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?
Oh, those blazers. This is the best of the lot—or the one least likely to cause temporary blindness—but there’s plenty more where that came from. They tend to follow the Freeman’s style shirt-jacket model, but replacing the tweedy wools with some of the loudest patterns known to menswear.
Of course, those patterns are a lot easier to pull off when you’re dealing with something you can leave on a coatrack once you get inside. If you were looking for this year’s Navajo, this is looking like the leading candidate.
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.