No Man Walks Alone is a sponsor on this site, but they’re also one of my favorite online retailers. The shop’s founder, Greg – who can be clearly seen above walking alone – simply has great taste. He knows his way around a coat-and-tie rig, but also has a good eye for casualwear. For guys who love Italian tailoring and want to build a weekend wardrobe, No Man Walks Alone is a great one-stop shop.
This morning, they started their end-of-season sale, where you can find select items marked down by as much as 40%. Some of my favorite brands here include Sartoria Formosa, which is wonderful for high-end Neapolitan tailoring, and Kaptain Sunshine, which offers slightly quirky and offbeat takes on Americana and workwear (they’re like LL Bean with a sense of humor and a lot more style). Few stores capture my personal interest in clothing as well as NMWA, especially in the way they mix tailoring with workwear and contemporary styles. Here are ten favorites right now from their sale.
l admit, I’m not totally sure about this reversible liner from Blurhms, a Japanese brand that, as my friend Pete noted, sounds like a made-up answer on a history exam. “If I were a high school sophomore taking an AP world history exam and got cornered into writing about World War II, even though the class never made it past the Boxer Rebellion, I would write a succinct, 100% bullshit essay on the Battle of Blurhms, which took place on the Franco-German border. Then I would pray the grader wouldn’t know that Blurhms is really a young brand (founded 2012) making cozy boy and cozy girl basics, primarily in Japan, with the marled textures and subtle folk detailing that complement a tattoo-free life spent reading, browsing estate sales, and caring for succulents.”
This liner is made from a reversible acrylic fleece and olive MA-1 nylon fabric. I can see it being worn as a standalone piece of outerwear (I use a liner all the time as my outermost layer). It can also be used as a mid-layer between a shirt and jacket, which would lend a bit of cozy comfort and visual interest. Greg can be seen above wearing the liner both ways, and I think he looks great. That said, it’s a more adventurous piece and will likely do best with similarly offbeat takes on workwear. Possibly a good purchase, but make sure you have the wardrobe for it.
Some of my favorite things at the store are from Sartoria Formosa, a small tailoring workshop in Naples that’s famed for dressing some of Italy’s most stylish leading actors during the 1950s and 60s. The shop’s founder and cutter, Mario Formosa, passed away some time ago and the business is now headed by his son Gennaro. The workshop still mostly does bespoke, but they also make a small ready-to-wear line for NMWA (all made to bespoke standards, but with ready-to-wear patterns).
The cut is distinctively Neapolitan – soft shoulders and chest, with gently sweeping quarters – but is very subtly draped, which I think lends a more flattering silhouette. This green glen-checked sport coat is made from a special re-run of a Fox Brothers archival fabric that NMWA organized. The yarn has a small five-percent touch of cashmere, which lends a bit of softness, while the merino quality helps the fabric keep its shape (pure cashmere fabrics often bag easily, which is why you rarely see pure cashmere trousers). A mossy olive sport coat like this can be worn with trousers in tan or mid-gray, or even with blue jeans if you’re trying to dress it down.
No Man Walks Alone this season brought back their popular Document robe coat. The style is loosely – very loosely – based on the wait coat, which is a predecessor to the polo coat and was originally worn between polo period matches. Original wait coats featured patched pockets, a wraparound construction, and a belted closure. This robe coat is somewhat similar, but the fit is much more modern (slightly trimmer, shorter, and lighter in weight) and of course it features a shawl collar.
Does it look like a bathrobe? Yes, kind of. Is it awesome? Absolutely. I often wear one in the fall, when the temperatures are cool but not frigid, with slim jeans and textured sweaters. It’s also good with wider legged trousers for a contemporary look. Pair the outfit with side zip boots, Stan Smiths, or minimalist sneakers. You can see StyleForum’s former editor Jasper wearing one in this old post about Document. Namu Shop, another sponsor on this site, also has them on sale right now, as well some lookbook photos showing how you can wear the style. The coat is distinctively contemporary, but not that hard to wear, and can be a good entry point into a more modern style.
Last spring was supposed to be Antonio Ciongoli’s last season at Eidos, a brand he resurrected under Isaia in 2013 (Eidos existed before then, but in a much different form). When he left, Eidos fans bemoaned the death of their favorite brand. Eidos today is headed by Simon Spurr, who, while talented, has a different center of gravity. Antonio’s vision for Eidos had an Italian-American sensibility that was rooted in his personal history growing up in the American Northeast. Simon’s, on the other hand, feels more sophisticated and urban. It’s slim, sexy, and very New York City nights, whereas Antonio’s collections feel relatively more Italian and relaxed.
Although Antonio is no longer at the brand, No Man Walks Alone was able to get a few pieces using his old patterns. Some of my favorite items from him include his topcoats – wonderfully constructed with a slightly slimmer silhouette than what could be called traditional, but without wading into skinny and short overcoat territory. They’re so easy to wear with either jeans or tailored trousers, and while they’re often too slim to fit over traditional tailoring, they look great with knitwear. This double-breasted overcoat is made from a tweedy gray herringbone wool-blend from Moessmer, a mill known for their Loden cloths. Since Antonio is now heading 18 East, where he does more adventurous designs, this could be the last chance to get one of his overcoats.
Style bloggers love to talk about sleek European shoes. The kind made somewhere in Italy or England’s midlands, featuring shapely toes and tight waists. I like those sorts of shoes as well (they look great with sharp suits), but these are not them. Those are beautiful; these are ugly. But I love them.
