Magnificent Bastard

Sunday, February 7, 2016


From the Shop ↷

Game-Day Belt

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


Game-Day Luxury Box

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


Secret Agent Belt

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


300-Year Sterling Silver Buckle Belt

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



Ask the MB: Is Yoga Bad?

Ask the MB: Is Yoga Bad?

Q: Is yoga bad?
—Aaron

Unbeknownst to many Westerners, there's more to yoga than asanas. Mind you, we're speaking strictly as spectators here — but even with our limited second-hand knowledge, we know that yoga is an ancient system of metaphysics that also places major emphasis on yoga pants, soy-based accent candles, and gentle breezes.

As you might expect, our restless hummingbird mind usually settles on the pants. We love how yoga can quiet the hips and self-actualize the pelvic floor. At the same time, we've also noted a recurring theme amongst some of the most devoted yogis we know: As their bodies grow more flexible, their minds turn rigid. Bikram class cannot be missed. Gluten is criminalized. Only compostable, eco-dyed hemp t-shirts will do.

So while our eyes say yoga is good, our heart-eye isn't quite as enthusiastic. Namaste.

MB Deal of the Week: Saturdays Surf NYC 'Bowery' Sweatshirt

Grey Heather Bowery Sweatshirt via Totokaelo, $49.00
Grey Heather Bowery Sweatshirt via Totokaelo. $49.00.

We stalk TOTOKAELO for deals on Martin Margiela cardigans and Ann Demeulemeester longline tanks, but have unearthed great value on a plain old sweatshirt.

Now, you might be wondering: How many plain old sweatshirts does one man really need? Well, let's see. If you're like us, you need one for sitting around. Then, you also need one for sitting around drinking. Then, there's sitting around drinking and watching sports.

In short, if you share our very active sitting-around lifestyle, you'll need a full complement of plain old sweatshirts.

Which brings us to Saturdays Surf NYC's sweatshirt collection. For us, it's right up there with the best of them. Available in grey, navy, or black, they're $49 plus free shipping. (FYI, more sizes are also on sale straight from the source.) If you opt for the navy or black pullover hoodies, they're only $32.40. Fits true to size. You will not be disappointed.

Get Dressed: Biking to Work in Arctic Conditions, the Ultimate Guide

Get Dressed: Biking to Work in Arctic Conditions, the Ultimate Guide

Al Gore and Leo DiCaprio are going to have to take a lot more trans-oceanic plane trips before they manage to put a dent in the bone-bruising chill that greets us every morning in Minneapolis this time of year. But while there's nothing we can do to avoid the snow, sleet, and ice, we can avoid the even-worse-than-usual traffic and parking-space hunts that come with them. How? By continuing to ride our bikes to work, even in the face of sub-zero temperatures.

How do we pull this off without looking like we're about to engage in some heavy breathing with a couple of broad-shouldered Scandinavian beauties at the Winsport Olympic Luge Track? We lay out our strategy below.

HEAD

Smartwool Balaclava underneath a Smartwool Reversible Training Beanie. This is the warmest headwear combination that can still fit under your helmet.

1. Bell Faction in Matte Black. Minimal. Cheap. Works for the afforementioned DiCaprio, and us, too.

2. Nannini "TT" Goggles. Made for motorcyclists but adopted by cyclists looking for a stylish way to keep your eyelids from freezing shut.

TORSO & LEGS

3. Smartwool Baselayer underneath a 8 Wool Turtleneck. A baselayer under a jacket is all we usually need in anything above 10°F but it was -6°F this morning so we layered with a wool turtleneck. 8 makes a stylish one, with value.

4. Love Moschino Long Down Puffer. Down blazer-style jackets and some days even down shirts work for Minneapolis winter commuting. But not this neo-Polar Vortex shit. At anything below 0°F we pull out the long down puffer. Jack Frost may nip at your nose, but first he nips at your toes, then, surprisingly, your ass. Having goose feather coverage back there helps prevent his bite.

5. Smartwool Baselayer underneath Naked and Famous Snowpant Denim. Naked and Famous is responsible for some of the most important innovations in the history of denim, like scratch and sniff raspberry scented jeans. But their all-time best effort is the discontinued Snowpant Denim, a deep indigo wash treated with a waterproof and wind-resistant coating, and lined in comfy fleece. Look for them on eBay and try to grab them before we do.

