We Got it for Free: The Tie Bar’s Grenafaux
The Tie Bar recently released a line of solid-colored, textures silk neckties that vaguely resemble grenadines. These aren’t true grenadines; they just somewhat look like them from a few feet away. Curious about the quality, I contacted Greg Shugar, one of the co-founders of the company, to see if he would be interested in sending me one for review. It arrived last month and I’ve worn it a few times since.
The tie is better than what one might expect. It compares well to the mass-manufactured neckties you might find in a department store – the Perry Ellises, Tommy Hilfigers, Calvin Kleins, and the like. To be sure, I don’t think any of these brands make particularly nice ties, but I appreciate that The Tie Bar has a bit more honest pricing - $15 for such a tie, rather than $50 in a department store, regularly discounted to $35, then $25, then $20, in hopes that customers think they’re getting a steal.
Obviously, a $15 tie will have its limitations. The grenafaux they sent me lacks the body on a truly, well-made tie, and the fabric has a slight sheen to it. It’s a bit light and flimsy, and not particularly enjoyable to knot. On the upside, the interlining is a wool-poly blend, which isn’t as ideal as a pure wool interlining, but at least it dimples better than a tie lined with polyester, and the wrinkles fall out a bit more easily at the end of the day.
It’s become a bit of a cliché, but I strongly believe in the “buy less, buy better” philosophy. Better one tie from EG Cappelli than three from Brooks Brothers, and better one from Brooks Brothers than three from Alfani. Men don’t need as much clothing as they think do, and if they traded many of their purchases for nicer things, I think they’d be left more satisfied. The most affordable grenadines I know of are from Chipp2 ($47.50) and The Knottery ($55). After that, there’s Kent Wang ($75), Sam Hober ($80), J Press ($90), Henry Carter ($100), Drake’s, Vanda, and EG Cappelli (~$120). I would feel more comfortable recommending any of these - or even a non-grenadine from a mid-tier maker - over The Tie Bar.
At the same time, I remember there was once a point in my life when I couldn’t afford a $50 necktie. It wasn’t that I was being stingy; it’s just that all my money went to rent, food, and my education. For people who on a truly tight budget, but still wish to dress well, I think The Tie Bar’s grenafux ties are an option. They’re not the best ties in the world, but I couldn’t say someone would look terrible for wearing one. As you can see above, it does indeed kind of look like a grenadine, and The Thrifty Gent wore one a few weeks ago and still looked pretty sharp. Plus, if you needed to skimp on your wardrobe, it would better to cut out $50 from your necktie wardrobe than, say, footwear. There, $50 could mean the difference between full-grain leather shoes and corrected grain, the latter of which you should never buy.
My standard recommendation for affordable neckties remains the same: Land’s End and Brooks Brothers once they hit their sales. They usually discount stuff to under $40 a few times a season. If you can’t afford those, try thrift stores or eBay. If you don’t have the time, however, then consider The Tie Bar’s grenafaux. I still believe people should buy the best they can afford – as they’ll be happier in the long run – but the same can be said about buying what you can afford, and not spending outside of your means. 
(Pictured above, from left to right: The Tie Bar’s grenafaux, Drake’s navy grenadine, E.G. Cappelli blue grenadine)

We Got it for Free: The Tie Bar’s Grenafaux

The Tie Bar recently released a line of solid-colored, textures silk neckties that vaguely resemble grenadines. These aren’t true grenadines; they just somewhat look like them from a few feet away. Curious about the quality, I contacted Greg Shugar, one of the co-founders of the company, to see if he would be interested in sending me one for review. It arrived last month and I’ve worn it a few times since.

The tie is better than what one might expect. It compares well to the mass-manufactured neckties you might find in a department store – the Perry Ellises, Tommy Hilfigers, Calvin Kleins, and the like. To be sure, I don’t think any of these brands make particularly nice ties, but I appreciate that The Tie Bar has a bit more honest pricing - $15 for such a tie, rather than $50 in a department store, regularly discounted to $35, then $25, then $20, in hopes that customers think they’re getting a steal.

