Sassafras was not an easy brand to find, even in Japan. We only came across a few pieces at the Mountain Research store, but otherwise it escaped our grasp. The Utility Co-op remains to be the only place where we can buy it online from North America, however we can have a look at a handful of their fall items nicely styled here. This definitely is a look that I find myself wearing in the fall. Fatigue pants, low cut boots, wool or knit vests, chambray or oxfords and a nice chore jacket or barn coat on top. The look can be achieved through other collections: EG, Post Overalls, Garbstore, RRL – but it comes down to how you personally put pieces together. I feel this is a nice and simple way to pull off a casual 'work wear' look that works well. —
Visiting the B•Yoshida shop in Tokyo was definitely one of my highlights. As a long time fan of the Porter / Yoshida brands, seeing the selection in the store was incredible. So many of the items I've seen online, blogged and lusted after were right there in front of my eyes. Beyond the latest Monocle bags, collaborations with Wacko Maria, and the beautiful B-Jirushi collection, this Rigby rucksack was a definite highlight. The heavy leather and paraffinised canvas looked amazing in this colour. They explained the level of craftsmanship it took to stitch the 7 oz. leather to the heavy canvas and some of the hand-made features on the bag. Beyond its appealing aesthetic, it is definitely a functional piece. The easy to use phone slot and cinch top were some of my favorite features, while the price wasn't too tough to swallow. It says the bag is sold out online, but I know they have a couple in the shop if you are so inclined to get yourself one. —
Winter's the time to step up your chambray to something that can handle the cold and elements. Studio D'Artisan can usually be counted on for bringing high quality garments and they don't disappoint with their latest version of the work shirt. The heavy cotton chambray with hidden selvage button down collar offers another slightly different take on the essential item. I'm a fan of the pocket detailing and balance on the chest. The use of white stitching and black buttons is also a nice changed, topped off by the unique placket. The shirt is made in Japan, and unsurprisingly fits fairly small, so be sure to check measurements when you order. — Available at Superdenim
The fall collection from Wtaps features one of their best selections to date in my opinion. The Black Flag store in Tokyo was one of our favourites as well, however several of the key items had already sold through by the time we'd arrived. Fortunately Union in LA have just received a nice shipment including these shawl neck cardigans. Exterior branding has always been something I hate, but Wtaps probably does the best job and making it work. With several hits on the outer of the knit, the sweater still looks great, wearable and provides a bit of an off key option on a classic piece.
One of my favourite shoes come fall is a pair of dirty bucks. While they are great all year around, I think the cooler, rougher months are a great time to beat up a tan or brown suede – especially if it comes on a sturdy Vibram sole. Yuketen's dirty bucks actually weren't apart of this fall's offering but if you hunt enough you may be able to get a pair from eBay or in Japan from Freak's Store. The classic Goodyear welt and solid low cut shoe is one of my favourites from the brand, and you can read a lot more about Yuki and his approach in our first issue of Inventory. If you miss out on the tan suede, I would recommend going straight to white for the spring. —
Waste(twice) was one of the brands we were most looking forward to seeing in Japan. Beyond that, we had a chance to meet with the designers and check out their own shop in Harajuku yesterday. While their collaboration with Mt. Raineer Design Works and their own outerwear were stand outs, it was the varsity cardigan that especially caught my eye. It actually came in another colour in which the body was an off-white and the stripes were red, which I slightly prefer to this one. Either combination, it was a great fitting piece of knitwear that really conveyed the aesthetic better than most I've seen. The winter collection was impressive in person and I do hope to see some English speaking shops pick up the brand in the future.
Visvim's fall collection continues to release piece by piece at F.I.L. locations while stockists around the world get their more substantial drops. One of the more recent items are these "Survey Pants" in a fairly heavy stiff wool. We had a chance to get them out in person at the Tokyo F.I.L. the other day and I was definitely impressed by the weight and the cut of the leg. The silhouette seems to be improving each season with Visvim's bottoms, and these are a good example of the direction of the brand. While many still consider the Japan label a streetwear collection, these trouser would hold their own alongside Sander, Comme and the like.
While most stockists have bought the wool argyle pattern, the best option in the classic Bedford jacket comes in a great sateen cotton or serge wool. The absolute staple in casual sportswear seems to get better season after season, and this fall's navy option is another favorite. While visiting the Tokyo Engineered Garments flagship, we were lucky enough to see a couple special editions of the coat. The jackets are in a brushed twill and come with a deadstock one-off baseball patch from Daiki's collection on the left pocket. We're still debating picking up one of these rare Bedfords, but you could always get this one and find your own patch.