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...
The old rule of thumb about packing up the white bucks and pants on Labor Day has been relaxing over the past few years, but for all the traditionalists still out there: you’ve only got five days to get the most you can out of your summer whites.
It’s currently in Kickstarter mode—at press time, roughly 48 hours into funding, they’ve already quadrupled their goal—so it’s safe to say they’re making the first iteration. They’re starting out with a pair of go-anywhere shorts (timed for San Francisco’s famed Indian summer) and have plans for expanding into a full line of tailored athletic gear. Which means more sturdy, thoughtfully made gear to stock your duffel bag is on the way.
This isn’t stiff denim we’re dealing with here—when it comes to rumpled luxury, there’s no better place to turn than the fabric mills of Italy, so you can leave the twill in the closet this summer. Not to mention, the wash of this denim comes in the recently on-trend shade of “dad jean.” Here’s what else you need to know.
The Story: The gents at Taylor Stitch built their small empire in SF’s Mission District on well-made, impeccably cut shirting and have been expanding into other realms of menswear with equal success. This jacket—which is actually part of a denim suit, if you dare—might be their most ambitious offering yet.
Who to Channel: One of those impossibly well-heeled older Italian fellows who only seem to exist in mythical Pitti Uomo street style photos; Ryan Gosling just nailing his native Canadian tuxedo.
When to Wear It: Be prepared to be reaching for this jacket way more often than you initially assumed. This is basically your denim jacket on sprezzatura-PEDs, so wear it whenever you’d like a leg up on the competition. (Plus, it’s office appropriate in most instances.)
Degree of Difficulty: Not as high as you’d think. Unless you’re bold enough to pick up the matching pants and go full-on denim suit... Then we’d suggest steering clear of bolo ties—unless you’re in the Southwest.
The Story: The guys from Taylor Stitch—who you’ll recognize as the makers of your favorite perfectly cut shirt—have recently branched into the pants game and have teamed up with fellow Northern Californian and industry vet Aaron Mutscheller to create Good Acre. Their first order of business: these hardworking-yet-handsome Vintner’s Chore Pants, made of double-reinforced 12-ounce duck canvas in 10 different colors.
Who to Channel: A Napa vintner before the boom; Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke; a particularly stylish outdoorsman dressed for town.
When to Wear Them: While doing chores—whether that means pitching hay or, more likely, grabbing the morning paper at your corner bodega.
Recommended if You Like: Storing records in vintage milk crates; terrariums; performing Springsteen-esque knee-slides across stages.
Degree of Difficulty: About as high as the difficulty of putting on a pair of pants. Remember: one leg at a time.
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.)
The Kentucky Derby, better known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” is happening this Saturday. And while the ponies are the main attraction, it’s always been just as much about the decorum, the dress and the drinking—making it one of the more anticipated sporting events of the year. Even if you’re not making it out to Churchill Downs, we’re betting you’ll have a mint julep in hand come weekend.
So, in commemoration of this remarkably dapper sporting event (and a founder with roots in Louisville), the SF-based shirt impresarios at Taylor Stitch have come up with a Derby Days limited run of shirts, ties, totes and belts stamped with golden bears, horses, Derby spires and more. Our favorite of the bunch is this handmade leather tab belt. Of all the items in your closet that can pass for “generally Derby-esque,” we’re guessing nothing's got the hallmark spires of Churchill Downs. (Guaranteed to make the julep in hand feel more authentic.) And if you happen to be in Louisville for the big day, the fellas have taken up residence in an elegant old antique shop where you can get decked out head-to-toe for the Derby and grab a tote to carry your party supplies to the infield.
If not, feel free to call your friend’s rooftop “the infield.”