Obviously, a $15 tie will have its limitations. The grenafaux they sent me lacks the body on a truly, well-made tie, and the fabric has a slight sheen to it. It’s a bit light and flimsy, and not particularly enjoyable to knot. On the upside, the interlining is a wool-poly blend, which isn’t as ideal as a pure wool interlining, but at least it dimples better than a tie lined with polyester, and the wrinkles fall out a bit more easily at the end of the day.

It’s become a bit of a cliché, but I strongly believe in the “buy less, buy better” philosophy. Better one tie from EG Cappelli than three from Brooks Brothers, and better one from Brooks Brothers than three from Alfani. Men don’t need as much clothing as they think do, and if they traded many of their purchases for nicer things, I think they’d be left more satisfied. The most affordable grenadines I know of are from Chipp2 ($47.50) and The Knottery ($55). After that, there’s Kent Wang ($75), Sam Hober ($80), J Press ($90), Henry Carter ($100), Drake’s, Vanda, and EG Cappelli (~$120). I would feel more comfortable recommending any of these - or even a non-grenadine from a mid-tier maker - over The Tie Bar.

At the same time, I remember there was once a point in my life when I couldn’t afford a $50 necktie. It wasn’t that I was being stingy; it’s just that all my money went to rent, food, and my education. For people who on a truly tight budget, but still wish to dress well, I think The Tie Bar’s grenafux ties are an option. They’re not the best ties in the world, but I couldn’t say someone would look terrible for wearing one. As you can see above, it does indeed kind of look like a grenadine, and The Thrifty Gent wore one a few weeks ago and still looked pretty sharp. Plus, if you needed to skimp on your wardrobe, it would better to cut out $50 from your necktie wardrobe than, say, footwear. There, $50 could mean the difference between full-grain leather shoes and corrected grain, the latter of which you should never buy.

My standard recommendation for affordable neckties remains the same: Land’s End and Brooks Brothers once they hit their sales. They usually discount stuff to under $40 a few times a season. If you can’t afford those, try thrift stores or eBay. If you don’t have the time, however, then consider The Tie Bar’s grenafaux. I still believe people should buy the best they can afford – as they’ll be happier in the long run – but the same can be said about buying what you can afford, and not spending outside of your means. 

(Pictured above, from left to right: The Tie Bar’s grenafaux, Drake’s navy grenadine, E.G. Cappelli blue grenadine)

We Got It For Free: Everlane Oxford Shirt Review
Lots of readers have been asking me about Everlane, a web-based clothing company with a very specific promise: that because they cut out the middle man, they can offer premium clothing at a modest price. The brand releases one product at a time, and focus on basics. Which makes a lot of sense, particularly from a marketing point of view - they make each product release an event, in the hopes people will share them. I was curious, but not quite curious enough to buy something. Luckily, the other day Everlane offered a sample of their new oxford shirt, so I jumped at the chance.
Here’s what I found: it’s a shirt that’s a reasonable buy at its price point, $55. If Everlane is promising more than that, this shirt won’t live up to its promise.
The Everlane oxford is a very casual shirt. It has a small-ish collar that’s very soft - I wouldn’t wear it with a tie. The tails are very short, clearly designed to be worn outside the trousers. The fabric is very lightweight for an oxford buttondown. The fit is quite slim - a size large fit me well around the middle, but was a little tight on my 42” chest, which is unusually thin. Unfortunately, since the shirts have S-M-L-XL sizing, the sleeves were just a tad short for me, and the collar just a tad big. I’d say the large is a 16 1/2 x 35 or so, but with a chest sized for a man who wears a 40 coat.
One of the great values of an oxford buttowndown is its versatility. I wear mine with sportcoats, with a sweater, with jeans, with flannels, with almost everything besides a suit, nine months out of the year. Everlane’s offering is a decent weekend shirt, worn untucked with jeans, if it fits you. Unfortunately, the lack of neck and sleeve sizing makes it much more difficult to find the right fit, which is particularly important if you want or need to wear a tie.
Everlane’s quality promise is that they can make clothes that would be twice as expensive without their direct-to-consumer model. I don’t think I buy that. I’d say these shirts are comparable to Lands’ End Canvas, which are $5 less at retail (and often on sale - right now you could buy one for $21). They’re also pretty similar to Uniqlo’s offering, which is $29.90 at full price, and also regularly goes on sale.
If I want a sized shirt, so I can confidently wear it with a coat and tie (or just be confident that it will fit my neck and arms), I can go to Brooks Brothers, where oxfords retail for $80, but are frequently three for $200 or even less. Or I can go to Lands’ End, where for $49 I can get their excellent quality Hyde Park tailored-fit shirt for $49 (before sales).
So: if you’re long and thin, particularly in the chest, and are looking for a casual shirt, Everlane’s offering is worth the price. But don’t expect a miracle.

