February 18th, 2015
We’re live at the Liberty Fairs show in Las Vegas this week, scoping out the best menswear coming up for Fall/Winter 2015.
My favorite brands to watch are those who put innovative spins on classic tailored pieces. We look for traditional designs with modern twists so subtle that the garment appears up-to-date but doesn’t lose its timeless appeal.
Here are some of the innovations happening in the tailoring space that we’re excited about.
The Wool Suiting Shirt
Southwick has been making hand-made tailored garments in Massachussets since 1929 for major fashion brands like Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren. Their own private line Southwick Clothing is a very tasteful take on classic American sportswear. Think soft-shouldered flannel sport coats and striped cotton oxford shirts.
This shirt might be my favorite product from the entire show. It’s a classic American semi-spread shirt cut from an Italian wool suiting cloth. It’s a lightweight super 120s wool in a grey-on-grey windowpane. The shirt is surprisingly smooth and comfortable. It also breathes noticeably better than a cotton fabric, as wool is known to do.
Tomorrow we’ll show you a suit in this exact fabric.
The coat by Aspesi is a a beauty as well. A well-made, trim-cut mac like this one in a sturdy navy blue cotton is the type of garment that can be a foundational wardrobe item for 10 or more years.
The Reversible Topcoat/Raincoat
I’m usually not a fan of “hybrid” clothing but this reversible overcoat, handmade in Italy by Lardini, is a really brilliant and beautiful design. It’s kind of like having a topcoat and a raincoat in one.
On one side it’s a tough gingham tweed fabric, with peak lapels, soft shoulders and patch pockets. On the other side, it’s a water-resistant raincoat in a solid navy blue nylon. Genius.
For all the vintage and heritage guys out there, you’ll appreciate this one.
Southwick also builds-in a digital ID tag in all of their garments. Scanning this tag allows them to pull up information on the specific garment; the date it was made, the original source of the fabric and inputs, who the garment was made for, etc.
I think this is a brilliant concept for well-made tailored garments that are built to last the test of time. It’s essentially a digital cataloging system. It creates an important sense of transparency in the manufacturing and selling processes. Imagine if you could use an app to pull-up manufacturing information for all the Harris Tweed sportscoats and other random heritage goods hanging in your local vintage shops.
- Harris tweed jacket and waistcoat by Southwick Clothiers
- Oxford shirt by Southwick Clothiers
- Indigo selvedge denim by RPM West
- Boots by Wolverine Vintage
Thanks, as always, for reading.
Yours in style,
Photography by Alex Crawford.