Magnificent Bastard

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

blazers

MB NFL Draft Guide

1998 Draft: Ignoring the Button Indicator, More GMs Preferred Ryan Leaf Over Peyton Manning
1998 Draft: Ignoring the Button Indicator, More GMs Preferred Ryan Leaf Over Peyton Manning

Forget 40 times, number of bench press reps, Wonderlic test scores, and hours of college tape. If you're an NFL General Manager and still debating between two players at the top of your draft board, let the number of buttons on their jacket be your guide.

Earlier in The Great 2-Button vs. 3-Button Debate:
— Kennedy vs. Nixon
— A Reader Challenge to 2-Button vs. 3-Button


Challenge the MB: 3-Button vs. 2-Button Suit Jackets and Blazers

Challenge the MB: 3-Button vs. 2-Button Suit Jackets and Blazers

First I must say I am a great fan of your writing, and I am delighted to find you back.

With that said, I feel compelled to respond to your 3-button / 2-button post of February 18, 2014. I must politely disagree with your conclusion that the 2-button suit shows more class than 3-button.

If you scroll down the Kennedy-Nixon photo in your post so that only the suits are seen (removing the influence of the photogenic Kennedy and the smarmy Nixon), I think it is undeniable that the 3-button suit is more likely to belong to a higher-status individual than the 2-button. Nixon's 3-button could easily be a bank president, while Kennedy's 2-button (with Kennedy removed) could just as easily be the owner of a car dealership or the president of the local Rotary. Replace Kennedy's pocket square with a couple of cigars and you have Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack. Not so with the 3-button.

For the record, I am a committed 2-button man. It suits my build, I like the look, and I feel like James Bond when I'm fitted out in a British-silhouette 2-button. The 3-button has always reminded me of a lab coat. These personal distinctions may result from my early 1960s childhood, when the young and fashionable sported 2-buttons (such as Kennedy, later the Rat Pack) and old men and fuddy-duddies the 3s. But that was BF for me (Before Fussell, who, by the way, I have MB to thank for introducing me), and now I notice and interpret things differently. While I am not arguing Fussell's infallibility, I think the 'proleness' of the 2-button is evident in the way the V broadens the shoulders in the same way as (Fussell points out) do epaulettes, emphasizing strength and, thereby, physical labor. The 3-button wearer in the photo appears never to have done a day of physical labor in his life, and I believe that is the intent.

Even your example of Todd Palin works against your argument, I think: Palin is a physical laborer and could model a 2-button to advantage, yet he dresses (or is being styled) to appear higher-classed. (Forget Ahmadinejad, of course; he looks like he gets his clothes at a rummage sale.)

I am glad to finally get this off my mind, as I had been dwelling on it (and particularly because I had learned about Fussell through your site and have been greatly influenced by him). I have also long intended to write to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. And I absolutely love the new logo. Keep up the great work!
—Paul

A: We welcome reasoned dissent from our readers and it's clear you've given this topic a lot of consideration — we especially admire how you use Fussell's observations regarding epaulettes against us! That hurts. But to continue the discourse, here is a thought: If a 2-button jacket is working correctly, it doesn't merely broaden the shoulders (as we agree epaulettes do). It reinforces the overall V-shape of one's torso, which is to say, it broadens the shoulders while narrowing the waist.

The sort of hard labor that creates this shape, in our experience, is many hours at the gym, many hours in the pool, or perhaps if you have very good genes and disciplined eating habits, many hours on fairways or polo fields. It is a look, in short, that comes from (moneyed) recreation rather than full-time bricklaying or ditch-digging, which tends to create a thicker, lumpier, less elongated look.

As for Todd Palin, we agree with your analysis — he no doubt turns to 3-button suits because Frank Luntz (or some other top-notch GOP campaign consultant) has determined through extensive focus-group testing that small-town conservatives of a certain age equate 3-button jackets with bankers, brokers, and other corporate nine-to-fivers maintaining the lower rungs of the top quintile.

But who, other than Todd Palin's wife, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Chris Christie want to win that vote? Not us, and not you! As we think Fussell would agree, there's a difference between what a prole thinks an upper looks like, and what an upper looks like. In this case, the difference is as subtle as a single button. But as you have found out from your own experience, that single button (or lack of it) makes all the difference in the world. Keep wearing 2-button jackets, and keep challenging us to think more deeply about the choices we make. We appreciate the feedback!


