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Posts Tagged ‘cone mills’

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Left Field NYC is a Brooklyn-based label who’s stock in trade is heritage inspired clothing that’s both good looking and good for the planet. Produced sustainably, and with an eye for making old-timey styling wearable in the modern world, their wares are high on my list of “Things to Get Off My Ass and Acquire, Already.”

While you may or may not maintain a similarly titled list, Left Field is definitely a brand that should be on your radar. And with a new, well-curated online shop that makes their goods available to the intertubes at large, there’s a strong argument that they should be in your closet as well.

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If you’re searching for evidence, look no further than their chinos. Made in NYC from organic cotton canvas woven by the fine folks at Cone Mills, they come complete with eco- and style-friendly details like sustainable Corozo nut buttons and Japanese chambray pockets.

They’re done up in a universally flattering slim-straight cut, and with a relatively bold burgundy as well as a more subtle caramel on offer for color options, there’s something to satisfy the adventurous and the understated alike.

imageThey hit at $150, which is just about what you’d expect considering the pedigree of the materials and the stateside production. Head on over to Left Field’s online shop to grab a pair for yourself, and feel free to grab a burgundy pair for me. ‘Tis the season, after all…

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Left Field NYC)

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When I first heard about the Americana-gasm of the Levi’s x Pendleton collaboration that hit stores this past Tuesday, I was pretty damn excited. Levi’s recent work with Filson proved (to me at least) that the jeans mega-brand is more than capable of playing nice with others and creating some interesting tweaks on designs using key elements from both parties. Crucially, it also illustrated the fact that Levi’s-proper (not just imprints like LVC) can still make a well-constructed product with quality materials once those dollars tick a bit higher.

That last point is probably the most important to me, as I’ve run into my fair share of issues with fabrics in the main line. It’s especially pertinent because two of the three pieces of actual men’s apparel (there’s also a blanket but I don’t really count that) are takes on the iconic trucker jacket, which I’ve always loved but never purchased due to questionable textiles and sometimes-shoddy construction. But a group of goods made in the US? All featuring Pendleton’s virgin wool in an exclusive jacquard print (using blues, golds, and a bit of red to recall denim, contrast stitching, and red selvage in well-worn jeans) and one with denim from Cone Mills? Salvation at long last! At least, that was the initial reaction.

I was partly right. The rigid Work Shirt ain’t half bad, and the wool-yoked Western Trucker did not fail to impress. The Blanket Lined Trucker though? Not my my cup of tea, not really on par with the other pieces, and pretty disappointing overall.

Let’s break it down one by one.

The Good: The Work Shirt ($118)

Done in a rigid, deep indigo denim with a subtle greycast, it’s a pretty solid example of the breed. The fabric is suitably heavy duty, and the cut is trim in spirit but sized up enough that it can function as an overshirt. In terms of details you’ve got two button-through chest pockets, a box pleat at the back, a tab collar, thick wooden buttons, and of course the iconic red tab on the chest. And then there’s the Pendleton portion: paneling on the back yoke and on the back of the forearms. Nothing flashy, and it works well.

The Bad: The Blanket Lined Trucker ($178)

Considering the fact that there’s a complimentary women’s version, it seems that the Blanket Lined Trucker is supposed to be the shining jewel of the collection. And the Pendleton vest lining, which buttons in and out with some particularly handsome painted buttons, is pretty damn nice. It’s soft, fitted, and warm. But the jacket itself isn’t anything special. The denim itself felt somewhat overprocessed and insubstantial, and the look overall is just “meh.” It’s not a total failing, but it’s not a winner. I suppose you can’t win ‘em all…

The Winner: The Western Trucker

But some can be a winner.  And in this bunch, it’s definitely the Western Trucker. Made of rigid Cone denim and featuring Pendletone panels on the yoke and lining the cuffs, it’s a very solid combination on the textile front. The quality of the wool is a given at this point, but it was really nice to see Levi’s step up the game on the denim. Heavy and rigid without being artificially stiff, it feels like it’ll wear like iron. Add the tried and true trucker styling to the mix and that’s really all you need.

As you can see, the Western Trucker wasn’t shot in a Levi’s store like the other two pieces. I decided to pick one up for myself after checking it out, so that backdrop is my apartment.

Whether I’m going to wind up keeping it, though, is another matter. The reason being, it’s kinda tough to work wool jacquard paneling on outerwear into my wardrobe mix, even when it’s a solid and relatively understated one. Despite that tredipidation, it’s still in my place. So we’ll see where that one lands…

All the pieces (as well as the unmentioned-here blanket) are available online through Levi’s and Pendleton’s sites, and in Levi’s stores.

—Jonathan

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Balwin Denim is a Kansas City-based outfit that cuts and sews their line of jeans right here in the USA from American (Cone Mills) and Japanese (Kaihara Mill) denim.

So they’ve got production and materials pretty well locked down. Judging from the shots on their online shop, they nailed it on the fit front as well. And from what I hear from folks who have worn them, construction is spot on, with details like triple-stitched seams keeping things nice and sturdy.

The basic moral of this story then? These are a solid option for your jeans needs. If you’re in the market, be sure to keep Baldwin on your list.

The Henley, pictured here, is the slim option. It’s done in a 12.5 oz. pink line selvage from Kaihara Mill.

