accident. 2" absolute minimum.

Ask the MB -- Senior Moment

Ask the MB -- Senior Moment
Q: I know you guys love the Style Guy but he just made a huge error in the June edition of GQ. He said that you cannot take out the pleats in pleated trousers. They should buy their suits at MARK SHALE. They do it all the time for no charge and they turn out beautifully.
--Larry


A: We do like Glenn O'Brien (the Style Guy), though as you point out he is dead wrong about about removing pleats. Not just Mark Shale can do it; so can any competent tailor. Maybe he was having a senior moment like his contemporary, John McCain.

Trying Too Hard: Richard Roeper

Trying Too Hard: Richard Roeper
Poor guy is nearly 50 and looking increasingly weird and bewildered with spiked hair and the occasional t-shirt under blazer look. On this week's Ebert and Roeper he demonstrates a couple of don'ts:

Don't #1: 3-button blazer; buttoned while seated.
Don't #2: Pants hemmed looking like he's expecting Category 5 hurricane.

Another knock: poor guy recommended Speed Racer, the worst movie of the year by miles.

Ask the MB -- Bulging Thighs

Ask the MB -- Bulging Thighs
Q: I work out a lot and am quite muscular, and I have a 32 or 33 inch waist, but most pants are cut for guys with much slimmer legs than me. My bulging thighs look like sausages in pants that otherwise fit me fine. Any tips, besides wearing Zubaz?
--Sam


A: To paraphrase German politician Otto von Bismarck, there are three things it's best not to see being made:

* Laws
* An MB's legs getting turned into sausages, and
* A guy getting into a pair of Zubaz

Sam, first thing you need to do -- something every MB needs to do -- is find a great tailor. For your existing pants, if they are dress pants, he can let out the thigh a bit so your rippling leg muscles have room to flex. A better option is to buy your pants a little larger -- to accomodate your bulges -- and have your tailor slim the waist.

MB Endorses: Lounge Pants

Lounge Pant via Adam, $195.00
Lounge Pant via Adam. $195.00.
Yeah, your un-MB peers might heap scorn and ridicule on the idea of spending $195 on what they likely refer to as simply "sweatpants." Screw 'em. When you're kickin' it in the Caribbean, and climb out of your villa's infinity pool and slip into this stylish pair of Adam Lounge Pants (made from the finest organic Japanese cotton, of course) you -- and everyone else who sees you -- will know exactly where that extra $175.01 went.

(This post actually reminds us of a core MB rule that will be demonstrated more clearly in future posts: in order to look good, you gots to pay.)

Ask the MB -- Suspenders

Ask the MB -- Suspenders
Q: Pleated pants. We know they should be banned, but what if you like to wear suspenders; do you wear them with plain fronts? Is doesn't seem right.
—Holly


A: Holly, we presume this is for your husband or boyfriend. Either that or you're Annie Hall. Anyhow, suspenders with "plain fronts" is totally fine, and actually preferred to pleats. Just have a look at the pleats-suspenders combo on Lumbergh (with belt!) and Mork. Pleats just plain suck.

Ask the MB

Ask the MB
Q: I recently got back from a trip to Europe and saw a lot of guys wearing tapered capris pants there. At first, I thought no way, but in time it crept into my mind. They looked extremely comfortable, somewhat dressy, very stylish, and cool in the heat. My wife insisted they were strictly for the gay man. Your thoughts?
--William


A: William: We're not sure we can endorse capris for men, given that we don't like them on women. However, perusing the Pringle web site over the weekend we got a glimpse of their pants stance for spring 2008. If you've got nice-looking ankles, we say go for it.

Ask the MB

Wool/Cashmere Pleated Pant via Mark Shale, $175.00
Wool/Cashmere Pleated Pant via Mark Shale. $175.00.
Q: Have pleated pants gone out of style? Are they better for hiding my fat belly or not?
— Scott


A: Yes. Not.

Nothing personal, Scott, but where in the hell do people get the idea that pleats hide fat bellies? Pleats are extra material, puffing out in the wrong place, that actually make you look fatter than you actually are.

The only time we've ever seen successful pleat implementations is on short, slight, thin MBs trying to look a little bigger and older than the real thing.

Stick to flat-fronts, make sure they fit properly, and hit the damn treadmill.

World's Worst-Dressed Golfer — Jim Furyk

PJs on the PGA tour
PJs on the PGA tour
Recently we called Tiger Woods the world's 2nd-worst-dressed golfer, and a few people emailed wondering who's No. 1 (so to speak).

Almost on cue, Jim Furyk wins the Canadian Open yesterday, in double-pleated pants and his signature tucked-in camp shirt that looks like pajama tops.

We're wondering where one can even buy something like that, besides the sleepwear section at Macy's.

BG Summer Blowout

Etro Linen Trousers via Bergdorf Goodman, $103.00
Etro Linen Trousers via Bergdorf Goodman. $103.00.
Bergdorf Goodman is having their "Final Sale of the Season", and there's free shipping with code BGJULY7.

While there's some good stuff, be sure to avoid these Etro Linen Trousers. Sure, they might look nice on the model now, but literally seconds after that picture was taken they looked like shit. Don't believe us? Check out the time-lapse photography from a new MB feature: Linen. It sucks.

POURCAST

BETA

Martinez

  • 2 parts Hayman's Old Tom Gin
  • 1 part sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica Formula or Dolin Rouge)
  • 1/4 part Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters

Shake or swirl lightly, garnish with a lemon twist.


In-Depth Martinez Coverage:

MB Holiday Cocktail Guide

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