Not sure if you should wear that Tommy Bahama shirt out tonight? The magnificent bastard is here to help. Go ahead. Ask away.
Q: I am going to a polo event on June 12th. I have not been to one. What to wear? Obviously weather plays a part in this, so let's assume it is 90 + degrees and sunny. I would love the detail for the outfit and sunglasses (total to spend $2500.00) and I have a great watch. I am more concerned with pant, shirt, jacket, and shoes. Thanks!
A: This may be your first polo match, but that doesn't mean everyone has to know. Follow the lead of Prince Harry, who has been there before, many times over, and go casual. Based on your budget, here's some specific pieces that will make you look like carefree royalty. (Caveat: Harry gets everything right from the neck down. His Maui Jim-style sunglasses should be left to the toolbag rabble.)
With shipping this adds up to ~$1600.00. Spend the balance on several rounds of MBs
for everyone at bar afterwards.
A Yves Saint Laurent version
Q: I am looking at having my first custom suit made. Considering that this will be my ONLY suit, what qualities should I look for in colour, fabric & design? I'll be wearing it to weddings, job interviews, etc.
A: For the man who only needs or wants or can afford a single suit, this is the suit to own:
Color and Fabric: Charcoal gray, in a four season wool from a top-notch textile maker like Loro Piana.
Jacket: Moderate width notch lapel. Two buttons. Top welt and front flap welt pockets. Given your Queen's English spelling of "colour," go with double back vents. (Yanks can go single vent.) Functional four-button cuffs. Light/non-existent shoulder padding.
Pants: Flat front, straight leg cut. Tab waist with zip closure. On seam front pockets, back welt pockets. No cuff.
This is a suit for a decade, at least. Let us know how it turns out.
Q: How low should I tie my tie? My roommate says above the belt, I say the tip should be between the top and bottom of the belt. Back me up, and he's buying all of us beer next time you're on the East Coast.
A: This is definitely unconventional wisdom and somewhat difficult to pull off, but we agree with your roommate. So does one of our biggest influences, Yves Saint Laurent. In fact, we've been known to let the narrow end meet (and even exceed!) the length of the wide end with excellent results. But you need to be fairly tall and in shape or you'll end up looking like hamburger-loving J. Wellington Wimpy.
The August Details says running shoes outside the gym are suddenly OK, thanks to YSL creative director Stefano Pilati (left) and designer Raf Simons (right). As Project Runway's Isaac Mizrahi would say, "We're just not buying it." First, most running shoes are far too ugly even for the treadmill in your basement. Second, Details is forgetting running shoes' deep recession thanks to the president's infamous first pitch look (inset).
Q: Dear MB: Over the past several months, I've come to trust your sense of style and taste. I'm curious to know if the MB is up for the challenge of applying your gift of knowing what's right and wrong in the world of style to the opposite sex. I'm facing my 20-year high school reunion this summer, which will be held at an upscale downtown drinking establishment (no VFW for this group). I'm tall (5'9") and thin in a healthy way. I want an ensemble that conveys success and looks good with a Tanqueray and tonic in hand, and doesn't scream Stepford wife or "I'm a suburban mom of two" (which I am). Do you think you can help?
Of course, dear.
Before we get to our outfit suggestions, a couple of important MB Class Reunion Principles to follow:
#1. Principle of Looking Like You Don't Give a Shit. Try looking like you don't take this event too seriously, like you and your husband were out for a casual dinner or gallery opening and then you thought, "Geez, isn't tonight my 20th class reunion?"
#2. Principle of Investing in Your Wardrobe. Don't waste a penny of precious clothing budget on something like a cocktail dress that you'll wear once. Class reunions are chock full of anticlimax. Splurge, but only on something that will likely be in style at the 30th.
And now on to the recommendations:
Pants: Denim, for sure. Not too tight, with a wide opening to allow the ballet flats (below) just enough room to peek out. For women we're partial to AG (pictured, $82.00 -- on sale) and Hudson, but denim is personal so go with whatever fits you best and makes you feel good.
Top: Something simple and updated, like this Vince sheer jersey tee. $48.00, via Barney's Co-Op. Cap sleeves will increase the already heightened drama of your long appendages.
Footwear: Ballet flats, of course. Consider making your shoes your statement piece (only one allowed per outfit), like these faux snakeskin lowcuts from London Sole ($155.00). Suitable for dancing.
Handbag: Pay tribute to one of the all-time greats (and simultaneously keep it casual) with this Yves Saint Laurent brown pebbled messenger bag. $632.00, via bluefly. There might even be room for a diaper and wipes in there.
Outerwear: What if it rains? Or if the event makes its way outside? Let Rag & Bone protect you from the elements, evening chill, and small talk with their Mac Trench. $585.00, via shopbop.
Accessories: Wow that wedding band of yours is serious business. Communicate your fun side -- you read this site after all -- with something whimsical (and affordable) like this blue lucite bracelet with cameo. $14.99, via Target.
Have fun and let us know how it goes.
via Banana Republic. $98.00.
First Banana Republic unleashed the spread collar on unsuspecting twenty-something male professionals. Now with the new "BR Monogram" line they're removing even more material with the "cutaway collar" shirt. Soon the collar may disappear entirely. Henley dress shirts anyone? Avoid this trend, and no matter how long your face, stick with the point collar, preferably a high one like this beautiful YSL version (inset).