At the end of 2019, I’m still following the Archival Resolutions I set out for myself at the start of the decade. My favorite has always been resolution #4: “Shop from yourself and from thrift shops. Repurpose strategic items from the past.”
In the past year, I’ve been trying to shop more from myself and repurpose strategic items from the past (if not from myself than from two of my favorite Japanese second hand clothing stories: Kindal and Kanful).
At the end of the decade, I can safely say that I’m comfortably (almost neurotically) resourced in Barbours, Stark cardigans, Danton jackets, custom bicycles and Alden loafers.
Nevertheless, I’ve added a few items to my 2020 shopping list (gleaned from a year of browsing Japanese web shops, scanning Instagram feeds, reading Heddels posts and checking in on ebay saved searches.
Here are a few items that I will be catching (and likely releasing) in 2020:
1. Rocky Moutain Featherbed Liner
Finally, I have the perfect sized liner for my FWK Engineered Garments Highland Parka. My RM Six Month vest proved to be one of my most versatile purchases in 2019 (almost down to pennies per wear). I love the idea of this layering piece doubling as a kind of sleeping quilt if I follow through on my goal of taking up bikepacking (over randonneuring).
2. Old Bear folding knife
I spotted this made-in-Italy, economical Opinel alternative during a trip to Amsterdam in February. Knives like this always become affordable placeholders for fancier ones that I always catch and release from shops like Firma Moes.
3. Coloral Cycling Bottle
I have been mooning over these retro-inspired Coloral water bottles for work coffee for the past two years. It might be a little spendy for a single use H20 bottle, but the design and functionality make it worth the expense. Also, I love that the company is making and selling only a single product. Full story via Bicycling magazine. 2020 is the year that I buy my own bottle (and stop gawking the Coloral instagram feed).
4. Baie des caps sweaters
Baie des caps makes Bretagne-style nautical sweaters. These are a refreshing alternative to the Coke and Pepsi of Armor Lux and St. James. I learned about Baie by way of an Alex Singer pop up shop at Paris-Brest-Paris. Singer worked with Baie to produce one of the nicest, best quality wool cycling jerseys that I have ever owned.
5. Orslow French Work Pants
My daily uniform of head-to-toe navy denim has been knocked for a loop since a pal gifted me a pair of these wonderful Orslow French Pants. Looking at a product photo, I never expected that my adult self would wear pants w/an elastic waistband and a side utility pocket. However, these have been in active circulation since the early summer and I plan to stockpile one more pair in 2020.
6. Labour and Wait Chore Coat
Here is a another pennies per wear item. I am a fan of French chore coats but have a hard time finding them in petite sizes. The Tokyo Labour and Wait shop now sells a unisex version that goes down to a Japanese size 1. I purchase one of these in khaki and plan to nab a model in navy (for my daily uniform) in 2020.
7. Cachalot Cap
One of my happiest discoveries in 2019 was Cachalot, an Instagram-first cycling cap company out of Japan. I love the handpainted designs and handmade styles (everything from a fleece lined cyclocross cap to a mesh backed model for cycling, or running, in the heat of the summer).
8. R.M. Williams Gardener boots
Everywhere I look, I see Blundstones. I love the profile of a classic Chelsea boot but too many of my Blunnies have deconstructed after a year (or so) of hard wear. After a decade of hemming and hawing, I am finally planning to upgrade to a more aristocratic pair of RM Williams Gardener Boots. Note: sizing available for both men and women.