Ask the MB: Spring Blue Blazer

Ask the MB: Spring Blue Blazer

Q: MB, ran across this while waiting for a cut this morning. Got me thinking of getting a spring blazer. Love the blazer and the look. Found this at J. Crew this afternoon.

2.5" lapels but it's only $171 this week with a 25% discount. Lapels too narrow?
—Eric

A: Are you trolling us? On the very day we lament the unfortunate Ludlowization of the suit market, you send us a link to a J. Crew blazer that bears the mark of the beast!

For the most part, we think you are showing the right instincts. An unconstructed, patch-pocketed blue blazer is an essential item in any man's wardrobe. And we like the cut and color of Brûlé's blazer, even if we're somewhat wary that it violates our prohibition against garments where linen retains a majority ownership stake in the blend.

But you already seem to know one of the big problems with that J. Crew blazer. Its lapels are so skinny they could have served as Matthew McConaughey's body double in Dallas Buyer's Club. We're also not crazy about its tint. The blue of Brûlé's jacket has a natural organic depth to it. The Crew version has a slightly electrified sheen that makes us think of Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell dancing the night away.

The overall impact? Even J. Crew's model is desperately trying to claw his way out of that Ludlow! Look at the poor guy's fingernails.

Our recommendation: Spend a little more than you were perhaps hoping to spend, and get into this blazer from Z Zegna — assuming it's the right size for you. If it's not, keep looking for something with wider lapels and a subtler shading. The gratification you feel when getting a great deal lasts for a moment. The gratification you get from wearing exactly what you want to be wearing lasts much longer.


DIPLOMATIC TIES: MB Sends a Care Package to Ukraine's Acting President

DIPLOMATIC TIES: MB Sends a Care Package to Ukraine's Acting President

We freely admit our knowledge of global affairs is limited. But Ukraine has us especially baffled. Based on this photo of Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov, Ukraine's Parliament appears to have a two-drink minimum. But no dress code?

As longtime champions of business casual, we love that tall tumbler of what we're interpreting as bourbon on the new Acting President's desk. But isn't there some provision in the Geneva Convention that says that when you're the leader of an entire country, you have to wear a tie to work?

Obviously, Mr Turchynov has a lot of things on his plate right now, and shopping for ties is not one of them. Which is why we're reaching out, in a gesture of global goodwill, and sending him a complimentary wool tie.

As the photos above document, a Leotardo is now on its way to Kiev.


Ask the MB: Ralph Lauren's Team USA Olympic Uniforms

Ask the MB: Ralph Lauren's Team USA Olympic Uniforms
Q: Amid the brouhaha about this year's US Olympic uniforms, I'm surprised no one's brought up the obvious complaint: they're hideous! Horrible berets, round collars, ugly ties, and jackets with distractingly enormous manufacturer logos... even the white trousers under stadium lighting will give us a good sense of who wears what underwear. Am I right about this, or just completely out of touch?
—Vince


A: You are right (for the most part). The insane politicians who wanted to burn the Ralph Lauren uniforms because they were made in China should have instead wanted to burn the blazer because it's a too-short DB with peak lapels and brass buttons.

The beret is an odd choice. Maybe Lauren thought the games were in Paris instead of London.

As for the rounded collars, we have previously argued against trimming there because all the sensitive nerve endings are at the tip, and we've weighed in on Lauren's enlarged equestrian logo, which is approaching the size of a real-life jockey.

Where we disagree is on the white trousers. Even under hundreds of 1500-watt lights, they get us to chant U-S-A U-S-A.

Earlier: Ask the MB: White Pants

Ask the MB: Blue Blazers

Ask the MB: Blue Blazers
Q: At what sort of events are blue blazers (the classic type with gold buttons) appropriate? I have a nice Polo blazer, but am sometimes unsure it's the right call.
—Matt


A: We recommend this look only for scotch ads and sloop christenings.

Don't just stand there, get some glue!

We have been in your shoes — with exposed ankles, of course — with nice blue Polo blazers and strongly recommend jumping ship. Sure, you could replace the brass buttons with blue ones, but we suspect this garment has other problems like padded shoulders and a length hanging down below the bottom of your ball sack.

Instead, get into the modern navy blazer, which is deconstructed and shorter, like this one from Prada Sport at YOOX. It's made from resin-coated wool so it doesn't really wrinkle, and comes with a cool bag it easily folds into, so it's perfect for traveling. It's a great piece and it's on sale. Fits true to size.

