Q: The cocktail contest was a sheer success. My local bar is buzzing about the drink; it's possibly the best form of advertising you could have done! Thanks. ("Two more MBs, please" - Me)
A: William, thanks for your note. We're glad to hear your bar of choice stocks all the ingredients an MB cocktail requires. Let us know its name and location, and we'll add it to a nationwide directory we're compiling of establishments that serve MBs.
Public service announcement: We'd like to create an extensive directory. If you have a favorite bar where you've ordered our signature cocktail, please share this info with us. Send us its name, city/state, and a note or two about what makes it a great place to drink MBs.
Hi. Saw your latest "Ask the MB" post on shoes and thought you might like something new from Allen Edmonds: The Bucktown for $199 and The Boulder for $175. Thanks for all you do. --Joel
A: Joel, please keep reading this site! The Prada loafers strike the perfect office/sport balance that is the MB dress shoe aesthetic. They will shine with a suit, all manner of dress pants, and even indigo denim. The Bucktown (Crosstown Collection, top) is going to feel most at home with a traditionally cut wool suit. And you shouldn't be wearing those anymore.
Meanwhile, The Boulder (Weekend Collection, bottom) looks like a marriage that's headed for divorce: hiking shoe soles grafted onto a loafer that looks like it should never travel outside a suburban Boomer's well-manicured yard.
Ed. note: We are hearing you. $460 is not a realistic shoe price for a lot of readers -- even with free shipping -- which is why we suggested the Camper Dni as a more affordable alternative that's very close. They're discontinued, are available here, and have word from someone who understands German that Herren Ausstattler does ship to the U.S.
Sorry, ya'all. There is no such thing as an MB scooter helmet because scooters just ain't MB. Especially nuevo-retro scooters. Riding a scooter is like fucking a fat chick. It might be fun until your friends find out. Said another way, did McQueen ever ride a scooter? Fuck no. He was a MAN, and he rode a MOTORCYCLE. Take a hint. Scooters are either for dorks or toolbags. --Chris
Last week, after our scooter helmet post, we learned that many of our readers do not like scooters one bit. Or helmets. One reader even concluded the post was so off-brand that we had to be paid by either Genuine Scooters or Bell helmets to write it.
That's not true. In fact, our policy on advertisers is the same as our policy on fat chicks. When we land one, we tell everyone!
But we're getting off-track. This post is about scooters. As longtime readers know, we've always liked 'em. Making them work does, however, have a high DD (degree of difficulty). It helps if you're ex-CIA with an unflappable patrician air, but even imminent rock superstars can sometimes pull it off. Of course, the failure rate will always be high, as Hugh Grant (top), Hugh Jackman, and James Gandolfini demonstrate. But there's nothing MB about never risking spectacular failure.
Also, we nearly forgot: Steve McQueen didn't only ride motorcycles (bottom).
Editor's Note: We've never fully bought into all of Thorstein Veblen's ideas regarding conspicuous consumption, but if there's one thing the man taught us, it's this: Early 20th century sociologists know a thing or two about artful dishevelment, and so do their 21st century descendents. Herewith, a letter from an MB reader and sociologist who points out a few facts all MBs and aspiring MBs should keep in mind. Of course, if you're still stumped about what color lenses to get for your white sunglasses, don't be afraid to write for advice. That's what we're here for.
As an honest to god sociology professor, let me field this one. The nervous crowd is nervous because they have yet to realize one of the most important parts of being an MB is individuality. You can't be an MB by simply copying other MBs, you've got to figure out what works for you personally, given your personality, your build, and your budget.
It's right there in the header - the site is a helper, a friend, and an advisor. It is not a stone tablet and it is not the Pope (obviously; the Pope is totally trying too hard -- TTH). Indeed, readers who think their every move has to be MB.com approved should check the footer, too. Sometimes you gotta spread your wings and fly around outside the nest, you know? --Sid
Dear MB, I am a woman who has had PF (Plantar Fasciitis) issues on and off for fifteen years and my darling MB husband developed symptoms several years ago when he began running seriously. Let me tell you now: the ONLY things that will help your PF are 1) podiatrist-prescribed orthotics (be warned, you will need to start buying shoes 1/2 size larger; 2) serious, daily calf stretching; and: 3) a night splint. Go to heelspurs.com for more info. Wearing Crocs, is, well, a croc, and flippin' butt-ugly and non-MB to boot. (By the way, the reason my symptoms have come and go over the years is because I am a runner, and because orthotics don't really fit into strappy heels. The MB HB hasn't had any problems since he started serious calf-stretches at the gym.) --Dru
A: Blessed with absolutely perfect feet, we admit we were treading on unfamiliar ground with our recent foray into feet healing. In any case, we are relieved to hear Crocs are as medically worthless as they are aesthetically painful. Even recommending them in a half-hearted, ironic manner was giving us a headache not even a constant Dewar's IV drip could cure. Thanks for enlightening us.
I know you guys are fans of Yoox. I just thought you'd like to know they are having a great sale rignt now, and I was able to find a coupon (green@yoox) for an extra 5% off. Got these Prada loafers for $185! Thanks for making me aware of the site. --Matthew
You're welcome. That sale is pretty damn good (though everything is final sale). All hail the recession!
I just wanted to point out a video of a recent public appearance of Vanilla Ice at a Denver Nuggets halftime show. Not only is it basketball (see recent post about ball size), Mr. Ice appears to follow every rule for looking (and acting) like a complete toolbag. --Joshua
A: We are working on a new feature that examines toolbags through the ages, from the cavemen to the guys on Tool Academy, and we've discovered in our research that Vanilla Ice should get special merit for reinventing himself several times, yet having his essential toolbaggery always shine through.
Please accept my nomination for TOW (Toolbag of the Week). Kevin Jonas, of the Jonas Brothers tucked his jeans into his rather feminine looking boots AND is wearing a shawl collared sweater with ghastly patches, stripes and a soccer player design on the breast. --Matt
A: Matt, this may qualify as TOY (Toolbag of the Year). The worst part of this ensemble is the Lamborghini. It screams TTH. The principle of artful dishevelment extents to an MB's automobile. Kevin Jonas might've even made those boots work had he arrived in a rusty '81 Chevy Caprice.
(Again, someone please explain why we're wrong about pant tucking.)
Just saw your post on running shoes. classicsportshoes.com is fine if you're content with "classic" shoe technology. For good looking shoes with the latest technology, you should take a look at Nike iD. You design 'em yourself, so you can tone it down as much as you want. You can even put a white Swoosh on a white background, so it's barely visible. --Miller
A: At the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Ethiopian Abebe Bikila won the gold medal in the men's marathon, running the race in bare feet. You trying to tell us that a few years of marginal technological advances in shoe design make a difference for the average 15-mile/week hacker? Shin splints are a small price to pay for style.
(The 2008 Olympic Men's Marathon is on Sunday, August 23 @ 7:30pm ET.)