Not sure if you should wear that Tommy Bahama shirt out tonight? The magnificent bastard is here to help. Go ahead. Ask away.
Untuckingbelievable! Do not do this at home, work, or even at a G-rated orgy in Vegas.
Q: I agree with your posts regarding the sport-shirts-untucked-from-pants plight. To push the point, however, what about shorts? I tend to tuck the shirt, yet sometimes I'm tempted to untuck it. I'm almost sure you'll say no good, but is this at least less bad?
A: Your instincts are on point, Chris. We are not fans of dress shorts, shorts with ties and wingtips, or any other look that might have people wondering if your work pants got amputated at the dry cleaners. For us, shorts are emphatically casual, so you'd think we'd be more open to untucking. And we are, sort of. With shorts, we like the partial tuck, which is to say, artful dishevelment.
How do you make it work? First, make sure that your shirt, be it a polo or a woven, is cut appropriately. If the fabric that falls beneath your belt-line is abundant enough to make a placemat, it's cut too long! If there's barely enough fabric showing to make, say, a bandana, then it's cut right.
Now that you're wearing the right shirt, tuck it in entirely, and pretend like you're a hailing a cab on a busy Manhattan street. Extend your arm, wave vigorously and impatiently. If you do this right, this should dislodge your shirt just enough to give the desired effect. And you're ready to go.
Earlier: The Tyranny of the Untucked Sport Shirt
Your shorts are draining the lifeblood from Tom Ford
Q: Dear MB: How does an MB rock shorts? I know, I know, a real MB shouldn't wear shorts, but in some parts of the country summer gets too hot for pants. 115 degrees. Looking back at your earlier posts about shorts, the MB short has an 8"-8.5" inseam. Thanks for the help.
A: In the S/S issue of Another Man, Tom Ford offers five easy lessons on how to become a modern gentleman. Fifth on his list: "A man should never wear shorts in the city. Flip-flops and shorts in the city are never appropriate. Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach."
We would add "golf course." Except if you play with glow-in-the-dark golf balls: Never wear shorts after the sun goes down.
As for inseam, we definitely prefer shorter over longer, lest you veer into over-the-knee toolbag territory. Unfortunately, this season designers have adopted longer inseams with small leg openings, in what look like skinny pants amputated at the knee. But there are still sensible, comfortable shorts out there that don't require cuff rolling, like Raf Simons/Fred Perry for tennis, Lightning Bolt for the beach, and Fred Perry (solo) for the course.
Earlier: For women, we endorse even shorter shorts.
Q: With summer upon us how about some advice on appropriate shorts for the hot months. And which footwear to combine with them. Thanks.
As our recent post on Dorts suggest, it's much easier to find awful shorts this season than good ones. We almost think the Obama Administration has enlisted the world's shorts designers in an ingenious propaganda campaign. If someone pays $288 for Odyn Vovk's seamed balloon shorts (top), or $365 for Chronicles of Never's oversized parachute shorts, or $231 for Tim Hamilton's apparent bid to corner the market on black-tie Mormon underwear, then the recession must be officially over.
But there are some good shorts out there, or at least one pair. We love the color, texture, and inseam length of these Obey Whalers, and we're pretty sure our tailor will be happy to excise the overly wordy logo tag for a six-pack of Schlitz. $58. (They fit true to size.)
We will address the footwear part of your question next week.
Until recently we could safely say that jorts were the worst thing to happen to summer since domed baseball stadiums. Then, someone invented dorts -- designer jean shorts. As the weather gets hotter, they're showing up everywhere -- just like mosquitos. Consider these things carriers of a deadly neuroinvasive style virus and repel at all costs.
Wear these dorts if you want people to think you robbed a midget hipster's cuffed jeans.
Bloomingdale's teaches us a shrewd retailer's trick. If your stock of medium wash AGs don't sell at $129.50, cut off their legs and charge more!
Have you heard the one about the doctor who removed a patient's perfectly functioning lung while leaving the cancerous one in place? This is the jeans version of that. The least offensive part of these things -- the legs -- have been amputated. The hideous malignant pockets are left intact. Who are the quacks in charge of pants surgery at Antik? They should be sued for malpractice.
Q: I've got a pair of super-comfy CK jeans and I've worn them so much that they've started to get holes in the knees. I've considered cutting them into shorts because it's summer in OZ. Should I? And if so, how short?
A: Whoa, mate. Rather than make a mistake that might get you on the front page of jorts.com, instead take this opportunity to begin creating some seriously cool, organically destroyed jean pants. Find a tailor with an interest in being less like a seamstress and more like a designer, and show him this picture (here is a super-big version). Get him to put the patch behind the hole and damn-near embroider on the top with a high-contrast, heavy-weight thread. Then get to work making some new holes.
(Jeans pictured owned by: Carl Chiara. Design director, Levi's Capital E and Red Collections.)
Q: How can a 36 year old male dress in resort casual without looking too metrosexual, preppy or like a Tommy Bahama wanna-be?
A: From top to bottom:
Knit Shirt: Polo with sleeves that hit at about the middle of the bicep. No logos if possible, especially none with the name of your country club or a high-end public course he recently played. Be sure to follow the polo shirt button rule.
