The Art of the Christmas Sweater

We’re simple, sartorial folk here at Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers.  We enjoy good suits, good ties, good uses of color…  The sophistication of the art (ART, we say!) of the Christmas sweater is beyond us.  …Okay, okay, we’re kidding.  We enjoy the delicious, absurdest irony of the hideously ugly Christmas sweater as much as the next guy.  So, in honor of the holiday occasion, we wanted to take a break from things like “being fashionable” and “wearing clothes we aren’t embarrassed by” to take a look at some of the most terrifying, egregiously bad examples of that rarest of art form, the ugly Christmas sweater!

Okay, we're starting relatively sane here.  Dogs.  Everyone loves dogs!

Okay, we’re starting relatively sane here. Dogs. Everyone loves dogs!

Are...  Are those music notes on the sleeves?

Are… Are those music notes on the sleeves?

DEAR LORD, IT'S SPREADING TO OTHER HOLIDAYS!

DEAR LORD, IT’S SPREADING TO OTHER HOLIDAYS!

It's like someone barfed holiday joy all over it!

It’s like someone vomited holiday joy all over it!

Isn't this a fire hazard?

Isn’t this a fire hazard?

Rudolph has seen far better days.

Rudolph has seen far better days.

Merry Christmas, dudes.

Merry Christmas, dudes.

Bless you, Matt Damon.  You are a braver soul than we.

Bless you, Matt Damon. You are a braver soul than we.

Wow.  Just...  Wow.

Wow. Just… Wow.

What are you wearing, Katy Perry?

What are you wearing, Katy Perry?

???!!!

???!!!

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What’s Your Look and What Does it Say?

Remember how we talked so much about the power of your image?  How people make quick and lasting assumptions based on what they first see?  A very talented guy that doesn’t look ready for a promotion based on his horrible suit…  A young man trapped in his college years, who might be very capable, but comes off as unreliable.  A very smart person that is not so smart, since he always looks so preppy.  Don’t get stuck with the wrong character!  …Unless you want to role play, and be a bad boy rocker for the night to get some extra attention from the females!

The True Gentleman

This guy looks sharp even in his PJs.  The epitome of a “gentleman,” the highest tier of manhood.  From his fabric and color choices to his always classic accessories, this is as good as it gets.  His spruce and stylish look is a true representation of everything he is and does, always number one!

Who’s That Punk?

Let’s face it, he is out there prowling for his next heart to break, and he will find plenty of girls willing to give it to him.  His black jeans and T-shirt, in combination with his Harness Fry boots, creates his mysterious, rocker look.  Thanks goodness he goes with the wind, so he wont stick around for long.

Swanky, Preppy and Ultra Cool

This guy loves fashion, and he is not shy about letting everyone know about i.  Très sartorial, always looking to push the envelope, he is young and gets away with being young while getting the respect of someone twice his age.  He will wear that great suit fabric you wish you had the, well, courage to wear.  Needless to say, this look opens all kinds of doors.  He might not be the brightest bulb, but indeed, he is the savviest!

Old Corporate

This specimen, hopefully soon to be extinct, usually comes with the worst, unfitted, outdated suit (because of work, you know?).  In his mind, the bad pant pleats are probably part of the dress code, too!  In general. his whole wardrobe is a mess, yet he still wonders why he doesn’t get that promotion.  What can a nice suit do?  It can erase that incompetent look.

John Smith

His look is fitted, somewhat up to date and is just flat-out boring.  You’ve got to figure that you can only do so much with a pair of khakis and shirts in a three color palette range.  Let us tell you something pal, besides boring, that look comes with a big tag that says “lack of creativity.”  Not a good thing to spot, especially when looking for a job.

