It was during the gold rush years of the late 1800s that C. C. Filson found his calling. And it wasn't digging and sieving. Setting up shop in Seattle, his was the job of kitting out the fortune hunters on route to the bitter Yukon, pioneering designs 'you can depend absolutely upon...both as to material and workmanship'. Today, Filson continue to kit out adventure seekers to the highest standard, even here in Winchester where we can't do without their excellent luggage. Crafted from the heaviest cotton canvas and genuine bridle leather, their medium duffle bag, wash bag and computer brief case are built to survive seriously adverse conditions, from packed commuter trains to the roughest and toughest budget airline queue.
One of twelve, two of twelve, three of twelve. No we’re not counting parcels. Just admiring our new arrivals from General Knot & Co. A few very special ties, beautifully handmade in the USA’s most sought-after tailoring shops using pre 1950s vintage fabrics with particular note to some very fine tweeds and plaid designs. No more than twelve are made from each run of fabric so prepare to be the most dapper of them all and on the receiving end of all the nice tie attention.
Now that soggy school trips are a distant enough memory, K-Way has won its way back into our hearts with its trusty pac-a-mac, the classic lightweight waterproof designed by French man Leon-Claude Duhamel back in 1965. The original design, known as Claude, is our mac of choice - a full zip up folding neatly away into a small hip bag. Suitably grown up in black, navy, burgundy and grey, we're really not sure how we survived without it all these years.
It wasn't just the Levi's that did well out of that iconic 80s commercial. If you can call a boxer short a design classic then Sunspel's crisp white version (as modelled so well by Nick Kamen in that laundrette), is most definitely that. They were the company responsible for introducing the boxer short to Britain in 1947 and with only a few refinements since, they have the perfect design all sewn up. No one makes them softer or more comfortable. The cotton is as fine as it comes while the seams are double-folded and 'feld locked' to eliminate itchy edges. They even feature a back panel to avoid an uncomfortable central seam.
This winter, if not every winter, is all about a chunky knit and while there are many respectable efforts out there, none manage to steal the crown from SNS Herning for a serious sweater. Theirs will always be the genuine article, descendents of the original fisherman sweaters that Soren Nielsen Skyt (hence SNS) knitted for the fishing communities of Denmark back in the twenties; his trademark chunky ‘bubble’ construction developed to provide added insulation against the elements. Today they’re still being made to the same patterns in the same factory in Herning, and continue to insulate fishermen, but now many a discerning knitwear connoisseur too.
No gimmicks or surprises here. Just more immaculately constructed classics from MHL.
This season we're seeing a picture of traditional rural England, all ruddy cheeks and hardy knits.
Margaret’s girl feels very outdoorsy but in a Balmoral fashion. Relaxed slacks and gently pleated knee length skirts are paired with cotton shirts and thick jumpers. Colour is a particular highlight. The staple greys and navys giving way to cornfield yellows, burnt reds and washed out pinks. We even have stripes and a spot of fairisle.
Meanwhile the boys are facing the elements in a navy wool melton hooded jacket and working the land in a heavy duty khaki wool rib sweater and brushed twill utility pant.
Cotton socks. Cashmere socks. Stripey socks. Fairisle socks. Socks for him. Socks for her. Great quality socks from Pantherella. You won't poke your toe through these any time soon.
New to menswear we have another of New York's finest. Both the genetics and aesthetics bare a close resemblance to basement favourite, Engineered Garments, but when it's as good as this, more is definitely a welcome thing.
Like Engineered, Post Overalls is led by a Japanese designer and based in Hell's Kitchen in close proximity to some of America's finest garment manufacturers. Takeshi Ohfuchi developed his obsession with workwear from America's golden era of production as a teenager; wanting to wear the 'real stuff' from the American movies he grew up watching back in Japan. Today he is dedicated to producing the same 'real stuff', replicating every stitch and every button while subtly tweaking a design here and there to fit the character and frame of today's slightly rumpled modern man.
Highlights from our first buy include the royal traveller waistcoat in navy wool melton and the triple-stitched, bar-tacked engineer's jacket, available in navy wool melton and tabacco duck canvas.
Daiki Suzuki's Engineered Garment's continues its artful reconstruction of 20th Century American workwear. This season's showpiece - a field parka constucted from NyCo ripstop, a fabric which features heavily in the uniforms of the US military. Then there's the four button Baker blazer and updated CPO shirt made from the same navy wool melton that goes into the iconic NYPD uniform. Also hard at work is the Andover suit - a grey wool flannel blazer and cynch-back pant which must be worn with the chambray workshirt and an obligatory tie. Not that we mind. This is the kind of uniform we don't mind wearing.
Continuning on theme this week, we have another unassuming basement hero - US heritage brand Red Wing. Founded by a Charles Beckmann from Red Wing, Minnesota, the company has a long standing reputation for making heavy duty work boots, excellent for mining, logging, farming and alike. They even kitted out US soldiers in both world wars, and as you might expect, have gained a major cult following in all these years. But we admire their lack of song and dance. They just continue to make seriously good boots, like the iconic 875 workboot, lightweight chukka and 8 inch 879 muleskinner we'll be going to work with this season.