Not sure if you should wear that Tommy Bahama shirt out tonight? The magnificent bastard is here to help. Go ahead. Ask away.
Q: Boast USA; I think their polos are pretty MB. Yay or nay?
A: In Pulaski, Wisconsin, circa 1985, the closest thing we had to a country club was the dart board at the American Legion. So we were unfamiliar with Boast until we started see it showing up on other websites last fall.
At first we figured J. Peterman was trying to outdo himself by inventing the backstory for an entire brand rather than a single piece of apparel. A brand named after a squash shot, started by a Greenwich, Connecticut tennis pro in the 1970s, worn by John Updike, Roscoe Tanner, and a young, crackhead-skinny G.W. Bush? And bearing a logo that looks like a marijuana leaf but is in fact a leaf from one of our favorite trees, the japanese maple? It all sounded a little too good to be true. Especially since when you look at the logos on various vintage shots of the shirts, they all seem to have been harvested at different times — that's a lot of variation in the size of that leaf.
So we did what all serious investigative journalists do when trying to nail down the facts. We poured ourselves some Macallan 18* and started watching Risky Business, which was said to feature a Boast shirt in it. A dozen or so ounces later, there it was, at 1:08:20. Case closed. The brand and its history appear to be as real as Teri Hatcher's breasts.
Anyway. Onward to your question. We like the brand and we especially like their tipped polo. We'd like it even better if it came with no logo whatsoever, but even as is, we still think it's sharp enough for darts at the American Legion. And if there were a tennis court anywhere within ten miles of here, we'd be wearing it there too.
* Why weren't we drinkings MBs? Because we were working, and we save MBs strictly for our leisure hours.
It makes perfect sense to us that novelty clothing retailer J. Peterman is selling 19th century Gallic drug paraphernalia — who better to cultivate as your customer base than coke dealers? They've got lots of disposable income, their tastes are extravagant, and yet they're typically stuck on the same shitty corner of West Baltimore day after day. (Every thing we know about coke dealing we learned from The Wire.) They might dream of exploring out-of-the-way tapas bars in Andalucia, but who's got the time? There's a recession on and people want their coke! So they do the next best thing and buy objects imbued with history, local color, the exoticism of faraway places — like cast iron counter scales made in France in the late 1800s. Right?
Maybe not. J. Peterman has a full complement of one-of-kind antique kilo scales for sale, all of them heavily discounted. Apparently our coke dealers are such Type A killjoys they don't even have time for adventure consumerism. Come on, drug dealers, live a little! Relax for five minutes and buy an authentic Italian Cinquecento scale. You deserve it!
Q: I am about to purchase this J. Peterman bag on sale at $298. Do you think it looks MB? It's the 1928 Air Corps Briefcase?
A: In the old days, briefcases were basically desks that you carried around on a leash, and there was a genuine need for all their various compartments, straps, buckles, and such. Now? There's no reason for all that stuff -- they're Snuggies for your laptop. While we typically endorse a senseless lack of utility here, that's not quite the same thing as decor posing as functionality. Unless you're an archaelogist moonlighting as an office supplies salesperson, we say go with something simpler and definitely less shiny, like this messenger bag by John Varvatos.
Q: While surfing the web, I came across this web site: jpeterman.com Some of the clothes were quite interesting. But then I thought, would the MB approve? Or is the site too 1990s?
On another topic: My wife says you're gay (NTTAWWT) because you watch Project Runway. I say you're not (NTTAWWT) since you obviously watch sports and you have a feature titled, "How to Determine if your chick is dirty girl." NTTAWWT, if so, but we have a bet riding on it.
Part I: We deeply admired J. Peterman back in the day, especially the brilliantly written catalog copy, which was taught in some colleges' English classes. However, it's geared mainly to the Boomer set, so we try to avoid.
Part II: The question is about as fresh and modern as the Seinfeld reference. Does that settle your bet?