Monday, December 24, 2012

Last Minute XMas Gift Guide

Don't know what to get your #menswear blogger for Christmas? Here's an easy list.


This is like 75 cents. Problem solved. If he wants something he'll probably just buy it for himself anyway.


Everybody likes comic books. Hellboy is pretty good. It's fast to read and you can re-read it a few times a year without getting bored. Mignola is a master.


Toilet paper is not very exciting to unwrap. However, he'll probably use it more than a pair of Aldens. You poop every day (and if you're civilized, you wipe; unless he's sprezzy, then definitely not). You're supposed to rotate your shoes so he won't wear those shoes every day.


Crisis On Infinite Earths is great. It sets up the entire DC Universe that we now... wait... Barry Allen is alive again? So is Hal Jordan? Never mind, this is a waste of money.


You can get the entire Bone compendium in paperback on sale for, like, $30. That's stupid cheap. It's enough comic book to last a long-ass flight.

Oh, you wanted some clothing recommendations?


Buy him some socks. He has too many fuckin' clothes anyway.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

TSB Fan-Fiction by Sam Franklin

In celebration of advances made on the TSB website and TSB in general, Sam Franklin wrote a fan-fiction that he wants to share with you. Here it is:

dan handed you a can with the top cut off with a rustic knife styled 3 different ways

here you go its just gasoline you should start huffing because its weedwacker gas and itll get you god and bussed he said

he takes you up the elevator too the new office this is where well do all the new shoots about socks and pants and wathces and scafres you meet alex and he takes you picture a bunch of times cause you style your hat cool what cool guys they are cool

you sit floors above the style plebians walking the streets and huff gasolin and dan gives you a odouls which you pop and chug and maybe but chug and you drink 25 and feel bussed you eat new york hot dogs and discuss casual pieces in work evnirvoments and dressed up pieces un cusual envirnmentals

he likes your insites and tells you you should du a feature becuase he likes cool and smart ppl you say sure

dan tells you as he sits at the head of a big table and everyone listens even the ants 20 storys down because dan give style advice

“i am doing big things i am the best bragger and nobody bumps their ego like i bump my ego i love me no one loves themselves as much as i do”

and then ryan plett walked in

Saturday, November 24, 2012

IM Convo: Good & Bad

A few days ago, Sam and I had a conversation over IM. The following conversation occured:

Sam Franklin 10/31/12 - 5:34PM:
hey wat do u think of the nu collections lik fall and winer

John Lugg 10/31/12 - 5:40PM:
I mean, collections are all kind of the same. Is anyone doing anything new?

Sam Franklin 10/31/12 - 5:40PM:
what do you think i was asking you for

John Lugg 10/31/12 - 5:41PM:
I see a lack of creativity. Some are almost A&F referential, like Bentham F/W ’12. What is that supposed to mean? That we value early 2000s consumerism? Shrined by our own current consumerism?

Sam Franklin 10/31/12 - 5:41PM:
what about consumer choice

Sam Franklin 10/31/12 - 5:41PM:
doesnt the consumer decided what is correct inthe market doesnt the consumer decide who gets given wat jobs these are corporations they are looking for botton line

John Lugg 10/31/12 - 5:43PM:
But this, this? This cannot be #menswear’s true face? #menswear can’t just be a bunch of gentlemen bloggers (gentlemen farmers? basically the same thing socioeconomically -- not that the fact means anything about anyone in particular; just a curious observation about how money moves within generations) talking about clothing and their personal taste. We cannot just be a projection of A/W 2013. I concur that the bottom line will ultimately decide what gets sold. But aren’t things that are designed well supposed to be what is in the market? We haven’t reached a designed apex.

Sam Franklin 10/31/12 - 5:43PM:
things in the market arent designed well

Sam Franklin 10/31/12 - 5:43PM:

Sam Franklin 10/31/12 - 5:43PM:
so then menswear has an end and an end to the dualism of good and bad

John Lugg 10/31/12 - 5:44PM:

Sam Franklin 10/31/12 - 5:44PM:
what you just said meant that there must be an end. society as we currently know it has generally rejected this notion. you expect all clothing to reach an apex at the end. things will not democratize and then synthesize. they appear to just be pluralizing. 

Sam Franklin 10/31/12 - 5:44PM:
you expect progression to always be occurring. whats wrong with the laurels? men are spending a bit more on clothing and hopefully they’re buying a couple fewer pieces. things are actually progressing. is kohl’s a #menswear staple? theyre just not progressing as quickly as would satisfy the internet. plus menswear doesnt change you big dumbdumb.