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If you’re looking for a straight fit or some dropped yoke action, check out the Reed or the 77, respectively. Both feature Cone Mills White Oak selvage denim.

Any which way, they’ll run you $220 and you can grab a pair right from the source online.

Do it up.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Baldwin Denim)

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Updated One-Star Perfectos and a vintaged horsehide Cafe Racer. Mmmmmm….

Schott NYC absolutely nailed it with the new Perfecto by Schott line that showed this past Monday/Tuesday at (capsule) NY.

Designed by Greg Chapman (who, aside from being talented as hell, is a genuinely nice guy) the line draws on Schott NYC’s venerable heritage with updated takes on classic pieces. Lines are slimmed down, fabrics and leathers are played with a bit, and it all comes together into a collection that certainly vies for my personal “best in show” award for (capsule) NY as a whole.

Among the collection you’ll find takes on a number of leather jacket styles, including the double riders jacket (made famous by the original Perfecto), the A2 bomber, and the racer jacket in both cafe and spread-collar. In terms of materials, you’ve got a bunch of options: Horsehide, cowhide, a goddamn beautiful suede (it’s soft as hell, but heavy and sturdy at the same time), waxcloth, and heavy twill.

There’s also a good deal of variety when it comes to vintage effects on the leather. I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m generally weary of this practice, but if you take a look at that black/brown marbling effect on a couple of the jackets below, I think you’ll come to the same conclusion I did. In this instance, it works.

The waxcloth on this jacket is light and pliable, but still very clearly durable. A perfect jacket for spring weather… Perfecto in a lightweight cowhide. I could see this becoming a standby in my own collection…


The marbled black/brown vintaging I mentioned earlier. Clearly, I was fascinated with this…

Talon zips on some of the models. Old skool for the win…

There’s that fantastic suede…

I think the far right is actually a ladies’ model. Very cool…

There’s also a very strong portion of the collection that draws on the other end of Schott’s expertise, with mountain parkas, pea coats and toggle coats. These pieces are done in deadstock nylon/poplin from the company’s storerooms, selvage raw denim from Cone Mills White Oak, and some impressively sturdy cotton duck in a few different colors (eye-searing orange among them).

Also: I really dig the linings they used in this collection in general. Tartan, gingham, and plaid galore. Icing on the cake.

Actually not sure if this was just a fabric sample for linings or if they’re offering a scarf, and neglected to ask. If it’s just a sample, I humbly suggest they offer a scarf. If it’s a scarf, I want one…

Cone Mills White Oak. Quality, American-made fabrics…

Geeked out on the selvage detailing. I’m glad they had the good sense to keep it subtle…

I didn’t think I’d like this when I first saw preview shots last week. I was oh so wrong. I want one for myself. Like, yesterday…

Many of the components like the toggles here were actually sourced from deadstock within Schott’s factory in Elizabeth, NJ…

The line arrives for real in Spring 2011. Prices will land between $400 and $1,000. When you’re talking about the top end of that range representing the cost of an American-made horsehide jacket, it’s really damn reasonable bang for your buck.

Start saving them ducats, kids. If you’re anything like me, you’re gonna want more than one of these pieces.

—Jonathan

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Hot damn that’s a fine lookin’ pair of jeans.

San Francisco’s Tellason has teamed with Amsterdam-based denim shop Tenue de Nimes to produce a limited run of 24 pairs of jeans: All hand numbered, and done in selvage indigo from Cone Mills White Oak.

Complete with a Tanner Goods patch, which is stamped with a very nice combination of the logos from each of the conspirators in this affair. The Tellason text logo is actually incorporated into the workings of the highly stylized Tenue de Nimes “T”.

More shots:

Next time I’m in Amsterdam, I will be in this shop. It’s now, officially, a necessity.

For some more quality reading, check out the interview on Tenue de Nimes’ blog with Tellason’s founders, Tony Patella and Pete Searson.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Tenue de Nimes)

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Just in time for the freaking nicest day of the year (in NYC at least)!  This morning Epaulet announced the drop of the most recent run of their in-house EP’s jeans line.

Aside from introducing a new and slightly looser fit (the Hoyt) the Brooklyn shop is now offering the spot-on, slim-straight Smith fit in a 12.5 oz. Natural Line Selvage indigo denim from Cone Mills‘ White Oak plant in NC. It’s very similar to an APC New Standard fit, but you don’t have to worry about insane stretching issues (bonus!).

The denim is considerably lighter than the first run of the Indigo Smiths (which was 14 oz.), so it’s a good bet for Spring.  This new run is also the first time that the EP’s Smith has featured classic contrast stitching. So for everyone out there that didn’t want to pull the trigger on the original monochrome versions, here’s your chance to get at these jeans.

Some additional details (consistent with the last run, but still great): Gunmetal donut buttons, button fly, riveted front pockets and bartacked back pockets, hickory stripe pocket bags, and a stamped cowhide “EP’s” patch on the back waistband. All made in downtown LA.

More looks:

As a proud owner of a pair from the first run, I can assure you that $145 is a freaking steal for these jeans.

Click over to Epaulet’s online shop to score a pair now if you’re good with a 34″ inseam. Otherwise, contact them to put your pair with a 35″ inseam on hold. That run is arriving around 5/25.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Epaulet)

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