RUGGED AMERICAN STYLE
Vest ($450), cardigan ($395), shirt ($165), and chinos ($125) by Woolrich John Rich & Bros., 212-826-8900.
Backwoods hipster. Blue-collar couture. Whatever you call the look, there's no question that brands like Woolrich—born in America and bred for its working men—are making a comeback, thanks to updated designs, astute collaborations, and authentic details. Courtney Colavita
1. Woolrich John Rich & Bros.
Tucked away in the Allegheny Mountains, the village of Woolrich, Pennsylvania, population 400, is the kind of place where time passes slowly. It took its residents 60 years just to name it, in 1888, for the Rich family mill, which is the longest continuously running factory in the United States. It still produces the hearty wools and buffalo plaids that made it famous, but this fall, in partnership with Italian firm WP Lavori in Corso, it's also turning out something new: a contemporary fashion collection. The label, John Rich & Bros., has everything you might expect from a company that makes peacoats for the Navy—reliable outerwear, hefty knits, and straightforward cords—but you won't find it at your local surplus store. The streamlined cuts, lightweight wools, and refined color palette have earned it a spot at high-end retailers like Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys.
2. Red Wing
Named for the Minnesota town where it started making work boots in 1905, Red Wing was until recently the porterhouse of footwear: manly and substantial but not something you saw on many cosmopolitan menus. Last year J. Crew resuscitated the classic with a modernized design and finer leather. Less bulky but still tough, this fall's J. Crew Red Wings are appropriate whether you work with a wood chipper or a paper shredder.
Red Wing ($230), rwleatherboots.com.
Before they became the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson and gang called themselves the Pendletones, in homage to the flannel shirts they wore for the better part of the sixties. The virgin-wool plaid long-sleeves eventually faded from most men's wardrobes, but star retailer Opening Ceremony is plotting their return this season. The new incarnation is a mash-up patchwork of Pendleton archival plaids, kind of like a hip-hop sample of Pet Sounds.
Pendleton ($108), pendleton-usa.com.
Any apprehension you might have about carrying a man purse will be laid to rest once you get your grip on a Filson. The Seattle-based outdoor company started equipping gold prospectors in the Klondike in 1897, and over a century later, it hasn't gone soft. Filson's sturdy canvas briefcases for Apolis Activism are just as durable and masculine as its original field bags.
Filson ($300), filson.com.
Photographs from top: By James Macari, courtesy of Woolrich, by Brad Bridgers (3).
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