Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘shopping from Japan’

South2West8 Tie Dye Bug Net Parka and Landing Net

October 10th, 2017

Many of my Archival blog posts are intended to remind me, in a few years, of random and extraordinary web finds. As my attention diminishes and the web redoubles, I frequently find and than drop the thread of a super fruitful search string (typically ending in Japan). Here’s one I never want to forget: a South2 West8 tie dye bug net parka (and matching landing net).

 

Shopping from Japan – Kapital Jacket

September 16th, 2016

I started stalking Japanese web shops in 2006 and the experience never gets old. Even cursory check ins with fave web shops turn up exciting new finds. While heritage as a codified style may be petering out in the US, Japan keeps churning out unique variations on workwear staples like the button front chore coat. Case and point is this jacket from Kapital available via Takanna (a web shop that ships to the US). The jacket is made from 12 ounce denim from Okayama. What I love about it is the shape and distribution of front and rear pocketing. I’m a big fan of hunting jackets with their rear facing game pockets. This may be the first time I’ve seen this feature incorporated into a more casual, denim jacket. While Kapital sizing goes down to a Japanese 2, I’m leaving this item as a catch and release given that there is no scaled down version for women.

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Shopping from Japan: Danton Round Collar Shirt

June 6th, 2016

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While I like to think that  I am relatively current with heritage clothing brands in the states and abroad, I was pleased to discover Danton during my PDC trip to Tokyo last Spring.  Danton is a french workwear brand sold in Japan. I’m not quite sure whether there really is any more Danton sold in France (readers?!) although web retail reports indicate that the company was indeed founded in France in 1931.  I came back from Japan with a few different Danton garments including round collar shirts in short and long sleeves. I love that this style combines my favorite shirting elements: round collar, popover design, short cut, and on seam pockets.  The garment is unisex; I’ve seen it on offer on several Japanese web shop for women and gents including B-Shop and Woody Company. Depending on the season, you can order this shirt in light chambray or a heavier weight oxford cloth. Now that Rakuten is opening up space to more second hand clothing shops, you can most likely purchase Danton plus shipping to the states for less than $100 (pretty good for an item that you will most likely wear for years to come).

I know that we live in a state of denim elysium but if you are looking for new fabrics and fits,, give this Danton a try.

Shopping from Japan – Shoes Like Pottery

August 7th, 2013

Thanks to Archival readers who suggested Shoes Like Pottery as an alt to my obsession over Wakouwa Deck Shoes.  As was noted in my original post, the Wakouwas are not sized for women, cost over three hundred dollars and are difficult to find in the US.  In contrast, SLPs are unisex, comparably stylish, and easily sourced in the US via favorite shops like Hickorees and Mohawk General Store.  The shoes are made from best quality canvas duck and rubber.  And like a nice pair of Aldens, they are hand sewn and hand assembled.  The SLP moniker refers to the vulcanizing process in which the shoe rubber is fired in a kiln for 70 minutes to make it more soft, durable and flexible.  I still haven’t purchased a pair of canvas shoes but I’m wishfully hoping to find these on sale upon my return from London.

  

Wishful Shopping – Wakouwa Deck Shoes

July 16th, 2013

Wakouwas in the window at Anatomica (Paris)

I’m heading to London in a week for London Edinburgh London, a 1400k randonnee.  I’ve just assembled all my bike gear (which includes many non archival, ziploc packed servings of powdered nutrition).  Sadly, I’m going to have very little space in my luggage for non cycling garb. At the moment I’m boiling my travel garb down into a single outfit I can wear on the plane and than for five days in London. What I’m missing is the perfect pair of comfortable canvas sneakers. Many of my pals prefer Superga, Tretorn or Chuck Taylors.  What I want is a pair of  made in Japan, Wakouwa deck shoes. I’ve been wishfully shopping for Wakouwas since I spotted them in the window at Anatomica in Paris.  You can buy them through a few US stockists but alas, most don’t sell them in smaller sizes for women.  At Mohawk General Store, you can even buy them in Yves Klein blue.  If you have a secret Wakouwa source, or could suggest a stylistic alternative, let me know.
 

