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June TPE Menswear Monthly

7/04/24

We’re a few days late for a June menswear update, but I’m in the middle of a cross country move and have a toddler, so it is what it is.

Today we’re talking vintage search terms to add to your secondhand SEO lexicon, 50% off under-the-radar preppy bangers, an Atlanta-based designer truly making art, the brand that exudes “summer vibes”, the OG master of menswear, and the vintage shop that started it all.

Let’s get after it. *salute emoji*

‘Fit of the Month

Aside from a hellish week of heatwaves, June in New York was its usual, effortlessly charming self. There’s something very “Paloma on a Friday at 1:30 PM” about the early days of Summer in the city. Everything feels brighter, more laid back, and when the sun drops behind the buildings around 7, we all become romantics.

And even when it’s humid, there’s a sense of communal accountability to the fact that we just spent months complaining about the cold, so it’s too soon to complain about the heat yet. Weirdly, it keeps you feeling positive even as the glare bounces off the window and onto your forehead like a magnifying glass frying an ant.

Maybe my sartorially obsessed mind loves June for the variety of ‘fit throwing potential. Jeans and a tank under an overshirt in the morning, shorts and a breezy shirt in the afternoon? I love it. The longer I can put off the 3-4 weeks where I just want to wear gym shorts and a tank to survive, the better.

In honor of the final days of the “long sleeve pant” (a moniker I used as a kid), here’s this months FOTM:

Nothing too fancy here, but something about the simplicity of it and the colors blending together perfectly is really satisfying to me.

On the Dome:

Vintage “Catalina Island” Hat

I found this on eBay a few years ago, and I have no idea who makes it. I assume it’s a souvenir cap someone bought while on Catalina, but who knows. I all know is, it makes me think of Prestige Worldwide every time I throw it on.

Overshirt:

Vintage French Chore Jacket in Blue Herringbone Twill from Golden Age LA.

For the past 5 years or so, I’ve casually been looking for the perfect French blue chore coat (bleu de travail, as it’s known to the pretentious). Last year I saw someone on Reddit mention Golden Age LA as THE spot to find a great curated selection of throwback frenchies, and they were spot on (in fact, apparently Austin Butler is a fan of theirs, for whatever that’s worth).

I dm’d them, they sent me some photos of a few options, I picked one, they shipped it, and the rest is history. The only thing left to do is huff some darts in this bad boy.

Oh, and the Tank is from H&M. For less than $10, it’s mighty good.

Holding up the Pants:

Maximum Henry Belt in Oxblood.

I’ve never talked about Maximum Henry on here before, but they make incredible custom leather goods. Every last one of their belts are beautiful and built to outlive us all.

Below the Belt:

Todd Snyder Relaxed Fit Jeans in Dad Wash

These are some of my favorite jeans. I actually sold a couple of pairs of vintage denim to grab ‘em, and I regret nothing. I can’t do baggy, but I can do whatever Todd & Co put together with these puppies.

For a similar color, I recommend the Gap “baggy jeans”. Size down 2 sizes from your normal size to get a relaxed, but not baggy look.

On the Toes:

Nike Killshot 2 Leather – Sail & Red

These are my self-proclaimed sneakers of the summer. They’re a great alternative to the Samba and come in a longer overdue new colorway for this formerly hyped silhouette.

Lands’ End

A full on revival has taken place, with the preppy mall brands of our youth reshaping their images and reconnecting with their audience through fresh designs, updated styling, and a more than a touch of nostalgia. It started with Abercrombie and J Crew, and now even the likes of Gap and Banana Republic have found ways to modernize their look and offerings.

Slightly newer brands like Madewell have upped their designs and fabric choices to borderline premium levels, while familiar names like LL Bean, Columbia, and Eddie Bauer have boasted collabs in recent years to reminded us all they can still cook.

Forgotten in the shuffle (at least by me) is the unsung yachtsman heritage brand, Lands’ End, which hasn’t leaned on hyped collabs with streetwear brands or massive rebrands that bite off newer designer’s imagery and styling. Instead, they just keep cranking out solid gear that fits well and is built to last.

I’ve tried a few of their pieces recently, and I’ve gotta say, it’s really good (like the knit polo and pleated chinos pictured below). If you’re looking for some excellent prep and Ivy adjacent pieces, nearly their entire site is 50% off today through Tuesday. I’ve created a collection with my favorite finds here.

Factors Collection

I’m a sucker for niche design references, and Atlanta-based designer, Factor’s absolutely nailed that tiny vin diagram on this piece, which they’ve dubbed their “shooting shirt”. I truly can’t get enough of this kind of stuff.

Factor’s themselves are a brand focused on their own, very specific, very considered vision of high end, 70s-influenced tailoring with a subtle nods to streetwear and skate culture (or at least that’s my read on it). The styling is off the charts, and the fabric choices are all absolutely bonkers. Bottom line, every look feels like you should be walking the NBA tunnel pre-game, but in Tuscany (in the absolute best way possible).

