Knickerbocker Watch Caps
Posted November 11, 2018
The watch cap, as with the majority of clothing in men’s closets today, has its roots in both war and work. From anti-monarchy revolutionaries in America and France donning Liberty Caps in the tradition of the ancient Roman pileus, felt caps given to freed slaves by their former masters that later came to represent freedom in a more generalized way. To the fisherman and hunters of Monmouth, Wales who knit short wool caps to cover their ears while in the field or on the open water, records of which date back to 1576. Though the ones we have from Knickerbocker MFG can trace their immediate history to a more modern source, WWII.
Crewmen aboard naval ships were issued a short, wool knit cap to wear to keep warm while on deck. The caps were just long enough to cover their ears but knit dense enough to stand up to anything that got thrown their way.
Knit with cotton instead of wool by Artex Mills in New Jersey, the Knickerbocker caps are one of the easier to wear interpretations of the original caps. The one I bought last year quickly became a nighttime dog walk necessity of mine, and was a great way to keep warm while hiding a bad hair day from the rest of the world.
American Trench FW18
Posted October 16, 2018
We just received our first shipment of winter socks from American Trench, like many of y’all, fall and winter socks are our favorites. When looking at the range of socks we pulled in this year, I think subtlety, I think cool, both in temperature and feeling. Gone are the pastels of summer, and the novelty for novelty’s sake of vacation shirts. Winter is a time for taking care of yourself and pushing back against the frost, but let’s not surrender all of the fun to summer with a pop of gold here, and a hint of orange there.
In their constant search to provide people with more interesting, and at times indulgent materials to knit socks with, American Trench has given us some of their crowd favorites. Both the Wool & Silk Boot socks, and the Merino & Cashmere cry out to be shown off beneath more winter appropriate sneakers, or a heartier pair of Red Wings. Warm and luxurious with a sturdy construction, they combine Italian yarns with American construction to create one of my favorite parts of winter.
American Trench gives the traditional fair isle pattern a modern shot in the arm by making an indigo dyed pair, and a slightly more traditional color-way that conjures images of pine forests and the warm and welcoming embers of a campfire. These have just the right amount of winter charm that will never have anyone wondering if you’re on your way to an ironic ugly sweater contest, or one without the irony.
Rugby stripes, I shouldn’t have to say more, but I will. These are made with recycled cotton, so you can look good while doing good. These are a perfect year-round weight, I wear mine as much in July as I do January.
The true workhorse pairs in this line-up are the Silver Activity, and Silver Crew socks, both knit with anti-microbial silver yarns to fight odor and control moisture. The Activity pairs are made of merino wool, the athletic stripes add a bit of personality to an otherwise utilitarian pair. Crew socks are the most straight-forward pair we have, the solid navy and black colors ensure that none of your coworkers will notice if you have to wear them a few days in a row. In fact, the silver allows you to skip a wash or two with these in a way that I cannot recommend with any other cotton socks. It’s also a suitable sock for vegans who want all the benefits of wool socks.
Introducing Brush Brown
Posted October 2, 2018
If you come into our shop on any given day, there'll be one to four folks in the back tinkering away at various projects. In truth, we spend a large portion of our time cutting or sewing items for the our shop or other stockists around the country. Always with a lot of good music in the background, heads down, and dripping with focus.
But you might also walk in one day to see a couple of us, myself (Jess) and Erik in particular, seemingly just chillin' on computers or fiddling with tiny scraps of fabric and leather, and not really getting much done. But so much is happening in those moments that can't really be seen. Our goal isn't just to bring sturdy, useful products to the masses, but also to do it with the best materials possible. And honestly, to do it with materials that we just really, really dig.
And that's how we landed on the Brush Brown fabric we're presenting in our sale this week. We've always offered a main line of blues, browns, and olive greens. They're our staple colors in waxed and non-waxed canvas as well as leather. We'd been set on our Charcoal, Olive, and Field Tan waxed canvases for as long as we'd been making bags out of waxed canvas. They're all beautiful colors that just work for us. But, as is the case in some many facets of our lives, sometimes you just want to spice things up a bit.
Of course we couldn't change up the Charcoal. It's our best-selling color of fabric by a landslide. And we're not the kind of folks who take joy in denying the people what they want. As for Olive, it't one of the few truly excellent green shades available in waxed canvas, so that one was staying put, too. But with Field Tan, we had a little wiggle room. Our fabric supplier offers several shades of tan and brown to play with so we brought in a little Brush Brown, and we brought in a little Sage, and we polled the audience (and by audience, I mean our am amazing staff). We landed on the Brush Brown because of it's warmth and depth. Where the other colors were bold and crisp, this one seemed to have a little added nuance. It's not the same in every angle. You'll pick up ambers and honey tones, and even a little pale green in some lights. It's a truly unique shade that was just couldn't get enough of.
We made everything in it. Pouches and dopp kits. Weekenders and briefcases. Totes and totes and totes. This color looks great on everything.