Sam Franklin 10/31/12 - 5:44PM:
you expect every collection to be good. this is nonsense. for clothing to be good you need a comparative bad. even if everyone bought quality clothing, some clothing would be better than others. is a&f even really bad? its bad compared to our previous standards, but is it bad in a vaccuum? no. because its the only clothing.

Sam Franklin 10/31/12 - 5:44PM:
ends are imaginary. duality is necessary.

John Lugg 10/31/12 - 5:46PM:
wen did you lurn how to spell?

Sam Franklin 10/31/12 - 5:46PM:
one night you ate alphabet soup, drank too much, expelled the soup, and i ate it.

John Lugg 10/31/12 - 5:47PM:
i gess that makes cents

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Orvis #catalogwear F/W 2012

Discussing changes in what catalogs offer is like talking about how a field of soybeans over there is different than a field of soybeans over there. For those of you who don't leave your house, that means that there is little to differentiate the offerings. Discussing Orvis stuff has been a bit of a regular thing over here so I figure that I'll just keep plugging away. If I start repeating myself, sit tight and wait a few weeks for my next post.


Montana Morning Long-Sleeve Polo Shirt

Orvis loves it's hybrids as much as a faddier tech brand. Complaining about stuff like this is to veer into JPress anal traddy territory. I'm too refridgerated for that. For the trads, that means that I'm mad chill.


Painted Desert Jacquard Shirt

It's very college professor hippy vibe. Y'know, the guy or gal with the doctorate and the doobies. They're probably a pottery or anthropology professor.

You can buy this from most thrift stores. That way you have cash for doobies.


Barbour Alfalfa Stripe Shirt

Brands are big on putting their fingers into heritage/Italian/cowboy/your hot cousin/minimalist trends. This is Barbour's cowboy. I get the point, because make hay while you can, right? On the other hand, this is a cowboy shirt.

I had a joke about Carl Switzer and his lost dog but it was tasteless. That's mostly just a sad case.


Light-Heavyweight Sailing Rugby

Fell into the Gap they rockin' the hood
Seen peace in the streets when I stopped in the hood
We gon keep it alive like hip-hop in the hood
It's good when love don't stop in the hood
It's a celebration like Dave Shampiple (note: Corruption of Chappelle? I haven't a clue. This Common guy makes no sense)
Hugs to the fam, kisses under the missle
Toe when I flow to the power that rap as
People giving me love while seeing The Gap ads
Gifted like Christmas so I love to rap
We gon give it to the world, peace, love and Gap
Give it to the world, peace, love and Gap
We gon give it to the world, peace, love and Gap

The joke is that this thing is very Gap. If you don't get it now, I'm not sure if you can be helped.


Ikat Long-Sleeved Western Shirt

"Yea, so we got the grant money and we're going to start work on that Anagama kiln this summer and it'll be done, I don't know, like 2015? Yea, well I've been a pottery professor for 13 years here now so I would've expected them to start funding the program..."


Diamond-Cable Crewneck Sweater

When catalog companies pushed their wares west of Deerfield, this is what occurred. It could be bad. Who am I to say?


Navajo-Pattern Shawl-Collar Cardigan

Orvis drops a bit of Lloyd on all of us every year. I think it helps immortalize one of the greatest movies ever. Thanks Orvis. Thanks for keeping this tradition alive.


Newcastle Wool Pants

Can we all agree that leather pockets are cool?


CFO Donegal Wool Cargo Pants

Orvis might not be reading menswear blogs but they are reading market sales. These pants have pockets so you can sneak snacks into the movie theater.

Orvis pants are standard. We'll move on from here.


Bison Leather Zip Boot

A little rock 'n roll and alotta sleazy. If you buy these shoes you might have to sign a contract that ensures that you never wash your hair ever again.

My mom told me not to associate with guys like you.


UGG Leather Slip-On

"Hey, I'm endorsing UGG now because not everything they do is bad and hey these shoes are alright and they aren't that dumb looking and style is subjective and so like UGG makes alright shoes now..."

No. UGG still sucks. Stop pretending.


Adventure Twill Sport Coat

It's twill and polyester so it's probably bad. And it comes in OTR S, M, L sizing so it's definitely bad. However, it's a great idea in theory. Bang-around sport coats have been popping up most places and a make of greater quality might make this recommendable.


Suede-Trimmed Snap Fleece

Herringbone print fleece? I pledge allegiance to the frat...


