In 2016 we made an unimpeachable case that Donald Trump won the GOP nomination primarily because voters were raging against establishment casual and casting ballots against anyone wearing a zip mock neck sweater.
That Republican Glenn Youngkin won a blue-state gubernatorial race clad in a fleece vest means that L.L. Bean is again a safe space for 2024 GOP hopefuls.
We predict that Donald Trump — ever the follower — will soon appear in meekly-rolled sleeves, a yellow Ashli Babbitt cause bracelet, and zippered fleece of some kind.
Next week: How to pick a vest that doesn't make you look like Glenn Youngkin.
Like most people who don't live in Oregon — and probably most who do — we don't pay a lot of attention to Oregon politics. But Brian Boquist, the Republican state senator who recently persuaded 11 of his GOP colleagues to desert their home state and go underground in Idaho to avoid voting on a climate change bill, has caught our eye.
Boquist's behavior is simply unconscionable — and of course we're talking about his alarming allegiance to mock turtlenecks.
Obviously, Mr. Boquist is a bad legislator and a bad human being. But what does it say about our own humanity if we don't intervene in such an extreme case? Must one see eye-to-eye on everything — or anything — to be the beneficiary of sound menswear advice? Maybe if Mr. Boquist didn't look like such a toolbag all the time he wouldn't act like such a toolbag all the time. If there's anything we still believe in strongly after all these years, it's that clothes make the man.
And let's face it. When co2 levels cross the 450 ppm threshold, even Mr. Woods is going to have to ditch his mock on those really hot January nights.
Thus, in an act of mercy and bi-partTIEsanship, we are reaching out to Mr. Boquist and offering him a lifetime supply of ties. All he has to do is supply the shirts, vote when he's supposed to vote, and not threaten any state troopers.
Recently we identified what we won't be wearing on the links in 2019 and beyond: Jim Nantz by Vineyard Vines. But it got us thinking, what is the Nantz antidote? What can we wear this spring to counter the effects of comfort-fit khakis and quarter-zip sweaters?
One answer: Canali.
We've had our eye on Canali — typically known for its Italian suiting — since the 2014 Ryder Cup, when Europe crushed USA in their ridiculously sporty plaids, while some members of Team USA actually thought it was OK to wear mock turtleneck compression tees under polos. Bubba Watson championed this look even more than Jim Furyk, and seemed more interested in dressing up like a Yankee Doodle Toolbag than competing, going 0-3.
Anyhow, 5 years later we've invested wisely enough to invest in a little Canali, like this mercerized cotton polo, and for the team photo this blazer that epitomizes nearly everything we've written about blazers over the past 11 years. Is this enough to counter the powerful effects of Jim Nantz and the Vineyard Vines marketing team? We're unsure, but we're certainly going to try.
This award goes to Henrik Stenson, Champion Golfer of the Year, who discarded his toolbag long-sleeve Hugo Boss synthetic mock turtleneck underwear on the 17th tee, just in time to hoist the Claret Jug in a polo. It's the best sartorial move in the 145-year history of the tournament. Well done Henrik.
In the 2016 campaign for the White House, conventional wisdom says the electorate is angry with the establishment, and this explains why a short-fingered vulgarian is on the brink of winning the GOP's nomination for president.
True enough, but the analysis lacks depth. Specifically, what is it about the establishment that has everyone so frosted?
We've been developing a theory over the last several months and now believe we've compiled enough evidence to go public with it.
There's one cultural force that blue-collar Republicans, the Mobile Home Majority, disaffected Democrats, and various other constituencies find even more threatening than Mexican immigrants, Syrian refugees, or even ISIS: the zip mock neck sweater.
Have a look:
While we understand the animus underlying this trend, we fear its consequences. A Trump presidency could potentially turn America into the world's first toolbagocracy. Just look at the notables from whom Trump has already collected official endorsements: John Daly. Jerry Falwell, Jr. Hulk Hogan. Ted Nugent. Dennis Rodman. Willie Robertson. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and the list goes on.
Oh, and just in case you're not already checking real estate prices in New Zealand? Yes, Guy Fieri "could be interested" in a Trump presidency.
America's only hope, as far we see it? Between now and November, somebody's gotta convince Trump to put on zip mock neck sweater.
In solidarity with besieged Ukrainian troops in Crimea, Turchynov is wearing his own uniform, The Michael Lohan, which consists of a black mockneck under a blazer. While we believe that this no way to run a country, we continue to support President Turchynov in his effort to maintain Ukrainian independence in the face of increasing Russian aggression.
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.
On September 30 the NBA implemented a new coaches' dress code that at the time was believed to prevent Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy from wearing his signature mock turtlenecks. It immediately became known as The Van Gundy Rule.
Ten days later the Orlando Sentinelsuggested Van Gundy's mock turtlenecks qualified under the letter of the rules, which state coaches and assistant coaches must wear:
(a) A long or short-sleeved dress shirt (collared or turtleneck), and/or a dress sweater; (b) Dress slacks, khaki pants, or dress jeans; (c) A sport coat; (d) Dress shoes or boots (but not including sneakers, sandals); and (e) Socks.
Any MB knows there is a world of difference between a turtleneck and a mock turtleneck, and it would appear Stan Van Gundy does, too, as he coached the Magic's season opener against Washington in a point-collar woven (and down about 15 pounds).
Q: What's your take on those half zip sweaters with the collars that kind of stand up, like the J. Crew version? Is this akin to popping a collar? Or, is this acceptable collar territory? --DTC
A: We hate these sweaters. But it's got nothing to do with collar popping and everything to do with them being stuck in a stylistic no man's land between Mark Zuckerbergian fleece outerwear and a regular sweater, much like capri pants are stuck between pants and shorts, or a mock turtleneck is stuck between a turtleneck and a t-shirt. In fact, if you zip one of these up and throw a blazer over it, you're in Van Gundy Rule territory. Avoid.
