1. pertaining to or consisting in utility.
2. having regard to utility or usefulness rather than beauty, ornamentation, etc.
3. of, pertaining to, or adhering to the doctrine of utilitarianism.
4. an adherent of utilitarianism.
2. practical, useful, functional, sensible.
The American Workwear trend is simply about having utilitarian style. Style that is based upon necessity and usefulness rather than it just "looking good". When you're working on the factory line, or on the ranch, or in a steel mill you have to wear clothing that matches the environment, that protects, and makes it much easier to get the work done. Even the old school paper boy had to be mindful to not wear garments that would not get in the way of his job.
Take this trend to another level and make it personal by choosing to base your workwear style on that of a particular industry or job. Perhaps that of a mechanic or maybe that of a hunter or maybe one of the many others we've mentioned over the past few days.
Get the Looks featured in our American Workwear Lookbook.
Sometimes I like to compare past trends, it gives me a stylistic look of designer's and people's mood from then to now. The Urban Gentleman has been around for almost 3 years now (come June/July 2011) so I figured, let's take a quick look back at the Men's trends from 2008-2011 (Fall and Winter trends).
Click on the header links below to open the different years in different tabs/windows to most effectively compare the trends by year.
The Blue-Collar Worker
Geometric Retro Nerd (a favorite of many of the original Urban Gent fans)
Conservative Dapper (our favorite last year)
Assorted Swank (voted your favorite last year)
It's a Man's World
The Schoolyard Kid aka The Prep
Plaid & Selvedge
CLICK BELOW TO READ MORE and for TREND ANALYSIS…
Yesterday we gave you The 2010-2011 Men's Fall Fashion Guide featuring 5 trends/looks. Today we focus on one in particular, our personal favorite: American Workwear.
For this trend we followed our own rules… all-american everything, so only American brands. And we took it a step further by mainly using brands that are a lil' dated, aged, yanno, they go back some (in a good way). We pay stylish tribute to those classic hardworking American occupations, with our slightly modern day interpretations.
Ralph Lauren gingham. Vintage (label-less) corduroy shirt. original Dickies. Converse All-Stars
vintage Levi's jean shirt. Dickies. Frye footwear.
Levi Strauss & Co selvedge denim. Granddaddy's closet… yeah we pulled from my grandfather's closet for the double plaid action above. Both shirts are label-less.
Bugle Boy. Bill's Khaki's. Frye.
Bugle Boy shirt reads: "Authentic Adventure Garment. Style Resistant. DSA 100-71-C-1435. 100% Dependable Styling. Bugle Boy. Do Not Remove This Label" (seriously though, how dope is that?).
1958 Fishing License.
Get the Looks:
The History Behind T.U.G's American Workwear. Sometimes it's not enough to just say the label, sometimes you just gotta expound… So below we have a brief history of the fashion brands worn above.
Frye. Founded 1863, in New England, by John A.Frye. The Frye company is the oldest continuously operated shoe company in the United States. The boots were worn in the Civil War, by Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, and by many pioneers in the mid to late 1800's who headed from the East to the West.
Levi Strauss & Co. Founded in 1853, in San Francisco, California by Levi Strauss. The denim jean was created by tailor Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss. The first jeans were purchased and worn by gold miners during the California Gold Rush. Modern day jeans first appeared in the 1920s and were mainly worn by cowboys, railroad workers, and lumberjacks in Western America.
Bill's Khaki's. Founded in 1990 by Bill "King of Khaki" Thomas, in Pennsylvania. Once called the "Pants of the Gods" by GQ magazine, Bill's Khaki's draws its inspiration from a pair of WWII-worn khaki's Bill found at an army surplus store when in college. For him those khaki's were much better than the modern day ones. That thought grew into an idea to start a company that authentically captured and celebrated the America ideal. And that idea lead to Bill quitting his advertising job in Chicago and starting Bill's Khaki's.
