One of the best purchases I made last winter was a knit Margiela cap. This winter they are back. For the first time, Tres Bien Shop has the collection on the roster and have a lovely offering of clean cut knits for our layering pleasure. The dark ribbed cap is about as versatile as you could hope for. With a nice deep charcoal tone, it legitimately works with almost anything we might put together. Although I don't personally get too involved in exterior branding, Margiela is one of the few that pulls me in and those four little white marks just look right. Nice and subtle in toque form, the light or dark grey fit snug but will stretch out after being worn for a few days. It's nice to see Tres Bien's expected good taste in the collection with their first buy, as well as making it a little more accessible for most of us.
What initially struck me about these cords was how similar the patch placement was to an old pair of 44s I've got. I've worn them to death over the years and have done a lot of the repairs myself. Intrigued, I dug a little deeper. Analog Lighting is designed in Tokyo by Takeshi Yamamoto and each collection has a very specific backstory. The current season is inspired by the uniforms of a fictitious Finnish electric company. Most collections are produced around particular themes and reference points but the Japanese definitely thrive on going the extra mile. Attention to detail is often a defining feature of their work and that's certainly the case here - explore the website and you'll see what I mean. Back to the cords though, and I shouldn't need to say too much. A good pair of cords is such a staple and these are beautifully done. They've got plenty of character but don't seem too contrived. Navy is an ideal colour and they'll always be a great alternative to denim or chinos. With the colder weather approaching, don't underestimate the extra warmth they provide either. I lived in cords last winter, intend on doing exactly the same this year and would happily add these to the rotation.
The Supreme Ripstop Parka I posted on Friday was a great waterproof jacket but it did have a particular aesthetic. For me, its bright shell and echoes of Patagonia were perfect but I also appreciate that may not be everyone. If you liked the reference but would prefer a more subdued option, Margaret Howell's Pioneer Jacket might be worth considering. It's inspired by similar technical garments but adopts a more neutral palette. In this instance, the resounding influence would seem to be Rohan. There's a similar spirit in the styling and choice of muted colours, and functionality has definitely been prioritized. Made from GORE-TEX, it features four well placed pockets, waterproof zips, a lined hood and classic drawcord waist. However, its technical features aren't overwhelming and it still has a very considered appearance. It's guaranteed to keep you dry but could also be combined with almost anything. The Pioneer Jacket is a prime example of what Margaret Howell does best and represents a timeless combination of fashion and function.
This fall I've selected just a handful of items I plan on purchasing and hope to stick to it after getting a bit of an out of control in the spring. A good pair of fatigue pants is one of the things on the list. I had been looking at Engineered Garments' option, or filling the void with the ts(s) cropped version. Now though, these Orslow pants are the front runner for fall. The pockets look perfect - from the flaps on the back to the nicely stitched thigh pockets, which are fairly key in defining the casual aesthetic of the pant. I've also been more open than ever to cinch back details and wouldn't mind adding another pant with the feature to my closet. Besides the details and pretty reasonable price of $170 USD, the pants may actually show up stateside as Orslow has been showing in the US for a couple seasons now. I just hope somebody picked the label up and bought these pants (in this colour) because I need them.
The Marron Antique leather finish on these classic derbies couldn't be better. I'll admit that these aren't the most interesting or exciting looking shoes ever made by Tricker's, but the versatility and potential is great. Their simplicity means they're easy enough to wear with a casual winter suit - perhaps a grey wool - and the double leather sole and colour give off a nice casual feeling that works perfectly with denim. There are only a few styles of shoes I feel like I could wear 4-5 days a week and I think these could be one of them. From jeans and a white Tee, to a sport coat and tie - the shoes can play year round in any outfit. They also work well with patterned and colored socks or with the full leather lining you can go sockless. When it comes to buying a pair of Tricker's, it's definitely an investment that you want to get a lot out of. So, while these might look a little dull on their own, you'd be hard pressed to make them look bad with any ensemble and there's no way you could make them look bad on a daily basis. Available at Oi Polloi
Horizontal stripes are not an easy look to pull off on a button up shirt. Deluxe have done well with it though and pushed the jail-issue look nicely on this casual shirt. The thick charcoal/black lines obviously contrast strongly against the white which might not normally work but the grain and texture of stripes allow it to. The shape, exterior branding and nice button spacing look about perfect, but I would like to have a closer look at the cut of the collar as it looks fairly small. I'm not too sure of the best way to wear this Deluxe piece, but I'm thinking layered under a cardigan or chore coat could be ideal. Deluxe will be showing up in North America in the near future, so hopefully it will be a little easier to snag some of their great basics sooner than later.
There's certainly been a resurgence in the popularity of cardigans in recent seasons, particularly shawl collar versions. As much as I'm a fan of this variety, I'm always on the lookout for something more unusual and this is a great option. If it's mild enough, many cardigans work perfectly in place of a jacket and 45rpm directly reference that by including a notched lapel. First and foremost, it's a great alternative to the shawl collar but also allows their cardigan to be worn in a variety of ways. Hand knitted from 100% cotton, further character is added by combining a series of different textures. The ribbed placket and pockets and an open weave on the collar, cuffs and hem work beautifully alongside the plain body. The natural wooden buttons are also a great accent on the blue version and this may be my favourite colour. That said, the maroon would definitely be extremely versatile. A choice between the two might be difficult but whichever you prefer, the cardigan itself is a classic and one that offers a really refreshing alternative.
Even though they're known mostly for their work with 60/40 cloth around here, Crescent Down Works does hold up to their name with their other pieces. When it comes to their down works, vests are what they're known for and the Italian is my definitely favourite. Of all the versions I've seen of it, this custom one for South Willard might be the best. It's made from a nice medium weight olive tweed wool produced just south of CDW at Pendleton. The flecked wool is a perfect autumnal tone that's well completed with the green ripstop lining. It'd be perfect with a chambray, some chinos, and wool hat. Portland weaves the wool, Seattle makes the vest, blogged in Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest gets paid off of all of that... (well not actually, I just watched this twice in a row)