A Dozen Great Black Friday Sales

You used to have to muscle your way into stores and stand in long lines to take advantage of Black Friday promotions. Nowadays, everything is online, so you can shop from the comfort of your own home. The difficulty, of course, is that you're then swamped with possibilities, making it impossible to know what to buy. To make the landscape a little easier to navigate, I round up some of my favorite Black Friday promotions every year and post them here, along with a selection of notable picks at each store. These guides are designed to cover almost every budget—from relatively affordable basics to designer items—so there's something for everyone. Here's this year's list organized by increasing order of price with a smattering of miscellanea at the end. 


In 2020, when J. Crew filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, I wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post about how this preppy brand plays an important role in the menswear market. For many guys, J. Crew is their entry point into building a better wardrobe. The company's prices are relatively affordable, and the designs are fairly classic. The company sells things such as chambray work shirts, field jackets, and flat-front chinos—things that look good on almost everyone. However, the departures of Jenna Lyons and Frank Muytjens in 2017 casted a shadow of uncertainty. Speculation surfaced about plans to transform J. Crew into a version of The Gap, potentially distributed through Amazon. So it was a relief when the company ousted the old management and design team, replacing them with Brendon Babenzien, the new Creative Director, who has steered the company clear of such a fate, injecting renewed vitality into this iconic label.

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Excited To Wear This Fall

For the past few years, at the start of every season, I've made it a tradition to publish a post about things I'm excited to wear. These posts are a deliberate shift away from the conventional notion of "wardrobe essentials," a concept that has, in many ways, lost its relevance as people lead different lifestyles. They also allow me to just talk about things I'm excited about. I think that emotional connection—rather than a coldly calculated and rational approach about supposed "essentials"—is a much better way to build a wardrobe, as it makes you think about what you'll love wearing ten years from now. I've been encouraged by readers who tell me they find these posts useful in helping them build a wardrobe. So here are ten things I'm excited to break out this season, along with a Spotify playlist at the end that will hopefully set the mood.


Like many things, the game of polo is an international phenomenon with cultural origins now long forgotten. The modern version of the game was first played in Manipur, India, where locals called the fist-sized wooden ball pulu, a Tibetic term later anglicized to polo. In the mid-19th century, British cavalry officers picked up the sport in India, imported it to England, and then spread it around the world during the height of empire. It’s through this intoxicating mix of sport and nobility that polo has become such fertile ground for menswear. The game has given us the button-down collar, jodhpur and chukka boots, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso, and the most recognizable menswear logo. It has also given us the polo coat—the most American of dress outerwear styles.

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The Best of This Season’s Sales

I envy people who aren't interested in clothes. Just the sight of a chunky cream sweater or camp collar shirt is enough to send me into a daydreaming tailspin, where I waste hours of my day poring over online images and reading about the product's construction. Then I imagine the new and exciting life I would lead if I only had that outfit, temporarily forgetting that I'm actually sitting on my couch with my laptop, cat, and Pendleton blanket on my lap, having not moved for hours and with no intention of doing so. I recently found myself doing this, as many of the best online stores are having their end-of-season promotions, each product page ripe with the hope of possibility—the opportunity to dress up for a friendly lunch, a celebratory dinner, or a walk to the market to buy flowers for one's self. So here is a roundup of some of the sales I've been admiring online, peppered with ideas of when and where you can wear such items. 


Maybe it's because I recently watched the Lemaire SS24 show, but I've been once again daydreaming about the artsy, cultivated life I assume I would live if I just owned a few more pieces from this French designer. Lemaire's clothes fit loose, giving you comfort and room to hide an aging dad bod, but they're rendered in fabrics and details that allow you to pretend you're a sophisticated Belgian artist excited about the coming relaunch of the beloved book-lit mag Bookforum. I really like the company's summer pants, which come with self-belts, twisted side seams, and topstitching in unusual places. They move and swish when you walk and lend an attractive silhouette to plain summer outfits. I've been wearing the company's taupe twisted pants with a cream-colored, silk camp collar shirt I bought from The Post Romantic last year, modeled after this Umit Benan design (the shirt isn't on Post Romantic's site, but is available if you just email them). 

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Excited to Wear This Spring

For the last few years, I've been doing these posts about things I'm excited to wear for the season. They're a way for me to talk about things I'm excited about without getting into the fraught concept of "wardrobe essentials" (which feels increasingly less relevant nowadays when people have such different needs and lifestyles). Still, readers have found these posts to be useful as seasonal style guides. Here's this year's "excited for spring" post with a bonus soundtrack at the end. You can check previous years' posts for 2018, 2019 (I also did one for summer), 2021, and 2022


I've always been primarily an oxford cloth button-down guy. I admire the style's place in American clothing history, as well as its casual, rumpled nature and bookish appeal. However, in the last few years, I've also added two other shirt styles to my regular rotation: snap-button Western shirts, mostly those rendered in denim or needlecord, and silky shirts made from slippery materials such as rayon, Tencel, and actual silk. 

