Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lusting After: WWM F/W 2010 Ranger Pants

I've had a pair of twill Woolrich Woolen Mills Ranger pants for a while now and, as it stands today, are the best pair of chinos I own.  For F/W 2010 Mr. Suzuki has done up the Ranger pant in both grey and navy herringbone wool - both of these pants are must owns as far as I am concerned.  The pants are trim fitting through the thigh and leg, yet still feature a leg opening wide enough to pair with your various boots.  The jetted pockets below the rear flap pockets may seem superfluous, but are actually quite functional especially if you don't like carrying a bag around (they are big enough for your sunglasses, spectacles, cigarettes, phone, Ipod, etc.).  The color palette for WWM F/W 2010 is pretty brooding and the Ranger pants benefit from this.  Both the grey and navy herringbone wool expertly convey a sense of dressiness and ruggedness, which pairs up great with the Ranger pant's inherent aesthetic (a classy trouser with rugged detailing).  It should be noted that these pants feature a relatively higher rise and feature a raised, split yoke in the back.  I prefer my pants to have a higher rise so I dig the look, but it's definitely not for everyone.  These are gonna look killer with a 2" cuff.


Attn: Desert Mali Available Now

Clarks' F/W 2010 pi√©ce de r√©sistance, the Desert Mali, has quietly gone up for purchase on their UK site.  I'm not sure when, or if, this is hitting the US market so, if this boot really gets you going like a few of you claimed, you might want to pick it up now.  It retails for $140 before shipping, which is more or less in line with what everyone was predicting.  I actually thought it would be cheaper, but it's not a terrible deal when you consider just how awesome these boots really are.  Desert Boots get an insane amount of love, and are a great shoe for F/W, but the Mali seems better equipped for the weather ahead.  The brown suede model (which was unseen until now) looks good and keeps the natural crepe outsole as opposed to brown suede DB's that feature black paint - a very nice touch.  Clarks calls this re-launched style "unmistakably Originals". I agree.


[Editor's Note: So apparently, Clarks UK won't ship these internationally so those of us who live stateside or anywhere else in the world will have to wait. Buzzkill.] 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Washed Denim

These days it feels like everyone is preaching raw denim or bust as if it's the end all be all when it comes to your jeans.  I've helped feed the beast on this one, no doubt, but consider this my way of making up for lost time.  While raw denim is a favorite of the style set due to its unique fading and the various personalization that comes with each wear, it's not always the best move in S/S.  The heavy nature of the raw (unwashed) and often stiff fabric is a recipe for an uncomfortable outing, especially in the dog days of summer.  Assuming you don't want to ditch your jeans in favor of chinos, shorts or various other cotton trousers, what are you gonna do?  Well, white jeans are always a popular choice, but they can be tricky to pull off.  Not to mention, if you doubt yourself while wearing white jeans you're as good as finished.  At this point it seems as if conventional style knowledge tells us that our only choice is to suffer through the heat.  And don't get it twisted, you can totally do that if you want to. I've done it myself and I'm sure I'll do it again at some point.  If form truly outweighs function in your specific case, who am I to tell you that you should change - just keep doing you.  But for those of you who are looking to avoid the unfortunate scenario of sweating right on through your pants, you might want to look into a pair of great fitting, washed jeans.  Shit, maybe even selvedge.

[Pictures courtesy of The Sartorialist, GQ and Jake Davis.]

There's no real tricks or rules.  Wear them just like you would your most prized pair of raw denim.  Dress 'em up with a tucked in shirt, knit tie and blazer or neat roll them so there's no break and pull out your haggard ass Vans.  You love your raw denim, not just because of how they represent your specific lifestyle (i.e. your grease stains, your creases, etc.), but also how effortlessly they can bring a kit together.   With such a classic and stylish base, even your white tees look unstoppable.  I don't think there is any reason to think washed jeans can't do the same thing.  Except this time you won't look like you just got ambushed by some punk ass kids on a water balloon drive by - that's never a good look.  In fact, you could even argue that washed jeans look better this time of year.  Their light coloring and smooth texture really has that whole S/S aesthetic vibe thing on lockdown, eh?

The marketplace isn't as flushed with washed jeans that keep things classic and understated (i.e. the wash itself and the cut of the jean) as it is with raw options so a little bit of digging is encouraged.  If you are a little hesitant about going back to washed or are just straight up broke start at the mall (blasphemy!).  Gap, J. Crew and Levi's should have some options, some of which may indeed be selvedge, which really helps when showing off to girls how many blogs you read on your lunch break.  If you're big doggin' it and money aint a thang brands like RRL, Brunello Cucinelli, Spurr, Billy Reid, 4 stroke and Baldwin Denim have pricier numbers that will last longer and hold up despite the thin, washed cotton.  So I guess what I was trying to say was that raw denim is great and everyone knows it, but that doesn't mean it's your only option.  Washed denim - try it out.  Or not. Whatever. Food for thought.