HANDS

6. Wigens Bear Claw Gloves The synthetic lobster claw gloves you see most winter commuters wearing are neither a warmth nor a dexterity match for these Swedish leather and fur marvels. Unfortunately Wigens seems to have stopped making them. Set up an eBay alert.

FEET

Minnesota-based 45NRTH makes the popular Wölvhammer commuter boot, but they're nearly as heavy as a pair of Pacs, only rated to 0°F, and don't abide by our un-gear aesthetic. After several years of trial and error we've concocted a 4-step footwear solution that's fairly lightweight and can hold up to a 45 minute commute at -20°F.

Darn Tough Hunting Socks. Not all wool socks are created equal. We've tried a dozen different brands and Darn Tough are the best. Made in Vermont.

7. Fleece-Lined Sorel Slip-on Sneakers. Yes, fleece-lined sneakers. These run large.

Teosport Neoprene Toe Covers. Put these over the Sorels.

8. Swims "Mobster" Rubber/Neoprene Waterproof Boots. Wrap the cozy package up in perhaps our all-time favorite footwear and off you go.

Ask the MB: Christmas Gift for New Casual Girlfriend

Ask the MB: Christmas Gift for New Casual Girlfriend

Q: What do I get a girl for Christmas who I have been casually seeing for one month?
—Late to the Party

A: Some of us have been with the same woman for more than a month, and in some cases even several months, and have faced the same Christmas gift-giving dilemma. From experience we can say one thing is for certain: physical objects are an absolute no-no. Even seemingly sure-fire presents like sports cars and private islands can blow up in your face — "This latitude is too low!" — and the return policies are a nightmare.

This is why we strongly recommend this simple, convenient, relatively affordable, and extremely popular solution: a spa gift certificate.

There isn't a woman on earth who doesn't like to be pampered with a facial, massage, pedicure, or achiote hydrating wrap, and in some cases the treatments are mutually beneficial. Further, depending on how much you want to spend, this gift opens up several hours of free time to watch a football game, drink beer with your mates, or do both of those things simultaneously.

It's a win-win-win.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

MB Declares War on Nine Days of Christmas

MB Declares War on Nine Days of Christmas

We admit it. As much as we love Christmas, we sometimes think of it as the guest that won't leave. 12 days? You're staying 12 days — really?

Yesterday we declared War On Nine Days of Christmas. We'll take the ladies dancing, the maids a milking, and let's see, the calling birds. (We'll leave the gold rings to Justin Trudeau.) Everything else, we're not interested. From here on, we're celebrating the 3 Days of Christmas and that's it.

For readers of this site, we're paradoxically spreading our scroogery with three days of special deals:

December 15: On the 1st Day of MB Christmas, we're offering a Secret Agent Belt for 50 percent off, only $15.03, shipping included. Use the code SECRETSANTA. (This offer has been extended until 11:59PM CT December 16.)

December 16: For the 2nd Day of MB Christmas, it's our cashmere belts' turn. Cozy? There is nothing cozier than 100 percent cashmere. Forgiving? Go ahead and have that seventh piece of pumpkin pie — our Adam Smith cashmere belt has micro-adjustable prong placement. For these reasons, it's our go-to belt for the holiday season. Today only, you can get one, while supplies last, for only $50, shipping included. (Regular price, $90.) Use the code SOFTERTHANSANTASBEARD.

December 17: Unicorn Art! Specifically, prints of the original oil painting we commissioned from acclaimed wildlife artist Darrell Bush to commemorate our dramatic encounter with the universe's most fantastic creatures. Today only, you can get one for only $35, shipping included. (Regular price, $65.) Signed by the artist and printed on archival paper, this 17" x 12.5" print is suitable for display in taverns, lodges, banquet halls, and select private residences. Use the code RUNRUNRUDOLPH.

Finally, don't forget to take advantage of our ongoing "Reason for the Season" sale as well. Two Made in USA ties for $60, shipping included. Use the code JESUSTHATSADEAL.