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Living Legend: An Interview with Yukio Akamine

In the mid-2000s, I used to take the bus to Kinokuniya, an Asian bookstore in San Francisco that sold Japanese magazines like Men's Precious, Men's Ex, and, of course, the famous Free & Easy. Non-English publications, then as now, covered classic menswear better than their English counterparts. While American magazines like GQ and Esquire featured articles on Thom Browne and Tom Ford, Japanese publications discussed the differences between English and Italian tailoring, Alden's many lasts, and specialty retailers like The Andover Shop. The issue, of course, was that the writing was in Japanese, making it unintelligible to anyone who did not know the language. Aside from English brand names, there were only a few amusing English phrases, such as RUGGED MAN and DAD STYLE (terms for workwear and trad, respectively). Despite my misgivings about spending $25 on a magazine I couldn't read, no one else did this kind of print coverage. The photos alone were an education.

Last summer, I was delighted to learn that Eisuke Yamashita, a former Men's Precious editor, now runs his own website, Mon Oncle (French for "my uncle"). His site features profiles on menswear legends such as Luciano Barbera, celebrities such as Juzo Itami, and artisans outside the menswear space, such as woodworker Takafumi Mochizuki. I was also pleased to see a multi-part series on Yukio Akamine, whom I regard as the most stylish man alive. Akamine has a long history in the Japanese menswear scene. He's introduced generations of Japanese men to classic style and consulted for brands such as United Arrows. Nowadays, he runs a made-to-measure tailoring company called Akamine Royal Line and appears on Japanese shows to discuss menswear.

In his Mon Oncle interviews, Akamine shares some charming observations and advice. He encourages people to wear jackets that are full enough to allow for comfortable layering ("It doesn't make sense if you can't wear a sweater underneath your jacket") and recommends using fountain pens on a regular basis ("Write letters and take notes. Dozens of years later, they will be a memory for the next generation."). Akamine also emphasizes the importance of good manners ("Don't arrive at someone's home empty-handed. Purchase something that you enjoyed eating. Take it out of the bag, hold it with both hands and say, 'Please enjoy this.' Or wrap it in a furoshiki."). Regarding style, he says, "You don't have to read fashion magazines. Open the window and look outside when you wake up in the morning. A man who can cook rice is a hundred times cooler."

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Sole Survivors: How the Internet is Saving Bespoke Shoemaking (Pt 2)

I was having dinner with Nicholas Templeman a few years ago at Besharam, a small Indian restaurant located on the outskirts of San Francisco. Over spicy vegetarian curries and delicate semolina puffs, we discussed how the British shoemaking trade has changed over the years. I told him I'd recently spoken with Daniel Wegan and Emiko Matsuda, two bespoke shoemakers who, like him, left prestigious West End firms to launch their own shoemaking businesses. Wegan and Matsuda's operations are modest, with no advertising budgets, celebrity endorsements, or visible shopfronts. When I asked how customers typically find them, they said, "Instagram." "That was a big part of why I left John Lobb when I did," Templeman told me. "At the time, some independent makers in Japan made good use of social media, but not many people in the UK. Even the big shops were barely visible online. With the rise of social media sites like Instagram, I felt this was a good time to become independent."

In the last twenty years, the British bespoke trade has changed dramatically along two fronts: skyrocketing rents and the loss of skilled labor have made it more difficult for larger firms to earn profits and maintain quality. Simultaneously, the internet has created a more informed consumer. These customers, who can be described as "shoe mad" enthusiasts, scour blogs and forums for niche details about shoemaking that few people know or care about. Like Athenian philosophers or Tibetan monks, they use the dialectical process to arrive at truths about handwelting and Goodyear welting, Celastic and leather stiffeners, and the specialized construction techniques that go into the uppers and soles of shoes, such as split-and-lift sewing and fiddleback finishings. For men who have succumbed to the allure of craft, celebrity endorsements and shallow, romantic accounts of the bespoke process are not enough. They want to know the intricate, technical details of shoemaking.

These changes have impacted the British bespoke trade in some crucial ways. In the mid-19th century, Punch co-founder Henry Mayhew published a seminal study on London's laboring classes. He estimated the city had 28,574 shoemakers (or "bootmakers" if you prefer the Queen's English) in the 1840s, making it the third most popular occupation. By the end of the century, improvements in ready-made footwear dramatically shrank this number to around 3,000, consolidating many workers into a handful of large firms. Among these businesses were gilded names such as John Lobb, Peal & Company, and Henry Maxwell, who built reputations by making shoes for presidents and pioneers, authors and actors, titans of industry, and other members of the ruling class. They also reaped the benefits of a fawning press. After reading enough breathless prose, wealthy men convinced themselves that spending thousands on shoes "would itself be an act of poetry," as my friend Réginald-Jérôme de Mans put it. 

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Sole Survivors: How the Internet Is Saving Bespoke Shoemaking (Pt 1)

When it comes to menswear history, it can be challenging to separate fact from fiction. The two are often intertwined in vanity books and marketing pamphlets, and these stories persist because they help companies sell clothes. The best accounts are rooted in primary sources, such as newspaper articles, archival records, or oral histories from reliable voices. Housed within the four brick walls of the London Metropolitan Archives, a public research center specializing in the history of London, are the dusty archival order books once owned by Peal & Company.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, Peal & Co. was the largest bespoke shoemaking operation in the world. Their salespeople traveled to various continents to take orders from kings, queens, captains of industry, authors and actors, poets and pioneers, and the otherwise well-heeled. Upon meeting each client, a Peal salesperson would crack open a large leather-bound ledger—charmingly known as a Feet Book to people within the company—and trace an outline of the client's feet on the two blank pages. They would then write the person's name and any necessary notes about the order.

