Now that I’ve gotten my ranty little introduction out of the way, it is now time to actually start this series. I will be kicking things off with what is my favorite and most worn outfit. Unsurprisingly, it is a fairly simple and straightforward set of clothing as the ingredients are a pair of jeans, a white t shirt, boots, and a leather jacket. With that said, there are several details that make this stand out.
Let’s start with the most simple item- the jeans. The pair I am wearing here is my first pair from Conner’s Sewing Factory. There is not much to mention here about them other than the fact that they are the WWII San Francisco model in size 36 and that I think the cut fits me very well. It is a relatively high waisted, classic straight fit with a bit of a taper from the knee down which looks perfect over engineer boots. Perhaps the most important aspect is the fact that the jeans are cuffed. It would be silly of me to say that cuffing jeans is superior to not cuffing because while I prefer cuffing, it is obviously personal preference.
What I will say is that cuffing is necessary depending on the cut and length of your jeans as well as your body type. With slim fitting jeans, some breaking or stacking is perfectly OK if that is what you prefer, but short dudes like me who aren’t as skinny as they should be will not look good with stacking or breaking in their jeans, especially with classic/straight cuts. In this case, hemming or cuffing the jeans to the point where they do not stack or break will keep your overall look cleaner and make the jeans look more fitted and slim, even if they are not actually very slim. Huh, I guess there was more to say about the jeans than I thought.
Next is the second most basic item, the t shirt. I promise that there really is not much to say about this item. The most important aspect is that it does not hang below the jacket, which keeps the look clean and sleek. This particular t shirt is from Ooe Yofuketen’s M&O Mfg. Co. and was purchased from the kick ass people at Standard and Strange. It is tube knit and most importantly to me, ecru/off white instead of pure white. I much prefer this color because it blends beautifully with the more natural colors that I tend to wear and hides stains and marks much better. This actual shirt is not available right now, but you can always buy the ecru t that I like just as much, the Stevenson Overall Co. natural loopwheel t shirt.
The boots are where things start to get a little more unique. Anyone who has been into raw denim for more than 30 seconds will rightly point out that boots being worn with raw denim is as predictable as the current US president making himself look like an idiot on twitter.* However, the specific type of boot I am wearing is the engineer boot. In my not so humble opinion, nothing goes as well with jeans as a pair of engineer boots. They just look badass. Engineer boots are unique even in the raw denim world due to their laceless design that keeps them sleek, straps and buckles that look tough and rugged, and the tall shaft that allows for endless bad innuendos that 99% of men think are hilarious even though 75% like to pretend that they are above that sort of humor.
The biggest reason of all that they are so unique is simply the fact that most people just do not wear them. Even in the world of raw denim and heritage clothing, they are more respected from afar than they are actively worn. Many reasons are given for this from others who prefer different boots and sneakers ranging from the fact that in general, they are more expensive than other boots, they are not to their taste, and also that they worry about sizing due to the laceless design and the fact that so many people report heel slip being a major factor and people reporting how long it takes to get them on and off. However, the reason I hear most of all is that people think that they can’t pull them off successfully. I think it’s the combination of their epic legacy of being a biker boot worn by only the coolest movie stars of all time and the unique look that makes people think they have to be cool to wear them.
As a connoisseur of these boots, let me tell you that it is the other way around. You do not have to be cool to wear engineer boots, but rather wearing engineer boots makes you look cooler. Trust me, I am not cool and I was not cool before I started wearing engineer boots. Hell, I don’t ride a motorcycle and for the record, they were not originally made to be motorcycle boots so you are not a poser if you are wearing them while driving on four wheels. I encourage anyone thinking about getting some engineers to do it. I don’t actually want to be a boot hipster, I want everyone to enjoy engineers as much as I do.
Now we get to the most unique and exciting part of the outfit, the leather jacket. As with the boots, a raw denim reader may point out that wearing a leather jacket with jeans and boots is as unoriginal as a millennial making fun of Donald Trump on their blog.* In reality, there are a couple of reasons why my choice of jacket is far more clever and unique than my sense of humor. Firstly, leather jackets are not actually all that common in this scene. I feel as though they fall into the same category as engineer boots. They are admired from afar, but the majority of people do not actually wear them. While most boots are Red Wings, most jackets are denim and canvas Type III or other denim jackets and chore coats.
Secondly, even among leather jackets, this one is a bit on the wild side. To be perfectly honest, I first tried this jacket on as a joke just to see how ridiculous I would look in it… and then I ordered one two months later because I loved it so much. It is certainly not conservative with its hair on hide, but my goodness, Dave Himel knocked this design completely out of the park. Screw being humble, this jacket is the most bad-ass leather jacket on the planet in my opinion. It is beautifully designed, perfectly constructed, made from Shinki horsehide, which is the best (IMO) and most expensive (fact) jacket leather in the world, and fits like a well-made phone case. I feel like a million bucks in this jacket every time I put it on and that’s the best part about owning a leather jacket.
The sunglasses are a pair of Globe Specs Cozumel Uno glasses. They are made from titanium and most importantly, actual glass lenses. I am obsessed with sunglasses and will certainly be talking about them more in the near future. These are a wonderful pair of square aviators that are very lightweight, have great visibility, and go well with most everything that I wear. Classic looking glasses like this are a must, especially in a sunny area like Southern California.
I hope you enjoyed seeing and reading about this first outfit and hopefully this series has some merit to it. I do not expect everyone to go out and buy these exact items just because I talked about them here, but hopefully this will give some information and inspiration to go off of. Personally, I think everything here fits perfectly. Nothing is too loose or too tight. In addition, the colors all go beautifully well together as everything is either a medium brown, off white, or navy blue. Even my sunglasses are gold with brown glass lenses. The jacket is quite unique and maybe a bit flashy, but I think it works because everything else in the outfit is relatively simple and subtle. Thefore, nothing is clashing and the jacket is allowed to be the standout piece. As I said before, this series is about getting everyone, including myself to think more about how their clothes fit and go together rather than simply looking at each item individually.
Full list of clothing:
Jacket: Himel Bros Wolverine Grizzly purchased from Himel Bros
T Shirt: M&O Mfg. Co. tube knit Natural T Shirt purchased from Standard and Strange
Jeans: Conners Sewing Factory WWII San Francisco purchased from CSF while in Japan
Boots: John Lofgren Natural CXL Engineer Boots purchased from Self Edge
Sunglasses: Globe Specs Cozumel Uno purchased from Globe Specs
*For those of you who may have been offended or overly excited by my jab at the current US president, I would just like to point out that I am in fact a registered independant. I do not enjoy having to make this point, but I always feel as though I must due to the fact that people seem to think that just because I do not like one member of a certain political party, I therefore must be fully aligned with the opposing political party. Anyone with an IQ above 60 will know that is as ridiculous as someone hearing me say that I don’t care for the work of Jackson Pollock and then thinking that I don’t like any art or hearing me point out that U2 are the most overrated band in history and then assuming that I don’t like any classic rock music. Don’t expect me to tone it down any time soon.