Today we bring you the first installment in How to Do It Right, a search for light in times of desperate sartorial darkness. On this maiden voyage, we’re going straight to the belly of the beast. A place few dare to tread.
It’s been 25 years since the very first episode of Seinfeld aired, and 16 since its grand finale, yet it’s still as relevant as ever.
In fact, you could even say the show is suddenly experiencing style renaissance—look no further than the stonewashed rallying cries of #normcore. But it wasn’t all just white sneakers and dad jeans. The show was woven with a rich tapestry of personal styles, from George Costanza to J. Peterman himself, and we’ve tracked down the clips of some of our favorite sartorial moments to see if we’ve learned anything from a show about nothing.
Fact: it takes quite the set of cojones to pull off wearing a Hawaiian shirt.
Also fact: most men don’t have ’em.
That being said, there are some real pros out there who do. And right now, we’d like to honor these brave souls who’ve unwaveringly taken up the charge. Through painstaking research—no scene left unexamined, no paparazzi shot ignored—we’ve uncovered the best and boldest examples of tropical-print artistry. A testament to confidence, these men are standards to aspire to. (At least when it comes to visually making a statement.)
Ah, those were the days. Archie and Edith agreeing in song, “Gee, our old LaSalle ran great.”
We realize it’s a little odd to be waxing nostalgic about the Bunkers waxing nostalgic, but this much is certain: The All in the Family theme song—she wailing, he demonizing “the welfare state,” they embraced in the end over thunderous, authentic applause—had as much to do with setting the voice and tone of the working-class show as Meathead, George Jefferson and anti-Semitism. That’s because sitcom theme songs used to matter.
In a pretty bleak scene at the top of Moneyball, Billy Beane looks on as the stadium crew dismantles a trio of 10-story-high banners featuring Jason Giambi, Jason Isringhausen, and Johnny Damon: the team’s marquee players who’d fled Oakland for more money and more wins in more exciting markets. Once the final banner falls to the ground, Beane is left staring at a nondescript, cement façade -- fractured and ordinary.
Part One: “We Gather Together”—The Cosby ShowPart Two: “The 20 Year Callback”—The Newhart Finale
“Delightful Accidents and Fortuitous Blunders" Friends, The Jack Benny Show, Seinfeld
On a cold morning in 1930, Ruth Graves Wakefield, the innkeeper/chef at the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts, was preparing her famous Butter Drop Do chocolate cookies when she realized she was fresh out of baker’s chocolate. Improvising, she found a semi-sweet chocolate bar (that had been given to her by Andrew Nestle) and cut it into little pieces, expecting the pieces to liquefy and absorb into the dough.
To Ruth’s chagrin, though, the tray she (carefully) removed from the oven did not contain Butter Drop Do chocolate cookies. It did, however, contain butter cookies stuffed with slightly softened chocolate chunks. And so began America’s braying waddle toward childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Blue Women’s Group: As a former ballerina and Na’avi, we have to say she’s earned it. [Wonderland]
National Exposure: The National’s new album will be streaming on the New York Times all day tomorrow, which should give you a pretty good excuse to learn about derivatives regulation. [World’s Best Ever]
Well, I Called the Jerk Store…: George Costanza may be the style icon for our era. Try not to think too hard about that one. [Start-Finish]
Combat Rock: Noel Murray digs up a gem from Robert Altman’s early TV career. Not surprisingly, it’s awesome. [A.V. Club]