A cutter from Gieves & Hawkes describes making military clothing for Michael Jackson’s Bad tour.
All I want for Christmas is an A-1 Flight Jacket from Lost Worlds Inc.
Speaking of the military recreationists at What Price Glory, I’m enamored of this heavy wool cardigan. At $75, you can hardly go wrong.
North Sea Clothing makes their things the way I like my things made: simple and good. Their designs are simple reproductions of naval winter sweaters. Like peacoats, these are the classic military-to-civilian clothes for the cold. Heavy and warm. I only wish I lived somewhere where I could wear them.
They cost a bit less than $200 each after currency coversion, which I think is a fair price. If that’s too much, you can try the reproductions at What Price Glory, which are made with re-enactors in mind and run about $70. If your budget allows, though, I think the North Sea versions are worth the extra scratch.
I call this one “Serious Outfits.”
Since I moved to Los Angeles from San Francisco, I’ve had to adjust to the idea of wearing shorts during the hottest months of the year. I get horrible migraine headaches, weather’s a big trigger, so when it’s over 85 or 90, it’s all shortpants, all the time.
As I’ve come to accept, if not embrace the situation, I’ve tried a lot of shorts. The height-of-summer outfit I keep coming back to is one that’s as at home in the 1930s as it is today. Ghurka shorts, linen shirt and espadrilles.
Ghurka shorts, like khaki pants, have a military heritage. They’re distinguished by their self-belting waist, which was purportedly designed to allow soldiers to tighten their trou as they lost weight in the field. They were originally worn by the British military, but they became a surplus staple, not unlike WWII’s chinos.
When the supply of WWII surplus dried up in the 60s and 70s, they faded away, only to return in the 1980s. Above, an advertisement for the old pre-Gap Banana Republic that celebrates their field heritage.
Nowadays they’re tough to find and rarely seen, but they still cut a flattering, relaxed, elegant figure when they are spotted. My pair is by Bill’s Khakis, though they no longer offer the style (and I had to remove a cargo pocket with a seam ripper). I just snagged a second pair, by J. Peterman, off of eBay. Bonus points go to What Price Glory, the UK military recreationists, for their reasonably price (less than forty bucks) and their authentic forward pleats.
They’re best worn with a shirt tucked in and casual footwear. No need for the kneesocks that British forces wore with their desert boots. If things get hot, roll the hem up a bit. It adds panache.
It’s On eBay
J. Press Peacoat
I’ve long been an advocate for actual vintage naval peacoats, rather than designer knock-offs, but this is a beautiful jacket. The fit’s about a 42R, I’d say.
Here is some advice I have shared before, but bears repeating.
If you’d like to own a pea coat, buy a real one. Get one from the 60s or earlier in good shape from eBay or a vintage store. It will probably cost you less than a hundred dollars. Here is how to date a pea coat.
There’s less than zero reason to buy an inferior contemporary version, and it’s absurd to buy some designer’s knock-off. Get the real thing. It will be both cheaper and better.
This beautiful turtleneck is the Mariner Sweater by Freeman’s Sporting Club. It’s 88% shetland, 12% cashmere, which sounds nice for the neck. The description helpfully offers “THIS IS NOT A FASHION SWEATER!” and “THIS IS A WINTER TOOL!” Actually, while I might disagree with the former statement, I agree with its sentiment - this looks like a very, very high quality piece, and while it may be fashionable, it’s a genuinely classic style. The Freeman’s pieces I have do not scrimp on quality, and this looks to be no exception. I should hope not, for $387.
If you like the idea of a sweater like this, but can’t afford the chunk of change it costs, try this reproduction WWII Submariner Sweater from What Price Glory? It’s all wool, and they have a good rep, but it isn’t knit in New York City. That said, it does cost more than $300 less.
Either way, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. After all, this is A WINTER TOOL.
It’s On eBay
Timex Camper Watch
A couple people have Tumbl-complained, so let it be said that this watch can be found elsewhere for five or ten bucks less, so look around before you buy.