We Got It For Free: Everlane Oxford Shirt Review

Lots of readers have been asking me about Everlane, a web-based clothing company with a very specific promise: that because they cut out the middle man, they can offer premium clothing at a modest price. The brand releases one product at a time, and focus on basics. Which makes a lot of sense, particularly from a marketing point of view - they make each product release an event, in the hopes people will share them. I was curious, but not quite curious enough to buy something. Luckily, the other day Everlane offered a sample of their new oxford shirt, so I jumped at the chance.

Here’s what I found: it’s a shirt that’s a reasonable buy at its price point, $55. If Everlane is promising more than that, this shirt won’t live up to its promise.

The Everlane oxford is a very casual shirt. It has a small-ish collar that’s very soft - I wouldn’t wear it with a tie. The tails are very short, clearly designed to be worn outside the trousers. The fabric is very lightweight for an oxford buttondown. The fit is quite slim - a size large fit me well around the middle, but was a little tight on my 42” chest, which is unusually thin. Unfortunately, since the shirts have S-M-L-XL sizing, the sleeves were just a tad short for me, and the collar just a tad big. I’d say the large is a 16 1/2 x 35 or so, but with a chest sized for a man who wears a 40 coat.

One of the great values of an oxford buttowndown is its versatility. I wear mine with sportcoats, with a sweater, with jeans, with flannels, with almost everything besides a suit, nine months out of the year. Everlane’s offering is a decent weekend shirt, worn untucked with jeans, if it fits you. Unfortunately, the lack of neck and sleeve sizing makes it much more difficult to find the right fit, which is particularly important if you want or need to wear a tie.

Everlane’s quality promise is that they can make clothes that would be twice as expensive without their direct-to-consumer model. I don’t think I buy that. I’d say these shirts are comparable to Lands’ End Canvas, which are $5 less at retail (and often on sale - right now you could buy one for $21). They’re also pretty similar to Uniqlo’s offering, which is $29.90 at full price, and also regularly goes on sale.

If I want a sized shirt, so I can confidently wear it with a coat and tie (or just be confident that it will fit my neck and arms), I can go to Brooks Brothers, where oxfords retail for $80, but are frequently three for $200 or even less. Or I can go to Lands’ End, where for $49 I can get their excellent quality Hyde Park tailored-fit shirt for $49 (before sales).

So: if you’re long and thin, particularly in the chest, and are looking for a casual shirt, Everlane’s offering is worth the price. But don’t expect a miracle.