Earlier: MB Endorses: Exposed Ankles
Earlier: Ask the MB: Blazer and Suit Jacket Length

Ask the MB: What to Wear to a Summer Wedding Besides Seersucker Pants

Ask the MB: What to Wear to a Summer Wedding Besides Seersucker Pants
Q: I am going to a summer wedding and want to wear my favorite blue seersucker pants and white shirt. What I'm not sure about is what style shoes should I wear and what color jacket would be best? Also should I wear a tie? If so what kind?
—Sam


A: We would embrace and extend your casual look and wear a deconstructed two-button navy blazer, like this one from Scotch & Soda that's just 85 bucks. As for the tie we'd probably wear madras in a width that echos the 3" S&S blazer lapels, but if you don't have one handy just stuff this Land's End Canvas crinkle twill Tartan pocket square in your chest pocket and call it good. It's on sale for $9.99.

With all the money we just saved you, spend it on the shoes.

We always opt for fun takes on the sneaker, like these Bally boat shoes that would tie your preppy look together, and provide comfort when performing the inevitable running man/Melbourne shuffle.

If you don't think you can (or want to) pull that off, go for a blue suede moc from Car Shoe, the original driving shoe.

Earlier: MB Endorses: Exposed Ankles

Ask the MB: Sweater Under a Blazer

Ask the MB: Sweater Under a Blazer
Q: Now that we're in sweater weather, what are the rules for wearing a sweater with a suit or sportcoat?
—Dave


A: We only have one rule when it comes to sweaters under blazers: don't look like Gene Siskel or Roger Ebert (top).

Instead, go for something fine-gauge in crewneck as demonstrated by Robert Redford, or our personal preference, the turtleneck as shown by Steve McQueen most famously in Bullitt (bottom).

While we're pretty sure McQueen could handle wool against his skin, we suggest opting for cashmere. If you have the bread, Malo is the obvious, best choice. If you don't, take a look at 8, available at YOOX. We've obsess over cashmere sweaters and have discovered 8 is the best value going, and this version is on sale for just $135. Fits slightly small.

Ask the MB: Blazer and Suit Jacket Length

Ask the MB: Blazer and Suit Jacket Length
Q: What is the proper length for a sportcoat or suit (and should there be a difference?) in the modern era? In other words, where should it end relative to your torso? I have a variety of high-quality sportcoats and suits acquired over the years and have typically worn a 40L, to get the chest fit and sleeve length mostly (I'm 6'1" with long arms and 33 inch waist). But the length of the coats (top of collar to bottom) varies from 31 1/2" for an Armani sportcoat to 33 1/2 for a suit. I'm not interested in the Thom Browne look, nor do I want to look like I'm wearing grandpa's suit. Some of mine now feel dated due to this length. The coats I see on the guys which look like they fit the best seem to be shorter length — ending just at the bottom of the rump. Looking at the J. Crew Aldridge it seems that is where they should hit — although it's hard to tell from the model's slouching. What is your point of view on this issue?
–Nick


A: Nick, we believe there is a perfect length for a blazer or suit jacket (no, there is no difference). To illustrate this, take a look at da Vinci's Vitruvian Man below. A jacket should end at the end of your nutbag — give or take a 1/4" — when tried at room temperature. This will obviously involve standing in front of a mirror with your pants down, so we don't recommend doing this in department stores with security cameras, fraternity houses, or the Congressional gym, unless you want to end up on the web some day.

Note: If your balls go for a swim when you sit down on the can, this method will not work for you.



Earlier: Muammar Gaddafi: The Man Who Would Be Ken

Ask the MB: Suit With Patch Pocket Jacket

Ask the MB: Suit With Patch Pocket Jacket
Q: Dear MB — What are your thoughts on a suit that has patch pockets on the jacket? I'm considering a blue Margiela suit that I will wear for business, but it has patch pockets and I'm wondering if this is too casual?
—George


A: No, not too casual unless you're a banker, undertaker, 13-year-old boy, or U.S. senator. (It's definitely OK in the House.)

We love suits with jackets with patch pockets for at least three reasons.

1. Casual suits lend themselves to artful dishevelment
2. Casual suits lend themselves to more interesting tie, belt, and footwear choices than their dressier counterparts
3. With the addition of a few other pieces you can practically get a whole wardrobe out of separating a casual suit

Wear the blazer with denim, or for an especially good look, white jeans or trousers. If you're really good, shorts. Presumably the suit pants are in a similarly casual vein as the jacket, so you'll be able to wear them with a sweater, a sport shirt, or even a polo. While it has its place in board rooms, Bar Mitzvahs, and the Capitol Building, the traditional flap-pocket wool suit can't touch this.

