7 Stab Endorsed Outerknown Garments For The Modern Gent
Sustainability's never looked so sexy.
I’ve been a staunch defender of Kelly Slater’s Outerknown from the day it launched. Why? Well, because tastefully designed clothes are scarce in the surf rag trade, and, I’m on board with all the eco stuff. The price? That’s just a fact of life if you want to pull on a tee in the morning, safe in the knowledge that you’re not torturing the planet, or that some poor kid in the third world hasn’t caught their fingers in the sewing machine that stitched it together. So in an attempt to dispel the notion that OK is only for wealthy old gents, we’ve paired some key pieces with vintage wear for a more accessible take on the brand. Also, to reinforce the notion that a few meticulously curated, high-quality pieces, scattered throughout your wardrobe, is all you need.
Another staple, a military style jacket is worth dropping a little coin on and looking after. A mix of organic cotton and hemp, the Journey Jacket is modelled on the iconic M65 jacket that was introduced to the US military in ’65 and used by troops in the Vietnam war. Hey, just because it was a crooked, unjust, murderous cause, doesn’t mean it didn’t yield great design (cc: [email protected]). A word of caution when it comes to jackets of any description, however, beware of wax. I’ve got a trench similar to this in colour, and inspired by Craig, Dion and the rest of their impeccably dressed paramilitary surf convoy, went stomping off into the bush with multiple crafts under arm in search of secluded waves last winter. Whilst I felt like a jackbooted surfing revolutionary, the wax plastered up the arm remains to this day.
The only regrets ever associated with good grey jumpers is losing them. I’ve lost so many of these things over the years it pains me to remember. The nostalgia carries particular sting at the moment as the one currently packed in a box and heading to my in-laws' house (bitcoin, bank robbery, politics, mail fraud—all preferable career choices to working in magazines) is all bobbly after only one winter. It’s cashmere, and I bought it on sale. Poor fool. Inexpensive cashmere is an oxymoron. The Noche crew from OK however, is made from organic cotton, not discounted cashmere. It won’t bobble and disappoint you, and as long as you don’t leave it on a plane, in a cab, you know the drill, then you’ll happily grow old(er) together.
Hemp. Now we’re talking. Traditionally used for making sails, and then pretty much everything, hemp has long been stigmatized and relegated to the domain of people who sell things at markets. Turns out, not only is the magical little plant highly sustainable, but—chopped with a little cotton—it’s also strong as hell and perfect for tees. Stripes too—slimming, eco-friendly, beautiful.
Scrimping on pants is just stupid. For one thing, poorly made pants are 100% guaranteed to fall apart (as I found out during my Stab Bondi Road days when, after getting locked in the first floor office, I climbed out the window and attempted to slide down a lamppost. One thread looped around a rogue piece of metal, goodbye ASOS chinos, hello humiliating walk home). And secondly: cheap looks cheap, especially in pants. These things are made from organic cotton with just a touch of spandex, and the caramel shade is just different enough to warrant a second glance from whoever your target market may be. Hey, it’s 2018.
Never been a fan of henleys, but I do like history. And it turns out, the henley has a pretty interesting past. Originally a vest-type garment, the shirt became popular in sporting circles in nineteenth-century Britain, especially in Henley-on-Thames, home of The Boat Race. The rowers started wearing the shirts, and it’s been nothing but unnecessary buttons ever since. If you still feel the need though, black is the subtle way to do so, and the OK Henley, like their other tees, is a mix of hemp and organic cotton. FYI, “organic” cotton conserves 90% more water in production than its regular form, and obvs uses zero nasty chemicals in the process.
Appreciation of a good shirt comes with age. Once you’ve made the transition to wearing collars regularly, you’ll have entered into the quest for the perfect shirt. We’ve all got differently sized and shaped torsos, and I’ll be damned if finding a shirt that fits perfectly isn’t one of the great sartorial challenges. Organic cotton, a soft stripe throughout, smart and casual enough for all occasions. Combine with your fav shade of chino and some clean white sneakers.
Denim jackets, despite predictions, never quite left the fashion zeitgeist. And that’s because the handsome garment is so versatile. Now I’m not going to lie, I’m not a fan of the double denim, and would much prefer the Wellthread Trucker be paired with a white tee and some tan pants—call me a traditionalist—but that’s the beauty of denim jackets. They go with pretty much everything. And the best thing about this one? It’s a Levi’s collab. Meaning that it’s pretty much the same as what everyone else is wearing, but it’s just that little bit special. The jeans featured also are an OK x Levi’s collab. If you’re going to put an “x” between your brand and another re: denim, you may as well choose the brand who’ve been doing it for over 150 years. Wear ‘em together if you’re bold, separately if not. Standing out and fitting in, is just the best place to be.