Dickies. Founded in 1918, in Texas, by C.N. Williamson and E.E. Dickie. First named the U.S Overall Company, it was renamed in 1922 to Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company. Once worn by the US armed forces, Dickies is easily one of the most recognizable and classic American workwear brands.
Bugle Boy Industries. Founded in 1977, in Indiana, by electrical engineer William Mow. He founded the electronics company, Macrodata, in 1970 based on his invention of a unique method that tested large-scaled integrated chips. In 1976 due to an investigation by the SEC he sold his shares and left the company. Although the investigation was dropped, he vowed to stay away from the electronics design industry and found himself designing clothing instead. The company boomed in the 80s and 90s and sales nearly reached $1 billion for the privately owned US label. (Bugle Boy is no longer sold).
Converse All-Stars. Founded in 1908, by Marquis M. Converse, in Malden, Massachusetts. First only creating/selling winterized footwear, Marquis Converse tried something new and created the "Converse canvas shoe" for tennis. Then during basketball's US beginnings Converse invented the "All-Star" high top basketball shoe. Charles H. "Chuck" Taylor, an all American high school player, played for the Original New York Celtics (no relations to the Boston, Celtics), Buffalo Germans, and Akron Firestones. In 1921 Chuck Taylor joined Converse and improved upon the All Stars for basketball players, he became America's first endorsed basketball player. In 1923 Converse customized shoes for the New York Renaissance, the game's first all black pro basketball team. The "Rens" took the shoes to a whole new, unprecedented level of play (of course they did). With a then unbeaten record of 2,588 wins to 539 losses, the New York Renaissance became basketball's most successful team of all time. The Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars are hands down one the most multi-functional pair of shoes. Although used initially for basketball, all-stars can historically be seen on paperboy's, athletes of all types, and factory workers alike– making it an easy pick to include in the American Workwear trend.
the New York Renaissance aka "Rens" Basketball Team
Ralph Lauren. Founded in 1967/1968 by Ralph Lauren (Lifschitz), in New York. In his early 20s Lauren attended school and worked at A.Rivetz & Co.. Originally a salesperson, he began designing ties for the company which inspired him to create his own line. So with his inspiration and designs, he acquired a $50,000 loan and started Polo Fashions in 1968. He began selling his men's line of ties to luxury retailers, starting with his own boutique within Bloomingdale's.
Grandfather's closet. Born in 1938 in southern Georgia, USA. This is the gentleman on the classic Urban Gentleman logo (featured above at the opening of the page). Thanks for letting us rummage your closet granddaddy!
Kanayo King. Cindy Samoht.
Okay, we have something more to hold you guys over until our, well, "surprise."
Selvedge Denim: Everywhere I go, I find myself getting into "deep" conversations about selvedge denim… people are obsessed, some are a bit too passionate (usually the newbies), but it's understandable. Be sure to invest in atleast one pair of selvedge denim.
MINI Lesson on Selvedge Denim: "What is Selvedge/Selvage Denim?"
Selvedge denim is basically premium denim, its the crème de la crème of the denim family. "Selvedge" describes the way the fabric is produced. The denim is made on a shorter loom, making the time to create them longer. In a pair of selvedge jeans you can actually see where the weaving stops and is finished by the loom… long story short: if you flip a pair of selvedge jeans inside out you can see the production and "self-edged" finish. The quality is higher, the fabric is heavier and more durable, and more thread is used to create them. Some companies mark their jeans on the selvedge with a woven stitch in a certain color. Some even mark the inside selvedge line with their company's name.
What folks love most about selvedge denim is that you can "wear them in" yourself- so no fake wear marks (even though these days some companies will scuff em a bit). Within 6 months of wearing them the jeans will customized to your body… some will argue longer times, many people wear their's for a year without washing to "completely" break them in… honestly the "breaking in" time all depends on how often you wear them.