Let’s Be Friends (Neo-Hipster)

Ah, this kid.  Left his brain, and probably his heart, in college.  Basically a low-rent version of all those way-too-genre-savvy-for-their-own-good kids in Williamsburg, he still wears those funny saying and cartoon heroes T-shirts with jeans and sneakers.  Because his brain is still somewhere in college, this kid is not stressed, he is chilling all the time.  The girls love him.  He is nice, sweet, almost always very funny, approachable…  Harmless.  The perfect friend, and he will always be just that until he finally mans up and throws his whole wardrobe away.  This look is just unreliable.

Special Entry: The Reformed Nerd

Sitting somewhere in a demilitarized zone between formal and casual, this fellow found his confidence and sense of style later than most, and it shows.  Part hipster, part preppy, part “John Smith,” part gentleman, he favors dark colors and sleek lines, but probably dresses a bit too young for his age.  He also probably needs to loosen up a bit!  Open up those collars, man, you aren’t in church!  But he’s come a long way from the Super Nintendo T-shirt days, and thanks to that old streak of nerdiness, actually knows how to polish his shoes and color coordinate, and for that, we salute him!

It’s Almost Baseball Season, Baby!

The 2012 baseball season is just around the corner, and probably is one of the most anticipated in a while.  Lots of new kids on the block with enough swagger and talent to keeps us entertained all the way to October.  Not to mention Bryce Harper, whom some say is “the most entertaining prospect since Babe Ruth”!  Wow!

Anyway, we all love the game and can’t wait to get to the ball park for some fun games, and, of course, hot dogs ‘n’ beer (mouths watering even now).  But before that, being so sartorial, we couldn’t help but go a little Fashion Police on some great baseball uniforms as well as some…  Well, not so great.

Here are our top (and bottom) picks!

Some teams are inspired to get their colors from the flag of the city, state or country they call home. Others, like the '78 Mets, got them from former New York teams who moved literally across the United States. Mets borrow Brooklyn Dodgers royal blue and New York Giants orange in an attempt to soothe tons of broken-hearted fans. ...And in the process, accidentally end up with New York City's colors!

Keeping with the flags, we are sure mainly that was the idea here with the '82 White Sox... We must say that if Captain America had his own baseball team, he would have agreed to tone it down a bit...

The '79 Phillies looked more like Santa Claus or a certain Kimmi Kardashian wearing one of those skin-tight Herve Leger bandage dresses than a baseball team.

Chicago White Sox, August 8, 1976. During a double-header, the boys decided to ditch the normal uniforms in the sweltering heat, and opted for shorts. Quite interesting, especially if you have to slide to second. More interesting, to say the least, is the collar on the jerseys. You know how much we love dress shirts, but we're not digging the jersey version.

All aboard, please, with the World Series Champion '79 Pirates! First, we've said it before, a monochromatic look is NOT flattering at all, and it hurts the eye. The colors of the City of Pittsburgh are black and gold, and all three of their major sports teams sport those colors. But this is just taking it too far! And what's up with the train conductor hat?

The '75 Astros... Until '86. Whaaat??? Were they color blind? You would think that something this hideous would last 2 games max! We can't quite decide what is worse here, all of that hideous color, or the numbers at crotch level? They pushed the rainbow of doom to the shoulders and arms for the away uniforms in '80 and then to the home uniforms in '87, but it wasn't until '94 that this abomination was banished completely.

Oh, NYC, always pushing the envelope. We have to give the 1916 New York (now San Francisco) Giants credit: plaid baseball uniforms. Would love to know who was the mastermind behind this... Concept.

Brace yourself for the brand new 2012 MIAMI Marlins. This is quite a change from the old, standard, baseball-friendly Florida Marlins uniforms. South Beach, anyone?

What we are going to do today, '69 Seattle Pilots? Hmm.... Flying? No! Sailing? No! ...We know, let's play baseball! Geez... Unsurprisingly, they only played one season before moving to Wisconsin and becoming the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brooklyn (now L.A.) Dodgers. Probably one of the greatest throwback jerseys of all time. A great example that less is more! Classic!

Ahhhhhh! What the heck? These alternate Pittsburgh Pirates uniforms from the early 2000s speak for themselves: they are hideous beyond words. Make the giant bad pirate man go away!