Quilted Shirt Jacket

Someone explain to me how #catalogwear is different than #menswear? Is there a difference? I'd say that #catalogwear is less dough but, given this price tag, I'm not so sure.


Top Gun Navy G-1 Jacket

I know some people who would wear this.

That's not a good thing.


Navajo Lined Field Coat

For those who love their Lloyd but not that much.

So there you have it. That's Orvis F/W 2012 or at least the stuff worth mentioning. Not much changes from year to year as everything remains a bit South Dakota State professor gear. Cowboy has been away for awhile now, hasn't it?

They restocked their socks. I suppose I should've mentioned that earlier.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

#menswear Monkeys

When you arrive at your door step and your home goes from calm to chaos, it would indicate that you, and not the ingredients already incased, are the reacting agent. But perhaps you are a creative, like Vladimir, who sends science off as a limited tool to describe the “human experience”.

Vlad did so when he arrived home. His apartment erupted as he stepped in. He zoned out and the storm turned to a dull roar. It remained so as he prepared dinner. 

Beatrice sat in an old wooden chair whose paint was older than the chair. She gummed on a grape that she had taken from a grouping that sat in front of her on the dinner table in a secunda mensa manner. Beatrice was an orangutan and was dressed in expertly tailored garb from Club Monaco*. She scratched her head and picked up a large piece of cabbage as commotion arose from the neighboring room. The cacophony was created by Vlad trying to prepare Archibald -- who happens to be a chimpanzee and all the chimpanzees I know have an attitude, a rebellious sense of style, and an appreciation for grindcore and twizzlers, which can only mean that they’re bad news -- for dinner in Archibald’s bedroom. The walls were thin so the sound came through the plaster as well as the door. The walls held various pieces of Vlad’s graphic design projects, framed in black and matted in grey, that he hadn’t been able to pawn off to Oliver People-d art gallery curators. The picture frames shook with each forte of noise rising. 

Archibald held the upper hand and he knew it. A primitive Thrasymachus, Archie held the rules that Vlad attempted to enforce in contempt. It was not Vlad who controlled the power, it was he. Archie wrapped himself in a cardigan without a shirt and, as Vlad pursued, fled from the room. 

Vlad chased Archie into the hall. Not only was Archie refusing to wear his dinner-wear, but he was wearing a cardigan without a shirt - a crime a foolish post-modernist might commit. 

Vlad shouted after Archie, “WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? DAN TREPANIER?!” 

Vlad had grown up in Buffalo. His father had owned a number of chain restaurants and a Super 8 motel or maybe two. They summered on Lake Chautauqua. His two older brothers had followed their father into the franchise business as the oldest owned 3 Qudobas and the second oldest hung around his brother’s and father’s restaurants and smoked cigars, drank Iced Coffee from the 1.89L containers you can get at any mid to large sized grocery store, and would occasionally help with the dishes. There are some redeemable qualities about people who get drunk at Applebee’s and the 2nd son was lucky enough to have them. 

Vlad had not been so inclined to go golfing with Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas and firing teenage boys who failed to show up to give you fries with that (or, like, clean bathrooms and whatnot). Vlad went to art school. He liked it well enough. When he graduated he began working on breaking the social norm. So he was a typical art school revolutionary as he attempting to unleash the positive and negative liberties innate in our natures and solve the contradiction between the two. Or maybe he believed that the contradiction never existed and was only created by a false social structure in place since that dude who ate the Hemlock. 

At art school Vlad met Megan. Megan was a sweetie. Megan moved in. Megan wanted kids. Megan couldn’t have them. Enter the primates. 

Anyway, Vlad created a new art form. Well, a new art form as defined by the art critics known as faux anti-adultism. True anti-adultism is impossible simply because you’d have to start with a sort of society that has no adult influence whatsoever (i.e. all kids, all the time). Would they produce art? Would they call it art? What would they do with the kids when they became “adults”? What would they define as “adult”? Would there be a differentiation between “adults” and “children”? Vlad attempt to solve this hypothetical question with his art (so Vlad’s answer to the second question is “yes”). He produced many scraps and bits that one could suppose were meant to look like a cow or maybe a car or maybe a cat.  After showing a gallery shortly after art school, a number of the right people started buying his work. Magazines ate it up. Megan did not.

Megan left. Megan moved in with a cleaning supplies mogul. The primates happened to be the jetsam that stayed aboard. Megan took the 10ft x 8ft portrait of her that also happened to look like a four-wheeler. Megan took it because she thought it was supposed to be a four-wheeler. It depended on the angle you looked at it.

