Today’s must-reads from around the Internet.
You’ll be saving some daylight this Sunday, tax returns are starting to trickle in, but really your wrist has been feeling a little exposed lately. Point is: you’ve probably got a good enough excuse to pick yourself up a new timekeeper.
So, we did what we do and put together a list of the best new watches of spring for your procuring pleasure…
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…
San Francisco’s menswear emporium Unionmade has been stocking some of the finest menswear this side of, well, anywhere for a while now—and as if that wasn’t already impressive enough, in the past few years they’ve been collaborating with some of their favorite labels to spectacular effect. With the third installment of their Indigo series hitting shelves this month and a new line of coats with Golden Bear launched on Monday, it’s almost impossible to keep up with all of the handsomeness they’re turning out. Luckily, we got to sit down with the mastermind behind it all, founder Todd Barket, to hear all about it.
On the heels of yesterday’s plaid primer comes this handsome windowpane blazer from Chimala that’s just landed at Unionmade.
Here’s what else you need to know.
The Story: This jacket couldn’t be better timed, with a windowpane plaid over navy and our favorite seasonal flourish, elbow patches.
Who to Channel: A gentleman of leisure strolling through a city park; Nucky Thompson with a bit less of a penchant for corruption.
When to Wear It: Now through winter’s end—throw a fall/winter pocket square into the mix for added effect.
Degree of Difficulty: Medium to low. Though you ought to keep your plaid count down to only one additional item—unless that item is a kilt (by then, you’re already in too deep).
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.
We’ve filtered through all of the online sale noise and graded your best options out there, should you feel inclined to do any menswear browsing this weekend…
For California-cana: Stock up on the West Coast Americana from SF’s Unionmade with an additional 20% off sale items when using the code TAKE20.
Sizes Available: A-
For the Chill-Waviness: Get beachy with 25% off select items at Saturdays Surf NYC.
Sizes Available: B+
For the Rugged #Menswear: H.W. Carter & Sons is knocking an additional 20% off sale and non-sale items with the code 0020.
Sizes Available: A-
Menswear favorite Unionmade has just opened up a shop-in-shop with the leather experts at Makr—who’ve gone from making the blogger-bait of slim wallets to building a small empire of neo-rustic home goods.
And unlike most shop-in-shop situations, you don’t actually have to make it to SF’s Mission District to get your hands on this stuff. Because it’s all online for the taking. Makr’s got their signature leather-y and canvas-y handsomeness on display, but the real standouts are the items they’ve coated in a powder green that’s unique to the capsule collection.
With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror, it’s hopefully just a matter of time before we’re all feeling a little sand between our toes. And when that day comes, the difference between you and the next schlub will be that you took the time to prepare for the occasion.
Right now, though, we’re not talking about packing sunscreen or deciding on your level of thigh exposure. (Though we’ll most certainly get there.) No, today we’d instead like to examine that essential component of any sunbather’s seaside HQ: the beach blanket. Whether it’s adorned with a bikinied lady friend or simply keeping sand out of the potato salad, no day at the shore is complete without one. And there are some handsome options in the menswear market that are more than worthy of your consideration, available as we speak.
Perfectly timed for the opening of summer-whites season in a few short days, San Francisco’s menswear golden child Unionmade has unveiled their latest star-studded capsule collection.
You might be familiar with their cult-followed Indigo collection from the past two falls, but this time they’ve turned to the lighter side of the spectrum—in terms of both colors and materials. And instead of the traditional bright summer white, the fabrics are left undyed in their natural states, which range from starchy to creamy. Consider it California’s laid-back answer to tennis whites. The list of collaborators reads like a who’s who of menswear favorites, from Alden to Filson to Gitman Vintage—covering every article of clothing your sand-toned summer might require. Even a few bowls and an apron.
In case you’re still looking for the perfect barbecue apron.
When it comes to shorts, we’ve always been of the mind that if you’re going for it, you have permission to get loud. (With the caveat: not at the office.)
And until recently, your only options were of the plaid or embroidered-critter variety meant for rebellious trads. But this season has seen more new patterned shorts on the market than perhaps ever. Stripes, ikat, paisley, liberty and batik prints. There are a lot more ways to get tastefully loud these days (which means you’ll want to outfit the rest of your body in a solid-color oxford cloth button-down, pocket tee or polo shirt—for the sake of everyone’s retinas, keep it to one pattern). So we rounded up our favorites of the bunch, to get you ready for the season.
The trick to spring-summer dressing is pretty much the opposite of fall-winter: the less layers, the better.
And one way to remove a layer while still pulling off a tailored look is to opt for an unlined blazer—preferably in the airiest weave you can find.
The giveaway of a good unlined blazer is the taped seams (our bearded friend here is doing a good job of demonstrating this, by showing the neon-taped interior of his blazer). Most blazers don’t have finished seams because they’ll never see the light of day once the lining has been sewn in. It’s a neat trick—the taped seams—but mostly a good sign of what you should be looking for in a lightweight blazer.
Our friends over at UrbanDaddy bring word that the elusive French menswear label Officine Generale has finally made its way to the states—and more importantly, the Internet. Which is fantastic news for the state of rakishness everywhere.
See, thanks to Tumblr, Instagram and Pitti Uomo, it can sometimes seem like there’s an endless supply of achingly handsome menswear readily available for the taking. But most of the good stuff is actually sitting folded neatly just out of the Internet’s reach in some incredibly well-guarded menswear Eden between Milan and Naples that you’ll never find.
