Let's face it, the Midwest isn't a high-fashion mecca. Certainly we sport stylistic divergences from Goth to Formal, but most of us fall somewhere in the middle. Maybe that's why they call that one popular clothing store "The Gap." We are a jeans and sweatshirts people on the weekend. Pedestrian business attire during the week. Not too fancy. Not too loud.
However, on game days on the North Side, we proudly don our bright primary blue uniforms, looking like some sort of drunken smurf army. The fat guys wear the loud pennant and logo shirts. Your average "dude" is wearing an Aramis Ramirez Authentic Jersey because he's too cheap to buy a new one. (What player would you buy anyway?) Some of the younger women wear the cute Alyssa Milano designed Cubs ladies line, while some older female fans wear what their husband is wearing and cover their hats in pins. (Some women just wear the same things men do, not wanting to give in to specialized women's garb.) The kids balance over sized caps on their heads, and half the shiny blue windbreakers in the ballpark make us middle aged guys look like Dick Pole circa 1988.
Yup, it's time for some fan gear upgrades! And what better time of year than the holidays to be gifted said upgrades and not pay for them yourself!? Or if you've got a special Cubs fan in your life, and are searching for a great gift, my family can't go wrong with Cubs gear. There are a plethora of discounts on the MLB shop going on in these days if you are privy to the Cubs Shop's daily annoying emails. I'd unsubscribe, but I'm a sucker for a discount. Then again, what is a discount if the gear is marginally stylish and tacky.
Unfortunately, most Cubs gear is primary blue which is hard to dress up. Dark navy Yankee hats look good with a suit and also play clothes, but Cubbie Blue is a color only worn at ball games and nowhere else. The other Cubs licensed fan gear is disappointing at best; simply an article of clothing, a golf ball, or some flip flops with a Cubs logo slapped on it. Most of it barely looks designed, and doesn't have much artistic merit in my opinion. Here are some of my favorite "Worst Items Ever" from a previous article on the matter.
It's time to step up our gear game Midwesterners and Cubs fans! Here are my picks for the best items on the Cubs MLB shop. I've included only items I'd actually like to own, or would buy for someone -- basically, anything I don't consider "future garbage" and imagine in a landfill the moment I see it. I know we all have different style preferences, so feel free to add your favorites in the comments and we can all discuss why we like or hate it? Sound fun?!
1. Cubs Wool Jacket
You just can't go wrong with wool or the retro look. This sharp looking jacket, while too rich for my blood at 450 bucks, is a more appealing navy blue. Especially great for April at Wrigley and hopefully late October!
2. 1984 Retro Jersey
It's easy to buy someone a retro jersey from any era as long as you know what year they fell in love with the Cubs and their size. For me, it was the early to mid 80's when the v-neck road jersey was in full 81-game usage. But all of the retro jerseys are cool, especially because you can either personalize them or choose a legendary player from days gone by.
3. Women's Hoodie
Warning: Only buy this for a woman who actually likes baseball and the Cubs. Do not buy this for your wife or girlfriend who shows a passing interest in the Cubs because you love the Cubs. That being said, I like it because it has long sleeves and the ability to cover your head in rain and cold and that v-neck... well, let's just say that I like v-necks! To BCB's female readers, did I pick the right one? Cute or no?
4. Fergie Jenkins Art
Who says a man cave can't be hip and stylish? Retro, unique, and they also have one featuring Ryno!
5. Cubs Mug
Hey why not?! Gotta drink your whiskey outta something! And for 15 bones, it's the perfect price point for that Cubs fan you've need to buy a gift for, but don't really like or care about.
There are a few other hats, shirts and jackets on the site worth wearing, but those are my five faves. Most of the clothing and Cubs licensed items I found either boring or tacky, ugly, and useless. And I'm not just saying that so you don't think I'm on he MLB payroll for writing this article in the first place….
So have at it people! Seen any great Cubs gear lately? What's on your Cubs fan wishlist?
I personally wouldn't mind some Stubhub gift certificates or the Holiday Gift Packs the Cubs are selling.
But this year I'm asking my family and friends to give to my Cubs Burial Wall Fund that I wrote about last Halloween. It's the gift that keeps on giving! For eternity!