[Editor's Note: Thanks to everyone who helped me out with this one over on that Twitter thing and read Prepidemic's take for some more insight.]

Stubbs & Wootton Madras Pocket Squares

If you're like me then you can't afford 99.9% of Stubbs & Wootton's stock.  Well, maybe we can afford it, but there are probably way better things to spend our money on (like some apology flowers for your girl after she finds out you just spent 4 hundo on a pair of slippers) .  So today is all about the .1% and in the form of S&W's slick madras pocket squares no less.  At $30 a pop ($75 for three) they are easily the most affordable item S&W makes and, quite possibly, the most handsome.  You can snag madras pocket squares all over the place at this point, but I have have yet to find patterns as good as the ones seen below. Seriously, these are better than top notch.  Calling them pocket squares might even be an understatement.  According to S&W's website these "pocket squares" are big enough to wrap around your neck, illustrating that they can potentially double as a bandanna if you were so inclined to rock one as such.  Regardless of how you use it, you get a lot of good looking fabric for a reasonable cost.  When you factor in other brands, such as RRL, selling similar high quality bandannas (the best fabrics, non-run dye, etc.) for twice as much, that don't even look half as good as these, the idea of a Stubbs & Wootton "pocket square" can make a lot of sense.  Hell, if you buy 3 of them you could probably make these at home for less than half price.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lands End Canvas Slim Fit Chinos

I'm always recommending Lands End Canvas to folks looking for well made, well fitting basics on the cheap, but as far as their pants are concerned the jury is still out.  Hopefully that will all change based on the reception of their new slim fit chinos.  Slim fitting chinos are one of the hardest staples to get your hands on and not everyone has the connections in place to sell a non-essential organ on the black market in order to secure a pair of Unis Gio's.  I don't have a hands on read of the LEC joints just yet since they are still really new, but hopefully we can get some in person intel shortly.  Let me save my Mom the trouble of posting a comment - call your local Sears to see if they carry LEC in store so that way you can try a pair on and see for yourself how the fit is (it is an established fact that 83% of American mothers are experts when it comes to shopping at Sears).  And if you're the real cavalier/living on the edge type, as I am sure a few of you are, cop a pair blind and just return them if they aren't up to snuff.  Also, for $40 I am totally for taking these to your tailor to have some work done done since the overall cost will still come in under the price of a new microwave.


Sneak Peek: D.S. Dundee S/S 2011

The other day someone asked me who I thought the most underrated brand was.  At the time I didn't really have an answer, but the more I think about it, the more D.S. Dundee would have been as good an answer as any.  D.S. Dundee is easily one of my favorite English brands making clothes right now.  They have the uncanny ability to produce new and interesting collections while keeping their country/gentry aesthetic firmly in place.  F/W always seems to be where D.S. Dundee shines (read: 3 piece tweeds, boots, elbow patches, etc.), but from the looks of it, S/S 2011 seems like a real coup for my friends on the other side of the pond.  The entire collection is really strong and has cool vibe - American prep meets British old money.  And I'll be damned if those blue canvas saddle shoes aren't the best I have ever seen.  Jim, The Director of D.S. Dundee, requested I only post three images from the lookbook for now, so you can find three favorites below.  As soon as I get the word I'll be sure to post the entire thing. I feel like I'm sitting on the Pentagon Papers or something. Okay, maybe that was a little bit of an exaggeration.  If you're unfamiliar with D.S. Dundee I recommend hitting the post tag to get up to date - the stuff really is that good.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Silas Knows Best

I've never been the biggest fan of Silas as they were always a little too streetwear-y for my particular tastes.  Eventually, as they were picked up by the Highsnobietys and Hypebeasts of the world, I kind of stopped paying a whole lotta attention.  Earlier this week I saw some pretty cool fall lookbook pics floating around Tumblr from an unnamed brand.  After tracking them down, which proved difficult on a site that seems to completely disregard sources, they turned out to be the F/W 2010 lookbook snaps from none other than Silas.  You can check out the entire thing if you please, but I'd like to focus on one particular fit that I think is a pretty good primer for fall style in general.