Archie threw a Belgian at Vlad’s head and screamed. Vlad glowered at Archie and, in his best attempted at a pillow-soft-rock-solid voice, said, “What....” -- he paused -- “what would Will Boehlke say?”

*Those crazy tailors, they’ll tailor anything. However, it should also be noted that Club Monaco fits female orangutans fairly well off the rack. Hats off to Mr. Aaron Levine.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

#menswear Cliche Words

When writing, most authors have a tendency to resort to clichés specific to the genre. Western short stories are wind-swept, romance novels are ravished, and menswear essays are classic. There are plenty of other clichés in menswear writing: “This hoodie/nylon/fish-tail/40% herringbone/iPad case thing/coffee cup holder is an updated classic” and “Budd Dwyer was a sartorial icon and I get inspiration from him all the time” fall under the apron of cliché as would many others. If you’re here reading this, you probably already know the drill.

 As a menswear blogger, I know that I’ve occasionally resorted to clichés but I know that I’ve tried to grow beyond and avoid them when possible. Still, I notice that menswear writers still have a chub for words like “classic” and “timeless” (though we tuck our chubs under our ribbon belts).

So I went out and took some generally well-respected bloggers to put them to a test: how many times did they use words that they menswear community has “blown out”? How often did they use the words, (quint)essential, icon(ic), curate(curation), and aesthetic over a period of 50 posts?

I discounted anytime any of the searched words was used tongue-in-cheek. I discounted any articles that weren’t written by the main proprietor of the blog and any press clippings included in a blogger’s article. I excluded any articles the bloggers wrote for other blogs or publications.

A Continuous Lean

The Blogger: Called the “blog-father” in some circles, Michael Williams runs “A Continuous Lean”. His blog features many points of middle Americana that NY and LA forget about when discussing style. When I first started reading his blog back in 2008, he was featuring factory tours, vintage kodachromes, and the desks of designers and editors from the NY menswear circle. Now he and contributors post pictures of the places they vacation (he still does factory tours, kodachromes, and desk features but less so), Italian jackets, and Americana products that a fan of an AFC North team might like (i.e. totally fucking stupid beer coozies).  His blog now resembles a blog of someone who works for Paul + Williams and is perhaps more introspective than it was a few years ago.  I figure MW gets a pass for his blog being less entertaining than it was in 2009 or 2010 because he’s written books worth of material. Do you know how hard it is to create new content when you’re not just writing about a product that you happen to like, have never actually laid hands on, and you actually have a real job?

The Outlier: If you want to call menswear blogging a movement (I’d rather you not), you could make a case that MW helped start it. So when he uses a word like “iconic” is it cliché or is it just his jam? Does being “OG” give you a free pass?

The Bias: Every single fan of an AFC North team sucks. This isn’t a complaint about him but a complaint about his target audience for totally fucking stupid beer coozies.

The Results:

Quintessential (1), Essential (1), Iconic (3), Icon (6), Curate (0), Curation (0), Aesthetic (4)

Words (12,889)

Cliché Words/Total Posts = (0.30)

Cliché Words/Total Words = (0.00116)

Cliché words appeared in 30% of the 50 posts that I pulled, which was one of the higher numbers of the blogs that I looked at. I would expect that percentage to hold when considering MW’s posts for a longer period of time, though have no grounds to base this assumption on other than knowing that MW has used these words throughout his blogging “career” (lol). But MW isn’t sweating in his unionmade long-johns worrying about how many times he used the word icon in his last post, as his blog is generally photo driven with text as accompaniment. MW isn’t blowing anything out of the water with his written content but at least he isn’t one of those goddamn menswear philosophists. I mean, we should give him kudos for making it out of Cleveland and not give him shit for using icon a few more times than he should have.

Die, Workwear!

The Blogger: Since Derek Guy starting blogging for “Put This On”, his posts have been less frequent at “Die, Workwear!”. “Die, Workwear!” now resembles something that you might call “Derek’s Corner” or something cheesebally like that, as he posts on topics that are deemed too lame or too banal to post on PTO. “Die, Workwear!” is now obscure menswear geekery and news updates on what Derek is buying (reading about what a guy is planning on buying is never not weird).

The Bias: Derek has an editor that has helped him avoid cliché in his work on PTO. I would assume that this would carry over into “Die, Workwear!” and give him a leg up in avoiding clichéd menswear words. How much of “Die, Workwear!” is written with an editor in mind? I factored that Derek has worked with an editor as to not give him too much credit after I totaled his results.