While flipping through Peal's Feet Books, you can see storied names from the 19th and 20th centuries: Henry Ford, Condé Nast, Anthony Eden, John F. Kennedy, Barry Goldwater, Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, and Gary Cooper, among the many. Since Peal's sales associates typically recorded these names in full, there's no doubt who ordered what. But buried on page 142 of one of the earliest books is a mysterious entry for "Mr. Marx of Berlin." It's estimated that this record was made sometime in the 1870s, which matches when Karl Marx lived in London. A notation on the order says the finished shoes should be delivered to Dr. W. Smith in the intellectual Hampstead area, where Marx was known to ride donkeys and picnic at the time.

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More Black Friday Sales

I rounded up every Black Friday sale for Put This On and will update the list through Cyber Monday. But as I do every year, I'm also highlighting some special sales from that list here. Perhaps most notable is the blowout over at LuxeSwap. I didn't include it in this list below because it's not technically a sale. But friend and menswear writer extraordinaire Bruce Boyer is clearing out some things from his wardrobe, and these items are up for auction on eBay. This is not only an opportunity to own something from one of the great menswear writers of our time, but also a chance to own some incredible menswear that may not be available elsewhere. Bruce uses world-class bespoke tailors such as Liverano & Liverano, Cifonelli, and A. Caraceni (the third of which also made for Gianni Agnelli). I handled some of the tailoring, and the workmanship is the best I've seen anywhere. The suits and sport coats fit between a size 38S and 40S, depending on the house style (I found the Liverano to fit slimmer than the A. Caraceni, the second of which has that Golden Age drape). There are also some handsome shoes from labels such as GJ Cleverley, Edward Green, and Stefano Bemer, sweaters from O'Connell's, and accessories from Drake's. You can find the entire collection by searching for the "Bruce Boyer Collection." Now to the other Black Friday deals:

Canoe Club: 30% Off; Code BF22

Canoe Club represents a new approach to casualwear, where stores aren't just carrying things with a singular point of view, but reflect the eclectic taste of their customers. Twenty or thirty years ago, most casualwear stores specialized in a "look"—the minimalism of Helmut Lang, the ruggedness of Levis, or the smart-casual looks of Loro Piana. But as more men have become comfortable dabbling in different aesthetics, and building wardrobes where rare Nikes sit comfortably alongside shell cordovan Aldens, stores such as Canoe Club have gained a lot of ground. 

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Excited To Wear This Fall

For the past few years, I've been doing these posts every season where I talk about what I'm excited to wear for spring/summer and fall/winter. I usually do these at the beginning of the season. This one comes a little late, but on the upside, I get to talk about some new things I've purchased and have been wearing. There are also more links to in-season options. 

Flamborough Marine Guernsey

Daniel Day-Lewis once said he hates to be "dressed." By which he means, "dressed by others." He rejects the conventional photoshoot routine as an artifice—photographers and stylists carefully dress their subjects in clothes borrowed from fashion labels, often those advertising on the pages next to the celebrity being featured. So when DDL was photographed for the cover of W Magazine a few years ago, he brought with him a small duffle full of his own clothes. His wardrobe that day included a thoughtful mix of styles: a bespoke three-piece Harris tweed suit made by a tailor in New York City, a blue plaid shirt, a white tee, some rugged jewelry, a pair of slim-straight selvedge jeans, a striped Breton pullover, and some rugged work boots he designed himself. "I want to wear soft, comforting, plain things," he told the interviewer. When the article was published, a small line was printed below each photograph, taking the place where brand names would usually appear. Each line read: "All clothing his own."  

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Black Friday Sales Start

Every year, I round up menswear-related Black Friday sales at Put This On and then highlight some of my favorites here. Black Friday always comes a little earlier than most expect—an example of how retailers push back their sale season to capture consumer dollars earlier. And so, today, many stores have already kicked off their promotions. I'll list a few today and then publish the rest later this week.

Mr. Porter: Up to 30% Off; No Code Needed

The most notable, of course, is Mr. Porter. I like their selection of Blackhorse Lane jeans (the original Drake's jean was based on the NW1), Inis Meain knitwear, Castañer espadrilles, Derek Rose dressing gowns (imagine sauntering into your kitchen in the morning while wearing this), Valstar outerwear, and fragrances from brands such as DS & Durga and Timothy Han. Their in-house Mr. P line offers a lot of value. The designs are stylish, "basic but not too basic," and work well for a smart-casual look. As usual, the best way to tackle Mr. Porter's massive selection is to filter for brands and sizes so that you can narrow in on what interests you. I tried to create a link to brands I think are interesting, but at the time of this post's publishing, the click-through is a bit wonky (it may work later).

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