From across the room (or across the internet), they look like honest, god-fearing denim. But as soon as you see someone walk across the room in them—or worse, actually touch the things—you’ll notice the unmistakeable pillowy drape of your sartorial mortal enemy.
Sweatpants. We meet again.
Normally, we’d write it off as a harmless joke, but we can’t shake the possibility that someone will wear these and think they’re actually fooling someone. Have we learned nothing from jeggings?
The Italian mail order outfit Yoox just launched a massive sample sale with literally hundreds of designers at clearance-level discounts. It’s quite a haul, but since the selection ranges from highbrow labels like Etro and Comme des Garçons to obscure euro labels and, well, crocs, sorting through it can be a job of work.
To that end, we’ve picked out a few favorites, starting with this Aquascutum poncho marked down to an eye-popping $190 just in time for the rainy season.
The double-breasted peacoat has been a staple since the days of the Victorian navy, so it could use an update.
This Comme des Garcons jacket keeps the basic pea coat design, but makes three very important tweaks. They raise the hem (for colder legs but a trimmer cut), they swap navy blue for electric blue, and most importantly they take the whole thing into the world of synthetic fabrics. The futuristic shift is classic CDG, but it also means the jacket should stand up to the wind a whole lot better than plain old wool.
There are a lot of wallets out there, but given the strain of carrying something in your back pocket for most of your life, we usually look for the most rugged thing we can find.
So we were naturally drawn to the latest CDG wallet, which looks like it’s already been through a few rough days. (The technical term is “predistressed.”) The rough suede and a large-gauge steel zipper should hold up under the roughest of situations, and match up with any of the more rougher denims you’ve got in your dresser.
For some reason, the wallet has always struck us as the likeliest site for the next new wave revival. And we’re glad Comme des Garcons agrees…
These Summer 2009 wallets are still the usual cowhide, but the bright colors nudge them farther than usual into the world of hairspray and synth-pop. Our only complaint: they should have tipped their hand entirely and churned out a rubberized version.
After all, once you’re making a bright green wallet, you’ve probably already lost the Brooks Brothers crowd. Why not go the whole hog?
For a few years in the 60s, the plaid blazer was the height of country club sartorial adventurousness. But for the past 30 years, it’s been worn with a decidedly different intent.
These days you’re most likely to see it in a record store, accompanied by a Mohawk and a full set of piercings. The off-color patch makes it clear Junya Watanabe is on the latter side of the equation with this Commes des Garcons item. But maybe he should have checked with Vivienne Westwood before he took this one on. He seems to have missed the point.
The appeal of the loud plaid blazer doesn’t just come from the fact that it looks like something Curtis LeMay wore on weekends. It also looks like something you picked up at a vintage store for $5, which might make its boutique appeal somewhat limited…
As American as it is, workwear has always been a good deal more popular in Japan—see Engineered Garments, the endless stream of Red Wing collabs—which means in addition to the domestic stalwarts who keep producing the way they did 80 years ago, there’s a generation of designers in Tokyo trying to put a futurist spin on things.
Comme Des Garcons is hardly the most rugged label on the map, but Junya Watanabe may have brought out the outdoorsman in them. You’ll have trouble getting hold of his latest collection unless you’re passing through Hong Kong this month—hey, you never know—but it’s interesting to watch the way it blends L. L. Bean-esque fishing gear with more urban nylon vests.
For the past couple years, it’s been hard to wear a hat without looking like a member of ‘Nsyc. But now that the trend’s leveling off, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to sport the occasional fedora, provided there’s enough of a brim to keep you looking more Belmondo than Timberlake. This Comme des Garcon version has a solid brim…but with all the different heads out there, isn’t it time we did better for sizing than “small,” “medium,” and “large”?