[Editor's Note: Turns out Derek doesn't have an editor at PTO. Who'da guessed?]

The Results:

Quintessential (0), Essential (0), Iconic (2), Icon (0), Curate (0), Curation (0), Aesthetic (0)

Words: 15,129

Cliché Words/Total Posts = (0.04)

Cliché Words/Total Words = (0.00013)

Cliché words appear in 4% of the 50 posts that I pulled (so two). Compared to the rest of the blogs that we’re looking at, that’s low. I have no jokes for this. Derek is good at what he does.


The Blogger: Jake Gallagher runs themed weeks on his blog, “Wax-Wane”, and he’ll write a post roughly every day about a subject that falls within the theme. He will often write about the historical background of clothing brands or the like and “drop knowledge”. On one hand, you could picture him being a senile old man droning on about ancient things nobody cares about, while on the other you could call him a sort of nascent David McCullough (these are essentially the same thing, it’s just that one sounds like an insult and the other sounds like a complement [you get to decide which is which]).

Also, sprezzy punctuation; is cool > I guess/

The Outlier: Many of the cliché words that Jake used appeared in a Wes Anderson themed week. This may speak more about Wes Anderson’s preciousness than about Jake’s tendency towards using those words. I’m under the belief that Wes is a bit of a weenie and that the only way to describe his films – as Jake attempts to do -- may be through cliché, but I understand that some people think he’s great.

The Bias: Like Derek, Jake has an editor for some of his work (but none for “Wax-Wane”) so I would’ve expected the skewed by Jake having an editor in mind when he writes. I’m not sure that this is the case. I’m going to leave this issue lie.

The Results:

Quintessential (3), Essential (0), Iconic (2), Icon (3), Curate (1), Curation (0), Aesthetic (21)

Words: 19,616 (Jake’s word total over 50 posts is 4,000 more than the next closest blog)

Cliché Words/Total Posts = (0.6)

Cliché Words/Total Words = (0.00153)

I’m cutting Jake a break here because he used aesthetic quite a few times during Wes Anderson week. When talking about Wes Anderson, I would imagine it to hard avoiding using the phrase “Wes Anderson’s aesthetic” (thus I stand by my statement that Wes is a weenie). I’m also cutting him a break because he hasn’t been at this as long as Derek or MW. It’s only fair. That being said, he could ease off the use of “aesthetic” a bit as cliché words appear in 60% of his posts. The word “aesthetic” appears in 42% of his posts (this is not entirely correct as he would often use “aesthetic” multiple times in a single post, but I suck at math so to find this percentage I just took cliché words and divided it by total posts [so 50, if you were paying attention]).

However, redeeming for Jake is his Cliché Words divided by Total Word count. .153% is not significantly different than MW’s, which was .116%. And MW never had to write about “Wes Anderson’s aesthetic” for an entire week.


The Blogger: Christian Chensvold sometimes appears to be running a community rather than a blog but his ‘community’ is just an extension of Ask Andy forums (they’re weird, so stick to your tumblr). This community is hard to define but you can generally tell them from others by their disdain of the direction Brooks Brothers is going, their hatred of Rugby Ralph Lauren with all the fake patches (they hate fake patches and false assumption to a role that you did not earn but bought), their acceptance of the rule that you don’t have to be WASPy to like ivy style and that membership is bought by a trip to JPress (oh, the irony), and a unifying hatred for F.E. Castleberry (which I thought was the greatest pen name since Mark Twain, or Silence Dogood, or maybe even Johannes de Silentio -- until I realized that it wasn’t a pen name) and his website, Unabashedly Prep. Regardless, Christian Chensvold and Ivy-Style got the inspection that all the other went through.

[Editor's Note: We should take note of Chensvold's fight against over-usage of the word "aesthetic" and "sprezzatura". Also, see his creation of "new words" for the community including 'prepsloitation'.]

The Bias: Christian often presents press clippings, or guest features, with a few words but those still had to be included. Christian had the smallest word count by far. An easy way to avoid cliché is to not write that much. Ivy-Style appeared to be much more of a dumping ground for trad news than I expected which would skew the results as it featured little of Chensvold’s writing. In retrospect, my time would have been better served scouring another blog for dirt  because Chensvold didn’t have much of his own writing over 50 posts.

