While perusing the wares at Dover Street Market New York (aka Temple of All Clothes Cool) trying to recapture my fleeting youth, I stumbled upon Labour and Wait’s little enclave to the right of the main entrance. Less traditional clothing brand, more curator of old-school, well-made gear, the UK-based brand has assembled a collection of the most function-over-form versions of home goods, kitchen tools, outdoor accessories and British clothing.
Labour and Wait is not the type of brand you typically see in DSM. DSM is known for stocking the most avant-garde (weird) shit. Pants with 6 sleeves, hats for your ankles, shoes with no soles, that kind of thing. DSM is so cool that that they even opted NOT to sell Yeezys, essentially rejecting free money (artists… amirite? *rolls eyes*)
I’m too tasteless to know what of their non-clothing offerings are actually good, but I find their metal lunchbox extremely well-designed, with gaskets in all the right places and a fitted divider. It’s reminiscent of the mess tin I used to throw into fires back in my Scouting days. With this, you can pair your lunches with your Buzz Ricksons and take your military-but-make-it-fashion cosplay to the next level.
Labour and Wait does not sell anything particularly unique, but that’s the point. The products represent, in their minds, the best versions of everyday items, perfected over time by old-world companies. It’s the same button-shoulder Armor Lux sweaters and Blundstones that you can get anywhere, but seeing it in context with everything else makes the whole more than the sum of its parts. It is curation a la Tumblr moodboards, and is immensely valuable now that social media is drip feeding us new brands through our every bodily orifice.
I also like that they say where everything is sourced from, but I would like to see them actually highlight the companies that made the stuff. I can’t see why they don’t — potential customers might seek the source out directly — but it’s disingenuous to infer the products as either made or designed by them. I, for one, definitely thought that the case before digging deeper into the brand.
While I have not pulled the trigger on anything yet, I can see myself owning one of everything. In particularly, I’m angling towards the fisherman turtlenecks, guernseys (made by Le Tricoteur), and utility totes (made by Matsunoya).
Everything is available on their website, though the stuff they have just looks way better in a brick and mortar setting as everything is in view in context. Labour and Wait is based in the UK, but it ships internationally.
Uniqlo USA has announced their U Spring/Summer 2020 collection in collaboration with Christophe Lemaire a.k.a. the slouch God, and it’s pretty great. Uniqlo U is known for well-designed, fashion-forward cuts that look more expensive than they are, and it has definitely delivered on that this collection.
As always, there are lots of repeats from previous seasons that makes getting in on them now a little less cool. The fabrics used also disappoint year after year and are almost never as good as the designs they are paired with. However, Uniqlo U is essentially Lemaire’s diffusion line, and the extremely high design-quality-to-price ratio means that you’re getting the best bang for your buck in all of menswear.
Here are my 4 standouts from this season’s drop.
Denim Work Jacket in Light Washed, Medium Washed and Raw
This work jacket is one of the few new designs for the season, but it’s the best piece of the entire collection. It is beautifully cut with the correct collar choice for 2020 and a great selection of pockets to boot. This is THE chore coat that all the Engineered Garmentses and Orslows of the world will be compared to this Spring, and it’s made by Uniqlo for crying out loud. All three colors are great, but I’m leaning medium-wash to add to my already robust collection of blue outerwear.
Striped Regular Collar Long-Sleeved Shirt in Beige
That slightly A-line silhouette in combination with the low pocket placement makes for a #fashun version of what your dad would wear to work, in the best way possible. I have my fingers crossed that this comes in anything but broadcloth.
Cuban Short-Sleeve Shirt in White
Camp collars had their moment in 2019, but they are about to explode this Spring. While everyone zigs with loud prints on simple silhouettes, you can now zag with solids white on this beauty of a Cuban shirt. It is on trend, but different enough from the pack that you’ll stay ahead of the curve.
Denim Relaxed Shorts in Tan
Wide waistband? Double forward pleats? Side adjusters? Check, check, and motherf’in check. These shorts have all the rich guy features you want, without the need for rich guy bread, though rich guy confidence would absolutely help you pull these off. One of my favorite pieces this season, and one I hope they bring back in long form this Fall.
In last few years, one’s stable of podcast subscription has succeeded one’s list of frequented websites as a true signifier of content taste level. I’m personally proud of my personal Avengers of podcasts that I’ve assembled. And no, I’m not f’in telling you what they are. Go develop your own taste.
The crown jewel, the Iron Man, if you will, of my subscription Avengers is a podcast that I am not proud of. I’ve never admitted this, and I’m extremely embarrassed to say this, but the now-defunct Failing Upwards was my favorite menswear podcast bar none.
Hosted by two menswear fixtures in Lawrence Schlossman and James Harris, the podcast takes an interesting and distinct approach to covering fashion and its adjacent subcultures. Beneath the veil of obnoxious loudness and mildly problematic humor is an emphasis of personal style over trend-hopping. Also, because of the show’s notoriety, it essentially self-selects its guests, so even the high-profile, distinguished folks who do go on are all ready to play ball.
I’m not the only one who raves about the podcast. Its huge following is cult-like, with its acolytes speaking in the same weird code (“on deckington”, “GDMF” and “Zoovie” come to mind) as the hosts. It’s not just speech that has trickled down. Some followers have adopted the camp collar + really short shorts + loafers combo or fleeces + Blundstones that the podcast hosts espouse.
After a complicated breakup with Barstool Sports, the podcast is now back under a new name — Throwing Fits. In the meantime, I’ve been replaying my favorite episodes (standouts from this year being Alex Delany, Antonio Ciongoli, Corey Stokes, Naomi Fry and Mister Mort), getting more insights out of them each time. I’m stoked that it’s back, and I can’t wait for the rumored Ezra Koenig episode.
Their series premiere is available on your podcast app of choice.
Honestly, from a technical perspective, these boxer briefs are some of the worst you can buy. They’re identical to Hanes boxers with the exception of Supreme branding at the waist band, and they cost 17 dollars more per 4-pack. They don’t last very much past a dozen spin cycles and they don’t work well on anyone who has done a single barbell squat in their life.
But, as someone who struggles to wear any Supreme (I can only authentically wear their fine art and menswear-y stuff), but loves what the brand has come to be, these work. I’m not cool, and I don’t dress cool, but having that good Barbara Kruger-flipped italic bold Futura peek out from below my too-short tees when I’m seated lets me feel like I can at least tribe-signal to people who are actually cool.
Buy these overpriced undies at Supreme, and I’d definitely recommend getting them in black. Not that I would ever, but I don’t want to see your shit stains.