Woven Shirt: At least one in white, of course. Unpressed. Just take it out of the dryer and go. Not buttoned-down. If it's not specifically designed to be worn untucked, have him tuck it in.
Sweater: Fine gauge v-neck cashmere. Period. On cool nights have him toss this over the polo or the woven and let his shirt collar just do what it wants to do.
Pants: No pleats. No creases. No linen. Khakis with patch pockets are a solid choice. Only denim if it's dark and dressed up, like Theory. Shorts OK too, but when the sun goes down remember the rule: pants only.
Footwear: Plimsolls or Jack Purcells. Sandals or flip-flops (but only if they're made from organic materials).
The Feet Themselves: If he chooses the sandal/flip-flop route, remember this rule about feet: If you wouldn't put his toe in your mouth, you need to convince him to get a pedicure.
Q: Should Thom Brown have his right to produce men's fashion revoked, or is it ever ok for an MB to look like THIS???
A: As far as we can tell, Thom Browne's primary contributions to fashion are:
1. suits with capri pants, and
2. suits with shorts.
If you're a wee man who wants to flaunt his weeness, then Thom Browne is your god. This particular get-up makes him look like a tiny, hairy puppet IBM invented to sell toner cartridges to yacht clubs. We sincerely do not get it.
Q: Based on this link I'm pretty sure this proves that plaid shorts are post-peak. I've loved my plaid shorts from Penguin and the like for 3 or 4 years now but I think the style is over. What are alternatives for shorts in summer if Tommy Bahama has taken to plaid short production?
A: One word, Bradley: jorts (top).
Just like Eddie Van Halen's toolbaggish, sleep-inducing, fret-jerking in "Beat It" couldn't kill the guitar solo, Tommy Bahama can't kill plaid. Next season they'll be back to florals (bottom). Wear the Penguins and the like without fear.
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?
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.
Q: Although I wore Thom Browne long before it was available anywhere but Bergdorf Goodman and kind of liked it primarily for the quality and nerdyness, I have recently come to the conclusion that it is kind of "The Emperor's New Clothes." What do you think?
A: (Ed. note: This question was sent in January, 2009.)
Either it's the Emperor's New Clothes or the Emperor's Flood Pants. Either way, we've never gotten Thom Browne, and perhaps we'll never get Thom Browne, since rumors of his impending bankruptcy surfaced last month (later denied). Maybe we're dumb (or blind), but we don't see a point of view or story to his work, only a gimmick. One thing we think is a very, very safe bet, Mark: If you've been photographed in a Thom Browne suit you're not gonna want to see that pic in 10 years.
via shopbop.com. $148.00.
It broke 60° yesterday at our Pulaski, WI offices and it moved a few women to break out one of mankind's greatest inventions: short shorts. Now, up here in northern Wisconsin, our women's legs might not be the most toned, and they're clearly a little sun-deprived, and there might be a little more hair than we'd probably like**, but doggone if we still don't really, really dig short shorts. Just wait until it hits 70! Bikinis!
* Not to be confused with short jorts.
** Model clearly not from Pulaski, WI vicinity
Q: MB, I am a 20 year old college student and recently was very excited to find a pair of new Puma Contacts at a thrift store and have been wearing them occasionally. I only wear them with plain black skinny jeans, because I don't want to be too elaborate. My girlfriend on the other hand feels that they are too ridiculous and make me stand out in a bad way. Am I wrong?
A: Jacob, your girlfriend would've been more accurate to say you stand out in a too Joey Ramone way. This is fine if you're the 6'6" frontman for an up-and-coming college punk rock cover band. Otherwise save this ironic footwear for the hardcourts.
Q: What the hell can I wear with jean shorts?! I just recently donated a bunch of my clothes and noticed I have tons of jean shorts. I can't think up anything that can go with them. Should I have donated them too? Help!
A: Florida Gator quarterback and massive toolbag Tim Tebow wears jean shorts. (Looks as though MBs can safely rule out Birkenstocks as well. But you knew that.) If that doesn't answer your question, visit jean short photo site jorts.com and let us know if you find one guy even approximating Magnificent Bastard-dom. Aaron, this is best left to the opposite sex, specifically Daisy Duke or women with DD-quality buns.
Q: Why do I see guys out at night in long pants even when it's 90 degrees?
Those guys you see? They're most likely MBs. Wearing shorts after dark is strictly for college boys and parking valets.
Please consult our short-wearing guide below for further guidance.
Something just ain't right about seeing the completely unstylish Rafael Nadal triumph on the completely stylish lawns of Wimbledon. Nadal's match with Roger Federer may be an instant classic, but neither that dreadful sleeveless top nor those long shorts will stand the test of time. Poor fella looks like some weird combination of Menudo and Rambo.
via Urban Outfitters. $9.99.
A URL for any MB is the UO sale page, sorted by "new additions." They do not fuck around with their discounts, and we like that. Take, for instance, these stylin' Stock cutoff shorts, once $39.99, now just $9.99.
via Bloomingdale's. $117.00.
Juicy Couture's slide toward brand oblivion isn't helped by this disastrous camo short triple play:
1. Linen. It sucks.
2. Long. 24" inseam a bit much, closer to slacks.
3. Camo. So 2006.
Even though they're on sale (surprise!), avoid.