The Results:

Quintessential (0), Essential (0), Iconic (0), Icon (2), Curate (0), Curation (0), Aesthetic (0)

Words: 11,229

Cliché Words/Total Posts = (0.04)

Cliché Words/Total Words = (0.00018)

While his Cliché Words/Total Posts percentage equal’s Derek Guy’s (4%), this number is not a terribly good indicator of Chensvold’s usage. I feel like Cliché Words/Total Words has served this article better as you get a better feel of how often the blogger goes for cliché words. For example, Jake Gallagher’s word count is not far from twice Chensvold’s word count. Chensvold’s Cliché Words/Total Words percentage is .018% is .005% higher than Derek Guy’s, which is actually significant.

Conclusion: My only hope from this article is that menswear writers will recognize their weaknesses and continue to get better. Cliché words in menswear aren’t the devil and are occasionally unavoidable (i.e. “Wes Anderson’s aesthetic” and “totally fucking stupid and classic beer coozie”) but if avoidable, we should take the long route and get a bit creative (i.e. “Wes Anderson’s silly image of how the world should work i.e. we all dress like we need a wedgie in the worst way” or “totally fucking stupid and totally fucking stupid beer coozie”).

Also, the fantasy blogger league will kick off 1/1/13. Buy in is $50. Avoidance of cliché words will garner points for blogs as well as post frequency, word count, and the amount of times a blogger says that they’re good at sex in an interview. No flakes. Only hardcore fantasy players will be allowed in. The draft kit will be sent out in December.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cowboy Boots

In 2009, Stephen Reed left his post as Mayor of Harrisburg. His administration left the city with roughly $4 million dollars of debt. Harrisburg enjoyed living well and establishing things such as the National Civil War Museum -- which only has a handful of visitors a day -- but now knows its spending boundaries. Harrisburg is not to be a cultural mecca, although many people hoped along with Mayor Reed that it would be, but it is still the state capital and it must attend to the needs of the bureaucracy, legislature, lobbyists, and attorneys. It must provide hotels for statesmen, restaurants for fundraisers, transportation for consultants, and grimy corners for politicians to hack deals out in. It has accepted its role and is growing within its definition.

This summer I have been residing in the Harrisburg area and interning for some political group that you wouldn’t care much about. Everyday, I park my car on the City Island and walk over the Susquehanna, into the office building where I work. The homeless, unable to find housing or work in a penniless Harrisburg, panhandle along my walk. There is a particularly rambunctious homeless man – dressed in flannel and comfortable looking Velcro walkers -- who addresses me with the same slurred story every time I walk by.

“Hey now, I used to wear cowboy booths. Yessir’ I did. I wore those cowboy booths ever'day… wore them ever'day… until my friends… until my friends started calling me a FUCKING FAGGOT!”

He ends his rant by pointing at my shoes.

And everyday I am still not wearing cowboy boots.

Cowboy boots are dangerous territory for anybody and I would steer clear from wearing them as an adult. The homeless man eventually learned this as, when his friends started to make fun of him, he stopped wearing them. I could go on but you probably know enough to not to go “full cowboy” unless you actually are a cowboy.

But there is greater significance than “don’t wear cowboy boots” to this homeless man’s story. Harrisburg and this homeless man seem to be teaching us the same thing: you can’t know your boundaries until you go past them. Rules are there for a reason yet rules are meant to be broken. Society (the rule maker) can help us decide what is beyond us but the deciding factor isn’t society -- It’s you. You decide what you wear, what you do, and what you think. Money, of course, can be a limiting factor but within it’s jurisdiction you may do as you like. That homeless man could still be wearing his beloved cowboy boots to this day if he had just stuck to the course and become a “full cowboy”. Fake it until you make it, right?

Part of me wishes the homeless man had kept on wearing his cowboy boots. Maybe he’d be a happier guy.

Disclaimer: Cowboy boots are probably uncomfortable. I see rural politicians wearing them with pained looks on their faces all the time.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


The factory was full of machines and production tools. The tools and production were to create and birth new garments. After the garments had been birthed they were placed on racks and wheeled over to a graying man. The man had a sensual beard, rough hands, leathery skin, and smelled of an excess of some cologne that had been popular for a few years. The garments would be wheeled over to him and each would be laid on his table to be tested. The garments would quiver with new life, waiting for his touch.

 He first would pick up the garment and feel each seam. He would run his hands up and down each seam and the seams would rise to his hands, embracing his warmth.  If the seams were of expected quality, he would smile and the garment would melt in his emotion.

Done with the first inspection, he would move on to the next inspection for the garment. He would cup the collar firmly in both hands, thumbs towards the sky. If properly made, the collar would lean back, away from his face, but at a proper angle so that the tag was parallel to the man’s face. The collar would wait for the 3rd and final test for the shirt, so it would lay still – behaving itself so that the man would begin to fulfill the shirt’s desires of being finished.