As for the “shooting shirt”, they designed it after Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bull’s warmup shirt from the 80s in a cotton fabric that’s nothing like I’ve ever seen before. Breezy, drapey, and yet somehow structured, so it keeps shape without feeling stiff. It’s electric stuff that could’ve easily been screwed up, and I don’t know how they did it.

Taking on a distinct sports reference like this while making a product that stands on its own as a garment and menswear standout piece is special stuff. Factor’s is not a cheap brand, but as someone who found them recently and just got my first item from them, I’m extremely impressed!

Ghiaia Cashmere, the Brand of Summer.

Every now and then, someone’s idea of how to tell their story really resonates with you, and lately, for me, that’s been Ghiaia (Gee-Ay-Yuh) Cashmere. For whatever reason, whether it be this phase of life, or this time of year, their content affects me in ways few brands ever have.

That may sound dramatic for a shop that sells $500 cotton pants and posts videos of boiling pots of tomato sauce, but something about the simplicity, messiness, considered madness, artistic aspiration, and familial connection they convey through their content makes me feel something deep down.

I’ve yet to try any of their products yet, because they’re wildly expensive (for good reason, I can only assume). But they’re an amazing follow on Instagram, and their website is a great hang.

Georgia Armani – Vintage Vibe King

My neighbor, a 70-year-old native Bostonian who has no filter, worked for Armani in the 80s and 90s, and he talks about him with a reverence many reserve for royalty and religious figures. At that point in time — before the brand became diluted through its seemingly endless sub-labels — Armani had a better sense than anyone of the concept of “Disheveled Elegance” (a phrase dubbed by Aaron Levine).

Slouchy, sweeping silhouettes, deeper lapels that meet at the waist, and an overall relaxed drape that feels as at home today as it ever has. As tailoring re-entered the chat last year and unite prep, ivy, and streetwear enthusiasts alike, the laid back nature of Armani’s old designs resonate majorly for someone who wants to wear a suit without feeling stiff or boring.

While the rise in vintage Georgia Armani’s popularity makes finding good stuff harder than it was even 6 months ago, there’s still a treasure trove of really fun stuff, from jeans to sunglasses, to suits, and everything in between. If you’re looking for alternatives to GA, vintage Christian Dior Monsieur and Monsieur Givenchy are the defunct, affordable sublabels (think Polo Ralph Lauren) of the big name designers themselves and have a similar feel and feel to Armani.

Broadway & Sons – The OG Vintage Company

I wrote recently about Casatlantic and their excellence as a brand — most recently, Anna gave me a pair of their sunglasses for Father’s Day, and the obsession was only heightened.

I recently listened to a Blamo podcast interview with the founder of Casatlantic, Nathan Asseraf, and it finally clicked why he seems to be so locked into the story he’s telling. His father, David, is actually the founder of the globally renowned, curated vintage shop, Broadway & Sons, which opened in Sweden in 1982. Broadway & Sons was a pioneer of fashion, denim, and vintage curation in Sweden, being the first company to bring high quality denim to that part of Europe.

It all makes so much sense now why Casatlantic seems to have perfectly nailed their vintage military meets summer in Morocco feel — it’s what Nathan grew up around. He credits the experience of spending his youth around the shop and his grandfathers keen sense of style for his inspiration, and it shows!

If you haven’t checked out Broadway & Sons before, I highly recommend it. Ironically, I found them around the same time I found Casatlantic and had no idea there was such a deep connection!

Vintage Search Ideas

I’ve had some luck with a couple of new vintage search terms I thought I’d share with you if you’re looking for some inspiration.

The first is one most vintage fans are already very familiar with: HBT (herringbone twill). It’s generally a cotton or linen fabric with a contrasting chevron stripe type of design that really makes the fabric stand out and feel so much more special than a chino or standard twill fabric. You find it a lot in old military or workwear garments, but brands like Buck Mason and Brut are adding it to new pieces they’re making as well. The above trousers, below jacket and dress shirt are all in a herringbone twill fabric.

The second is a brand everyone’s familiar with: Cole Haan. Before they started making sneaker/dress shoe hybrids, Cole Haan was cranking out some pretty dope loafers. I found the above pair for $40 in a vintage shop, and woven pair online for $30. The quality is really solid for the price and they’re surprisingly comfortable.

Happy hunting.

In Case You Missed It…

TS recently sent me a few pieces, and have since launched some really fun summer pieces. I shared some of my favorites last month, here.

Latest Update to the Time Piece Collection

Bulova was kind enough to give me this watch, so I wanted to shout them out again. I added it to my Father’s Day gift guide, because it’s the perfect, versatile watch for dads who need a quality time piece without absolutely breaking the banks. I love that it can easily be dressed up or down without much fuss, and the watch face is the perfect size for pretty much any wrist size.

You can find this specific piece here, currently 20% off!

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