UNIQLO U Spring/Summer 2020

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.

Throwing Fits: Return of My Favorite Menswear Podcast

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.

Review: Supreme Hanes Underwear

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.

Review: Iron Heart Ultra-Heavy Flannel

I’ve written and rewritten so many versions of this review, all of them starting with this Kiya (of Self Edge fame) interview about how Rick Owens bought an Iron Heart Flannel. It was a cool reference to bring up years ago when that article was only known by the real heads, but now I just sound like a plebby bandwagoner. Another gem in that article, though, is this quote about Iron Heart:

I love that brand. It has this certain will to it, like “we will try to find the heaviest things that cannot be put together or stitched together, and you know what? Fuck it, we’re going to do it.”

That really sums the Ultra-Heavy flannel up. It’s so unreasonably thick that none of your sweaters or cardigans will work as a layer over it, that it’s impossible to button up the morning after a night of binge drinking, that all your other shirts become incels after witnessing its chadness. Those may sound to your like drawbacks, but that’s because unlike the Ultra-Heavy flannel, you’re not a chad.

Okay enough stupid incel talk. Not often mentioned with this shirt are the completely unnecessary but nerdily cool details such as the dangly orange chainstitch runoffs and screenprinted wash instructions on the interior. With every new release also comes more interesting patterns than on the one I got a few years back.

The decent-but-uninteresting buttons on the non-Western version leaves something to be desired, the collars look weird when the top is unbuttoned, and at over $300 per, the heaviest flannel shirt in existence comes with an equally heavy price tag. But, it is the ultimate expression and the only true endgame version of the flannel shirt. The process of handpicking wild Andes-mountain cotton followed by shipping to Japan for dying, weaving and stitching is over-the-top in a way that only Iron Heart is capable of.

Go true to size if you want that oh-so-soft double brushed cotton rubbing against your nipples, or go up a size if you’re worried that its constant arousal would distract you from work and want to fit a layer in-between. Support the good people over at Iron Heart America, Canoe Club, or my favorite store, Self Edge.

Review: Anonymous Ism Socks

This is the sock of choice of Instagram boot guys who are oblivous to the fact that heritage workwear has not been culturally relevant for more than 5 years now and don’t see the irony that appropriating workwear is just as phony as avant garde fashion. And yes, I’m throwing shade at myself here. I have 6 of these and I’ve taken more boot-sock-selvedge pics in the past year that I would dare to admit.

Anonymous Ism makes a shit ton of different models, but they can be loosely categorized by construction method into two groups — intarsia and jacquard. Jacquard knits, the ones people usually refer to when talking about the brand, tend to have the appearance of loose threads on the inside and feel more textured, whereas intarsia knits look and feel softer and more 2-dimensional.

Left: Jacquard Knit. Right: Intarsia Knit.

The material composition varies with the patterns and colors involved, but expect some combination of cotton, acrylic, polyester, wool, nylon or polyurethane. I’ve found that ones with a higher proportion of cotton have a better hand feel, whereas the acrylic dominant ones tend to stand out in color more due to the material’s color retention and sheen qualities.

Enough technical talk. We highly cultured, postmodernist dressers know that clothing’s true value is in the feeling it brings us and not in its technical merits (that’s racist, or so Marx Derrida anarcho-communists have had me believe). When I’m seated, I feel all my insecurities and lack of accomplishment in life wash away knowing that other people are seeing those beautiful knits beneath my (obviously) selvedge cuffs.

Shallow, sure. But after you unpromptedly barrage them with the fact that they were made on a machine that can only make 50 pairs a day, think of the number of people who now see you as a true connoisseur. These days, even locals (née normies, plebians, the uneducated masses) have come to see ‘Made in Japan’ as a true taste flex.

These socks are available at your favorite multi-brand retailers at a retail price of about $30 a pair, but you can regularly get them for under $20 bucks on sale. Large-footed readers should stick to intarsia as the jacquard versions are notoriously difficult to put on (even as a Brannock size 8 myself) and shrink temporarily after every wash.