The man would move his mouth as close to the top buttonhole as possible. He would open his mouth and stick his tongue in the buttonhole, moving it up and down against the sewing. Tonguing the buttonhole, the man would begin humming. He would move his tongue faster and faster -- up, down, and sideways in the buttonhole until the buttonhole would quiver and snap back to its original form.

With the garment climaxed, the man would rise from the table, button his shirt back up, and shout, “THIS GARMENT IS YOUNG, LITHE, AND PASSES THE TEST! NEXT GARMENT!!” 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Market Weak

hi john is out this weak and i wanted to rite a poste where i ask my blog firends there thougts on trends for next summer as market weak is almost on us

i asked greg from ‘pants and a french name for pants’ and Antonio from ‘pictures taken 30 years ago but i still have a book deal’ what they thot would be cool next summer and what pants i should buy because i need pants


i dont have enugh pants

Greg: For next summer, I like the trend of linen pants. They’re classical, trendy, and give your bum plenty of air to breathe. A rap reference that only I get.

Antonio: Timeless way to wear pants.


sam: hey guys wat do you think of shoe

Greg: I think shoes are great. For summer I’d wear espradilles because I don’t have a job. A rap reference that only I get.

Antonio: Shoes are timeless. Steve is timeless. And essential.


sam: wat do you think of shirts i think shambay and gauzy cotton are great and linen too

Greg: I don’t have a rap reference but I think chambray and linen are great choices. I have a product drop post on my blog about linen shirts. You should take a look.

Antonio: Effortless cool. Linen shirts are essential. And cool.


sam: what are the brands to wath during market weak

Greg: My money is on Mark McNairy. That guy is so swag. And Danny Brown.

Antonio: I like timeless. Market weeks are trendy. But if I had to pick, I’d pick Steven Alan. His designs are aesthetically essential and have an excess of function.

sam: wow that was relly informatife thanks for helping out guys!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Sitting in the basement of a precon gives one the feeling of living in a house with thousands of residents that you never see. Eyes pop out the corner belonging to a girl in Ohio and a man lifts weights in the corner from Alabama and an old woman enjoys jeopardy right next to you. Of course, you only feel this because the precon is not your home and because the basement smells of cinnamon potpourri. Everyone uses cinnamon potpourri because they’re too lazy to change it after they set it out for Christmas. Precons never have time to achieve any sort of individualism so the ghosts of the masses occupy their walls. Don’t worry, they’re friendlier than the ghosts of individuals.

Alex, Kim, and Gabe sat in a basement of a precon feeling that feeling. Or, at least, Alex and Kim did, as they did not live there. Well, Kim was staying in the basement for a few days, so perhaps he felt it less. One more inclined to cliches would say that they sat on the cusp of adolescence but I suppose I’m not that different than those so inclined.

Usually, the boys did not hang out at Gabe’s house. His parents were busy running the two pizza shops they owned and did not like Gabe having more than one friend over when they were not there to supervise, as were often showing some local teenager how to spread pizza sauce properly and didn’t have time to kid their son and his friends out of trouble. Even when Gabe’s parents were there, the boys did not like to hang out at his house because his parents were so radically different than their own. Gabe’s parents were blue collar. They drove trucks and had political views that ranged from dead-ahead to starboard. Gabe’s father owned a gun. They had new things but of questionable quality. Gabe’s father wore multiple paris of white New Balance sneakers that had varied levels of wear. Gabe’s mother was a tad too leathery. Gabe’s father only had a Bachelor’s degree. Gabe’s mother had no degree. They owned little, yippy, dogs. Around the new year, they would go to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis; a decidedly un-educational trip. They had no hardwood in their house; just linoleum and carpet.

But today, both parents took off and were working in the yard. Doing parent things like spreading Preen and throwing mulch around. Alex and Kim, having respective issues with their own parents, were glad to be at Gabe’s house.

Kim was staying at Gabe’s house while his father was away. Kim’s father was a world -renown cryptozoologist who worked at the local university. Kim’s full name was Kim Qui, which had to do his father’s occupation, but recently he begun acting like he didn’t know why his parents called him Kim. Kim was German-Welsh and was becoming more embarassed by his parents as he got older. He had recently thrown out his bird skeleton collection that his father had helped him assemble a few years before. 

