Top Photo Credit: Cory Doctorow
Spring’s coming up fast. Punxsutawney Phil says so. And while Fall might be #1 on most preferred style season lists, Spring is the top dog for plenty too. The exhaust blackened snow has finally melted, you can feel your fingers again, and then there’s that first day when gorgeous women fall from the sky only to land on sun warmed blankets in the park. The still slightly crisp breeze ushering bangs across lightly freckled foreheads… sweaters cast aside to welcome the almost forgotten caress of the mid day sun… smiling eyes behind sunglasses that beckon your…
Hold it. When the hell did a coming of age novel break out? Let’s just get to the goods. Prices are steep on plenty of these now, but here’s to hoping sales roll around.
Bonobos: The Washed Chino Blazer – $178.00
Compared to the Merona Kensington or the Stafford Prep options, this one costs an arm and a leg. But both of those cheaper alternatives have issues. Bonobos is famous for their fit, so you’d think this one would nail it. Same fabric as their washed chinos, only cut and sewn into jacket form. Orange contrasting lapel button hole won’t please everyone, but for others it’ll be a nice touch. Meanwhile, as mentioned yesterday in this month’s best bets, the in-house JC Penney Brand jcp has just launched their own chino blazer in exact chest measurement sizes. High hopes on that one.
Yes. Those’ll do just fine. If they’re anywhere near the quality and feel of the oft mentioned Stafford wingtips and boots, then there’s another serious winner here.
Warby Parker Edgeworth – $145.00 (polarized only. Rx costs even more)
Some guys will spend a king’s ransom on sunglasses, and some certainly will not. Not cheap, by any stretch, but damn. Not available for the Warby Parker in-home try-on, but returns are prepaid and free if you’re in the contiguous United States. Japanese Titanium temple pieces, blue polarized lenses, and a retro look that’s a step away from the costumey-line. Wish they’d have made a non-polarized version for less. More discussion on sunglasses happening now on threads.
Navy & White Nautical Sweaters: J. Crew Factory – $27.65 w/ PRESDAY | L.L. Bean Sig – $74
These are popping up everywhere. Another opportunity to look less sloppy on your downtime. One of those articles of clothing that lets you work in some color for spring, without going full Easter Egg. Update: Looks like J. Crew Factory extended their 30% off + free shipping code PRESDAY through today, 2/19. They also dropped the price a bit. Nice. Thanks to fash1on in the comments.
Shinola Watches. Built in Detroit. $400 – $800 (not on sale yet)
Shinola is a new watchmaker that should hopefully start selling their timepieces soon… and they look incredible. Assembly is happening in Detroit and are made from parts sourced from a variety of suppliers. Quartz Movement components are “imported from Switzerland and elsewhere.” The cases are made from US Steel which is fabricated in China. But the goal of the brand is to grow the % of U.S. stuff in each watch in the years to come. Price range for the watches appear to be in the $400 – $800 range. A lot for a quartz, but the sneak peaks at the designs look terrific (check the galleries here and here at the bottom of the page). Credit to them for trying to base operations here, right? Shinola is a decedent of a Texas-Based firm called “Bedrock Brands”, which happens to be owned by the founder of Fossil, Tom Kartsotis. Yep. That Fossil. Thanks to Eric H. for the style tip.
Speaking of Fossil, it seems like they’ve gotten the message that their logo might be a bit of a detriment. And it appears that there’s no logos on this simple, professional, yet not stuffy briefcase. Waxed cotton and leather trim. Also available in all leather for one hundred dollars more.
Some chambray blazers look a little too much like Mom jeans. This isn’t one of them. But how dark is it really? Haven’t seen one in store yet, and the BR website is notorious for not quite real to life coloring of their goods. 65% wool, 23% linen, 12% cotton makes for a not-so-average fabric mix, but a blend that many of us would love to see in a lighter shade and applied to a set of suit separates. Still shaking fist at sky for missing out on last year’s wool/linen peak lapel number.
Fifty bucks? For a trench? Haven’t seen this one in stores yet, but it’s 100% cotton that’s allegedly “water repellent / water resistant”. Nice above the knee length too. That’s some budget Inspector Gadget gear right there.
Clairborne Suit Jacket – $65.00 & Pant – $37.00 in Navy Cotton
Everyone expects a khaki cotton or lighter linen suit to wrinkle. A navy suit in either fabric is a total luxury. You’ve got a navy wool as your wardrobe anchor, and now this is for more casual nights when it warms up, or for mixing and matching with other stuff when a full blown suit would seem out of place. And so what if it wrinkles? Fit and fabric on the jacket is outstanding for the price. More over here, and hat tip to texas_ed in the comments on the same post for pointing out the matching pants. Expect an in-person in the not too distant future.
Tie Driver. Not fighter. Rich looking suede, a not too agressive heel grip, and boat-shoe like rawhide lace ties on top. Spring & Summer. Bring it on. Also available in a deep navy and an eye gouging green.
Soft Italian shoulders and a half-canvas construction. Woulda been nice to see some options in their $399 price range, but that line seems to be all but dead (only one suit is in that section at post time). Part of the new spring collection Suitsupply is currently taking pre-orders on. They’re also making a blue, wool-linen blend, which might resist wrinkling a little more.
A total splurge. $200 is no small price, but it’s the latest from small & independent Fifth&Brannan, and it appears to be a really well executed, different take on the denim jacket. This one looks more like a jacket made from denim, and less like a pair of jeans that was somehow turned into a jacket. Black coated Cone Mills indigo denim, standup mock collar, and gunmetal buttons. Designed by the fiancee of Barron at The Effortless Gent.
What have you got your eyeballs glued to in this pre-spring period? Leave any leads in the comments below…