Spring’s here, with summer not far behind, which means it’s time to update your warm-weather wardrobe. Look for quality garments you can incorporate into your preexisting closet, but focus on new fabrics, patterns or styles to keep things fresh.
To jumpstart your shopping, we asked the founders of four top menswear shops to share their favorite pieces of the season. Though their selections feel familiar — tees, shirts, pants — small details set these garments apart from what you’ve seen in past years.
LA’s General Admission sits blocks away from Venice Beach. The shop blends surf, skate and contemporary menswear while also hosting regular community events. We asked Damien Fahrenfort, who founded General Admission with Gavin Dogan in 2015, to share his must-have buys of the season.
General Admission Basic Crew Tee
“Man, we’ve taken a risk with this new one. Our current tee has guys coming in to buy one and returning for three more a day or two later, so it’s risky, but I think this is the one we’ll be set on for a few years. We updated the fit, so it hangs off you better and has a more timeless feel. We gave the neck an outrib neckline for some flair and the new fabric is the biggest change, it’s a custom-made lightweight peach twill, and is pre-shrunk washed and dyed so you can tumble dry and beat the crap out of it and it will look like new. We’re not exactly solving the world’s problems, but if our tee is one less thing you have to think and worry about, we solved a problem.”
Salvage Public Noa Mid-Pacific Woven Shirt
“Salvage Public is able to fuse quintessential Hawaiian clothing with modern fits and fabrics. I’d best describe them as Acne meets Patagonia. This seersucker woven shirt is the perfect beach shirt, or layering piece for a night out. Plus that pattern gets me every time.”
Salvage Public Keawe Ripstop Pant
“Something truly unique. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ripstop pant. Sort of perfect for the guy like me who hides his skinny legs. They’re light weight and pass for denim, the perfect pant for tropical environments. There’s also a matching ripstop anorak if you’re feeling bossy.”
Established in 2006, San Francisco’s Self Edge expanded with new locations in New York City, Los Angeles, Portland and San Jose del Cabo. Owners Kiya and Demitra Babzani offer some of the best jeans, shirts and leather accessories in the world with a focus on premium Japanese denim. Here, Kiya Babzani on his spring and summer go-to’s.
Flat Head 10oz Selvedge Denim Snap Shirt
“Nobody really does denim shirts like Flat Head, and this lighter weight (and soft to the touch) version of their denim shirt is great for the summer as it’s wearable even in warmer climates. This thing ages as well as well as their jeans do, so if you ever wanted to break in a denim shirt this is the one.”
Iron Heart 633S-14OD 14oz Lightweight Overdyed Jeans
“We love the way overdyed jeans look after they’ve been worn in. Normally [Iron Heart’s] jeans, which are overdyed, would be a heavier weight denim. [This is a] lightweight denim, which is perfect for summer wear, and has been overdyed black with a fugitive pigment dye in their most popular straight tapered fit.” — Kiya Babzani, co-founder
Studio D’Artisan Tsuri-Ami Loopwheeled Blank T-Shirt
“It’s a plain white t-shirt for $100, but this isn’t some designer label you’re paying for. It’s a true loopwheeled textile made of a long staple cotton. If you think spending $100 on a blank t-shirt is crazy, this will change your mind once you try one on.”
Good Art Brass Belt Loop Buddy
“Not necessarily a spring item per se, just a year round useful accessory that is the most genius way to attach your keys onto a belt loop. These are essential for life.”
Self Edge Graphic Series T-Shirt #4
“We started doing graphic t-shirts last year, with a limited run of tees being released every six weeks throughout the year. This is a personal favorite and an ode to our customer base.”
Standard and Strange, founded by Jeremy Smith and Neil Barrett in Oakland in 2012, roots its collections in American-made brands. But sometimes, they include little-known labels from Canada, Japan, Germany and the UK. We asked Smith to name the essentials he’s most excited about this year.
Feit Hand Sewn Desert Boots
“Desert boots are once again trending for men. The Feit pair is extremely versatile. It has sneaker-like elements that allow it to play well with jeans (or even shorts if you’re really daring), but can be easily dressed up because of the luxury materials used. They’re also 100-percent no-sock compliant, as the leathers used are natural and chemical free, so they breathe well and release moisture easily. [They’re] completely hand-made (no machines) start to finish, which gives them an absolutely superlative level of comfort.”
Freenote Workers Chino
“Yes, we’re excited about a chino because they’re sewn up from a nice beefy 10-ounce Japanese selvedge twill in a remarkably good fit.”
“The two best ones from this last release are the Mato-Max because who doesn’t need a psychedelic curling-themed bandana; and the Fred Harvey flag, because it’s a hand-dyed indigo selvedge bandana with a great theme to it.”
Peanuts & Co Horse Twist Bangle
“The horse bangle from Peanuts and Co has been very popular. We dig it because it’s like nothing else we’ve seen in men’s jewelry; sits well alone or with a watch; and it’s tough-yet-refined, giving it a wide range for wearing. Made in Japan from solid 925 silver.”
“These are dead easy to wear, and add a lot to every outfit.”
Founded in 2009 by Todd Barket and Carl Chiara, Unionmade set the standard for what a contemporary menswear store should be. Its products range from tasteful basics from Converse and Levi’s to hard-to-find brands like Kapital and Chimala.
Levi’s Vintage Clothing 1940s Hawaiian Shirt
“The Aloha Shirt is hands down the shirt of the season. We saw it in everything from cotton florals to solid rayon. This one in particular is my favorite. It’s the most authentic looking one I came across. It’s weighty and the perfect color combination.”
Studio Nicholson Bunch Slub Double Pleat Balloon Pant
“Pants keep loosening up and getting bigger. This is my favorite pair. They do everything I want a pant to do, wide, pleated, and cropped. This is the brand’s second season doing men’s and I want everything.”
Umber & Ochre Woven Tee
“We saw a lot of tie-dye in everyones’ collections this season. This is the grown up way to do the trend. The t-shirt is hand-woven and dyed by artisans in India.”