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An oft-repeated axiom states that the world of men’s style moves at a glacial pace. Wardrobes are built on strong foundations that have essentially gone unchanged for half a century. That said, there have been a number of new products in 2017 that added to the menswear idiom. Some collections focused on innovation, utilizing new production methods and materials. Other releases filled a need for more affordable style. And some merely epitomized the culmination of strong craftsmanship and quality materials. No matter your personal style, 2017 had something worth incorporating into your wardrobe.
The Armoury Dress Shoes
Designed by legendary bespoke Japanese shoemaker Yohei Fukuda, this collection is made up of three styles — a wingtip oxford, a semi-brogue cap-toe oxford and a traditional cap-toe oxford — available in two colorways each. They’re made in Northampton, England, and feature Goodyear welt construction, full linings and calf-leather uppers. All of the shoes are imitation brogues and cap toes, a style where the decorative detailing is done with stitching as opposed to using separate pieces of leather. Because this style utilizes a single-piece leather upper, the result is a sleeker design that’s both comfortable and enduring — it will have less-pronounced creases over its life.
Levi’s Wellthread x Outerknown Sustainable Denim
In fall, Outerknown teamed up with Levi’s to create a line of sustainable denim that’s easier on the planet than traditional denim. The jeans feature Levi’s Water-less fabric that saves more than 65 percent of the water used in the dye process (compared to conventional dying) and up to 50 percent less water than traditional finishing. They’re made from 100 percent Supima cotton and the components of the garment — fabric, thread, pocketing, labels — are designed for recyclability and future closed-loop recycling projects.
Proximity Manufacturing Deadstock Flannel Shirts
Greensboro-based Proximity Manufacturing Company makes a strong case for classic Americana with its debut collection. Among the offerings —- button-up shirts, baseball caps and a baseball tee -— the Vintage Limited Series flannel shirts ($280) tell the best story: The shirts, finished with antique button sets, are constructed from deadstock cotton flannel woven by Cone Mills in the ‘70s. They’re based on the silouette of a mid-century full-cut work shirt and sewn on early 20th-century Singer and Union Special sewing machines.
Vans UltraRange Shoe
The UltraRange was born to meet the needs of professional athletes — providing comfort for constant travel around the globe. It features a new UltraCush Lite midsole foam compound for all-day-long comfort with a Reverse Waffle Lug tread for outstanding grip across a variety of terrains. It also features a seamless LuxLiner internal sock wrapping your foot for a more comfortable and faster-reacting shoe. The result is an incredibly light-weight, capable shoe designed to deal with every step of your journey.
Grovemade Minimalist Knife
A modern take on the Japanese higonokami, this friction folder pocketknife features a single-piece handle, machined from a solid piece of metal (either aluminum or brass). Its 2.8-inch blade is hand-sharpened from a piece of 440C stainless steel. The Minimalist Knife ranges in price from $99 for unfinished aluminum to $109 for aluminum with a Cerakote finish and up to $119 for brass.
MR P. Collection
Online menswear retailer Mr Porter launched an in-house line of style essentials dubbed MR P. this fall. The competitively-priced collection features products in a range of categories — denim, knitwear, outerwear, shirting, suiting, sweats — that compliment Mr Porter’s current roster of brands. With a focus on timeless design, quality fabric and thoughtful construction, MR P. stands strong next to menswear’s best. It’s all the pieces you need, with the taste you expect.
Red Wing Heritage Leather Goods
Featuring a range of leather from its own S.B. Foot Tanning Company, this collection includes wallets (six styles available in three types of leather), belts (available in eight types of leather), gloves (lined and unlined), coasters and a dopp kit. The accessories are fairly priced, and range from $29 (for coasters) to $190 (for the trucker wallet).
Earlier this year, Everlane released two men’s jean styles (slim fit and straight fit) in three colorways, each priced at only $68. Cut from 11-ounce Japanese denim sourced from the Kaihara mill, the jeans feature a zip fly, five-pocket construction and minimal branding. The company works with a Silver LEED certified factory in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to manufacture the jeans. The factory recycles 98 percent of the water used in the production process, drastically reducing the amount needed to make each pair, while aerial drying techniques further reduce stress on the environment.
Goodfellow & Co.
Target’s new affordable in-house mens line takes strong aethetic cues from heritage-inspired brands. Standouts from the collection include the line of slim-fitting chinos ($23), available in muted colors such as gray and army green, and the Deconstructed Chino Blazer ($40). Shoppers might also be surprised to find selvedge denim and an insulated bomber jacket ($45) -– all for less than you would spend on sale items at J.Crew.
Cole Haan Zerogrand Stitchlite Wintip Oxford
Cole Haan’s sneaker-like dress shoes one-up Nike — instead of the familiar Cole Haan laser-cut uppers, these new shoes are made of a stretchy knit material for supreme, sock-like comfort and very un-dress-shoe-like agility.
Vollebak 100 Year Hoodie
Vollebak’s 100 Year Hoodie is made from soft and breathable 100 percent Kevlar fleece. It’s highly resistant to rips and abrasion, and also able to withstand extreme temperatures. The designers at Vollebak opted to leave the fabric undyed, showcasing the fiber’s pale yellow hue, which will darken when exposed to sunglight, giving the garment an aged look within days. Different shades, marks and lines will appear over time.
RRL Limited-Edition Polo Western Collection
Inspired by the ’78 Polo Western collection, this release features a range of garments including jeans, western shirts, fringed coats and vests. The standout piece, though, is the head-turning ranch coat. Made from double-faced wool-blend jacquard, it features a lamb shearing collar, corozo buttons and an adjustable belt at the back. Each style has a very limited run, so if there is something of interest still available, act now.
Northwestern Knitting Co. Hooded Zip Sweatshirt
Northwestern Knitting Co. added to its line of American-made basics with a classic raglan sleeve zip hoodie. And, it might be the best hoodie you can buy. Cut from the company’s trademark Merino Dual Cloth (read: easy to care for, warm, breathable, flexible), it features a two-way Riri zipper, cover stitched seams and a rib inset at the waist. The price may seem a little high to some, but you’re paying for quality.