We Got It For Free: Hudson Sutler St. Simons Duffel
I love the canvas duffel bag. Headed out of town for the weekend? Going to a, uhm, friend’s house for a sleepover? Throw some clean clothes and a sweatshirt in your duffel and hit the road. So when Hudson Sutler asked if we’d take a look at their St. Simons Duffel, I readily agreed.
The St. Simons duffel is the basic weekend duffel size - 12” in diameter and 22” long. Like all duffels, it fits a surprising amount of stuff. In addition to the basic hand and shoulder straps, it’s got a “quick grab” strap on one end, which is a neat addition. There’s a convenient interior and an exterior zipper pocket. It’s also got a great look in navy and white, with an orange hunting dog lining by William Lamb & Son. It’s a very charming piece.
As I loaded it with crap at my office that needed to go home, though, I wondered how far that charm would get me. The bag has a big-toothed plastic zipper that seems destined to break. The lining is great-looking, but lightweight, and I was immediately worried about soiling or tearing it. The bag’s made in the USA, but it seems like aesthetics trumped the heavy-duty construction that’s usually the hallmark of this sort of bag. There was nothing to make me wonder if the bag could handle an extra pair of pants and some socks and underwear, but I wouldn’t subject it to more than a load of clothes.
At $120, the bag is reasonably priced. It’s a bit less than the classic competitor, William J. Mills & Co., who charge about $135. It’s a fair bit more than my favorite, Oregon’s Beckel Canvas, whose War Bag is about $85. Still, I love how it looks, and I’ll certainly grab it the next time I’ve got a few extra clothes to tote around. (When I’m on my way to my seaside estate, for example.)

We Got It For Free: Hudson Sutler St. Simons Duffel

I love the canvas duffel bag. Headed out of town for the weekend? Going to a, uhm, friend’s house for a sleepover? Throw some clean clothes and a sweatshirt in your duffel and hit the road. So when Hudson Sutler asked if we’d take a look at their St. Simons Duffel, I readily agreed.

The St. Simons duffel is the basic weekend duffel size - 12” in diameter and 22” long. Like all duffels, it fits a surprising amount of stuff. In addition to the basic hand and shoulder straps, it’s got a “quick grab” strap on one end, which is a neat addition. There’s a convenient interior and an exterior zipper pocket. It’s also got a great look in navy and white, with an orange hunting dog lining by William Lamb & Son. It’s a very charming piece.

As I loaded it with crap at my office that needed to go home, though, I wondered how far that charm would get me. The bag has a big-toothed plastic zipper that seems destined to break. The lining is great-looking, but lightweight, and I was immediately worried about soiling or tearing it. The bag’s made in the USA, but it seems like aesthetics trumped the heavy-duty construction that’s usually the hallmark of this sort of bag. There was nothing to make me wonder if the bag could handle an extra pair of pants and some socks and underwear, but I wouldn’t subject it to more than a load of clothes.

At $120, the bag is reasonably priced. It’s a bit less than the classic competitor, William J. Mills & Co., who charge about $135. It’s a fair bit more than my favorite, Oregon’s Beckel Canvas, whose War Bag is about $85. Still, I love how it looks, and I’ll certainly grab it the next time I’ve got a few extra clothes to tote around. (When I’m on my way to my seaside estate, for example.)

We Got It For Free: Andrew Lock Shoes Review

(With Help From Raul Ojeda of Don Ville)

I posted a few weeks ago about Andrew Lock Shoes, a new internet-based shoe brand that’s selling Spanish-made Goodyear-welted shoes for about $250 a pop. The promise was great, but I asked them to send a pair for review, and took them over to my favorite shoe expert, shoemaker Raul Ojeda of Don Ville Shoes in Los Angeles. You might remember Raul from our Shoes episode in season one. Raul’s been making and repairing shoes for most of his adult life, so I thought he’d have some perspective on how Andrew Lock shoes stack up.

Tearing Them Down & Building Them Up

Raul gave the shoes quite the looking over, and a little bit of a tearing-apart. At one point he violently tore out an insole, before casually gluing it back in. His verdict? Andrew Lock has a winner on their hands. These are shoes as well-made as competitors that cost as much as a couple hundred dollars more.

Raul focused on the construction of the brown derbies Andrew Lock sent for us to check out. He said that it was as good as any other factory-made shoe. In addition to the Goodyear welt, which makes the sole more easily replaceable, he mentioned the full leather construction - no cardboard or fiberboard on the insole. He pronounced the finishing excellent, complimenting the finish on the sole in particular. He also described the full-grain leather as tough and attractive - “If you maintain this shoe, it’ll last you a long time.”

The only fault Raul found was the foam heel padding, which cushions heel portion of the insole. He said it was very common to use low-quality foam here, and what he found he wasn’t nuts about. A more expensive shoe might use a more durable foam, or be lasted to cup the heel so that cushioning is unnecessary. Still, he said, this was a pretty small complaint.