His father was away on a research trip with his colleauges, a couple grad students, and the very best of the biology department’s undergrad students, camping in the woods. Kim’s father would do lots of hallucinagenic drugs, listen to the entire The Eagles discography, drink whiskey from his water bottle, fornicate with the grad students, and mistake tree stumps for new, never-before-seen, megafauna hiding out in the Tennessee woods (it had occured in 3 or the past 5 trips). He would later return after this week to write a paper about his observations of the stumps mistaken as megafauna and have it published in Zoology vol. 115 or vol.134. He would receive a raise. I can’t give you specifics, it’s all vague and transitory, not unlike stories Burl Ives tells.

His mother, knowing full well what was going on, would invite the middle school football coach over for the week. They would doink like rabbits and then Randy - a proper football coach name - would walk out into the living room where Kim sat, and ask the boy if he would try out for the football team next year as he started 7th grade. The family dog, an aging yellow lab with blossoming flatulence problem, would growl and fart whenever Randy got close to Kim. Randy would give it a nasty look, then go make himself a huge bowl of Kim’s Lucky Charms - Kim’s favorite cereal, which his mother would only buy when it was on sale. The old lab would then look at Kim with a satisfied face, now that Randy had left the area, and bonk her fat tail off the floor. Randy would sit down with Kim’s cereal and try to make fart noises out of Kim’s father’s didgeridoo. 

This is why Kim decided to spend a few days in Gabe’s basement. He’d take right wing politics over Randy any day. Actually, the only reason Kim avoided Gabe’s parents was because he wanted to avoid hearing his parents complain about Gabe’s parents’ politics. Kim liked linoleum and carpet. 

Alex wasn’t there because he disliked his parents. Well, they got on his nerves sometimes. His father was a white collared attorney who specialized in divorice law. He was notorious for having epileptic attacks while at the bowling alleys (why do they have lazers at bowling alleys now?) or while ravaging the breasts of his housewife clients. 

His mother was a drunk mouse who cried a lot.

Alex was there because all the boys had been playing the same MMO game and wanted to be able to talk to one another (they were yet to discover vent) while they played people from other realms. The video game that they were so enthralled with was known as Sartorrior. 

Alex gave them directions.

“Alright, this guy coming up on up on the right is a “Streetwear class - Team Japan” so you gotta just kite him with your Italian wear character until he runs out of steam and then drop him with all your SoTs.”
“Swag over Time - do you even read the game forums?”
“I mean, a little.”

The boys played in the Team America realm and were PvPing other realms. Team Japan and Team Italy were the big ones to watch out for in this current game.

“Kim, hold still, I’m trying to buff your stats.”
“Whatever man, it’s not like +5 versatility really makes that huge of difference.”
“But, like, it’s still gonna’ give us an ed-”
“Team Italy is coming in hard guys. You guys just PPS and I’ll keep your action points supplied.”
“Ok, I got this - ‘PointsPerSecond’”
“No, dummy, PosesPerSecond”
“WATCH THE LANGUAGE” Gabe’s mother yelled from upstairs.

“Well, I’m dead.”
“I’m restarting my computer”
“I don’t know if I want to play anymore,” Alex looked up from his computer, “Kelsey and Em just texted me and asked if we wanted to hang out.”
Gabe wrinkled his nose, girls were still a little foreign. 
“I mean, it’s better than this game.”
“Yea, let’s do that. Sartorrior sucks. Why are we on teams? Why can’t we just level and try and beat a final boss? Wouldn’t that be a better end game than this?”

They left the confines of the basement to the smell of Gabe’s mom cooking brownies. The girls would have to wait, but not that long.

Friday, July 13, 2012

GTBT Turns 3

A Guide to Bad Taste turns 3 years old today. I started this site when I was 18 years old. Since it’s GTBT’s bday, I thought I’d give shout outs to myself:

-       I have never run an ad.
-       I am one of the longest running menswear opinion blogs out there. Everyone else has real jobs or got bored.
-       I’m mildly consistent, meaning I post occasionally.

While I may think I’m great, I owe a ton to everyone who stops by or has me on their rss feed. You guys show up in force when I post (look at some of dem stats) and I always appreciate you reading something of mine. Even more commendable is that none of you know me. I have never met a reader of GTBT (except for some family members who found this; shout outs for keeping the jokes to a dull roar). The fact that you guys stop by despite not knowing me is awesome. You guys are the reason I post a couple times a month.

So, I have a big announcement that you may not like to hear.

I’m going to stop writing GTBT.

Just kidding. That would be lame.

I have too much fun writing this stuff. I should have a new post up next week.

See you then.