Ask the MB: Corporate Christmas Party Attire

Bradey Cooper, Johnny Depp, and Harvey Weinstein
Bradey Cooper, Johnny Depp, and Harvey Weinstein

Q: I'll be attending a corporate holiday party with a "black and white semi-formal attire or LA cocktail attire" dress code. Can I get some suggestions? I don't want to look like a broken groom who was just left at the alter. Thanks.
—Gerard

A: For all but the most exclusive occasions, party dress rules are like speed limits: No one expects you to follow the absolute letter of the law. Or in your case, even the spirit. To wit, we ran the phrase "LA cocktail attire" through Google Translate and, here, apparently is the rough approximation: "If you look like Bradley Cooper or Johnny Depp, wear whatever the fuck you want. If you like Harvey Weinstein, consider a tie and jacket. But still wear whatever the fuck you want."

Indeed, have you seen a red carpet lately?

But we don't recommend dollar bill or feather prints. Instead we suggest, from bottom to top:

FOOTWEAR: If you think you can pull off a pair of sandals, then do that, and make certain you schedule a pedi for the day of. Buff. A less-bold play that still requires no lacing or socks are these Prada loafers in two-tone color and fabric.

PANTS: Our tendency is to make slacks the star of the show, and these Dries Van Noten wool tartans are clearly down with the holidays.

SHIRT: White and crisp with a point collar. Top two unbuttoned.

BLAZER: Deferring to the pants, keep this simple. Blue, of course, but let's echo the shoes with Jil Sander.

Ask the MB: Should I Keep All These Piercings?

Paul Fussell expresses his opinion on excessive piercings
Paul Fussell expresses his opinion on excessive piercings

Q: This week I realized I still have the piercings I got in high school, but I'm in university now. As an 18 year old hoping to be a little classier than she started out as once I'm done with my schooling, what are your stances on piercings? I have my ears pierced twice over, as well as a simple cartilage piercing. I usually wear small sliver sleepers. I also have my naval pierced (despite knowing it's trashy) and am justifying it because only my boyfriend has seen it. I haven't changed it either, since anything that dangles or had rhinestones was just too gaudy even for my younger self. Should I take any of these out? What should I wear if I keep them in? Thank you!
— Tessa

A: Our favorite Ask the MB submissions are the ones where readers answer their own question. It's a real timesaver!

Trust that your forthcoming jewelry and infection-reduction strategy is firmly grounded in the core principle of understatement, and would be zealously endorsed by MB patriarch Paul Fussell (RIP), who wrote in Class, "Both men's and women's elite looks are achieved by a process of rejection — of the current, the showy, the superfluous." He's talking about cartilage piercings here, Tessa.

Best of luck in college, and may any naval scarring be at a minimum.

MB Christmas Sale

The Bocca Al Lupo, Jesus, and the Secret Agent Belt
The Bocca Al Lupo, Jesus, and the Secret Agent Belt

Here at MB, we may be heathens who have never fully embraced the notion that Jesus is magic. But that doesn't we mean don't love Christmas or understand the reason for the season. Christmas exists to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and more generally, the Godly virtues he embodied — including gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, and humility. There are more, of course. But these are the values that resonate for us when we've been hitting the egg nog extra hard, and the ones we celebrate when we celebrate Christmas through deep discounts on non-denominational menswear. Which is to say, yes, we're having a Christmas sale.

Now through December 31, you can get any two ties in our shop for $60, shipping including. Or four ties for $120. Or eight ties for $240. You get the idea.

Use the code JESUSTHATSADEAL.

All orders $120 and up will get a special Christmas bonus gift, if we sense that you've been nice this year.

SHOP THE TIES!

Ask the MB: South Korean DMZ Guards' Sunglasses

Ask the MB: South Korean DMZ Guards' Sunglasses

Q: Hello MB, I must know. What type of sunglasses do South Korean DMZ guards wear? The South Korean guards that hold the line at the cold war's last hotspot are dressed and hand-picked to look physically imposing and intimidating. I was looking at their specs, and I wanted to know more. Look into it, or don't. But I would prefer it if you did. Love the site.
— Armand

A: The uniform, helmet, and poker face are all official ROK issue, yet the directive from DMZ HQ on the sunglasses seems to be flexible: an American brand with with gold frames and a pedigree.

The guard on the left is wearing the Ray Ban Caravan. The guard on the right is wearing the American Optical Pilot and available at our favorite eyewear outfitter Allyn Scura. Meanwhile, the North Korean DMZ guards go without UV protection, probably lunch, and have to share a pair of binoculars.