How Do They Compare?

I thought I’d throw a few classic American comparables at Raul. I asked him, “are these shoes as good as Allen-Edmonds?”

His answer was yes, absolutely.

"Aldens?"

There might be a bit of difference in the hides used, Raul said, but if there is, it’s small.

Generally, he said, by spending a lot more you could get a shoe with a slightly better hide, but overall, the styling differences will end up being more significant than the materials or construction. In other words, there are incremental differences the more you spend, but these meet the standard of “shoes done right.”

And speaking of styling: I like the look of the pair I handled. A bit more shape in the last, a bit of Italianate influence on a relatively traditional style… but not so crazy that I’d hesitate to call it “classic.” I’d call them sharp.

The Bottom Line

At $250 shipped, Andrew Lock shoes are competitive with brands that charge twice as much. That’s a pretty remarkable achievement. Along with Meermin, which Derek has reviewed here, it sets a new price low for quality dress shoes, well under the $350 or so you’ll pay for Allen-Edmonds, the previous value champ. And like Meermin, it does so with a more distinctive, attractive product that won’t make you look like an insurance agent from Des Moines. Thumbs up.

We Got It For Free: Panta Unlined Cashmere Neckties
Ed, the proprietor of the tiny boutique clothing line Panta, based in New York, sent me two of his latest neckties today. I’m absolutely wowed by their quality. They’re heavy cashmere, and unlined, which gives them an unparalleled hand and a casual, slouchy feeling. This is perfect, of course, with the soft-shouldered Italian style that’s all the rage these days. The edges are hand-rolled, and I literally exclaimed an expletive when I touched the darn things, they’re so soft.
Ed’s having a trunk show on Friday in New York City, if you’d like to check out and purchase his ties and trousers. Ties will be $99, and pants $199 (an extra $50 for cashmere). He’s promised me some pants when things settle down, and based on the evidence so far, I’m extremely excited about them.
You can find Ed on Friday at 246 Fifth Avenue (just off Fifth) on the corner of 28th street, fifth floor, from noon to six. Just look for the stream of exceptionally well-dressed men.

We Got It For Free: Panta Unlined Cashmere Neckties

Ed, the proprietor of the tiny boutique clothing line Panta, based in New York, sent me two of his latest neckties today. I’m absolutely wowed by their quality. They’re heavy cashmere, and unlined, which gives them an unparalleled hand and a casual, slouchy feeling. This is perfect, of course, with the soft-shouldered Italian style that’s all the rage these days. The edges are hand-rolled, and I literally exclaimed an expletive when I touched the darn things, they’re so soft.

Ed’s having a trunk show on Friday in New York City, if you’d like to check out and purchase his ties and trousers. Ties will be $99, and pants $199 (an extra $50 for cashmere). He’s promised me some pants when things settle down, and based on the evidence so far, I’m extremely excited about them.

You can find Ed on Friday at 246 Fifth Avenue (just off Fifth) on the corner of 28th street, fifth floor, from noon to six. Just look for the stream of exceptionally well-dressed men.

We Got It For Free: Kent Wang Bounty

I’ve often recommended Kent Wang's superb accessories here on Put This On.  The reason I like them is that in creating his line, Kent focused on quality basics at a reasonable price.  Because of the seasonal nature of the clothing industry, it's often surprisingly difficult to find the perennials you need to be the cornerstones of your wardrobe.  When you can find them, they're often crazy expensive.  Kent identified the pieces most useful to a man, and figured out how to make them to the highest standards without charging an arm and a leg.  Kent picked up on what big fans we are, and sent along a little selection of some of his best-selling products. 

Grenadine ties have often been a subject of discussion here at Put This On.  They’re solid in color, which means they’re easy to wear, even with relatively busy jackets and shirts, and their texture makes them visually interesting.  In colors like black, navy and wine, they’re just about the most versatile ties you can buy.  If you can find them, that is.  Kent offers them in two widths - 3” and 3.5”, and in a variety of colors for $75.  The quality is up there with ties that cost hundreds of dollars more.  If you’re going to invest in a tie, this is a great one to do so in.  I’ve already worn the navy grenadine Kent sent us twice.