Earlier: Ask the MB: Where Do You Buy Your Shoes?

Aaron Rodgers Fails to Execute on Letterman

Aaron Rodgers Fails to Execute on Letterman
We are huge fans of Aaron Rodgers. He not only wins, he looks good doing it, with a laid-back but commanding presence on the field. When it comes to passing efficiency, he's the NFL's best ever for quarterbacks with at least 1500 attempts. But when it comes to dressing efficiency, he may trail even Ben Rothleisberger, and that's not a good place to be. On Letterman last night, Rodgers went just 1 for 4. The dark denim is fundamentally sound, but the untucked woven with what looks like a suit jacket is a fumble on the opening drive, and the oversized watch overthrows good taste by at least ten yards. Get this man an offensive coordinator!

With his first Super Bowl victory under his belt, people are already comparing Rodgers to Bart Starr and Joe Montana ... but for the moment, at least, Broadway Joe's legacy as the NFL's most stylish QB ever seems extremely safe.

Earlier: Ben Roethleisberger getting gang-tackled by his ridiculously oversized jacket, shirt, and t-shirt.

Earlier: Joe Namath goes deep on sideline attire.

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.

Ask the MB: Button-Popping Suit Jacket

Ask the MB: Button-Popping Suit Jacket
Q: Hey guys. The recent header photos are awesome! I especially love the Lambeau tailgating series (and associated cheese bra). As part of the post-Christmas sale-mageddon, I picked up a nice Banana Republic suit for well over half off. The size 38 jacket fits me perfectly in the shoulders, and looks very MB overall when unbuttoned. But it pulls WAY too much when I button it; it's a solid size too small over my belly. The larger size 40 jacket, meanwhile, looks clownish.

So #1, yes I know, I need to go to the gym more. Working on it, I promise.

#2, Is it acceptable to wear the perfect-in-the-shoulders jacket and never button it, or do I need to cut my losses and go made-to-measure?

Can't wait to see the upcoming spring-time header photos!
--Ben


A: Ben, flattery will get your question answered, but will not protect you from savagery. Save that receipt, because a man should never own a suit jacket he strains to button -- at any price -- or he risks looking like Popeye pal J. Wellington Wimpy, and feeling self-conscious, insecure, and in dire need of hamburgers. Until your presumed 2011 resolution starts to pay off, cut your losses and go made-to-measure.

Ask the MB: Blazer Armhole Height

Ask the MB: Blazer Armhole Height
Q: This is concerning the Love Moschino blazer you recently recommended. I purchased one and have to admit it looks awesome. I know it's slim but how snug is it supposed to fit me? It's tight in the underarm/shoulder area. I'm afraid if I hit the gym seriously for 2 months, I will have trouble putting it on. I would appreciate your advice, thank you.
--Vik


A: Vik, it sounds like you are used to blazers cut to the toxically unstylish Ben Roethlisberger tent fit (pictured as he arrived for last Sunday night's game vs. the Ravens). Blazers with high armholes -- like the great Love Moschino one you now own -- are actually more comfortable because they allow your arms to move without the whole blazer moving along with them. This may take some getting used to but trust us that it's what you want.

MB Endorses: Love Moschino Blazer

Love Moschino Blazer via yoox.com, $195.00
Love Moschino Blazer via yoox.com. $195.00.
We just got a great big shipment from YOOX and love love love this Love Moschino corduroy blazer. Slim fit, short length, longer-than-normal sleeves, two buttons, and wide lapels -- you can see which direction the Italians are headed with lapel width -- this is one of our favorite purchases of 2010. It's on sale for $195 (normally $315) and has one internal pocket just wide enough to hold an 8 oz. flask. It even comes in blaze orange for those warmer deer hunting days. (Currently free shipping at YOOX, so try it out on their dime.)

Ask the MB: Bradley Cooper's Cotton Blazer

Ask the MB: Bradley Cooper's Cotton Blazer
Q: Greetings! Love the site. I'm hoping you can tell me where a young professional MB might find a relaxed cotton blazer like the one Bradley Cooper has on here? Thanks.
--Drew


A: Blazers like this will be fairly plentiful in a couple of months as retailers/designers roll out S/S 2011 but for now it's slim pickings. First, browse through the sale rack at YOOX (our favorite blazer-hunting grounds) and you might get lucky. If you need this now and have shorter-than-average arms, the Lands End Canvas Chino Blazer is worth a try. It was a return for us but it's $89.50 (was just $69.50 when Canvas launched, BTW), has functioning buttonholes, a modern fit, and it's very close to what Bradley Cooper is wearing, including the alligator-length arms.

