Earlier this year I was contacted by the publicist for Iron & Resin, a label out of Ventura, CA focused on surf and motorcycle-inspired clothing. The stuff looked intriguing, but I wanted to reserve writing about it until I had a chance to see the clothing firsthand. Last weekend I was in the area on a weekend getaway with my wife, so we stopped in. I have to say,the Iron & Resin Garage is one of the coolest stores I have been to.
The store is packed with Made in the USA goodness, with the Iron & Resin brand as well as other small brands that complement the lifestyle. Ventura’s Main Street is packed with thrift shops and women’s clothing stores, so it’s a welcome oasis of “guy stuff.” If you make it to Ventura, grab a coffee at Palermo across the street and be prepared to spend a good amount of time discovering the store.
I ended up buying the Penfield Colwood Quilted jacket to replace an older Hurley jacket that my wife had started giving me concerned looks whenever I wore it.
Overall, the Iron & Resin Garage is definitely worth a stop if you’re taking a road trip up the coast.
The Iron & Resin Garage
324 E. Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001
Alton Brown, of Food Network’s Good Eats, also records a podcast from his home studio in Atlanta. Alton is also a bit of a clotheshorse, as he confesses on a recent podcast with fellow Atlantan, Sid Mashburn. It’s a great 40 minute chat about Sid’s background and men’s style.
The local Nashville PBS station does a series of stories focused on local businesses called You Ought To Know Nashville. In this episode, we see the fashion side of Nashville including Imogene + Willie:
I think it’s in the state constitution that once a male California citizen turns 40, they have to buy a Hawaiian shirt. Go sit outside of a nice restaurant on a Saturday night and watch the guys dropping their car off at the valet. Over half of them will be wearing a Hawaiian-shirt. And typically, the nicer the car, the louder the shirt.
As the age of most of these men matches their waistline, these shirts tend to be the classic boxy style in rayon or silk. It creates an unfortunate “tent” effect that flatters very few. But I guess once you have a few Mai-Tais in you…
So I happened to be at Moonlight Graham in Orange, CA the other day, and they had a small selection of Reyn Spooner shirts on sale. Reyn Spooner is a classic Hawaiian brand that was big in the 1960s and have made a comeback lately. Part of that comeback was launching a collection of shirts with a modern, slimmer cut (look for the navy label).
There were a bunch of styles, many in their classic “reverse-print” which means they sew the shirts with the printed side inwards, which creates a faded look. The shirt I picked was from their classic collection, which meant I had to size down in order to get a slimmer cut. It is in their Lahaina Sailor print, which appealed to me as it was the company’s first design, inspired by bandanas that sailors wore. Also, I honeymooned in Lahaina, so it has sentimental value. My wife was ecstatic, as we will be taking a family trip to Oahu in a few months and apparently I had nothing to wear.
Is it loud? Well, it’s not quiet, but I did stick to just 2 colors, blue and white, so it’s sort of neutral. At least for a Hawaiian-print. Long time readers may remember that my Law of Plaid also applies to Hawaiian-prints, so shop carefully. I’m happy to get a classic shirt for a great deal, and get it in a fit that will hopefully allow me to enter middle-age a bit more stylishly. I’m off to get a Pina Colada.
Back in the 50s and 60s, Reyn was known as the “Brooks Brothers of the Pacific” with Ivy-style influences like pop-over shirts, or like my shirt’s button-down collar with an ultra-Ivy third button on the back of the collar. You can see the stitching above the label:
Back in May, the Rhode Island School of Design ran an exhibit on menswear titled “Artist/Rebel/Dandy.”
Andrew Yamato filmed an overview of the exhibit for A Suitable Wardrobe: