David Mullen is waiting on me. I slide into the anonymous storefront adjacent to A Salt & Battery on Greenwich Avenue. He’s oxidizing some sheet metal detailing above the doorway by hand. This is how he does things. He loves details...loves working with his hands. In between a soft spoken discourse on the philosophy of fit and the misappropriated media coverage of the injustices unfolding in Darfur, I realize he’s from another generation—a generation that can literally talk shop and life until the sun sets if you hang around long enough. But David is a product guy (“This is what I’m supposed to be doing,” he riffs unpretentiously), so we get back to the pants.
Pull on a pair of his signature khakis and it’s apparent; Save is a product-driven outfit. I could go on about details like the Hollywood waist band and the interior micro-sanding, but all you need to know is it’s the best chino I’ve ever worn. It fits and moves so well; not skinny but slim. His product is a direct reflection of himself—wrinkled, well worn, detail oriented. It’s an exceptional rendition of the beloved prep essential.
David Mullen outside of his Greenwich Avenue store
Photographed in New York, NY
Save Khaki began three years ago on the notion of creating great fitting khakis (and surrounding it with all the product that compliments it) in a world where everyone’s wearing denim. Since Save Khaki’s nomination as “Best New Menswear Designer in America” earlier this year by the CFDA, they’ve opened up three stores on Broome Street, Greenwich Avenue, and Lafayette Street. On the horizon is a collaboration with Pointer brand and the launch of Save Khaki United, a sub-brand by Save Khaki offering only goods made domestically. “Everything is still within our vision of updated classics that are naive to trend; chambray shirts, wool coats, knit sweaters, some selvedge chinos and even a line of denim (no prejudice here).”
*A week before Thanksgiving my apartment building caught fire and I lost a good bit of personal belongings. David sent over a care package of khakis, a couple sport shirts, tees, and a tote bag that arrived at a time when I had hardly any clothes to wear. This is the kind of man David is. This is the man behind the khakis.
Photographed in Atlanta, GA
The duck boot is in vogue again. How can you tell? A slew of outfits from Marc Jacobs to Sears are pushing the boot this season—tweaking their own offerings of the classic, some to catastrophic proportions. For the prep-set, it matters not. We lace up our Bean Boots every year in rain, sleet and snow, regardless of whether or not GQ has given the boots their seasonal blessing. And when the chain-link tread wears smooth, L.L. Bean simply resoles them (approximately $50 including s&h)—allowing for the leather uppers to continually age with you.
Photographed in Fort Worth, TX
L.L. Bean has kept the look of their Bean Boot virtually the same since 1912. That’s part of the charm. It’s the bedrock of this American classic. Although the 10” and 8” boot are shown here, I prefer the 8” boot due to its similar silhouette to a regular boot. (L.L. Bean, $84). Check out how they’re made—still in Maine.