Saturday, September 09, 2006

Aw, shirt!

Dear Internet,

You may recall that I have--as is my wont being a Goldwater-type guy--often whined and moaned about things which have been changed. These changes, frequently without my approval, have almost invariably made things worse. We've discussed Brooks Brothers buttondowns and Izod Lacoste tennis shirts.

At the risk of seeming to heap abuse upon the Lands' End crowd, today I bring you an autumnal classic. This classic only staves off extinction on the pages of eBay, for Lands' End no longer carries these and I know not of a current-day equivalent. I speak, natch, of the rugby shirt.

You'll scarcely credit it, Internet, but there was once a time when you could get a for-real rugby shirt with a mere phone call to Lands' End. The fabric was plush, but hefty and tearproof. The construction was impeccable and likewise tearproof. It laundered beatifully and you've seen anvils which wear out more quickly. It was flattering, comfortable and a bargain. Not surprisingly, it couldn't last.

So, having yoinked more than enough on eBay to last me a lifetime, I bring you the dirty little secret on how to score the real deal, for Lands' End still sells ::cough, cough:: "rugby" shirts; in reality "rugby shirt-like" garments resembling the original the way a Miata resembles a sports car.

As usual, the trick is the label. As you will see from the above, the magical words are "Authentic Rugby" but also a label reading "Tough As The Game" will be accurate. Oh, and ask for measurements, because the XL of 1986 is the medium-to-large of 2006, given the American fetish for fast food.

Good luck!



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