CEMENTING COOL COUSIN STATUS
Two competing schools of thought exist when it comes time to dress for large scale family events like Thanksgiving. School one, the Camouflage Approach, dictates that priority one should be getting through the festive meal and all associated family-time hangouts with as little friction as possible. In your white oxford and solid, neutral pants you'll sail quietly through a sea of family like a Cape Cod-bound boat in the background of an L.L. Bean catalog. This is the approach essentially advocated by Jake Woolf in one of our favorite pieces of fashion writing - and requisite reading before you continue on below - Why You Should Never Wear $600 Sneakers to Thanksgiving Dinner.
The other school of thought around family friendly or, in this case, unfriendly outfits is what you can term the Sheryl Sandberg Method. Instead of following the advice Jake gives in his article, dressing down to avoid awkward stares and conversations with relatives you only see once a year, lean in. Embrace the hate, or more accurately, the difficult conversations about pattern, color and cost. Maybe try to win someone over for a change. Don't spend your Thanksgiving day like last year, laying prone behind the La-Z-Boy, obscured from view, watching football until dinner is served.
Fulfill the destiny you've always craved, and take your place as "the cool cousin." And there is no better way to flex for the younger generation than in some luxury garments sure to make it on to the annual Jones-Rothfield holiday picture collage.
From Mountain Research, a pajama shirt, Visvim, a purple suede jacket, and Needles, a pair of jacquard track pants. If you care enough about what you wear to make deliberate choices when you get dressed in the morning (or evening, night shift workers are cool too), be willing to take the time to explain at least the basics of why you dress the way you do and what motivates your decision making. [And if you don't care enough but read RHODODENDRONS because it's entertaining and a good way to kill 10 minutes every day we see you, and we appreciate you as well, with Thanksgiving around the corner and all.] For the final piece of your sartorial cornucopia, the footwear, follow Jake's lead and finish this outfit off with your most expensive, wackiest pair of kicks.
Best case scenario, maybe next year your little nephew rolls in to town with a fresh haircut and a cool pair of Swedish sneakers; worst case scenario, you've distracted everyone from talking about politics for the last 30 minutes. And that's something for which everyone can be thankful.
Prices: Shirt: $280 / Jacket: $4,825 / Pants: $273
Brands: Mountain Research / Visvim / Needles
Stores: Couverture & The Garbstore / Notre / The Bureau Belfast
Why: Because some of you need it spelled out, please don't refinance your house so you can afford the Visvim 101 Jacket featured here; yes, it's dyed with natural color, has zippered side pockets and is embroidered by hand, but everyone knows the smart thing to do when looking to acquire crippling debt is spread it out amongst a variety of pieces instead of just one. By comparison, Mountain Research's Pajama Shirt and Needles' Jacquard/Plaid Track Pants seem like downright frugal options. The Mountain Research shirt sports a fun but ambiguous bear pattern and two flap chest pockets, and Needles' offering is your favorite rapper's favorite pants, so popular retailers can barely keep them in stock. With these three jawnz it only costs $5500 to look like a million bucks.