Editor’s Note: Allow me to step slightly away from Cousin Eddie’s legendary on-screen style for a moment. The reason why Christmas Vacation works, is not the slapstick. Nor is it the pithy quotable one-liners. It works because it is the best cinematic argument for optimistic nihilism in the genre. And Clark is the hero. Despite the madness, the meaninglessness, the despair, and the greed, Clark TRIES. For even when repeatedly confronted with the heartbreaking, vapid, hellscape of our existence, his instinct is to soldier on. For while life is pain, to not try only intensifies our inescapable existential unmooring. Merry Christmas ya filthy animals. Now on with celebrating Cousin Eddie’s sartorial gravitas, of which I have to say, our man Brandon D. did a fine job upgrading.
The Backstory: We all have that one relative. You groan at the thought of him showing up to your next family get together, be it a cross-country trip, Christmas, or a Las Vegas vacation. But to be sure, he’s not a bad person. And there are plenty of genuinely bad girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, and other family members out there to make the following clear: Cousin Eddie always has your back and is a great relative. And he’s also a huge pain in the a**.
The Robe: Banana Republic Wool Blend Long Cardigan Sweater in Dark Truffle – $90 ($180). No, it’s not white. But that’s okay. BECAUSE THIS IS FANCY and a white robe is so… on the nose? That, and this is the only color Banana Republic has. Here’s the story: I was initially confused when I saw BR selling long, cardigan sweater/robes. I immediately thought this looked like something a “fancy” version of Cousin Eddie would wear. And now, here we are. In person, this is incredibly comfortable and fits great. And if you’re in the market for a sweater to wear around the house for a date night at home, this is it.
The Hat: Banana Republic Plaid Trapper Hat in Black & Gray – $39 ($79.50). Cousin Eddie is more of a Bass Pro Shop kind of guy. But his fancier alternative buys his hunting gear at, um, well, at Banana Republic.
The Underwear: Ex-Officio Boxer Brief – $22 (3 pack). I love Uniqlo Airism as much as the next guy. But do you know what’s not great for this outdoor photoshoot? Boxer briefs that lean a little too see-through.
The Belt: Bonobos Suede Belt in Grey – $88. I was confused when Joe sent me this belt to wear with the sweater/robe. Who wears a leather belt with a robe? And then I watched the movie for the thousandth time this weekend, and yes, Cousin Eddie for some reason wears a leather belt with the robe. White on white for him, but we’re going more subtle and classy here. This suede option from Bonobos looks great and is small enough that it’ll fit through just about any sized belt loops on your dress pants.
The Shoes: Allen Edmonds Fifth Avenue Cap-Toe Oxford – $245 ($395). Eddie’s “nice” shoes probably aren’t actually nice. But like the rest of this outfit, we’re upgrading! Poetic license! And they’re on sale!
The Socks: Brooks Brothers Merino Wool Ribbed Over-the-Calf Socks in Black – $24.50. The pinnacle of OTC socks. Best worn with a black tuxedo, but they also help with completely confusing your neighbors on a Sunday afternoon… as shown at the top of this post.
The Beer: Saint Arnold Amber Ale. Every city has its own well regarded craft brewery. If you make your way down to Houston, Saint Arnold is among the best you’ll find in Texas.
The Cigar: Good Cigar Co. from Bespoke Post’s Aficionado or Toast Boxes – $45 (with membership). (pictured here are some super classy (it says expensive taste on the box!) I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t smoke much (for the most part, only at weddings). But if you want to test one or two out, Bespoke Post wouldn’t be a bad place to start. Just don’t burn down the tree!
The Tubing: Maxx Flex Corrugated PVC Orange Tubing – $99.99. For when your sh*tter’s especially full, and you’re still an a**hole in your bathrobe emptying a chemical toilet into the sewer.*
BONUS: The After Dinner Outfit
The Turtleneck: Banana Republic Italian Merino Wool Turtleneck in Black – $44 when 40% off ($89.50). Eddie actually wears a dickie. Because of course he does. Again, going for the upgrade here.
The Sweater: LL Bean Cotton Fisherman Sweater in Beige – $79.20 w/ GIFT20 ($99). Nothing tops the translucent off-white sweater/black faux-turtleneck combo, to go along with what is presumably motor oil for hair gel. But when you’re fancy, you sacrifice perfection. Going with a cable knit pattern this time. (Shown above is an out-of-stock J. Crew option.)
The After Dinner Drink: Coquito. Don’t I mean eggnog? In fact, I don’t. Sure, I appreciate that people love it, especially this time of year. But it’s not for me. The Coquito on the other hand? Another fine upgrade. Here’s to you, Edward, offspring of my parent’s sibling.
About the Author: Brandon D. is a recently married trial attorney living in Houston, TX (but will forever be a New Yorker). Brandon has been wearing a suit to work for the better part of a decade, so he appreciates the insights into quality-yet-affordable style options for which Dappered is known. When not at work, he enjoys traveling with his wife, lounging with his dog Charlie (she’s half-Chihuahua/half-Dachshund, which has the added bonus of being known as a “Chiweenie”), and the weekly trip to Costco.
*You can use this tubing for actual grown up stuff. It’s not just a prop. But did we buy it for actual grown up stuff? I would argue yes.