Kent got started making pocket squares.  It’s tough to find affordable squares with quality fabrics and hand-rolled edges.  Hand rolling the edge of a square gives it a luxurious look that can’t be replicated by machine, but it’s usually only done by high-end makers.  Kent sells squares like the white-on-white one he sent us for just $20, which is a remarkable deal.  He also sells a variety of other plain linen squares for a similar price.  If you’re just starting a pocket square collection, his plain white square, along with perhaps white edged with blue, will do you for years.  Kent also sent us one of these navy pindot silk squares, which is a crazy value at $25.

Kent also makes affordable cuff links.  Many of them are made from vintage glass buttons, like these beautiful crimson ones.  He started by selling the most basic links you can buy: double-sided mother of pearl.  Adam took home a pair of these great smoke mother of pearl links, and he couldn’t be happier.  He’s vowed to wear double-cuff shirts with his suits in the future so he can wear them more.  The links are more of the same from Kent: the most tasteful, beautiful basics at an amazing price: twenty five bucks.

Anyway, thanks to Kent for sending along this great stuff.  Recommended! 

If you want to send us something, we’re always happy to check it out - just email us at contact@putthison.com.  And we always disclose when we get it for free.

We Got It For Free: Mocc Sock & Co.
When we posted last week about no-show socks, we outlined a huge variety of choices.  I myself had largely been wearing nylon/spandex socks, which were a bit like a heavier version of those disposable socks you find in the ladies’ shoe section.  We linked to Mocc Sock & Co.'s product, and mentioned that they looked nice, but we hadn't tried them.
Lucky for us, the folks from MS&C saw the post and sent a couple pairs along.  I wore one yesterday on a tough travel day (two flights).  They performed admirably.  They’re some kind of cotton-spandex mix, with a lot of stretch but also a bit of cushion.  I didn’t have any trouble with heel slippage, and they were quite soft and comfortable.  The sides were plenty low enough to disappear below the sides of the old Allen Edmonds saddle shoes I was wearing.
Apparently, others have agreed, because they’re on back-order and not shipping until the end of the month.  Well-done.

We Got It For Free: Mocc Sock & Co.

When we posted last week about no-show socks, we outlined a huge variety of choices.  I myself had largely been wearing nylon/spandex socks, which were a bit like a heavier version of those disposable socks you find in the ladies’ shoe section.  We linked to Mocc Sock & Co.'s product, and mentioned that they looked nice, but we hadn't tried them.

Lucky for us, the folks from MS&C saw the post and sent a couple pairs along.  I wore one yesterday on a tough travel day (two flights).  They performed admirably.  They’re some kind of cotton-spandex mix, with a lot of stretch but also a bit of cushion.  I didn’t have any trouble with heel slippage, and they were quite soft and comfortable.  The sides were plenty low enough to disappear below the sides of the old Allen Edmonds saddle shoes I was wearing.

Apparently, others have agreed, because they’re on back-order and not shipping until the end of the month.  Well-done.

We Got It For Free: Berg & Berg Tie
Mathias Berg of Berg & Berg sent us an email the other day.  He and his betrothed, Karin, recently started a clothing line called Berg & Berg.  They were nice enough to send along a linen-silk blend unlined tie (pictured above) for our inspection.  It’s labeled “hand-made in Italy,” and the quality is quite nice.  An unlined tie can be tough to knot, but the rich texture of the linen-silk blend helps it hold a dimple quite well.
Mathias & Karin’s line focuses on accessories, and is most distinguished by a commitment to classic styles and a wonderful, vibrant palette.  This blue and creme knit tie, for example, is simple to wear, being only blue, but somehow surprising as well.  Each of their pieces is well-considered and lovely.  Prices aren’t cheap, but they are significantly less than you’d pay at retail for items of similar quality.
Well played, Berg & Berg.

