Magnificent Bastard

Wednesday, October 21, 2020



pandemic

MB Deals of the Week: Polo Restock via J. Crew and Lacoste

MB Deals of the Week: Polo Restock via J. Crew and Lacoste

We've been active participants in the COVID-19 surge ... on the golf course. Yes, we're part of the teeming masses setting round-playing records at public courses, and hogging prime tee times at our jam-packed private clubs.

The result? Gaping holes has been blown open in our once-deep roster of $11 New Look and ASOS polos.

Literally, holes.

Two events to the rescue:

1. J. Crew's Bankruptcy
When J. Crew announced their bankruptcy in early May it sounded like they planned on keeping some stores open. Now it feels like EVERYTHING MUST GO.

Unfortunately even at 60 or 70% off, there's not much worth buying at the flagship, which perhaps explains their predicament. But at J. Crew Factory we've been watching the price of their excellent washed jersey polo go from $12.95 to $11.80 to $11.50 in just the last 3 days. By the time you read this they could be 10 bucks. It's ASOS price territory and these are better. Fits true to size.

2. Lacoste's Summer Sale
A Lacoste polo is going to run you $89.50. That's just the price. That is until Lacoste has a summer sale and marks their iconic shirts down 30%. At $61.99 it's less than most eBay counterfeit versions from Hong Kong. As you likely know if you're reading this, fits one size small.

Apposta: The Gucci of Online Custom Shirtmakers

Apposta: The Gucci of Online Custom Shirtmakers

Since we reviewed seven custom shirtmakers a decade ago, a bunch of others have offered free shirts for an evaluation, and because it takes us getting up from the sofa, we've always said no.

But when Apposta asked us to have a look we changed our tune, primarily because their shirts are made in Italy. Where possible, this is where MBs want their clothing (and shoes) to be made. It's a default setting like getting forged blades from Japan, Scotch from Islay, or pump-action shotguns from here in America.

The shirtmakers we originally reviewed all outsourced their manufacturing to Thailand, Hong Kong, Honduras, China, and Vietnam. Proper Cloth, now one of the most popular online shirtmakers, has their shirts made in Malaysia. We're not saying some great shirts cannot be made in these places — especially Hong Kong — but we are saying that shirts made in Italy are likely just going to be better.

This was the case with the Apposta shirt. Probably because the fabric came from an Italian mill, the buttons were Australian mother of pearl, and the stitching and fit are both just very ... Italiany. While Apposta doesn't offer our preferred sewn collar, they do have an option of a "soft" collar that approximates unfused, to allow for maximum sprezzatura (that's Italian for artful dishevelment).

To top it off — and recalled the memorable touches of ordering from a well-known Italian fashion house — is the shipment came with an ear-loop mask made from the shirt fabric. Magnifico! Just don't pair with the shirt (too strong of a Garanimals vibe), or put it on while trying to buy a pump-action shotgun from a West Palm Beach gun shop (at least without an appointment).

Nothing Got Between Bob Ross and His Calvins

Nothing Got Between Bob Ross and His Calvins

We've binged McMillions, Curb Your Enthusiasm (Season 10), Wild Wild Country, Lorena, Chernobyl, Ozark (Season 3), How To Fix a Drug Scandal, and the 2010 Green Bay Packer season.

But these were mere sprints. We've embarked on a marathon: the complete Bob Ross oeuvre. 31 seasons. 13 episodes each. By our math that works out to roughly 200 hours of happy clouds, friendly trees, and mistakes happy accidents.

One thing we were not expecting to see: Bob Ross in designer jeans. Season 4, Episode 6, at 20:29. Warm Summer Day.

MB Deal of the Week: The Kooples Stay-at-Home Sweatshirts

MB Deal of the Week: The Kooples Stay-at-Home Sweatshirts

We admit. The Kooples closed us. First it was 50-60% off. Then an additional 20%. Then a bump to an additional 25%.

That was the trigger for us to load up on their sweatshirts: three with stripes perfect for Zoom calls and staring blankly into the fridge, and one camo perhaps best for social long-distancing.

Clockwise from top left:

Grey Crewneck w/ Tri-Color Ribbing. $215 $64.50.

Round Neck Grey Cotton Sweatshirt w/ Stripe. $215 $81.75.

Blue Cotton Sweatshirt Camoflague Print. $218 $65.40.

Round Neck Blue Cotton Sweatshirt w/ Stripe. $215 $81.75.

As for fit, the camo fits true to size. The striped sweatshirts fit small, so go up one. As for comfort, the camo is just OK. The striped sweatshirts are perhaps the most comfortable we've ever owned.

Band of Brooks Brothers

Band of Brooks Brothers

Great to see Brooks Brothers pitching in to create Personal Protective Equipment for America’s front-line healthcare workers.

Just to show you how much coronavirus has upended the universe, we're hoping the 150,000 masks that Brooks Brothers is planning to produce on a daily basis are all their synthetic narrowly-tailored Soho Fit. In the midst of a pandemic (but only in the midst of a pandemic), artful dishevelment must take a backseat to epidemiology.

Elbow Bump Etiquette: Handshake Rules Still Apply

LHC Group's Bruce Greenstein attempts elbow bump with President Donald Trump during a news conference about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden at the White House, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Washington.
LHC Group's Bruce Greenstein attempts elbow bump with President Donald Trump during a news conference about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden at the White House, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Washington.

Now that the traditional handshake is on hold and the elbow bump is in (except for the most aggressively ignorant buffoons), here's how we suggest you do it:

Make it firm. — We're not talking the force of an NFL forearm bash or that of roided-up '90s MLB power hitters, but pressure should be applied. A mere elbow tap is the handshake equivalent of a wet dishrag.

Eyes. Always the eyes. — Once your elbows have embraced, look the other person directly in the eye. If he reciprocates, you know you've found a man you can do business with. If not, he's probably a crook.

Earlier: Historically Bad Handshakes: John McEnroe

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