Oi Polloi

Good For Sailors With Massive Heads

Published: Wed Nov 17 2010

The Thorogood Moc Toe Boot’s been on our ‘need’ list for a while, assembled in Winconsin, USA since 1892 for use in heavy industry – they’ve plenty of substance behind their style. A nice alternative to other classic hardwearing work boots, they feature a low profile toe meaning they’re not overly bulky. Perhaps a touch easier to break in too. Want a little bit of the woodcutter vibe without showing off about it? These are for you my friend. Staying with big boots, we’ve had two new colours in another fairly recent discovery, Diemme. Almond and Papyrus Sand sound like ingredients to the most weird / pretentious casserole you’ve ever tasted but they’re the colours of the new Diemmes so we suggest you sample them. You might like them.

While the winter footwear has impressed us this week, the big news is undoubtedly the two exclusives we’ve got from Gloverall. The dark green and brown short Monty Duffle coats are spot on for this chilly weather and we’re the only place this side of Saturn you’ll be able to get these versions. The duffle coat is one of those rare items that has never been truly trendy but it’s never gone away either. The history is well documented…..the Royal Navy adopted it due to the thick, heavy wool keeping the wearer warm, even in the most harsh of climates. In addition, the distinctive toggles were designed large enough to be fastened either with frozen hands or while wearing big daft gloves. The hood too was adapted so that there was room for a peaked cap to be worn underneath. This also worked for sailors who had massive heads, or outlandish hairstyles they didn’t want messing up. With hundreds of duffle coats surplus to requirements following WWII, Gloverall bought up the stock and after Jack Hawkins starred in 1953 flick Cruel Sea, the demand went through the roof and Gloverall started making their own, perfecting the design as they went. We’ve added our own little touches and created something even more perfect, well that’s what we think. You judge for yourselves. 

Bleu de Paname is a distinctly gallic take on function American workwear. It does the same hard work you’d expect from the US equivalent but is more relaxed, perhaps due to a few extra bank holidays? It’s great stuff, and with the original denim fabric thought to have originated in France, it’s fitting that they’ve taken back a piece of the pie and put a bit of their own topping on it. The Civil shirt and the Inventory shirt are both 8oz denim and they’re the best denim shirts you’ll find in the Wild West (of Europe). If you’re like us, you’ll have started considering how you’ll keep warm when you’re out and about this winter. We’ve been that chilly we’ve been sitting in the fridge to keep warm. Well, that was until we discovered the Bleu de Paname x Pyrenex down vest. It’s a collaboration between the workwear specialists and jacket pioneers Pyrenex.

They say style goes in cycles and this has never been more true than with Brummie saddlemakers Brooks. They began producing bicycle saddles in Smethwick in 1882 and a generation later they’d earned a deserved reputation in racing saddles for professional riders. In 1937 Brooks were keen to point out every single rider at the Tour de France had used one of their ‘comfort’ saddles. Riders would quickly wear out bicycles and replace them regularly, but they’d keep their Brooks saddle from one season to the next. Anyone who has ever owned a Brooks saddle is probably nodding knowingly while reading this. We’ve got a nice mixture of saddles as well as all the other very necessary accessories for serious cyclists. Don’t go too mad on it though..you might end up cyclepathic (that must be one of our worst yet).

We’ve been getting some nice Ralph Lauren bits and pieces on an almost weekly basis for some time now. There’s been very little fussover it so far but enough is enough, time for some love. It may have slipped mostly under the radar but we’ve caught it looking all nice and the cat is out of the bag. This weeks installment is a very nice plaid shirt in red and blue, with a sneaky bit of green in there too. To top it off (literally), the fairlisle bobble hat is definitely one of the best hats of the season. It’s ace quality and the colours, fit and general Ralphness are what make it stand out. We’ve even got you some Ralph swimming shorts this week, so if you’re planning some winter sun (you lucky swines) these fit the bill.

Did we say we had something for you to read? Hmm, we’d better check our list, or should we say Inventory. Yep, it’s the third issue from those appreciators of clothing, craft and culture. This issue has features on Post Overalls, posh Canadian outerwear, very smart American boots with a Swedish history and an insight into the main man from Levis XX Maurizio Donadi. They take their clothing very seriously and the publication itself is something you’ll read a few times over before placing it neatly on a shelf, destined to refer to it again at some point in the future.

Amongst the best of the rest we have knitwear from Albam, some amazing socks that are hot to trot from brand of the moment Universal Works, another jacket from APC and some gloves from Dents… If we were being true to form with our daft puns this week, now is about the time we’d mention how the new Dents gloves are heaven sent, the glove from above. Maybe we’d say we’ve fallen in glove with them. But for some reason we’re feeling a bit more on edge this week. Maybe it’s the distinct air of ‘getaway driver’ in these fine leather gloves. They were actually first made in 1777 when cars weren’t even invented, but perhaps Doc Brown turned up in 18th century Worcestershire in his Delorean and left some driving gloves behind? All you need to know is these are the best leather gloves money can buy. Sorry to hurry you but the engine’s stalled and we can hear sirens. Time to put the getaway gloves into practice.

Assuming we don’t get caught, see you next week.

Oi Polloi