MB Deal of the Week: Alex Mill Plaid Shirts

MB Deal of the Week: Alex Mill Plaid Shirts

We're always on the lookout for uncommon plaids to put into the rotation with ginghams under solid blazers, cardigans, and the rare crew. Throw in a point collar — which is practically on the endangered species list — and we're usually sold, even at full boat.

We've had our eyes on these two Alex Mill examples for months, but based on the wide range of sizes available, wagered on waiting until Barney's Warehouse decided to blow them out, as they are now: originally $155, reduced to $47.40 with free shipping. All sales are final but these fit true to size.

Tom Ford's Advice Stinks

That obnoxious odor invading your personal space? It's me.
That obnoxious odor invading your personal space? It's me.

Tom Ford makes ridiculously great menswear. His ad campaigns are even better. And he destroyed Band of Outsiders' Scott Sternberg in The Great Tie Width Debate. Tom Ford is an MB.

But he's offering an especially odorous order in his new 6 Style Rules Every Man Should Live By at neimanmarcus.com:

6. Finally, spray cologne all over.

At $63/ounce for Neroli Portofino Limited Eau de Parfum Ford has an interest in customers pouring it, or we suppose, misting it down the drain. Putting any ulterior motive aside, this advice violates at least two Magnificent Bastard axioms:

1. The Principle of Understatement
2. The Principle of Being Seen Coming, not Smelled

We are definitely not opposed to cologne. As we've gotten older we've gotten smellier and sometimes need notes of both spice and woods as a countermeasure. But instead of showering under an atomizer, try a couple dabs of a solid cologne like Alfred Lane's Vanguard. We have procured a large quantity of this and will have it available in the shop someday.

Ask the MB: Shinola Watches

A $500 quartz Shinola (left) and a $325 mechanical O@W (right)
A $500 quartz Shinola (left) and a $325 mechanical O@W (right)

Q: We are supposed to be excited about Shinola watches but nearly all models run over the MB 40mm principle. Is it then, shit?
—AD

A: Shinola has 127 watches for sale on their site and 29 are at the MB-approved 40mm case size or smaller. Given the dramatic watch size inflation of the past decade — thanks Arnold Schwarzenegger — Shinola's 23% stake in ≤ 40mm watches is something Janet Yellen would admire.

Where Shinola deserves to get labeled as shit is in its value. The cheapest watch they sell is the $500 36mm Runwell. Anyone who would pay $500 (at the minimum) for a quartz watch constructed primarily of Chinese parts (but assembled in Detroit!) doesn't know his ass from his elbow, or even from a hole in the ground.

(We've said this before, but not since 2010: A quartz movement vs. a mechanical movement is the equivalent of motorboats vs. sailboats, gas fireplaces vs. wood fireplaces, or fake breasts vs. real breasts. Naturally, the latter is always better.)

So, AD — and anyone else out there in the market for a new timepiece — save yourself $175 and wrap this 36mm Ollech & Wajs mechanical, military-style watch around your wrist. It's high-quality Swiss-made gear that will likely last your lifetime, and shines the floor with any watch from Shinola.

Monday Morning Quarterback: 2 Minute Drill

Monday Morning Quarterback: 2 Minute Drill

While we're not about to revive our Monday Morning Quarterback feature — that was like doing two-a-days before the Collective Bargaining Agreement — we will occasionally highlight highs and lows from the NFL post-game press conferences.

Loser: He's in his fourth year in the league and Andrew Luck still has no clue on how to deal with a zone blitz nor a post-game presser. Son, you're never going to win a Super Bowl looking like a worse-dressed version of the Geico caveman.

Winner: Tom Brady threw two 4th quarter TDs in a win over the Jets, but both of those touchdowns pale in comparison to this MVP-level display of trench collar artful dishevelment. This is how you do it.

EARLIER: Dan Rather debates for 19 minutes and 42 seconds on whether to wear his trenchcoat collar up or down.

BREAKING: Benghazi Committee Bombshell!