NB: Pairing with gingham strongly endorsed.

Ed. Note: Since pointing out that the blazer is 3-button vs. 2-button as Canvas originally advertised, we love how they've modified the copy to make it a 2.5-button blazer: "Also of note: this jacket has a three-button front, but the lapel is designed so only two buttons show."


Ask the MB: Tweed Blazers

Vince Herringbone Blazer via Saks Fifth Avenue, $595.00
Vince Herringbone Blazer via Saks Fifth Avenue. $595.00.
Q: I was wondering, what do you think about tweed blazers? I was thinking about picking one up for winter. If it's indeed MB, perhaps some recommendations would be nice.
--Tyler


A: Tweed blazers, particularly herringbone, are a F/W necessity as much as a whiskey-filled flask in an MB's breast pocket. Wear them often, and not just for shooting clays, fox hunts, or teaching English.

This season we haven't had much luck finding good ones, with the exception of Vince's somewhat pricey classic-with-a-twist slim, short, stretch wool version with patch pockets and functioning buttonholes. It also comes equipped with leather elbow patches so you don't wear holes there while leaning on the bar (in the cases when the flask is in the shop).

Ask the MB: October Booze Cruise

Ask the MB: October Booze Cruise
Q: So I've got a work boat cruise party coming up in the middle of October (I live in Virginia). I'm at a loss of what to wear. I'm starting with a pair of AG's, a nice pair of not too pointed/not too square black Clarks loafers I'm at a loss of how to be bastardly magnificent at this point. I've got the Carolina Blue Gingham Shirt, but I'm wondering if maybe a solid shirt/tie and a simple blazer might knock it out of the park. It's easy to put in barely any effort to stand out style wise with engineers, but really looking to set myself apart. Thanks!!!
--Wade


A: We're on record advocating for gingham as a year-round pattern, so definitely wear that shirt.

If you really want to hit it out of the park -- essentially becoming your office's Mr. October -- pair it with a brown corduroy blazer, like this one from Banana ($198), or this one from J. Crew ($138), or if you're flush this one by Etro ($990). It's the cocktailing equivalent of mixing ginger into bourbon lemonade; you're hitting the appropriate fall notes while your shirt and leisure activity read summer (and you can wear that blazer for the next 5 months).

Suddenly we're very thirsty.

UPDATE: The J. Crew version is now on sale for $99, $109 for Tall.

Joe Biden: Vice President of Dad Jeans

Joe Biden: Vice President of Dad Jeans
Following the lead of the Commander-in-chief, Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Iraq yesterday with what we believe to be the highest-rise jeans west (but for the moment, east) of the Euphrates. The denim, combined with that blazer, the Tiger Woods belt, and the tassle loafers is setting the worthy causes of aviator sunglasses and exposed ankles back 20 years.

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: Bond Never Rode a Bicycle to Work

Bond, still in golf shoes after winning his match with Goldfinger
Bond, still in golf shoes after winning his match with Goldfinger
Q: Dear MB: WTF? I bet James Bond never biked to work. Why don't you get back to doing what you do best, for example by telling me whether an MB can or should wear a blue seersucker jacket, and if so, with what pants.
--Julian


A: We've seen all the movies -- in some cases dozens of times -- and don't recall any scenes where 007 is rolling along at 5 MPH for 30 minutes behind some toolbag in an Escalade with a "Freedom Isn't Free" bumper sticker. There's nothing magnificent about enduring traffic jams twice a day, which is why we endorse bike commuting in many situations.

Regarding the seersucker, if your blazer is cut more like J. Crew instead of J. Press, it would look great with denim, especially white. 'Tis the season.

Ask the MB: Good Casual Blazers

Ask the MB: Good Casual Blazers
Q: Is there any such thing as a casual, not-too-expensive, good-looking sport coat than can be worn with nice jeans (e.g. AG)? Something suitable for the warm months ahead.
--Gabriel


A: There are three simple but inalienable commandments we observe when buying a casual blazer, and that makes finding one harder than you'd think:

1. Thou shalt be machine washable (and preferably machine dryable, too)
2. Thou shalt have two buttons
3. Thou shalt be free of shoulder-enhancing pads

This Prada Sport version in military green satisfies all three, and it's on sale now for $295. We think it will look great with AG jeans.