Archival Garb for Women

July 12th, 2013

It was great to see this article in the New York Times about the emerging trend of tailored, masculine clothing for women.  I’ve been championing the production of heritage style menswear sized for women since the earliest days of the Archival blog.  Of course, Japan, per usual, is ahead of the curve in this area.  Beams Boys regularly features snaps of of female customers sporting menswear inspired ensembles.  Here are a few of my favorite snaps from the Beams flickr feed:

 

Wishful Shoppping – Russell Chukkas

May 17th, 2013

Russell Moccasin is one of the first US brands I rediscovered via Japanese web shops.  In the mid-oughts, I used to wishfully shop for Japan only,  Russell special make ups.  My favorite models were those which paired a Fishing Oxford upper with a sturdy hunting or workwear tread.  By comparison,  I was uninspired by Russell’s domestic print catalog featured school yearbook quality photographs and confusing print lists of of pricing and leather selections.  Here is a pair of Russell Chukkas that caught my eye from the Japanese shop MAPS.  In addition to the Chukkas, I love the detailed product snaps and the sockless model. 

 

 

 
 

Shopping from Japan – Cyclo Tourist Bags

April 15th, 2013
Thanks to Bill Lane at Wall Bike for reprinting this pictographic feature on front handlebar bags from the Japanese magazine Cyclo Tourist.  Apart from Guu-Watanabe, Ostrich and Berthoud, many of the brands are new to me.

For reference, here is my post from 2008 showing the of the range of French, US and Japanese made handlebar bags in use by my randonneuring friends.  

Obsession – Brown’s Beach Vests and Jackets

March 28th, 2013
Brown’s beach fabric, a unique wool-cotton blend, was developed in 1901 for general outdoor use.  This hard wearing, water repellent, slightly elasticized fabric was sewn up into simple vests and jacket styles which are still being made today by Japanese repro brands like Sugar Cane Co.  One can also source original, historical versions on ebay or through second hand, vintage hand dealers. Here’s a maroon Brown’s vest from the 1940s that sold for three thousand dollars on ebay.   According to this terrific post by Vintage Workwear, Brown’s Beach is the fabric that kept Admiral Byrd warm at the South Pole (“the best buy in warmth and comfort ever known”). 
Sugar Cane vest at Reveille
I first encountered the amazing Brown’s Beach fabric during a recent trip to Reveille in Portland.  The shop, which sells Japanese brands like Momotaro, Post O’Alls, Rising Sun and Self Edge, had a few vests and jackets on display.  I immediately fell in love with the brown’s beach vest, made by Sugar Cane Co.   In addition to the snug, body hugging “monkey” fit, the vest resembled my beloved  Woolrich, four pocket Railroad vest
Hefty, two ply weave with fuzzy, fleece facing
 

Brown’s Beach Lapel Jacket
Sugar Cane Lapel Jacket

Shopping from Japan – Uncle Sam

November 29th, 2012

Uncle Sam is one of my favorite Japanese web shops.  Though I cannot read Japanese, I frequently visit the site to check out the shop’s style blog.  While I don’t recognize most of the brands on offer, I take inspiration from the shop’s artful presentation of snout to tail, total clothing ensembles.  Someday, I hope to assemble a cleverly layered outfit worthy of Uncle Sam.  My three zones of aspiration include upper body layering, accessories and the key interface of sock, shoe and trouser.  Here are some recent looks that I’m admiring.
 

Backwards cap, kerchief, patched pants, ankle boots and a sock reveal – a look I pledge to try in 2013.
Fearless patchwork
Here, I love how the scarf and bag snap precisely into place.  I cannot imagine this gent ever dropping his bag, removing his cap or unknotting his scarf. 
Shorts for Fall/Winter
When in doubt, wear a vest

  

Classic, heavy duty outer wear – carried forward
Knotted scarf aplomb
 
Bicycle as accessory

 Archival bags by Uncle Sam