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Indigo Beyond the Denim

  • Kempt Staff

022514_Indigo_3 For years, indigo was a term relegated to the dark corners of the denim-obsessed, but nowadays it’s been popping up everywhere—and far beyond jeans.

Which is great, because indigo can be so many things. And menswear has begun embracing the centuries-old natural dye in all of its forms—from blazers knit with indigo-dyed yarns to garment-dyed indigo sweatpants—thanks in no small part to the gents at San Francisco’s Unionmade who were at the forefront of the beyond-denim indigo movement. Which brings us to this upcoming spring awash in a sea of saturated blues...

Behold: all of the new indigo, sans the denim.»

Unionmade Indigo, Round Two

  • Najib Benouar

San Francisco’s Unionmade unveiled their Indigo project last year—and it was some groundbreaking stuff. (We even felt the need to take a closer look.)

And they’ve just unveiled round two of the dozen or so collaborations, all garment-dyed in deep blue to produce a sea of handsomeness—from button-downs made in New England, to shawl-collar cardigans, to peacoats made in San Francisco. There’s even an indigo dye kit in case you’ve got something that you think should’ve been part of the collaboration.

If you can even find anything in your closet that isn’t already blue.

Indigo for It

  • Najib Benouar

Exotic prints are having a moment this summer and the latest entry is this handful of Japanese indigo shirting from SF’s shirt impresarios at Taylor Stitch. The guys leaned on their shopkeeper Hidekazu for the pattern selection and naming of the shirts, which adds a nice heritage touch (not to mention they’re American-made). Just like last summer’s batch, these are a limited run, so time is of the essence—especially because today only, they’re knocking 10% off the price when you enter “INDIGOSUMMER” at checkout. (In celebration of today’s release.)

We’re never ones to miss a celebration.

On the Woad Again

Woad dyes have been kicking around since the Viking days (it’s that blue stuff on Mel’s face in Braveheart), but they’ve only made a dent in the menswear scene in the past few years. And more importantly, we haven’t seen them in a pair of jeans until now.

This pair comes from Nudie Jeans, and as of today you can find it at their LA shop or New York’s Atrium. If you’re in either neighborhood, it’s worth checking out in person. The woad gives the jeans a more atmospheric blue instead of the usual dark indigo, which makes for a nice twist on the summer jean.

And since half the fun of digging up ancient dyes is showing off how you made them, they’ve got plenty of factory pics to peruse. Check them out after the jump.

See how your woad denim gets made»

Working Blue


Last time around we were a little hard on the light cloth fishing vest, but this may be the one that changes our mind.

Maybe it’s the color, but this indigo Mr. Hinson vest seems a lot close to the original workwear spirit, and a lot more generally functional. It’s still a bit of an oddball idea, but oversized waist pockets like this are the kind of oddball idea we’re willing to follow through on.

One more and it’ll be a full-blown trend.