Going on three years, we've been faced with an inverted clothing curve, where comfort has been paying a higher interest rate than style.
In fact, we've been wondering: If a person isn't seen all day by a partner, or by colleagues on a Zoom call, did that person actually wear anything at all?
Anyhow, we've taken a deep dive on sweats stylish soft pants — we'll have more on this in an upcoming post — and also organic cotton sweatshirts, mostly from obscure Italian brands found on YOOX. (It probably goes without saying that free-range cotton is significantly softer than cotton grown in cages.)
The winner, by quite a wide margin, is this Classica Cotton Sweatshirt by one of our favorite brands: De Marchi. A few points to note about sizing and taking action:
De Marchi runs ridiculously small for American bodies. Go up two sizes.
As of this writing, it's still 30% off.
Use code XMAS20 for an additional 20€ off.
When you purchase anything from De Marchi you become part of their Ciclo Club, which includes free merch: a water bottle, an embroidered patch "to be stitched or ironed on your favorite jersey," a metal pin, and the official Ciclo Club cap.
If you love soft tops and are even vaguely into cycling, this is a tough purchase to beat.
We've been admiring (and desiring) Rhude since we first laid eyes on their Traxedo Pant, but at price tag exceeding the per-capita income of most of sub-Saharan Africa, haven't been able to pull the trigger.
Rhude's collaboration with Puma made access to a touch of their style available at a fraction of the price, so we tried out the XTG Track Top and can endorse it (especially now that it's marked down to $79).
While the 59-41 fabric composition does challenge our organic materials principle, in the track jacket genre this is in the organic top 1%. And the blend serves a purpose: the poly keeps it from fading to charcoal gray, and the cotton mutes the shine so you don't look like a player at The Villages. Fits true to size.
Part of the reason we haven't been posting much this year — besides chronic laziness, combined with chronic drunkenness — is that we've been working on a price-tracking application we think you're going to really like. You simply post something that interests you, whether it be on Amazon, eBay, YOOX, or thousands of other sites, and when it goes on sale we send you an alert with the new price.
We've been in alpha for a while here at the office, and here are a few things we finally pulled the trigger on, with their price history. Yes, we're really digging sportswear that may make some wonder whether we play sports for money.
Now, you might be wondering: How many plain old sweatshirts does one man really need? Well, let's see. If you're like us, you need one for sitting around. Then, you also need one for sitting around drinking. Then, there's sitting around drinking and watching sports.
In short, if you share our very active sitting-around lifestyle, you'll need a full complement of plain old sweatshirts.
Which brings us to Saturdays Surf NYC's sweatshirt collection. For us, it's right up there with
the best of them. Available in grey, navy, or black, they're $49 plus free shipping. (FYI, more sizes are also on sale straight from the source.) If you opt for the navy or black pullover hoodies, they're only $32.40. Fits true to size. You will not be disappointed.
Q: It's almost time to pack the corduroys away depending on where you live (sorry New England). So, what would you say are some essentials for spring? —Jack
A: Just 10 days ago, on the most frigid commute of the entire season, the thought of spring essentials seemed as distant as our final destination. But Jimmy the Carnivorous Groundhog was right, and Insta-Spring — it was 68 yesterday in Minneapolis — now has us consuming the following:
The Last Word
There is no cocktail that personifies and embodies spring more than The Last Word. Equal parts gin, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, Green Chartreuse, and fresh lime juice, one sip of this emerald Prohibition-era tipple immediately conjures thoughts of tournament basketball, The Masters, green grass, and swallows returning to Capistrano. It also serves as an excellent alternative to green beer, the toolbag drink of choice tomorrow.
Spring means baseball, and Opening Day is the opening day of the newly-expanded white pant season (more on this later). The Cardinals play at Wrigley in just 20 days. The best place to find something cool, unique, and cheap is YOOX, as usual, and free shipping is now standard. Otherwise Levi Strauss & Co. makes white denim in the 501, 511, 514, and 569.
Todd Snyder Japanese Indigo Crew Sweatshirt
Our favorite purchase of 2015 by a wide margin. Is $275 a lot for a cotton sweatshirt, even if it's made by Canadian factory workers using Japanese indigo? Yes. But while this garment is marked 100 percent cotton, we actually suspect it might be 120 percent cotton, or maybe even 125 percent. It's that soft. Paradoxically, it's also incredibly sturdy. In fact, we're betting its tank-like construction will yield a life expectancy of at least a decade. Amortize its cost over that term and it's actually cheaper than a $15 Old Navy sweatshirt that you will be downgrading to "paint rag" by Independence Day.
Nylite Chambray in Aurora Red
During the chambray boom that happened a few years ago, when folks were making pants, suits, and even a few trendy hotels out of chambray, we did not buy in heavily. Indeed, we think chambray is a little like heroin or Jim Carrey — something to savor in small doses. But when it's used right it can be very effective. Here, for example, a splash of chambray gives these Tretorn Nylites — originally invented in 1964 and typically made out of a canvas — thinking about April matinees at Target Field. So make ours a double!
(And be on the lookout for our spring tie line, which will also be using chambray in sparing fashion.)
Vintage Onion Content
Insta-Spring has us recalling one of our favorite Onion pieces, this one from 1996: Area Students Prepare Breasts for Increased Springtime Display. "Female college students from across the northern U.S. celebrated the improved weather this week, preparing their breasts for the increased exposure and display that the warm weather now demands."
As much as we are against legible clothing, we are for legible state secrets. That's why we're trying to figure out what shirt/sweatshirt to buy at The WikiLeaks shop, where the proceeds go to support the web's premiere whistleblowing operation. Keeping WikiLocks -- aka Julian Assange -- in highlights, gel, and other styling products alone has got to run into six figures. Whichever garment we end up choosing, we know it's going to hurt a little, but such is the price of freedom.
Our deep-seated issues with legibility and hoods have officially met their match when Dolce & Gabbana puts an original Magnificent Bastard like Steve McQueen on the front of a sweatshirt. (Note McQueen's rolled sleeves, undone top button, four-in-hand knot, and the absence of jewelery.)
2 parts Hayman's Old Tom Gin
1 part sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica Formula or Dolin Rouge)
1/4 part Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
Shake or swirl lightly, garnish with a lemon twist.