Monday, October 13, 2014

Shadows on the Wall: Rogue Territory Stealth Stantons

There are some brands I'm just drawn to. I've been this way my whole life. I suppose it stems from living inside my own head. As an only child, I spent several hours playing with Lego, designing, building, creating what I drew with my mind's eye. The notion of a platonic ideal, not understood as such by my child brain, was nevertheless the driving force behind such creations. Several components would work in concert, synthesizing a multitude of influences, yielding something which look like it's influences, but be it's own unique thing. I'd watch Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, Airwolf, Blue Thunder, Firefox - if it flew or went into space, I'd labor over creating some new vessel that was at once derived from, but not present in, those universes.

Years later, as an adult, I find these same processes driving my eye toward clothing and accessories. I love clothes that are classics and look timeless, but at the same time, possess their own characteristics to make them their own interpretation, their own twist, but rooted in that same desire to reach for a Platonic ideal.

Rogue Territory is one in a long line of premium menswear companies who offer their own spin on classic jeans, jackets, shirts, and pants. What I particularly like about their jeans are two things - the fit, and the details. I purchased a pair of their stealth Stantons - a classic slim-straight silhouette, constructed in LA - in a sturdy, "murdered out" flat black (black warp/weft) selvedge denim from the Nihon Menpu mills in Japan.  Unlike some black denim, these never started out shiny black, they were always an inky flat, abyss. The faint scent of sulfur (sulfur being used to dye the jeans) lingering on the finished product, only added to the menace. At 15 oz, the fabric has some real heft, and character. Before long the scent and stiffness dissipate yielding to your form, and becoming yours. These are far and away my favorite jeans these past 9 months. To my mind, as black denim, they are almost perfect: only the white inseam and button fly lining breaks the mood of these stealth jeans.

The photos below are of my pair - get your own pair, and put your own spin on them.

Monday, October 6, 2014

EDC: Taylor Stitch T-Shirts

A good t-shirt is as singular as it is ubiquitous; you (can) wear one everyday, they can perform every function - from layer to statement, a t-shirt says something about your personality, even while wearing one you forget it is there. When they are done right, they transcend from everyday carry - to part of what you depend on to carry you through the day. In this, they are an alchemical marvel.

In a post two weeks ago, I briefly mentioned my search for the perfect t-shirt. It's been an epic quest - easily as long as the Lord of the Rings (with less hobbits). And just like LotR, there can only be one t-shirt to rule them all.

For me, at this time, that t-shirt is made by Taylor Stitch. It ticks several boxes for me:

1) Trim in the shoulders, room in the chest. All too often, if you want a shirt that hugs your shoulders, you have to pay the price by wearing a sausage casing all the way down. Not so with the t-shirts by Taylor Stitch. They are trim where they need to be, but skim, rather than encase, the body.

2) Not too short - all of their t-shirts have enough length to go past your belt, even with the lower modern rise on most pants, your shirt covers you, but doesn't look like a dress, either.

3)Pre-washed and pre-shrunk. None of that, how much do I need to size up? guessing game.

4) The cotton is a good quality - the base models are a nice thickness, they work as either stand alone tees or undershirts. The Sequoia models are burly, at 11oz, but so soft, they are supremely comfortable.

5) Though not an imperative - I like that they are made locally, in California.

Check them out online or in-store, they are a great addition to your wardrobe, and reasonably priced - $29, or 2 for $25 a piece.