Editor's note: I attempted to finish up this post and publish it on both Thursday and Friday, but on Thursday I binged on turkey and then watched a four hour documentary on the genocide in Darfur (my boyfriend chooses the most uplifting Thanksgiving entertainment), and yesterday I saw No Country for Old Men. Neither of these films proved conducive to writing jokes.
So, an embarrassingly long time ago, one of my very dear friends, Lindsay, sent me this email:
I have a serious question for you on behalf of my BF Alec. This is why I'm writing to you through your very important and official website blog email. He is currently searching for a jacket, a medium weight, perhaps military inspired, appropriate for a brisk day with possibly layering at a moderate price (maybe under $100). We have been looking for a website that this could be found on, but alas I'm unskilled at online shopping and even more so when it comes to men's clothing.
Love and Bunnies,
Between my move and the ensuing Comcast dramz, I didn't have a chance to craft a full reply before today, but I did have a chance to scour the internet in search of cool men's coats. That search led me to few coats, and one big epiphany: It is borderline impossible to find men's clothes if you are not a douchebag.
I mean, Lindsay and Alec's request doesn't seem that crazy--a cool jacket, under $100--but it is, when you consider that the mid-priced male clothing world seems to be dominated by shit like this:
Seriously. Browsing the men's section of shopping sites is like trudging through a frat party at 3 am. It's an exhausting endeavor, indeed. I brought up this issue with my own non-douchebag boyfriend, and he said flatly, "Yeah, why do you think I never go shopping?"
Even when you find a non-douchebagy item, it is almost always modeled by a douchebag, hence tainting its beauty:
I love this coat. I think it is a beautiful, versatile, flattering coat. But if the model doesn't get the hell over himself in, like, the next minute, I'm going to track him down and punch him in the mouth.
If you're less sensitive than me, here's the info: Mavi Jeans Military Twill Jacket, originally $128, on sale for $65, macys.com
But anyway, I prevailed. I trudged through countless proverbial frat parties, past the puddles of beer, ass grabs, leering glances, and sexist jokes (anyone who wants to complain about my stereotyping of fraternities, go to a fraternity), and I found a few good coats.
First up, one of the few places my boyfriend does shop: J. Crew. (He'll take Hamptons gay over douchebag any day.) Since no one can afford their normal clothes anymore, the online sale section is where it's at, and two supernice, good quality, military-inspired, mostly affordable jackets are hiding there right now:
Love love love this one. It's corduroy, has great details, and is only 80 bucks.
Cord Geary Jacket, jcrew.com
Maybe a bit boring, but it will go with anything, last forever, and keep you warm.
Fatigue Jacket, $99 (down from $145), jcrew.com
During my Great Jacket Search, I came across Topman, the male version of Topshop. I didn't do enough research to be able to declare it douchebag-free, but I did quite enjoy their coat selection. A couple favorites:
Brown Wool Mix Bomber Jacket, 60 pounds (let me just calculate that in dollars real quick...hmm...let's see...factor in the stock market, the war in Iraq, interest rates, the rise of China, the world hating us, and...this coat probably costs like five grand. Damn.), topman.com
Black Longline Jacket, 65 pounds (same deal--and for Americans, "deal" is definitely the wrong word to use there), topman.com
So yeah, the one tiny problem with Topman is that whole currency exchange thing. I'm sure it will blow over soon.
And, thank the lord, you can always count on Ebay. I typed in something really complex like "military-inspired jacket" and found some great options at great prices. One Ebay store I really like is GS-Sense, where I found tons of rad, military-inspired jackets for under 100 bucks. Like these:
And now, dear readers, I reach out to you for help. Know of any places where Alec could find a sweet jacket? Have any suggestions in general for guys who'd rather not wear message tees containing slightly differentiated versions of "I have a big penis."? Please, share your wisdom in the comments!