Apologies for being a tad late with any mention of this news, but for the 2010-11 season the NBA is implementing a new dress code requiring coaches to wear collared shirts during games. Now that mock turtleneck king Don Nelson is out of a job in Golden State, this affects only Orlando Magic coach and MB sartorialpiñata Stan Van Gundy.
While the new rule won't prevent Van Gundy from wearing some appalling shirt/tie combos this year (which we will surely document as they begin to appear), kudos to the NBA for banning this style atrocity. Now perhaps the PGA Tour will wake up and finally apply similar rules for its players. It shall be called the Tiger Woods Rule.
Category 5 toolbag Stan Van Gundy is merely a regional style catastrophe 10 months out of the year. Every spring, however, the coach of the Orlando Magic becomes a national one during the NBA playoffs. Last night reader Nick wrote:
"Surely Stan Van Gundy of the Orland Magic deserves elevation to some sort of super toolbag status based on his 'attire' (using the word loosely) for Game 1 against Atlanta. The combination of mafia suit style, with black t-shirt, all completely ill-fitting even had my wife pausing in astonishment."
To Van Gundy's credit, he has replaced last year's mock turtleneck with a polo shirt. If he keeps that up, he may be downgraded to Category 4.
Q: No comments about Tiger's Nike sunglasses at the Masters? I hope they enhanced his game, because they did nothing for his already lacking MB-ness. --Nate
We know Woods spent the last few months in sex rehab, but based on his appearance at the Masters, we're wondering about the cure. To our eye, it looks like his therapists have simply stuck a pair of super-dark blind-guy glasses on him in the hope that they will prevent him from spotting trashy blonde blabbermouths in the gallery. And fed him a lot of donuts. On the bright side, he's wearing a collared shirt. And every day you can stay off the mock turtlenecks is a good day.
Since Prada is advertising this look for Spring 2010 there is a chance -- albeit unlikely -- of it metastasizing to other menswear designers in upcoming seasons. Don't partake. This look is and always will be Major Toolbag.
The primal scream is the same, the fist pump is toned down a bit, and Tiger Woods is thankfully back to wearing collard shirts on Sundays instead of the skin-tight mock turtleneck. Phil Mickelson, please take note.
Q: I have a black mock turtleneck I want to wear under a dark gray /green suit. People says it looks nice but I want to be sure... The other option is a white shirt/no tie... It is for a HS reunion....The black turtleneck is slimming which draws me to it as well. --Jeff
A: Jeff, we sense you're a new MB reader so we'll go easy on you. Are you out of your fucking mind? Ignore the "people" and wear the white shirt for chrissakes. Leave the mock turtlenecks for especially toolbaggy characters from classic Tim Burton fables. Also consider dressing down at least one notch and hopefully two. We're talking high school reunion here, not a job interview.
Q: I'm unclear on your turtleneck position. Are saying it was only ok in 1968 and for chaps much more MB than I'll ever be? I have a navy tall mock turtleneck (taller than a mock but not enough to fold over) that I love. Not MB? --Scott
A: We're saying McQueen, Player, and Newkirk helped make the turtleneck forever cool. If you don't have enough material to fold over, or let flop down in an artfully disheveled way, then you ought to keep it in your closet. Or perhaps burn it. Anything even veering towards mock should be avoided or you might start looking like Tiger Woods. And that ain't good.
The winner -- total toolbag Paul Azinger -- is wearing a mock turtleneck. The loser -- MB-ish Nick Faldo -- in an artfully disheveled collared shirt.
It's one thing for Mr. Azinger to be unstylish -- that's par for the course with him -- but does he need to dress up the entire team in that awful outfit?
In spite of the lopsided victory, that photo will not stand the test of time. In 20 years people won't be looking at the winning 2008 Ryder Cup team and say, "Geez, those guys really had style back then." Exactly the opposite.
So what do you think of Apple founder Steve Jobs' sense of style? These days, he almost always wears the same outfit in public, consisting of: 1) black mock turtleneck; 2) jeans; 3) white or grey New Balance sneakers; and 4) iPhone. Is it just me, or does this technological visionary dress like a toolbag? --Evan
A: We haven't specifically addressed Jobs' particular sense of "style," but your sense of the MB ethos is strong, Evan.
A: Yes, Steve McQueen certainly was a Magnificent Bastard, but we can assure you that at no time in Bullitt did he wear a mock turtleneck. Take a closer look and you'll see it's perhaps Film's Most Famous Real Turtleneck; a blue ribbed turtleneck sweater, shown underneath a tweed blazer (top).
Overshadowed by the famous turtleneck was McQueen's demonstration of how to nail a chunky shawl collar cardigan with woven shirt (bottom).
If the Magnificent Bastard Manifesto is a little, um, obtuse, then maybe this mercerized cotton mock turtleneck and double-pleated pants could provide a moment of laser-like clarity: Even if you're a model for Nordstrom, don't look like this poor sonovabitch.
Tiger Woods, the world's best golfer and 2nd-worst-dressed, continues to unleash his and Nike, Inc.'s abominable "style" on the golfing world. Johnny Miller, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Arnold Palmer — if they were all dead — would be rolling in their graves. Stay tuned (to ABC) over the weekend to see the latest Nike synthetic mock turtleneck styles.
Rusty Gets Nailed
An MB-updated version of the Rusty Nail (3 oz scotch / 1 oz Drambuie).
a healthy dose of a single malt scotch (The Macallan)
splash of Drambuie
Serve on the rocks with a lemon twist. An hour later roll yourself into bed (not necessarily alone).