Here we are, smack in the middle of summer, getting ready to be out in the public eye starting with Comic-Con, and we Riffers look like a pack of middle-aged shlubs dressed to watch bowling on TV. The noted exception is young writing wiz Conor, who wears even a Woot Shirt with a sense of dash.
What are we to do? Research, dammit! Head to the ad pages of Vanity Fair and T magazines of course, hit the GQ and Details ramparts, peer out at the style vanguard and lay siege on the new looks coming out of Paris! Quick, to the makeover montage!
We’ll start with Mike. Mike’s rugged good looks make the ladies swoon, especially when combined with his uniquely meaty breath. But let’s face it, Mike’s casual California ensemble projects a man who says, boldly, “I’ll just go stand over there.” Well it’s time for Mr. N (his new name, by the bye) to stand up and be noticed!
First I looked to the ladies of Duchess Clothiers of Portland, who I’ll grant make excellent suits to order at astonishing prices. After perusing their catalog though, I found that while the meticulous tailoring and whisps of early-century haberdashery may enhance the bookish charm of a John Hodgman, the rock-chic cheek of a Nick cave or the outright bizarre requirements of a practitioner of the manly art of Bartitsu, for Mike the look may be a bit too “vintage,” too “period,” too “hit me repeatedly in the face with a whiffle bat,” which, if you’re interested, is not one of the fundamental skills of the manly art of Bartitsu.
Then, leafing through the pages of the New York Times Magazine, I came upon a striking image of the fiery patriotic Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, dramatically photographed by Joachim Ladefoged. Much more Mike-ish, I told myself, closer to his Danish roots, brusque and daring. But I also realized that a look like this requires a continual supply of liquor sweat, generally at the proof levels found only in Baltic vodka or undiluted Akavit. As seductively louche as the look may appear at first, I didn’t want to hear Mike’s own children quoting Theodore Roethke’s poem “My Papa’s Waltz.”
So it was off to the runways of Paris, and look what I found! The look is clean, dressy without being stuffy, and let’s face it, wearing a blazer with underpants is classic southern California. Tie it all together with shoes made of (I think) porpoise skin, and everything pops. It has a breezy (way breezy) understated elegance that Mike can carry off for so many occasions, from “hi”-powered business meetings to casual poolside get-togethers. If we can convince him to adopt the Prison Break hairstyle, the look will be complete.
This is our Mike 2.0. This is the Mike you’ll see at Comic-Con. Let us know what you think, folks. I’m off to D&G with a credit card tomorrow.
Next time: BILL CORBETT
BILL adds —
Kevin, I’ve already chosen my new look: