The Rugged Gentleman

This was supposed to be a post about the plethora of Spring/Summer collections released this week, but so far I’ve been underwhelmed. Here are a few things I liked:


Norse Projects Spring 11


I mostly like this because I wanted to get married in a suit with shorts but ultimately decided that my knees were too knobby and my legs too skinny to properly pull this off. However, I respect the gentleman who can make this work. It’s not exactly a revolutionary outfit, Edie. This is:


Little Edie, h-ey!


I also love Scott Schulman’s (of the Satorialist) take on Junya Watanabe’s Paris Fashion Week debut (I know this collection looks way ahead to Fall and so basically I’m cheating but Watanabe is a genius. Plus, I can show you this awesome model again):


Junya Watanabe by Scott Schulman


Anyhow, the pickings are a little slim. This Rodarte x Opening Ceremony situation seems halfhearted at best:


Rodarte x Opening Ceremony


The cardigan is beautiful but I hate that the 90’s are back. Why do we need to return to grunge? If Kurt Cobain were alive today do you think he’d still be wearing babydoll dresses and ripped jeans? Don’t answer that.


Anyway, since I was bored after combing through all the new offerings, I decided to mash up this post with the one I was planning for next week. I know that revealing this to you all is highly meta but if Jonathan Safran Foer can make an first-year art school bookmaking project and sell it for $40, then any of us can do anything! (Relatedly, if you are a bookmaker, you might be interested to know that the idea of cutting words out of his favorite book as a conceptual project was an idea that came to Foer on his own! Really?! Did he also invent toast? I want to just punch so many of these smartass faux-intellectual faux-pomo white guys in the face right now. That’s another story entirely).


Here’s what I’ve been thinking about: explorer style! The missus, Michael Braithwaite (along with Wes Anderson–see The Life Aquatic) share a love for true adventure stories, so I’ve been exposed to a lot of shockingly fantastic style in the books lying around my house. Now we can all agree that colonialist eugenics-crazed egomaniacs are not life heroes and should not be glorified for any atrocities committed against native populations. There is no doubt that the actions taken by some of  these dudes were problematic. I wanted to acknowledge that reality and the discomfort there before moving on to how awesome they looked. As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, however, sometimes looks rooted in problematic beginnings can be modernized and revolutionized into something awesome. That’s my hope, anyway.


First up:



Percy Fawcett


Percy Fawcett is probably who you think of when you think of explorers. He, of the Lost City of Z.  His look was rugged and gentlemanly at once, pretty much the definition of explorer style back then (a Victorian commitment to “civilized dress” in absurd situations is their loss, our gain). Also, if you haven’t noticed, that concept is the central principal of the high fashion workwear happening in menswear right now.


Fawcett gets all the attention and really we should be considering Robert Peary, if just for his serious style:


Robert Peary, Arctic Explorer


Peary, damn! So Peary was American and he was actually a son of a bitch–stealing artifacts from the Inuit, fathering children with a 14-year-old Inuit wife, pretending he didn’t father children with a bunch of Inuit–so forget the man, just look at his outfit.


I mean, Holy Shit!


That is an ALL-FUR OUTFIT! The mustache is pretty sweet, too. Speaking of all-fur outfits, check out Nobu Shirase, Japanese explorer:


Nobu Shirase, Antarctic explorer


As far as I can tell, Nobu Shirase was a stand-up guy which makes me feel better about how much I love his style:




Okay! Look at this hat/hood jam!


Sir Douglas Mawson


Mawson, an Australian, seems fine–he almost died in the Antarctic in a crazy blizzard, lived off the meat of his sled dogs. fell through cracked ice, etc. and so on. So maybe what we’ve learned today is that the most bad-ass, least offensive explorers were not Americans or Brits which is 100% not surprising. Regardless of where you fall on the asshole meter, however, you can definitely see that the outfit meter bears no correlation.


Oh! And before we go, here’s an unrelated tangent to take the bad taste out of your mouth re: the lackluster Spring/Summer collections (and any vibe out you got thinking about the sleaziness of Colonialism). Check out these incredibly fashionably men, captured on the Satorialist website:


Satorialist--Two Amazing Gentlemen


Style happens! Live it. And I’m out.


About Thomas Page McBee

Gentleman first, always. James Dean is my patron saint, poet is my gender. More about me here:


  1. This is probably one of my favorite IBC posts yet. Little Edie slam down, adventure, hood jams and full fur outfits? Page, you can’t go wrong, ever.

  2. Pingback: Jil Sander, You’re Breaking My HEART! I Think « Ironing Board Collective

  3. carrieleilamlove

    omg those two amazing gentlemen! instead of sunsets, i want to watch them on romantic evenings. gor-juss!

  4. Pingback: The Boys of Maine: Tee- Shirt Mavericks Loyal Citizen on Coffee Brandy and Other Charms of New England « Ironing Board Collective

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