Not sure if you should wear that Tommy Bahama shirt out tonight? The magnificent bastard is here to help. Go ahead. Ask away.
Q: The ascot....I am wearing it. It does have a HDD (High Degree of Difficulty —Ed.) but a real MB can pull it off. Your thoughts on this?
A: The ascot meets at least four core MB principles:
1. Anglophilia. They were first introduced in England.
2. Archaism. In the late 19th century.
3. Exclusivity. It's nearly impossible to find a good one.
4. Senseless Lack of Utility. They are even more useless than a necktie (i.e. they're too short to double as a belt or decent tourniquet in a pinch).
In other words, we love them.
But can you really pull it off? To answer that question we've created an ascot-wearing "decider" flowchart below to help guide you.
via asos.com. $17.24.
Q: What is your take on espadrilles?
A: In the June 2011 GQ creative director Jim Moore stops just short of endorsing them but recognizes their popularity saying they're "a big trend this summer," and that they're best "anytime you'd wear your flip-flops." [page 58]
Even though they were invented in the 14th century (principle of archaism), and are usually made of canvas and rope (principle of organic materials), for us they fall into the footwear no-mans land between a shoe and a sandal, currently occupied by MB bête noires Sanuks and Crocs.
However, if your preferred pedicurist is booked — June is Pedicure Awareness Month, BTW — we say go for it, as long as they're a. less than 20 bucks, and b. gingham.
Earlier: Brad Pitt wears Sanuks so they're OK. Right?
Earlier: 4 year-old Rory McDermott lost the nail on his big toe thanks to Crocs. Ow!
Q: Is it considered MB to wear an animal's entire wardrobe on your head?
A: Well, it's pretty magnificent to be heir to the throne of the fading empire that gave us the Magna Carta and golf, and wearing hats like the one Prince William was wearing this weekend is part of the job description.
As for anyone else? William's bearskin hat is certainly characterized by a senseless lack of utility, and scores high on archaism, organic materials, and Anglophilia as well. But its primary historical purpose — to make a soldier look bigger and more imposing in battle — violates the principle of understatement and essentially establishes the garment as elevator shoes for your head.
As you allude to, the standard hat of the British Foot Gaurds is made out of an entire bearskin. It weighs 1.5 lbs. and, most consequentially, stands 18.5 inches high. Getting in and out of limos and taxis would be a huge hassle while wearing one of these things, so until horseback reemerges as the predominant form of travel, we say "pass."