Ask the MB: Hoodie With Blazer

Ask the MB: Hoodie With Blazer
Q: What do you think of a blazer with a hoodie? Like this Daniele Alessandrini in deep purple? Thanks.

--Alain


A: Alain, what we have here is the apparel equivalent of the Leno/O'Brien late night war. A blazer is designed to be outerwear. A hoodie is designed to be outerwear. But if they're both owned by the same torso, they can't each be outerwear at the same time. In this case, we say fire them both.

MB Bold Play: Dsquared2 Dark Wash Denim One-Button Blazer

D.Squared dark wash denim one-button blazer via bluefly.com, $1068.00
D.Squared dark wash denim one-button blazer via bluefly.com. $1068.00.
As designers continue to strip-mine the past for Depression-era chambray workshirts, the reactionary chic of sixties-era Ivy Leaguers who refused to turn in their madras for tie-dye, and even that 1980s JC Penney staple, the block stripe rugby, how come we see so little "1970s heritage wear"?

We doubt that's what Dsquared2's actually calling this magnificent blazer, but we see a canny, streamlined nod to the leisure suits of yore in this piece, and we like what we see. The contrast stitching, the way the oversized pockets perfectly echo the oversized lapel -- this thing isn't built for the ages but if you want to make a statement now amidst a forest of anemic lapels, this is your jacket of choice. Be prepared to put your money where your mouth is though. Even on sale, it's going to cost you a little over a grand.

Tip the MB: J. Crew Chino Ludlow Blazer

Tip the MB: J. Crew Chino Ludlow Blazer
Q: The Chino Ludlow Sportcoat from J. Crew is currently on sale for an appealing $78.00 with the use of the coupon code EXTRA20. Just saying...
--Salvador


It's only late April and J. Crew is already having its spring clearance sale? Call this one more reason we love climate change. We wish the lapels were 9/16" wider for long-term ownership, but at this price it will do fine for S/S 2010.

Top 5 Ways to Make the Masters Green Jacket Look Even Worse

Top 5 Ways to Make the Masters Green Jacket Look Even Worse
The Masters Green Jacket is without a doubt the most shapeless piece of poly-blend, gold-buttoned hideousness we would happily wear. As ugly as it is, however, if you devote 99.9% of your life trying to keep the putterhead square through impact, there's a good chance you can make it look even worse.

Bernhard Langer 1985 Green Jacket
#5 Bernhard Langer, 1985
First, Berhnard Langer spent 18 holes looking like history's only Aryan Temptation. Then, he donned the green jacket and transformed himself into history's largest elf.


Larry Mize 1987 Green Jacket
#4 Larry Mize, 1987
What's the golf equivalent of showing up to the Oscars without a speech written in case you win? Wearing a striped purple polo that you might have to combine with a green blazer.


Tiger Woods 2005 Green Jacket
#3 Tiger Woods, 2005
The only thing that can make Tiger's text messages to porn star Joslyn James seem relatively tasteful: his toolbag casual mock-n-blazer combo. ("You are my fucking whore. Hold you down while I choke you. And make you stare at my stupid Nike shirt until your eyes puke.")


Ben Crenshaw 1995 Green Jacket
#2 Ben Crenshaw, 1995
Ben Crenshaw does his best impression of a golf nut's bulletin board.


Nick Faldo 1990 Green Jacket
#1 Nick Faldo, 1990
The most convincing case we've ever seen for a five-button Green Jacket? Nick Faldo's argyle fireman sweater.

Ask the MB: Lands' End Canvas

Canvas chino blazer via Lands' End, $69.50
Canvas chino blazer via Lands' End. $69.50.
Q: Lands' End has started a line called Canvas, and it looks like they're trying to corner the more bastardly market. What do you think - are they TTH?
--Jordan


A: Thanks for the tip, Jordan. We took a look, and while inexpensive, any reasonable person would agree Canvas all looks a little too Lands' End-y. Except for the chino blazer, which is sticking out like a stylish, artfully disheveled sore thumb. 2 buttons, shirt shoulder, patch pockets, functional buttonholes, machine washable, and $69.50. If it's anywhere near what it looks like on paper, we'll get one in khaki and navy.

UPDATE: The blazer shown has 3 buttons, not 2 as described on the Lands' End web site. The sleeves are also the equivalent of a S. If you are a R or L, they will be too short. This was a return.

