When it comes to our knitwear, if it was good enough for Hemingway, McQueen and ancient Irish fishermen it’s good enough for us.
Case in point: the fisherman sweater—or “Aran sweater” to the purists—a chunky-knit wool sweater with a pronounced cable knit. Back in the day, there might have even been a meaning or association linked to a specific knit design, much like tartan plaids, but today they’re just a good way to stave off a brisk morning and add some more texture to your getup.
A picture can say a thousand words. But those words rarely reveal how it all came together.
Like this snap of a leather-clad Ewan McGregor and company from the first ad campaign in the brand relaunch of British label Belstaff. Aside from the fact that it seems the brand is moving away from its tradition of waxed cotton to slick leathers, the most interesting part of the story is that McGregor pitched himself to star in the new campaign. And the Belstaff honchos were wise to accept. It also helps that Ewan is an avid motorcyclist and longtime Belstaff enthusiast (who, apparently, reads the business page of WWD very closely).
Easily one of the most stylish movies of 2011, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has been in our sights for a while. It’s got nearly all of our favorite things—British tweeds, outlandish glasses, a few well-placed Steve McQueen references, just for starters. So we sat down with costume designer Jacqueline Durran to find out where she dug it all up. If you’ve ever wanted to dress like a 1970s intelligence man, start here.
We’re not sure how the Brits at Belstaff became Hollywood’s coat-makers of choice, but they’ve done a better job than anyone in California could have. This particular item was whipped up for Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, and we’d say the combination of the oversized fur collar and the European slant of the pockets place it above anything you might have seen in Benjamin Button.
Waxed cotton may be overtaking worsted as Britain’s favorite fabric. It started with Belstaff, but now it’s just about everywhere.
This parka from London’s Our Legacy takes the rough material into American Apparel territory, and it works surprisingly well. After so many years of clingy nylon, we’re ready for something a bit more earthy and a whole lot rougher. It gets windy out there, after all.
Best of all, there’s still a little bit of the British savoir faire. Is that a ticket pocket on the gentleman’s left?
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.
Today, our friends at UrbanDaddy take a look at Stock, one of New York’s best vintage stores. It’s equally beloved as a source for designers, a reference point for devotees of Early American Menswear, and a secret weapon for aspiring MOTHs throughout the city. And naturally, there were more than a few items that caught our eye.