Adrian Brody, the guy from <em>The Scream</em>, and Trey Gowdy at the post-hearing press conference
Adrian Brody, the guy from The Scream, and Trey Gowdy at the post-hearing press conference

While conventional wisdom is that Hillary Clinton's 11 hours of testimony provided no new information about the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, we disagree: Committee chairman Trey Gowdy — with the help of an age-inappropriate, face-lengthening flip-hawk — identified himself as just the third person on earth who belongs wearing a spread collar (which he did!), joining Adrien Brody and the guy in Edvard Munch's The Scream.

Do you have a recommendation for the fourth person on the planet who should wear a spread collar? Drop a note to our editor and if it's worthy we'll post it and send you a free belt, tie, or beverage shields.

EARLIER: Spread collars make your face and neck look fatter than they actually are

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ask the MB: Orange Hat

The Cashmere Watchcap via Golightly Cashmere, $155.00
The Cashmere Watchcap via Golightly Cashmere. $155.00.

Q: Hunting season is almost here in Maine. Is it appropriate to wear an orange hat when visiting town?
—Aaron

A: Maine may be 1,500 miles from Minneapolis, but our firearm deer hunting seasons practically overlap, so we have often faced the same headwear dilemma.

To help you decide we put together one of our popular Deciders: Orange Hat.

Introducing: Fall 2015 Wise Ties Collection

The Bocca Al Lupo via Magnificent Bastard, $60.00
The Bocca Al Lupo via Magnificent Bastard. $60.00.

(And they are already on sale! Read below for details.)

The five ties in our Fall 2015 collection all share a common pedigree. They start off as wool and wool blend fabrics milled in the Old Country, where the locals have been manufacturing textiles since the Middle Ages. Then, they emigrate to the mean streets of New York, where they are meticulously cut and stitched into the ties you see here in a factory in the Bronx.

Obviously, each tie in the Fall 2015 Wise Ties Collection stands alone, but we like to think of them all working together, as a crew, collectively adding a range of textures, hues, and attitudes to your wardrobe. To facilitate bulk buying, we're offering a deal you can't refuse. Buy one, and it's $60. Buy three, and it's $120. Use the code WISETIES. (This offer only applies to the five ties in the Fall 2015 Wise Ties Collection.)

Besides the Bocca Al Lupo shown, here are the other four that make up the Wise Ties Collection:


The Ragu Di Carne

The Cosina Veloce

The Big Earner

The Tie Behind The Tie Behind The Tie

Ask the MB: Corporate Polo Shirts

Ask the MB: Corporate Polo Shirts

Q: Why is there no section taking a position on corporate polos? I'm not sure if the MB finds them — particularly the ones made from whatever-unnatural-fiber they're all made from — quite a distasteful as I do. They seem to be a badge of honor amongst many of my co-workers. I, myself, wear jackets to trade shows so that I can cover them up as soon as I leave the trade show floor on the way to the hotel to change shirts.
—David

A: We like polos, and for the most part, we like corporations. But in our experience corporate polos are always less than the sum of their parts. You hit on one of the primary reasons for this — they're usually made from materials like 100% cationic polyester double knit or 100% polyester pique material with TopShield™ moisture management technology.

Then, there's the tailoring. Anticipating a market of sedentary cubicle serfs, most corporate polos are designed using a Teletubby rather than an actual person as the fit model, with predictably unflattering results.

Finally, while we know of no randomized control trials to cite, our anecdotal analysis suggests that donning a corporate polo increases your risk of wearing a lanyard by at least 100 percent.

Keeping all these factors in mind, we'd rather go on the dole.

Ask the MB: John McEnroe's Shirt

Ask the MB: John McEnroe's Shirt

Q: Several years back, I found a photo of John McEnroe wearing a shirt I like and I've yet to have it identified. It is a button down, looks to be light blue and has a print of small stars and small moons on it. Hoping you can help. Thanks.
—Eric

A: That shirt? You cannot be serious! In all candor, this is not a shirt we would recommend — it looks to our eye like a bowl of Lucky Charms designed by Commes Des Garcons. But it is a distinctive shirt, we'll grant you (and McEnroe) that, and we like a good quest as well as anyone.

The photo you've provided was taken on June 23, 2008, at Sotheby's, when McEnroe was selling a Warhol portrait of him and his ex-wife Tatum O'Neal.

McEnroe was clearly trying to coordinate his outfit with the painting — note its use of stars and similar shades of blue. The stars also remind us a bit of another Warhol painting — So Many Stars — but we don't think the shirt itself is a Warhol; the linework is too polished.

