Recently Boris asked me if I had any updates to my Personal Uniform. Longtime readers will know that for more than a decade now I’ve endorsed a kind of “find one thing you like a buy a bunch of them so you don’t need to think about what to wear” policy which I call a personal uniform and I’ve written about it over the years updating and refining as needed. I told him a didn’t as I’ve basically not left the house in 2 years. But it got me thinking and that’s not exactly true. I last updated in 2019 and looking back at that now I do have some revisions.
Pants & socks haven’t changed except for the addition of some Stance socks. I got a pair in a gift bag a few years back and they were pretty good and recently picked up several more in a simple design during a sale and am liking them quite a bit. They don’t have the “lifetime guarantee” like Darn Tough does but they are also a little more causal. Underwear has consolidated 100% into the David Archy bamboo boxerbriefs. I can’t really recommend merino underwear or T-shirts anymore, I like them in theory but in practice they just fall apart – especially the lighter weight stuff – and the environmental trade off isn’t worth it. Never say I don’t challenge and test my own positions from time to time. Shirts/tops where the most revision has happened and I’ll explain how that happened.
In Tokyo I would often go by the Adidas store in Shibuya on the everlasting hunt for vegan Superstars, but also to check out their small run collabs and test products. A few years ago I picked up Japanese made loopwheel hoodie that was a joint venture between Adidas and Reigning Champ. I remember reading into it at the time but it didn’t really stick with me beyond knowing that RC was a small boutique brand attempting to make the perfect example of classic athletic wear, overspec’d in everyway. As Gibson fans know this is the quintessential Japanese fashion brand thing to do, but to my surprise RC wasn’t a Japanese brand, they were Canadian. I really liked the hoodie and still wear it regularly, through Amazon Japan I ordered a crewneck sweatshirt for Bujinkan classes and was equally impressed with the production and quality – though the price kind of hurt. I think with conversions and such at the time it worked out to be around $300.
After moving from Tokyo to Vancouver I was pleasantly surprised to learn there was a RC store a few blocks from my house and decided to revisit the brand. I learned that it was started by the same person who’d created Wings+Horns, a brand I’d learned about many years previous from an excellently made collab they’d done with the Ace Hotel. If you think this is starting to feel like reading liner notes on vinyl records to find mentions of other musicians to check out that’s exactly how it felt to me as well. I was also delighted to find that buying locally in Canada was much more reasonable in the pricetag department than as imports in Japan.
Last year I picked up a couple of “lightweight” t-shirts from them and have been wearing them pretty regularly. The build is A+ however the material was a bit too lightweight for my taste and the collar a bit too wide. I like a tighter neck. So I stopped into the shop recently to see if they had a more mid-weight option that would work better for my own personal quirks. The guy at the shop gave me two really solid options – their new “copper jersey” which is kind of exactly what I wanted, with the bonus of having copper infused in the cotton which fights off odor and bacteria – I got a few of these in my standard Large size. He also told me about their mid-weight standard t-shirt which is cut a bit larger, so given my preference he recommended a Medium. This worked incredibly well, I only bought one but I like it so much I’m probably going to swing back and pick up 2 or 3 more. I think the copper jerseys are probably a summer specific piece, while the mid-weight Ts could be a year round thing. They will be a nice contrast for the insane super heavy duty Iron Heart Ts I picked up in Japan just before moving which classifies somewhere between a short sleeve sweatshirt and body armor.
Anyone who has seen me recently knows that I’ve grown partial to classic track jackets. Don’t get me wrong my normal black crewneck sweatshirt is still the goto, but switching to a simple Fred Perry or Puma track jacket works well for most social occasions and temperatures.
Amusingly perhaps only to me, my “style” hasn’t really changed all that much in the 12-ish years I’ve been blogging about this, or the 10 years before that when I was talking about it – brands have shifted a bit, perhaps jointly because I can afford more than what happens to be on sale this week at Wal-Mart and because craftsmanship and simplicity of classic designs has found a market allowing higher end production of these basics.