Ask the MB: Michael J. Fox

Ask the MB: Michael J. Fox
Q: Is Michael J. Fox is a Magnificent Bastard in the 1987 movie The Secret of My Success?
--Daring


A: Well, let's see:

* White high-tops, worn outside of the gym
* Legible t-shirt
* T-shirt under jacket
* Suit jacket (instead of blazer), with padded shoulders
* Michael J. Fox

We're only kidding about Michael J. Fox. He (or at least many of his signature characters) is that rarest of specimens: A toolbag we actually like.

(Special note to champagne aficionados: If a waiter ever opens your bottle of Duval-Leroy and it ejaculates Michael J. Fox, send that bottle back!)


Ask the MB: The Continental Look

This one, we do not recommend. Band of Outsiders simply overrated.
This one, we do not recommend. Band of Outsiders simply overrated.
Q: Dear MB, I was recently traveling in Spain and noticed a particular style among the men there which I would like to replicate. Professional men seemed to wear a lot of very trim cut, double vented odd jackets in light weight fabrics (it was still quite warm in October). Solid, patterned, cotton, linen - quite a variety, but nothing I seem able to find in the US. The look was way more MB than the typical quad-pleated Dockers, golf shirts and Oakleys I tend to see here. Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks!
--Matt


A: Odd jackets? Have you tried your local Goodwill? Pairing the blazers you describe with equally slim-cut wovens, cool denim, and sport/fashion footwear is a winning look that's pretty easy to achieve, especially if you would've stopped into a few of the hundreds of little menswear shops there. Now that you're back in America the easiest way to find what you're looking for is to visit yoox.com. If you're flush with cash try a higher-end YOOX property: thecorner.com.



Ask the MB: Polo Under a Blazer

Ask the MB: Polo Under a Blazer
Q: I agree with the no t-shirts and sport coats philosophy, but what about sport coats and polo shirts? I have seen some people doing it, but I'm still not sure what to think about the look yet.

Thank you for this site, you are helping me become a better person.
--Tom C.


A: We're OK with it during the same timeframe as white jeans. If, however, you can handle your nerves on Sunday at the Masters, you have permission all year round.

From top:
* Doug Ford and Arnold Palmer (1958)
* Tom Watson and Gary Player (1978)
* Bernhard Langer and Jack Nicklaus (1986)
* Vijay Singh and Tiger Woods (2001)

Ask the MB: Blazer Fit Guide

Ask the MB: Blazer Fit Guide
Q: A question and a comment. What is the MB stance on snugness of a suit jacket? I recently got a steal on an Armani cashmere/silk sport jacket which is too big around the waist for my slim build. I want to get it altered to fit better but don't know how snug it should be. My comment is that I'd love for you to open up your posts to comment! Sure you'll get some rabble but it can add so much to what you're doing here. Which, by the way, I love!
--Seth


A: Seth, head to the tailor. The snugness of the fit should be directly in proportion with one's fit(ness). Slim fellas in more generous cuts can quickly start looking like David Byrne. Bigger guys in snug fits can send crowds scurrying for cover to duck flying buttons. We've provided a handy chart below to demonstrate:





Blazer Fit Guide

Ask the MB: High School Blazer

Ask the MB: High School Blazer
Q: How old does one need to be to wear a blazer in casual settings? I'm thinking of buying a military blazer (single breasted, four buttons, dark grey), but I don't want to be the "17-year old who tries to look 30."
--Collarbone


A: Choose the blazer if either: a.) you hang out mainly with older people, or b.) you want to be mistaken for one of the Jonas Brothers. And chicks apparently really dig them.

Otherwise it carries pretty high risk. Wearing one to algebra class can possibly work as Max Fisher but can quickly devolve into Mike Damone.

Ask the MB: Too Much Corduroy?

Ask the MB: Too Much Corduroy?
Q: How much corduroy is too much? I, like many, own a corduroy blazer. It's chocolate and I love how versatile it is. But around this time of year, I also like wearing corduroy pants, mainly to work. Seems like overkill to wear both together. Am I right?
--Jason


A: You are basically correct. An icon like YSL could probably make mismatched corduroy work, but the degree of difficulty is extremely high. A full-on corduroy suit is MB-approved, especially if you're trying to pull off that disheveled egghead look. It worked well for Donald Sutherland as the stoner English professor Dave Jennings in Animal House. And he ended up plowing Karen Allen.

We digress. Jason, to answer your question, match that blazer with a pair of jeans and rumpled oxford and wool/cashmere tie and you're good to go.



