We’ve been noticing a startling new trend in menswear: jacket companies are diversifying their portfolios.
First we heard that venerable coaterie Barbour was getting into the watch game. Then there was something about Patagonia selling food. And with a bit more digging, we found even more options to buy non-outerwear gear from your favorite jacket makers.
With spring showers beginning to sprinkle over the northern hemisphere, it’s more than likely you’ll be reaching for a raincoat sometime soon—or looking for a new one. And in 2013, there’s a dizzying array of options to choose from. But before you head out into the damp unknown in your finest waterproof jacketry, you should know what your choice in gear says about you.
Every year around this time, the pantheon of fine menswear purveyors sets up shop in a warehouse deep in the hinterlands of Manhattan. And every year around this time, we trek downtown to check it out. Since most brands show clothes that won’t be available for about six months—and because the show is enormous—we decided the best thing to do was break it down, using our patented scientific formula.
Here we are, heading into the frigid depth of winter.
And while staying warm is of the utmost importance, that doesn’t mean you can head into public swaddled in a giant blanket (at least not until winter 2014). So we dug up some of the warmest, most handsome gear out there to give you the necessary shelter your morning commute requires.
Clothing has seen a lot of great technological advancement in the past century—new-age nylon, moisture-wicking fleece, genetically modified gloves that work on touchscreens—more often than not, sacrificing some handsomeness in the process.
But last week’s post on tweed trumping tech in the blazer game reminded us that sometimes the choice between high-tech and high-handsome doesn’t have to be made—because the best-looking option also happens to work just as well as any newfangled technology.
It’s October (yes, already) and that means one thing: a new crop of magazines has hit the shelves. September was the big rallying point for the fall menswear transition, so now it’s less about how fall looks and more about how fall feels: there’s tweed, the upcoming elections and awards season jockeying (coincidentally, each cover featured an A-list actor). So, let’s get into it.
Perhaps the lingering effects of America’s birthday have kicked the heritage-centric sale-ing into high gear, because today we’ve got news that SF’s Unionmade has knocked 40% off a good chunk of their stock, including Tellason jeans in a summery white (and weight), a mind-blowing amount of Gitman Vintage and the lowest numbers you’ll find tacked to Barbour jackets this side of the pond. Do it for Americana.
Now that the weather’s warming up, we’d like to direct your attention to one of the most overlooked items in your spring/summer arsenal: the cotton sweater. It’s an airier version of the wool and cashmere pullovers in your closet, and perfect for those couple weeks in mid-March when the summer sun butts up against the last gusts of winter. These will fare well against both.
If you were waiting for the right moment to break out your Barbour…now’s the time.
This particular jacket belongs to Paul William of Goose Barnacle, snapped at yesterday’s Atlantic Antic. It’s a prime example of fall style, right down to the neutral socks and shined loafers—colorful in a muted way that only feels right once October rolls around.
Our favorite touch: a pair of shades to keep the glare out and to remind you it was summer not too long ago. Future’s so bright…
You may have noticed a few cool breezes in the air lately. It’s not brisk yet, but it’s getting there—and when it does, you’ll want to be prepared.
Which is why we’d like to sing the praises of a garment known as the parka.
It pays to be prepared.
In spring, that means rain. And not just rain: a full-scale monsoon, accompanied by biblical eruptions of wind, lightning and thunder. Your umbrella won’t stand a chance.
The best solution (other than, you know, staying inside) is an enormous, knee-length waterproof coat, kind of like this one from Australia’s Kakadu. It’s roughly their equivalent of the British Barbour coat—only much, much tougher.
It’s reinforced wherever water might leak in, including two linebacker-style patches over the shoulders and an extra flap to cover up the zipper. And since that adds up to a lot of waxed cotton, it might be the heaviest thing in your closet. Use it well.
We’re still recovering from the sheer quantity of green, corduroy-collared Barbour coats we saw at the Pop Up Flea, so we thought it might be time for a slight variation. Maybe something a little thicker…
This Spiewak deck jacket has the same rich waxed cotton look as your beloved Barbour, but the sheepcoat lining is thick enough to push it into Jeremiah Johnson territory—and make it a lot more snow-ready than most of its waxed cousins. They’ve been making industrial jackets for firemen, paramedics and soldiers for upwards of a century—presumably in a forward-thinking bid to shore up their workwear cred—but the off-center buttons put the whole thing just off-center enough to stay current.
As for what to do with your old Barbour, your girlfriend would probably take it off your hands…
The ongoing Barbour x Tokito collaboration deposited a new crop of goods at Opening Ceremony this weekend, and it’s not a moment to soon.
This wax quilt jacket caught our eye now that our local climate has switched from “Indian summer” to “Shackleton-esque.” It’s the same waxed cotton that Barbour built their empire on, but it’s a lot trimmer than their flagship items. More importantly, the quilted vibe takes it into equestrian territory, pushing the heritage look just outside of its comfort zone.
And, most important of all, it’s really warm. It’s cut high, so you’ll want to start stockpiling long underwear now…but if you can get through the winter without a plastic parka, it’ll be worth it.
Whether it’s punk rock, kanji or toaster ovens, Japan is often better at interpretation than invention. As a result, Tokyo’s status as a style capital is less about their brands than about their collaborations. So while Barbour may not have the international name recognition it deserves, but you can bet it’s on a lot of minds in Tokyo.
And vice versa apparently. This collaboration between Barbour and To Ki To (from Tokyo, naturally) just came down the transom, and it’s pretty close to the heavy raingear collection of our dreams. Without exposing themselves to too much London drizzle, To Ki To managed to nail the rain-soaked British charm, with a few curveballs added in translation.
Kind of like Guitar Wolf…if you’re into that sort of thing.
Now that we’ve set you up with a moped, you may need a tougher jacket to get you through the occasional wipeout. After all, even the briefest brush with the pavement will leave your peacoat well and truly tattered.
Our friends at UrbanDaddy tipped us off Smith & Butler, a biker-inspired shop in Brooklyn that happens to have some of the best gear in the borough. Old favorites like Barbour and Belstaff should keep you protected while you’re riding, but there’s plenty else to check out while you’re here.
Brands like Filson, Pendleton and Pointer make up one of the best workwear collections you’ll find anywhere, alongside nautical sweaters from Saint James and some choice photography books from Rin Tanaka. Add in a few well-chosen vintage items, and you’ve got one of our favorite new stores.
Hopefully your moped makes it to Brooklyn.
This past week saw the exit of one of our personal, favorite style icons. The storied New Zealand adventurer Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to summit Mt. Everest, champion of the Nepalese people and Knight of the Most Nobel Order of the Garter, died at the respectable age of 88.
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