I think winter is the most exciting time style-wise, all thanks to the idea of layering. Chilly Japan was a perfect wintry destination to pack knitwear and coats in my suitcase and really have some fun with style and layer up. It’s that time of the year where you can set your wardrobe free, and dig out those knits, stripes, spots, and checks that have been forgotten about all.
Let me start with outerwear, because a good coat or jacket is the basis of a winter wardrobe. Outerwear is completely reflective of your lifestyle, the climate you live in, and may even reference a little bit of your history too. For me, the romance is in detail, like hardware, textile, and the finishing. These elements come together to tell a great story. Look at the duffle jacket for example. This classic coat has popped up through time in iconic moments like as the official clothing of the Royal British Navy. Whenever I travel to a cold climate like Japan in the wintertime, it’s this militant functionality that has me looking stylish on the streets while I explore. Investing in timeless style is priceless. That’s why I worked with Australian label Country Road this Southern Hemisphere winter to give some food-for-thought about how we can consider our own personal style.
In this light, I’ll show you how I like to choose my knits and accessories that give personality to a simple winter outfit. Going back to the Navy, think about those great roll neck knits that dressed sailors and fishermen who sailed the roughest waters – like early cod fishermen in North Atlantic sea. I would definitely take styling advice from photographs of this era — it’s all about how you can then make it relevant to your own situation.
Drawing inspiration from the past is a great way to inform your wardrobe. It’s exciting to explore your personal style in this way and to make it your own by giving it your own context. When I travel to Japan in winter, I find it refreshing to see such an expression of individuality and a deep appreciation for Japan’s rich cultural history, yet everyone has their own distinct style. It’s a tip of the hat to identity, and the fact is that we should be allowed to carve out our own.
You can also go over to Country Road’s ‘Live With Us’ where I shared my favourite hangouts in Tokyo too. Yes friends, this is a sponsored post, but as you know I chose carefully who I work with because I respect all of you and your great assertiveness. As a youngster growing up in Australia, the brand represented quality and simplicity… Country Road was mum’s best merino wool jumper, many of my plain white tees, and my high school gym bag that I thought was so cool I then went on to use it as my everything bag. So when I agreed to work with them a few months ago I had a clear picture of form, quality, and functionality in mind.
My buddy Nigel Cabourn clearly recounts his design work with Country Road a little over a decade ago, where he was invited to Australia to work as guest designer for the brand. They had a wealth of great Australian made materials, a pool of strong history to work with, and their founder Stephen Bennett had great respect for Nigel as a designer who sticks to his guns about research as well as using the best materials possible for the job. His sons still come to visit Nigel’s Tokyo Army Gym store in respect of all this.
As the company moves forward, having being sold to Woolworths Holdings Ltd. I hope to continue the conversation with them about their direction and its relationship to the brands founding identity. We are watching big labels compromise quality to improve their bottom line, producing for less and selling for a larger margin, so when it comes to a name that brings up much nostalgia on a personal level, i feel strongly about keeping up this dialogue. Its important for me to let you know that my honest thoughts and opinions of their product have been shared openly with them in trust that they will be taken into consideration. That’s what its all about in my books.