Which is why we were pleasantly surprised to hear tell of Officine Generale making landfall on American soil, by way of SF’s Unionmade. It’s a good chunk of those blazers and poplin shirts that you’ve seen reblogged hundreds of times on Tumblr since the label’s January 2012 inception but have been otherwise untraceable. Meaning it’s not exactly menswear for the faint of wardrobe, but it is a good place to look if you’re feeling like a hickory-stripe blazer with four patch pockets is the sort of direction you’d like to go in this summer.
There are plenty of perfectly good reasons to wear a baseball cap.
Driving a convertible. Watching a ball game. Premature balding.
But we’ve been noticing a sharp rise in guys wearing more #menswear-y versions—without a hint of support for a sports team—even more so, with the recent rise in popularity of the five-panel cap and floral prints. And it got us thinking about what it all means. So we’ve gone ahead and taken stock of all the nonstandard baseball caps out there to give you a better idea of what your choice in billed topper is projecting to the world.
With another spring arrival—this time at Unionmade—comes another lightweight jacket perfect for the wintry side of spring we’re soon to be transitioning into.
This Fairfax shawl-collared varsity jacket is the next piece in the long-standing collaboration between San Francisco’s own Unionmade and Golden Bear—just in time for spring training. Here’s what else you need to know.
The Story: SF men’s shop Unionmade has made a name for itself selling sensible, heritage-leaning menswear, and they’ve also made a habit of collaborating with some of their favorite labels—including Golden Bear, a local company that’s been in the varsity jacket business for nearly century.
Who to Channel: A well-heeled relief pitcher warming up in the bullpen; a varsity boat skipper.
When to Wear It: This one is your windbreaker for all seasons—the shawl collar can be turned up for even more protection to your breeze-susceptible neck.
Think of This As: The ideal love child between a windbreaker and a varsity jacket.
Let’s not mince words here: it’s cold out. And it’s coldest on the ground—which means you should be paying careful attention to keeping your feet as warm as bipedally possible.
So we went ahead and rounded up the warmest socks on the market—many of which won’t look out of place on your regular rotation of pastels and patterns.
Just when you thought there wasn’t any more room in your closet for another tweed blazer…
We went and dug up this spectacular Nep Tweed Blazer from Beams+.
Oh, and before we forget to mention it: Unionmade’s got it for 40% off as part of the epic Fall-40 sale they launched this morning. Here’s what else you need to know about your newest blazer.
The Story: The near-mythical Japanese label Beams+ was once impossible to find on American shores, until the fine folks at Unionmade began smuggling it (legally) over here for the past few years. Now you’ve got a chance to get ahold of this stuff without a proxy or the full price tag.
Who to Channel: The Scottish countryside; a bookish professor at Cambridge with a penchant for the New York Mets—the “nep weave” intersperses flecks of oranges and blues in the houndstooth; Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry.
When to Wear It: From the moment your shipment arrives till the temps start getting above 50 degrees. And then when fall comes around and the temps start dipping toward 50 degrees and lower again.
Degree of Difficulty: About as hard as it is to slip into a fine tweed blazer.
The folks at Unionmade (not to be confused with union-hyphen-made) know a thing or two about a good collaboration.
So they recently called up the legendary Harris Tweed factory in Scotland and ordered a few hundred yards of their finest Donegals, windowpanes and flecked herringbones, and sent the lot to their favorite labels to see what they’d come up with. The result: a handsome kaleidoscope of tweediness: totes from Filson, a spectacular blazer from Todd Snyder, a gaggle of cozy down-stuffed tweed from Crescent Down Works and more. You can find Unionmade Harris Tweed in its entirety here, if you’re considering the notion of more tweed in your life—a natural instinct around this time of year.
On Friday, Gawker caused an uproar when they realized one of the pillars of rustic #menswear, Unionmade, was actually the name of a men’s shop in San Francisco and not a place to buy goods solely made by unionized laborers. We’ll overlook the fact that they’re three years late to the party (the shop opened in 2009) and say this: we’re outraged, too. And this isn’t the first time we’ve been bamboozled by shrewd corporate name-jockeying. (An Apple Store that doesn’t sell apples? Come on!) And we can’t keep quiet any longer…
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.
We’re heading into a mistier time of year.
Making this poncho that’s just landed in SF men’s shop Unionmade right on time (Postalco is calling it a “rain cape,” but we know a poncho when we see one). It’s less bulk than a trench—which should come in handy while it’s still a bit warm out—and will fold neatly into a briefcase or desk drawer, in case you’re ever umbrellaless. Not to mention it’s the sort of thing that’ll get you street styled in NYC or Tokyo.
Just remember to feign disinterest while staring blankly off-camera.
Perhaps the lingering effects of America’s birthday have kicked the heritage-centric sale-ing into high gear, because today we’ve got news that SF’s Unionmade has knocked 40% off a good chunk of their stock, including Tellason jeans in a summery white (and weight), a mind-blowing amount of Gitman Vintage and the lowest numbers you’ll find tacked to Barbour jackets this side of the pond. Do it for Americana.
The legendary Japanese label Beams+ doesn’t show up much outside of Tokyo, but in recent years the folks at Unionmade have developed a reputation for smuggling their clothes onto American shores.
The latest crop arrived this week, and it’s pretty spectacular, from royal blue cropped chinos to one of the sharpest cardigans we’ve seen all winter. Designers take note: the weave is so loose, you can practically see through it.
It’s not cheap (customs can have that effect), but it’s good news for anyone with a yen for translated Americana… and anyone who happens to be living close enough to SF to see the goods in person.
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