There's not too much going on here and it's not some incredibly awesome complication of multiple pieces.  Instead, Silas puts together an updated preppy look without going all left field on us.  You probably already own some chinos and seasonal sweaters or vests (be it an L.L. Bean Norwegian or otherwise), but have you ever thought of pairing them with a leather jacket?  The jacket and the rest of the kit work with different stylistic sensibilities, yet, combined, create an interesting whole.  It's an unconventional pairing that happens to work perfectly.  I guess at the end of the day it's another extension of the "juxtaposition school of thought" - a school of thought that's easy to dig once you see outfits like the one above.  Evidently, Silas has known best all along.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Griffin F/W 2010

Drawing inspiration from American military uniforms of the 50's and 60's (check it), Griffin's F/W 2010 collection is a mix of classic military styling and current outerwear technology.  The thing I dig most about Griffin is the combination of heritage that is at work throughout the entire process of their collection - from inception to the finished product.  The collection, itself, is designed in Britain, fabrics are sourced in the U.S.A. from Woolrich (their signature red and black buffalo check can be seen below) and, finally, the clothes are constructed in Italy.  Griffin is a brand devoted to the finer points of garmenture and that definitely comes through in the collection.  I think the lookbook is pretty choice as well, showcasing the gear not just in front of some butcher paper or anything like that, but in environments where the actual functionality of each item plays a big role.  And a side note: I'm loving this camo resurgence we are seeing all over the place not just because I personally dig it, but because it's such a polarizing sartorial choice.  It seems that everyone either loves it or hates it, which is quite interesting - there appears to be no middle ground on that stuff (like we see with chambray).  Not everyone can get down with inherently "difficult" style, but, at the very least, I can appreciate it. Griffin seems to be another great brand who is getting me real pumped for Fall (pre-order the gear here).  I'm sick of ice cream cones at this point anyway.


Creep S/S 2011

When I last mentioned Creep here on Sart Inc my thoughts were summed up as follows: focused, Americana signifiers (i.e. elements of prep, workwear,etc.) and a little too fashion-y at its worst.  Looks from S/S 2011 have just recently hit the blogosphere and I'm happy to report that designer Hiroshi Awai really seems to be hitting his stride since taking over as creative director in 2008.  I can only imagine how tough it is to create a collection that is made up of many influences so I admire Hiroshi for sticking to his guns regardless of how radical things can get (um, is that a chambray chef's hat?).  There are a few pieces here that really represent what Creep is all about.  Something like a red denim peacoat hits the nail on the head in that it combines Hiroshi's love for Americana and the Japanese tendency to rework this infatuation into something new by thinking outside the box.  Creep will always be a line, at least in my eyes, that has some incredibly strong pieces that help articulate what Hiroshi is trying to do.  Lots of these very same pieces are pure winners too so that's saying a lot.  Also, great use of footwear in these shots - be sure to take notes.  You can purchase Creep at Commonwealth and Blackbird.


Jack Spade Credit Card Wallet

A while back I bought myself a new RRL wallet.  I even wrote a long winded piece about the emotional significance of switching out my old walled for the new RRL one.  While I still stand by everything I mentioned in that post (even though I'm sure a bunch of people found, or will find, it silly or self-righteous), after sitting on that RRL joint for something like 9 months my spine could no longer take it - that shit was massive and I don't even carry that much crap.  For someone who has always found minimalism appealing and scoffed at my friends for lugging bricks in their back pockets, I had become just another fool who was destroying his posture daily.   So last week when I was in NYC I picked myself up a Jack Spade credit card wallet.  It was the perfect size for a guy who only has two credit cards and looked cool enough for a purchase under 30 bones.  As of writing this, it's currently on sale at the Jack Spade webstore (though not as cheap as it was in-store) and a good look if one of your ass cheeks needs to take a breather (uh, pause).  And for anyone keeping score, the canvas is already aging pretty well thanks to the days where it seemed like a really good idea to wear jeans in the summer.  This is nautical. This is canvas. This is painless.

Attn: Hamilton 1883 Fall 2010

One of my favorite shirting brands, Hamilton 1883, just put some new Fall 2010 shirts online for pre-sale.  Camouflage, spread collars, red oxford cloth and shooting pads - there is a lot of good stuff here.  Seems like Hamilton 1883 is getting a little more adventurous too, which is most definitely a good thing in my book.  For those not familiar with the brand be sure to hit the tag at the bottom of the post, but for now here are the basics: made in the U.S.A. (Houston, Texas), great slim fit, and top notch fabric/construction.  These shirts are winners, no doubt.  This is also about that time where I apologize to my checking account for making it rain.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Camo S/S 2011 Lookbook

Here is the lookbook scan I promised from the Italian brand Camo who impressed the hell out of me at this year's (caspule) NY.  The S/S 2011 collection, dubbed the "Camo country collection" (if that wasn't obvious already), draws inspiration from the 1978 Portuguese film L’ Albero degli Zoccoli.  If you don't like the filtered vibe I apologize - that's how the pictures were shot.