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 -- Spring/Summer Sport Jackets

Ask the MB -- Spring/Summer Sport Jackets
Q: Now that spring is here and summer is almost upon us, can you recommend some choices for summer sport jackets? I keep seeing linen options and I'm not sure if its ok instead of wool. And should I try to pull off a white one?
--D. Brown


A: Great question. Let's take this one step at a time:

Options for summer sport jackets: Madras is a fun and popular option, but it's got a high "memorable" factor. You could space your wearings out 2 weeks and still your co-workers are going to be, like, "Holy shit, didn't D. Brown just wear that madras blazer yesterday?!" We don't endorse much about the outfit on top -- besides the cheekbones -- however the blazer is fairly deconstructed and casual, has two buttons, goes with other pants besides jeans, and is affordable ($189). We own it. Available at your local Benetton or just give one of the stores a call and have it shipped.

Linen: Regular readers know our stance on linen. Blended with high percentage of cotton it's ok. A linen percentage >50% and it can look like you slept in the fucking thing within minutes of putting it on. Proceed with extreme caution.

Giving a white blazer a try: This falls into the category of "If you have to ask, skip it." Definitely can be successfully executed, though one wrong move -- gold watch perhaps? -- and we're queuing up the Jan Hammer soundtrack to "Miami Vice."


Ask the MB

Ask the MB
Q: So we have closed down the t and blazer look for fall, but can I throw a thin hoodie or a track jacket under a wool blazer or a corduroy blazer?
—Jared


A: In the November 2007 issue of GQ, über designer and Magnificent Bastard Extraordinaire Tom Ford calls the blazer "the best piece of clothing of the past 50 years." Look at the picture. Notice the collared shirt. Follow along.

Ask the MB -- Velvet Blazers

Juicy Couture Velvet Blazer via Neiman Marcus, $350.00
Juicy Couture Velvet Blazer via Neiman Marcus. $350.00.
Q: OK, I'm confused...I've been looking to your site for months to guide me to becoming a magnificent bastard. Recently you said velvet blazers are a trend that's run its course. To my dismay, a magazine I consider on the forefront of men's style (Details) says the velvet blazer is a fall/winter essential.
—Akeel


A: Part of being a Magnificent Bastard is thinking for yourself, and here's a good opportunity. But before you decide, consider this: each month the writers at Details have to crank out a certain amount of words to fill up the magazine. On the other hand, magnificentbastard.com posts only when we've got something to say, even if it's a fantastical story about a French president's flag pin. Not to mention, it's a well known fact that Dan Peres, editor of Details, has been taking payouts from the VBIA (Velvet Blazer Industry Association) since he took the job.

And Now a Note From This Site's Secret Admirer

And Now a Note From This Site's Secret Admirer
From the MB mailbag:

Dear Magnificent Bastards,

If you'll indulge me a brief roundup of your recommendations to date:

1. White jeans are gay.
2. Jute mandals are gay.
3. Unless you're in an 80s period movie, you wear brown shoes and belt with a navy suit.
4. Tucking in part of your shirt screams "trying too hard to not be a toolbag".
5. Like it or not, a velvet blazer is almost required apparel for any New Year's party.
6. The UPS Whiteboard Guy looks almost cool next to the smug "I'm a Mac" guy, particularly since a human Mac would be something more along the lines of Carson Kressley.
7. If you buy a coat with a fur collar, you might as well wear it over your Michael Vick jersey.

Otherwise I agree with everything you're doing. Keep up the good work.

—Andre

MB.com Response: New Year's Eve parties are for fucking amateurs.


Ask the MB

Ask the MB
Q: Now that fall is coming around, it's time to break out the blazers; but is the t-shirt/blazer combo still in vogue or has that ship sailed?
—Sherwin


A: That ship has not only sailed, it was attacked by pirates, looted, burned, then sunk, and the crew was eaten alive by sharks.

Even though he throws like a goddamn girl, or perhaps a lousy cricketer, just look at how Hugh Grant oozes casual cool with this crisp white shirt (tucked in, of course) and an unbuttoned top button.

Try this instead.



JV is Anything But

Herringbone Hooded Blazer via Bergdorf Goodman, $998.00
Herringbone Hooded Blazer via Bergdorf Goodman. $998.00.
John Varvatos is one of any MB's favorites, and he hits an upper-deck homer with this epauletted, tabbed-cuffed, flap-pocketed, stand-collared blazer, via Bergdorf Goodman. The only problem is you might need to rob a fucking bank to pay for it, and you might get caught. Stay tuned to MB.com to find out when it goes on sale (in about 90 days).

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