1-Year in Quarantine, Bags, Lookbooks, Apparel Arts, and Zombies


It’s been a long month, but hey, that just means more stuff for you to binge from your favorite menswear boys!

B10: We’re Still In The Suck

Like always, we have a bonus podcast for you. Producers MJ and Matt get on mic to chat with us about the year in quarantine, acting as a bit of a follow up to our initial episode last March. Despite the somber subject matter (with vaccines still going slowly and high death tolls), the tone is quite positive! We discuss how a lot has changed over the year, from finding out new hobbies to adjusting to WFH. Of course, we definitely want to go out again!

What is quite interesting is how our style hasn’t changed all that much. Sure, we did have a brief stint with elevated PJs and investing in comfy menswear, but that’s mostly gone. I know that all of us still dress up- it might be less often than the before-times, but its proof that our heart will always belong in menswear and the niche styles therein.

A snippet of our conversation is above, focusing more on the hobbies and fun things we’ve done during quarantine. To hear the full episode, you’ll have to contribute to the Patreon! You’ll also be able to join the rest of the menswear friends in our exclusive Discord. If the community pod didn’t push you, I don’t know what will.

At the behest of Producer Matt, we did a little stream to discuss bags. We had done a podcast episode on this before, but since it was a few years ago, Matt wanted to see if our preferences had changed. I’m sure it would have, except the Pandemic happened, which meant that we no longer really needed to use bags (since we spend most of our time at home).

I think that the tote bag still reigns supreme, especially as the “indieization” (or the rise of merch culture) makes it easy for people to rep their favorite stores and brands through their totes. I still use my custom LL Bean boat and tote as well as my Clarke & Barba leather bag, though the stream did make me consider branching out. A suede tote bag would be nice and refined!

It also seems that besides the students who listen to the pod (like Matt and MJ), I still have quite a hefty EDC, comprised of cameras, chargers, and books. A tote bag makes it easy for me to grab my camera and snap a quick pic! I’m also quite surprised that Henrik uses a backpack, though this makes sense as he’s a professor carrying books across campus.

The second half of that Saturday stream was dedicated to reacting to lookbooks, specifically the recent ones from ALD, Noah, and Drake’s. I think that they are pretty representative of the way RTW menswear is going, at least in the mainstream. The influence of indie and skateculture is quite real!

I’m not going to reveal the full thoughts here, but I think the common consensus is that the lookbooks are quite interesting, though they doesn’t really spark anything for us. It’s probably because we already have specific taste, which leads us to like certain items on their own rather than a complete head-to-toe brand look. We also got a bit brand fatigued the more we looked at all the clothes.

ALD was probably the most interesting, as it not only had a cool mix of NYC inspired Americana and streetwear (as is par the course for the brand) but that it also asked other creatives to style the clothing in their own way. Some of the looks were quite good (like Mr. Mort) and others were very…gabagool. It was certainly better than Noah, which felt a little too straightforward and basic, and Drake’s, which felt cool, but not compelling.

If you liked this type of content, let us know! I thought it was fun and departure from simply talking about our own experiences.

Okay, I know I just asked if you guys liked the “reacting to lookbooks” type of content, but we we went ahead and did it again anyway. This time we spent 30 minutes going through some Apparel Arts illustrations from the early 1930’s! I apologize for how soft my mic is; I’m not sure why that happened.

It’s quite a contrast from a brand lookbook, as these Apparel Arts selections was much more about specific style cues and pieces. You can see the Esquire writers recommend guardcoats, galoshes, and different types of ski jackets, all done with exquisite illustrations that lost favor around the 1950s. You could definitely see that trends were common in any era!

What I hope this illustrates (heheh) is how classic the 1930’s were. Of course the silhouettes might be a bit dated (still a lot in common with English drape cut), but I think that the styling is extremely classic. This was a time before swing ties and excessively padded shoulders. Instead, you had striped shirts, geometric ties, and an elegant cut that utilized a waisted jacket and high rise, full cut trouser. When tailoring was the mode of dress for the period, you could see a lot of variation that just isn’t common today; this is most apparent in their sportswear, which really just meant non-business wear. I’m pretty sure my slouchy take on menswear stems from being enamored by how Golden Era esquire juxtaposes the plethora of tailoring against everyday ease. It just looks so natural!

As you could expect, there are countless Esquire pages still left to dissect, so we will definitely return to this at some point in the future. I may even have to write about it!

Okay, so I know that this is a menswear blog, but I also love playing video games. Here’s the full two hour stream of us playing Outbreak, the latest zombies mode in Call of Duty. I think the gamemode is rather straight forward but we essentially drop into a world (there are three randomized options) and we have a few different objectives- a primary one and a few side ones. Each of these give us points and powerups to be more effective at killing zombies! Completing the main objective allows us to move onto the next world, which increases in difficulty.

The game is “endless” and is meant to see how far you can get without everyone on your team dying. For the purposes of the stream we decided to end our game by completing level five. In order to end the game, we must exfiltrate by heading to a predetermined location and clearing out a giant wave of zombies (with a lot of bosses), all before the timer runs out. Thankfully we did it.

If you just want to see our exfiltration, you can watch this video (instead of the full 2 hours).

And lastly, we had a poker night consisting of Ethan, Spencer, MJ, Kiyoshi, Jason, Chuck, and Ivan. There’s not much else to say other than it was a hilarious time not only because of the wildness of some of the hands, but by all the weird turns our conversation took.

We’ve done it a few times since then, but let me know if you want to keep the VODs on YouTube for your viewing pleasure. They are up on Twitch, but the time is limited!

Don’t forget to support us on Patreon to get some extra content and access to our exclusive Discord. Catch us streaming on Twitch every Wednesday and Saturday or watch the clips on Youtube.

Oh and don’t forget, we do a podcast every two weeks!


StyleandDirection | EthanMWong | SpencerDSO

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