We Got It For Free: Berg & Berg Tie

Mathias Berg of Berg & Berg sent us an email the other day.  He and his betrothed, Karin, recently started a clothing line called Berg & Berg.  They were nice enough to send along a linen-silk blend unlined tie (pictured above) for our inspection.  It’s labeled “hand-made in Italy,” and the quality is quite nice.  An unlined tie can be tough to knot, but the rich texture of the linen-silk blend helps it hold a dimple quite well.

Mathias & Karin’s line focuses on accessories, and is most distinguished by a commitment to classic styles and a wonderful, vibrant palette.  This blue and creme knit tie, for example, is simple to wear, being only blue, but somehow surprising as well.  Each of their pieces is well-considered and lovely.  Prices aren’t cheap, but they are significantly less than you’d pay at retail for items of similar quality.

Well played, Berg & Berg.

We Got It For Free: Birds of Sausalito Boxers
Once in a while, clothing companies will send us something to try out.  This time around, the folks at Birds of Sausalito sent us a couple pairs of their fancy-pants boxer shorts.
I have to admit that I usually buy my underwear at Ross.  When I spot a nice pair of briefs or boxer briefs with a bit of lycra in them, I buy a pile.  Lately I’ve been into some cotton/lycra/modal blend briefs I bought at Loehman’s.  They hold their shape, and the modal (a relatively new synthetic) makes them a bit softer than plain cotton.
Birds’ boxers are, at $65 a pair, about 12 times what I usually pay.  The good news, though, is you can see where the money’s going.  The fabric feels like incredibly soft cotton shirting, or very fine high quality bedsheets.  They’re designed so that they don’t have a seam down the center, right where it might bother you or me or LBJ.  The custom fit model (which I tried) have a sized waistband, so only a couple inches of elastic at the very base of your spine. They’re also quite beautiful - you can see them above, but what you can’t see is how lovely the buttons are (they’re natural, not plastic), and how graceful the lines are.
Besides cost, they’re boxer shorts, and even the custom fit is a bit loose in the legs for tighter pants.  Of course, that’s the very quality that draws regular boxer wearers to boxers, so it may be a positive for you.  Generally, I’d say that if you have the money, one of the best places to spend a little extra is on the fabric that’s right next to your junk.  They’d also make a lovely gift, either for the gentleman in your life, or for the lady who likes to wear boxers as loungewear.
(One note: My wife is from Mill Valley, which may lead to some pro-Sausilito bias, particularly in the area of underclothes.)

We Got It For Free: Birds of Sausalito Boxers

Once in a while, clothing companies will send us something to try out.  This time around, the folks at Birds of Sausalito sent us a couple pairs of their fancy-pants boxer shorts.

I have to admit that I usually buy my underwear at Ross.  When I spot a nice pair of briefs or boxer briefs with a bit of lycra in them, I buy a pile.  Lately I’ve been into some cotton/lycra/modal blend briefs I bought at Loehman’s.  They hold their shape, and the modal (a relatively new synthetic) makes them a bit softer than plain cotton.

Birds’ boxers are, at $65 a pair, about 12 times what I usually pay.  The good news, though, is you can see where the money’s going.  The fabric feels like incredibly soft cotton shirting, or very fine high quality bedsheets.  They’re designed so that they don’t have a seam down the center, right where it might bother you or me or LBJ.  The custom fit model (which I tried) have a sized waistband, so only a couple inches of elastic at the very base of your spine. They’re also quite beautiful - you can see them above, but what you can’t see is how lovely the buttons are (they’re natural, not plastic), and how graceful the lines are.

Besides cost, they’re boxer shorts, and even the custom fit is a bit loose in the legs for tighter pants.  Of course, that’s the very quality that draws regular boxer wearers to boxers, so it may be a positive for you.  Generally, I’d say that if you have the money, one of the best places to spend a little extra is on the fabric that’s right next to your junk.  They’d also make a lovely gift, either for the gentleman in your life, or for the lady who likes to wear boxers as loungewear.

(One note: My wife is from Mill Valley, which may lead to some pro-Sausilito bias, particularly in the area of underclothes.)