After a hard day of staring at a glowing rectangle all day, fighting thousands of bipeds for scraps of food and resources, and pondering my own hopeless mortality, there’s nothing I like doing more than perusing the catalogs and other shopping paraphernalia that clog my mailbox. My own desperate poverty precludes me from ever actually taking any action, but I enjoy looking over the latest desperate offerings from various major labels and outlets and perhaps pretending that one day I might be able to enjoy the looks described therein.
It is become ever more common for major brands to begin joining up with other (equally major) brands in an effort to shore up their ever-decreasing market share. Like a blind man leaning on a deaf man who is trying to get the attention of a fat man, companies like J.Crew and Brooks Brothers have joined with others like Levi’s in a quest for relevance. Levi’s seems to be the brand of choice, as J.Crew, Brooks Brothers, and Club Monaco all have “premium” Levi’s available. You can tell they’re premium because they cost way more than at the actual Levi’s Store that is next to the store that is carrying said premium jeans. Sometimes they’re up to three times more premium. Other times they’re so premium that they’ve been scrounged up from a garage sale somewhere, cleaned up, and then put back up for sale for a price several times what they were when they were first sold.
J.Crew has done a very good job cultivating these partnerships, tapping into that part of the male hypothalamus that reminds us that we are not really men unless we are riding a motorcycle through an Italian town while wearing our father’s hand-me-downs**. Below is spread from the latest catalog (oh right that was what I was talking about). For whatever reason, however, the descriptions for each of the “tired and true” products were overly gaudy and really glossed over the true nuances of the product. So, I went ahead and cleared some of that up for them. Enjoy!
1) BELSTAFF Jacket – for all of that motorcycle riding you’re doing (through Italy, of course). Way costlier than a leather jacket, but with 1/3 of the random product patches of a real motorcycle jacket and 1/5 the protection!
2) HILLSIDE Scarf- no one knows how to make squares of cloth of ambiguous utility like the Japanese.
3) VINTAGE LEVIS Jacket – Premium Levis at it’s best. May even have a really old, dried up joint in one of the pockets from that time we went to Calabasas.
4) ALDEN Cordovan Boots – Really shiny.
5) BELSTAFF Military Bag – Cool bag. Holds all of your important gym clothes and Apple electronics. Just like country postmen did back in the 1950s.
6) Sweater – This is a friggin’ sweater. Are we going for edgy (but well-heeled) James Dean or Mr. Rogers???
7) GMX VINTAGE ROLEX – Only Rolex can get away with charging more money for stuff that has literally aged several decades. Anyway, if it’s good enough for Magnum PI, it’s good enough for you.
8 ) FREE AND EASY MAGAZINE – This magazine is in Japanese. Do you even speak Japanese? But at least it was made in Japan.
9) CORGI Socks. Ah, well these socks are cute and have got to be reasonably pri–NOPE THEY’RE $30 US DOLLARSS$$
10) LOT 484 Jeans. Surprisingly, these aren’t Levi’s. Interestingly, when you hold down the shift key and type “Lot 484″ you get “Lot $*$”.
11) Leather Wallet – I’ve seen this wallet and it is pretty nice. Too bad it will always be empty.
12 & 13) Jersey T and Ludlow Jacket – J.Crew snuck in a few of it’s items to hang out with the crazy curated ones, to try to gain cred by association. It’s like when the nerdy kid invites all of the cool kids over to his pool party and then when it’s time to take a pic all of the cool kids stand there looking cool without trying and then the nerdy kid sticks his head into the frame at the last second.
**I’ve submitted an article to Nature with regards to this piece of biology. I hope to call this yet to be described part of the brain the “Clooney-dulla”.