Heritage-inspired clothes having established their stake on men's style, certain labels stand out for their attention to the details that even the most observant vintage-obsessed guy can miss. Engineered Garments and Woolrich Woolen Mills have set themselves apart with an impressive dedication to minutiae and a willingness to put unexpected twists on the classics from which both lines draw influence. Being fans of both labels, we were lucky enough to get a special preview of Oi Polloi's buy from both collections, making us eager for warmer weather and new looks.
Engineered Garments' Field Parka nears a technical wear apex with a bevy of buttoned pockets in all the places you'd expect and some that you wouldn't, like on the sleeve and on the parka's back. The sleek covered belt and tonal hardware prevent the jacket from looking too intimidating, keeping the focus on functionality that just happens to look great.
The Trail Parka by Woolrich Woolen Mills represents a marked contrast to the EG Field Parka, bearing a much more minimal and casual air. Eschewing visible buttons on the flap pockets at the chest and waist gives the jacket a cleaner silhouette. Available in a subdued shade of green, the Trail Parka is also available in a rich gold color.
Noted similarities between the brands are due to the fact that both are designed by cult icon Daiki Suzuki, whose involvement in the heritage menswear scene dates back to the late 1980s, when Suzuki would regularly purchase American vintage clothing in the U.S. for resale in Japan. Having shepherded both his own line and Woolrich Woolen Mills to menswear greatness, Suzuki is relinquishing design duties for the latter to another respected industry figure, Mark McNairy.
With more time on his hands, Suzuki could very well dedicate more time to surfing, which the designer has stated is one of his favorite hobbies. The inspiration from his aquatic pastime is clear in both collections, but nowhere better expressed than in the WWM Camp Shirt, a subtle short-sleeve with enough flair to carry an entire outfit. The small floral print looks interesting enough from afar, but it takes getting up close to appreciate the intricacies and variety of shades. Perfect for the Hawaiian vacation you're finally getting to take or continuing to dream of, the shirt is our favorite item from both collections.
These and other items will be available starting Wednesday, 2 March 2011, from Oi Polloi.