The shoes you see above are a traditional Tyrolean style – Tyrol being a region of the Alps that’s split between modern-day Austria and Italy. They were originally mountain shoes, made for long walks with heavy Loden coats, but sometime in the 1950s, they gained broader appeal. The French love them, as do the Japanese. The reason is simple: they’re comfortable and weatherproof. Tyrolean shoes, at least in this style, are typically made with grippy soles, Norwegian welts, and heavy-duty leather uppers that have been generously oiled with natural fats. That makes the leather a bit more water-resistant and pliable, perfect for the bellow tongues that are also designed to keep out water.
Back when they were still publishing, the editors at Free & Easy loved to include Tyrolean shoes in almost every issue. The funkier style went well with the kind of workwear-inspired clothes they liked to write about. With the right pair of slim pants and topcoat, they can also go with more casual forms of tailoring. Greg can be seen wearing an old pair at the very top of this post. Like other good shoes, these have that better-with-age quality I love.
Who didn’t dream of being an astronaut when they were a kid? Like everyone else, I was fascinated with the idea of space exploration when I was growing up. At least until I got into college and took a natural science class, at which point I realized I’m too dumb to be trusted with expensive equipment. This pocket square, however, is just under $50 on sale and nearly impossible to break. If this motif of a spaceman floating around amongst aliens doesn’t represent your childhood dreams, then it should at least represent your experience of wearing a pocket square in modern society.
I know I write about Kaptain Sunshine’s Traveler coat a lot, but it’s for good reason. The coat is one of my favorite outerwear purchases in the last few years. The design is exceedingly simple: a gentle A-frame silhouette with a patched ticket pocket, handsome collar that nicely flips up, and internal equestrian leg straps (the last of which I never use, but like that they’re there). It’s expensive, even on sale, but also the sort of practical grab-and-go attire that makes getting dressed so easy in the morning. You could be wearing the most boring things – slim-straight jeans and even a gray sweatshirt – and this coat alone will make you look awesome.
True Cowichans are made by Coast Salish knitters in British Columbia, Canada (where yours truly was born). As the story goes, the style comes out of a cultural exchange in the 1850s. At the time, natives in the Cowichan Valley had been knitting leggings and blankets out of mountain goat and dog wool for centuries. When European settlers arrived, however, they learned how to knit socks, mitts, and sweaters, as well as farm wool from sheep. At some point in the late 19th century, a settler from the Shetland Islands named Jerimina Colvin taught Cowichan knitters how to embellish sweaters using Fair Isle traditions, forever changing the region’s knitwear.
Today, Cowichan sweaters are something of a mix of that history – hefty, wool cardigans with Native Canadian motifs, all expressed through low-gauge Scottish knitting techniques. They’re typically made without side seams, knitted from undyed yarns, and come with a slightly-dropped shoulder line. And unlike their Fair Isle and Shetland cousins in Europe, which are often machine-knit or hand-framed, true Cowichan knits are always completely handmade. That means a knitter, often a woman, is working with just two knitting needles and some bulky, hand-spun yarn.
These from Kanata are the real deal. They’re thick, heavy, and frankly kind of prickly. They’re not the sort of friendly shawl collar cardigans you can wear at home; instead they feel like closer to the sort of rugged jackets you might find at Filson. Still, I love how they look with raw denim jeans, five pocket cords, and rugged trousers made from durable fabrics such as moleskin. Kunal in Washington, DC can be seen wearing one in this post at Put This On. Just pay attention to measurements, as the sizing can sometimes be unconventional. If you’re between sizes, take the larger of the two. I think these look better when they’re comfortably cut.
There’s something about this sueded Valstar jacket that reminds me of the better parts of Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent collections. It’s slightly sleazy with an old-school, almost 1970s and ‘80s masculine appeal. The collar is generously sized, the pockets large, and the Western details make this more distinctive from many other suede jackets. It would look great with slim jeans and side zip boots – something that has echoes of western wear without looking like ranch clothing.
Yet, it’s also much more generously cut than your average piece of SLP clothing, which makes it mercifully forgiving for people who aren’t waif thin. I also think suede jackets do better in these slightly more rugged styles, rather than the dressier things you might find at Ralph Lauren Purple Label. Suede picks up dirt marks easily, which means a jacket like this can still continue to look good years after you purchase it.
Vor’s 2B sneakers are loosely modeled after one of the most iconic sneaker designs of all time: Nike’s Air Force 1s, which spawned a technical revolution in the 1980s and then a cultural revolution in the ‘90s. The Air Force 1s, especially in their monochromatic white colorway, are popular because they go so easily with most streetwear and sportswear. The only problem with them is that, depending on your wardrobe, sometimes their silhouette can look a little too chunky.
Vor’s 2Bs have a similar style and silhouette, but they’ve been slimmed up a little and made a bit more fashion friendly. The materials are higher quality; the shoes look better under slim jeans. I have a similar pair from Common Projects that I love. The style goes easily with contemporary wardrobes, such as slim pants and tailored topcoats, while also sitting well with workwear and Americana. I often wear mine with a French chore coat, fishtail parka, or leather bomber. As streetwear has become more integrated with fashion, it’s become easier to mix-and-match things like this, and doing so can make for some fun outfits. No Man Walks Alone also has a low-top version of the same style.