Also, the shirt was definitely not part of the deal, because we see McEnroe wearing it again, two years later, at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010 (along with a horribly fitting blazer).

Unfortunately, the trail runs cold after that, at least for us. We couldn't find anymore images of the shirt in action, or any information about its provenance.

So we're putting this out there to our readers. Do you recognize this shirt? If you do, let us know. First person who can help us definitively ID this shirt will get a Secret Agent Belt from us, in recognition of his/her superior sleuthing skills. And if we do make an ID, we'll post it here.

UPDATE 9/22 11:07 AM: Reader Robert quickly supplies us with an answer: "Johnny Macs horrible shirt? You seem to have overlooked the hearts in the print. A 2 minute Google with that detail and..... It seems very likely that Prada is the responsible designer."

We swear we searched for at least three minutes, on hearts, and all we found was Harry Styles in a Burberry shirt. So we salute your superior sleuthing skills, Robert; a Secret Agent Belt will be on the way to you soon.

As for the shirt itself — it looks like Prada introduced this pattern, in various colorways, in its Spring 2006 collection. We haven't seen any for sale in the exact colorway McEnroe sports, but here's something close.

MB Deal of the Week: 8 Denim Sneakers

8 Denim Sneakers via YOOX, $56.00
8 Denim Sneakers via YOOX. $56.00.

Several years ago we claimed Italian brand 8's cashmere sweaters to be the best cashmere value in the world. It's still true. Now, at just $56, we can confidently claim these 8 low-tops are the best denim sneaker value in the world.

Made in the same factory in the Marche region of Italy as MB favorite Hydrogen 1, they share the same minimalist style, high-quality construction, and comfort. Originally $183. Available in sizes 8-13. Fits true to size. Highly recommended.

Introducing the Game-Day Belt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MB Deal of the Week: Henry Cotton's Madras Blazer

Henry Cotton's Madras Blazer via YOOX, $67.00
Henry Cotton's Madras Blazer via YOOX. $67.00.

On September 9, at 45° N, the wearing window for an unlined madras blazer is barely open wide enough for a mosquito to pass through. But if you are in lower latitudes, the southern hemisphere, or just want to prep for spring 2016, we recommend this Henry Cotton's slim fit version.

Because it is madras, yes, it is partially linen. But cotton retains a controlling 55% stake. Functional buttonholes. Proper ball-sack length. Perfectly proportioned lapels. Originally $309, marked down to $67, and with the 20% discount code FRIENDS this statement piece is just 53 bucks. (Order up a size, and if you're on the fence, two. Discount code valid through 9/13.)

Ask the MB: TST Shoes: Endangered, Extinct, or Just Very Exclusive?

TST Low-tops via YOOX, $144.00
TST Low-tops via YOOX. $144.00.

Q: Hey, dig your site. I'm a fan of TST sneakers and have had a few pairs over the years. Any idea where I could find some these days (online, in store)? Yoox doesn't seem to have much at all. Or, if no TST (crying inside) any recs on a similar styled pair/producer?
—David

Q: Quick question. Are TST defunct?
—Jim

A: We are glad to see readers are still interested in TST, a longtime MB favorite characterized by its commitment to wabi-sabi and generally elusive quality.

Even in its heyday, this Japanese brand from designer Seisha Tanaka was as hard to spot as a Siberian tiger. And in the last couple years, we had begun to suspect it had crossed over from endangered species to extinct one.

But you never know, right? A lot of people probably think we're dead too, and yet here we are, still as vital and full of life as Jackie Stallone. So we decided to contact to TST HQ directly and ask if it is still producing shoes. Here's the response we received:

"Thank you for your contact to Tanaka Universal. Yes, we are producing TST brand shoes as well as Maccheronian, CEBO and CEBOG. We sell only shops and are not selling to end customer. If we can be of any help please do not hesitate to contact us again."

Alas, our follow-up inquiry regarding what shops it sells to has been met with eerie silence so far. We don't know what CEBO or CEBOG are, but they sound a little like something an organization staffed entirely by robots might produce; we think perhaps that initial email response we received came from the last human employed at the company, just before the final coup. If we learn otherwise, we'll let you know.