The modern-day New York Yankees, based out of NYC, fashion capital of the world! What is it about these babies? It's probably a mix of it all: the pinstripes, the authority related with the color navy blue, their global recognition, or the many, MANY World Series Championships (27!). Whether you like them or not, you have to agree it is one of the coolest sports uniforms of all time.

Halftime?!

The Super Bowl.  Such a stupendous and grand event, which started with something as petty as two leagues arguing over who was really #1.  In 1967, this argument gave birth to what is today the most anticipated and viewed sporting event in the U.S.  The rise of its popularity has turned the whole event into a tradition that many wouldn’t miss for the world, while others prepare themselves to monitor it for “offensiveness” at all cost (the Parents Television Council comes to mind).

Anyway, we were wondering how we got from squeaky clean marching bands and musicians to nipple shields and middle fingers in just four decades.

Guess which one people were offended by!

Halftime, the name given to the interval between the two halves of the game, is typically just a brief period used to swap the ends of the fields of play for the teams, and allow competitors to rest briefly in the midst of a decidedly physical sport.  Somewhere along the way, this innocuous event became the love child of mass media and marketing.

The first Super Bowl halftime shows featured marching bands from universities, and then, as they got bigger, performances by Disney and Broadway stars, with themes ranging from tributes to America to tributes to football.  Back then, a commercial segment during the broadcast was just $42,000, and we could be certain that expectations for a grand halftime show weren’t at their highest, either.

Production companies and marketing teams are playing all their cards, nowadays.  With big-ticket spenders (the average price of tickets for Super Bowl XLVI was $4,000) and commercial segments going for $3.5 million for just 30 seconds (plus around $2-3 million for production and celebrity fees), expectation for EVERYTHING in the Super Bowl now reaches stratospheric levels, given that we live in a society that has seen it and heard it all, or so we think.  It’s no surprise that everyone wants more.

Pictured to the left, a Kansas City Chiefette in 1967. On the right, “more.”

It is in wanting more that we might have ended up with more risqué or vulgar scenes during halftime.  It is with wanting more (if you are paying $3.5 million+ for 30 seconds) that commercials are getting, according to some, a bit too hot, offensive and even sexist.  A whole campaign went off during this just passed Super Bowl to tag commercials that viewers might consider sexist under the #imnotbuyingit tag.

But with all the controversy from past mishaps or Janet Jackson’s infamous Super Bowl XXXVIII “wardrobe malfunction,” there is still out there a crowd that is getting harder and harder to please, and production and marketing teams that are overwhelmed with trying to find ways to please without offending.

So, the next time we see a Super Bowl commercial involving whipped cream, a couch made of bikini clad women, Beckham in underwear or Adriana Lima in a state of relative undress (which is always good), we can thank all the people behind multiple marketing teams trying to please us and their bosses.

We also can thank the halftime producers who are on a mission since we evolved beyond marching bands to provide shows that blow us away (or make us double take), with top performances by the best artists: Aerosmith, Mary J. Blige, Sting, U2, No Doubt, Janet Jackson, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and The Black Eyed Peas, to mention just a few.  And, of course, Madonna, who’s Super Bowl XLVI performance ranked as the all-time most watched halftime show in TV history, with 114 million viewers.

Behold, the most watched gigantic headwear of the night.

We are sure there will be more bumps in the road ahead just as classy as flipping the middle finger to 114 million viewers, as well as more amazing performances as flawless as Diana Ross’ halftime performance in 1996’s Super Bowl XXX, which ended with her departing by helicopter, hanging from a ladder as she was lifted off!

Your move, Super Bowl XLVII.

We are also sure that more regulations and fines are ahead, so secure your bra, hold down your finger and chill a bit, or we are going to end up watching marching bands again!

P.S. – Marching bands are amazing, just not when you’re paying four grand.

Pictured: $4,000 worth of entertainment.