Classic Boots: Whether it's vintage or workwear inspired, you must have a pair of quality classic boots. Some may go with duck boots, others may opt for chukkas, while the manliest will be keen on rugged utility boots. Choose your favorite brand and style in a color that fits your wardrobe and make it your staple. Or choose several to increase your fall and winter footwear options.
Canvas: Whether you sport a canvas backpack, watch, or jacket… its the chosen material for so many stylish things these days.
Stay Tuned for the Complete Guide.
Because of my crazy busy schedule I haven’t been able to give you guys my usual rundown of the shows from fashion week. So below I’ve covered a few of the past shows…
Band of Outsiders always has such fun with their styles. Their Fall 2010 collection literally reminds me of my high school friend Brian. He was this really rich kid who exclusively shopped at thrift stores. With his finds he’d create the most random ensembles, but somehow they worked for him. You don’t know my friend Bri, so my style comparisons may not be resonating at the moment. Let’s just say that their collection is like the ivy style of an occasionally wild and laid-back frat boy.
*Check back soon for one of the anticipated Urban Gentleman Style and Trend Guides.
photos from NYMAG.
The task of creating this Spring/Summer 2010 was a bit more arduous than I had foreseen. When I initially began to outline this article in my moleksine I kept coming up short… nothing dramatically stood out, nothing new atleast, but then when I thought harder, just a little harder it became so clear. Check out..
Get the Look:90s looking graphic tees, rolled up shorts and jeans, well-fitting cargo shorts, hi-top boat shoes (or mid-top), duck boots, chukka boots/sneakers, boy scout or military shirts, 90s looking hats.
Get the Look:Harem pants, slippers, blazers, t-shirts, low-top sneakers. With Harem pants its all about proportions and editing. The easiest way to seamlessly integrate harem pants into your wardrobe is to first create an ensemble using trousers the same color as the harem pants… this can be any ensemble: casual, dressy, preppy, rock, etc. Now take away the trousers and replace them with the harem pants. From here the harems will either flow nicely or the other items you have on will look a little off. If it is the latter, then look in the mirror and try on different jackets/sweaters, shirts, and shoes until you get a look that you like.
Get the Look:T-shirts of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Distressed, ripped, torn, and/or slashed jeans. And anything/everything rock and roll!
Get the Look: Wear white on white on white. Atleast 3 white items on at all times.
It's like we're refined 80s babies this year. We match it all, but in the most tasteful ways– sorta elegant, but mostly preppy.
The Urban Gentleman
Colors: Orange, shades of blue, white, plaids
Accessories: colored sunglasses, buttons, colorful boat shoes, boots, bookbags, sew-on patches.
2. Booted Up– this spring and summer is all about finding ways to integrate boots into your spring wardrobe. Hi-top boat shoes are easy for most guys, but integrating chukkas and desert boots may be a bit more challenging for some, buuuut if you can do it, if you can pull it off, well, you win 😉
3. Shorts (usually cargo) over thermals, skinny jeans, even leggings
4. Subtle military shirts– we're not going into full combat anymore, keep your military flares a bit more discreet unless the occasion calls for full decoration.
5. Printed slippers (ie. monogrammed velvet slippers)
6. Denim shirts
8. Summer rolls— rolling up pants and shorts and sleeves and and and, lol… nah, just kiddin'.
– jean jacket
– high-top/mid-top boat shoes and/or desert boots
– bright colored hat
– pair of colorful sunglasses
– jean shirt
– clear pair of glasses
– slim-fit jeans
– white shorts, jeans, or trousers
– a favorite plaid shirt
– harem pants/shorts (if you're bold enough)
(Designers above: G-Star Raw, D-Sqaured, Gucci, Martin Margiela, John Richmond, Lacoste, Givenchy, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Costume National, Salvatore Ferragamo).
The Urban Gentleman
Stayed tuned for How to Get the Look for each trend &
the Urban Gentleman Spring Summer Trends photo shoot.