In the meantime, we have seen a few more models pop up on YOOX lately, including a pair of snogues that we're especially fond of. Alas, the largest size they're available in is 11. If, like us, you're a true fan, you'll spend the next half hour debating how necessary your toes really are. (They run nearly a full size small.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EARLIER: How Donald Trump inspired our sale.

This Week in Kickstarter: BankNote Backpack

The BankNote Backpack in Forest
The BankNote Backpack in Forest

Here at MB, we like to travel lightly, especially on any excursion lasting less than 24 hours. That means we try to limit the things we carry to whatever we can fit in our pockets and maybe a small-ish correspondent bag or briefcase.

But we're also lifelong learners and committed library-goers, so we'll always have a place in our lives for a backpack that can comfortably hold a fortnight's worth of books. Which for us isn't a lot — we're slow readers.

Beyond that basic requirement, we figure less is more. If a backpack requires consultation with an architect to decipher its floorplan, it has too many compartments for us. If it can hold more than, say, a third of Suzanne Somers' collected works, it's too big. We like a backpack that exerts stringent curatorial judgment on our behalf.

All of which brings us to a Kickstarter project by BankNote NYC, a brand we hope to work with at some point if all planets align.

Their new backpack is made out of canvas, leather, synthetic cotton (?), and cork (!). That sounds complicated, but the object itself exudes a stylish simplicity. We're confident we won't need a map to navigate its chambers and sleeves, nor will we spend hours trying to discern the purpose of extraneous straps and buckles and grommets. See, it's making us more productive already and it doesn't even exist yet.

If, like us, you want to help bring it into being, you've got approximately three weeks left to pledge.

Build a Wall, Mr. Trump!

Build a Wall, Mr. Trump!

At first glance, last night's presidential debate looked like a highlight reel from an unusually sycophantic episode of The Apprentice, as Wisconsin governor Scott Walker desperately tried to position himself as Donald Trump's first-string yes-man. After awhile, however, we began to think Walker was actually engaging in a subtle but sophisticated attack on Trump's main talking point. If Trump can't even secure his own personal borders from such brazen illegal immigration, how likely is he to shore up 2000 miles of rugged desert terrain?









Get Dressed: Lollapalooza in Chicago 2015

Get Dressed: Lollapalooza in Chicago 2015

We do music festivals about as often as we vote for President, but this Sunday's lineup is irresistible with Galantis (our current fave), The Chainsmokers, ODESZA, Florence + the Machine, and Kygo. (Speaking of the latter, check out his remix of Sexual Healing.)

We need to get dressed.

1. Shorts. These Todd Snyder Navy Plaid Shorts are one of our favorite purchases of 2015. They're a slim fit, so skip if you're currently carrying too much chub or have Tour de France competitor-sized thighs, but these are highly tailored shorts in a fabric with a terrific hand and a stylish, yet understated plaid pattern. We'd even consider paying the original $225 but they're just $59, and 30% off through August 2 with code THIRTYOFF. (That's $41.30.) (Check your size using Todd Snyder's highly-accurate sizing wizard.)

2. Shirt. Like country clubs have a collared shirt policy, Lollapalooza should have a collarless shirt policy. With t-shirts there is a high risk of violating the MB Legibility Principle, but this is easily avoided with this simple New Look T-Shirt with Crew Neck, which is the closest we've come to discovering the perfect white T, and it's 11 bucks. Order one size larger than normal. (New Look is like the UK's GAP, except it's not closing 25% of its stores.)

3. Shoes. Comfort usually trumps style in extreme walking-and-standing situations, but you can get both with these Tretorn Nylites in aurora red chambray, and they're on sale for $45. If some lightweight Millennial sprays on them, no big deal. (These run slightly large.)

4. Sunglasses. Girard 3700s. If you weren't one of the lucky dozen to get a pair of the same frames worn by Bradley Cooper in American Hustle, we have five more pair of the red-framed ones. Not every man is capable of pulling these off, but if that's you, you'll look like a million bucks.

POURCAST

BETA

Mezcal Rob Roy

  • 1 oz mezcal (Del Maguey Chichicapa)
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/4 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur

Stir all ingredients over ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


In-Depth Mezcal Rob Roy Coverage:

Magnificent Bastard Cocktail: The Runners Up

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