At GQ Recommends, we’re all about value-add. But unlike your buddy gunning for his third degree in an obscure branch of ontology, the value we add is actually tangible. The meaning of life? Free will? Nurture vs. nature? Please! Mere child’s play. The questions that keep us up at night might skew a touch more practical on paper, but they’re no less existential in practice.
A semester or so ago, we addressed one of them in the form of a knit polo from Abercrombie, a star contributor to last year’s seminar on “What to Wear Today”. And now we’re quadrupling-down. Not only does the mall-brand mainstay make an impeccable knit polo, they make over a week’s worth of ‘em—in thoughtful prints and patterns befitting the rigorous intellectual nature of our agenda.
Hold on a second, GQ, we can hear you thinking. You’ve got to be kidding. Did you say Abercrombie? As in, the swaggering galleria bully brought to its knees by a mix of laughably macho marketing tactics and the overpowering scent of its own cologne? We’re as serious as an ulcer, friend—we never joke when polos this good are on the line.
Over the last few years, Abercrombie has excised the demons of decades past, kicking off a veritable mall brand renaissance in the process. Under the watchful eye of ex-Supreme designer Brendon Babenzien, J.Crew’s menswear continues to garner capital-B buzz. Banana Republic is good now. Even Madewell, J.Crew’s denim-obsessed younger brother, received a gentle facelift recently, courtesy of a trio of industry veterans, among them GQ’s former deputy fashion director Jon Tietz.
If this is the first you’re hearing of the new forces curating the vibes at your local mall, you picked a great time to dial in. To quote your eminently overeducated homie misquoting Heraclitus: Change is the only constant in life—and in this case, that change means for a little over 50 bucks a pop, you can snag a grip of killer knit polos for substantially less than it costs to follow through on a PhD. (Heck, it might be time to reconsider A&F’s signature scent, too.)
Tell that to your doctorate-wielding pals, and then direct them to Abercrombie’s site to end the argument once and for all.