By Jasper Lipton
You, or the lucky denim nerd you're shopping for, probably already has a bronze feather-bracelet and a ten-pound wallet crafted from raw vegetable-tanned yak leather or whatever. Thankfully, there's more to be had! We all like to give gifts with some character, which often means looking at smaller shops or independent dealers - so here are ten gifts ideas you might never have considered. Don't worry - they'll fit in perfectly with the lifestyle of any blue-obsessed, jeans-wearing dork. And frankly, most are so cool that anyone would be happy to have them.
Blue Blue Japan x Merola Indigo-Dyed Gloves - Hollywood Ranch Market, $150
Ok, these are awesome. Merola, if you didn't know, is an Italian company that's been making gloves for over 100 years (citation needed). Blue Blue Japan is a Japanese company that makes beautiful clothes, most of which are dyed with indigo. Put them together and you get...awesome, indigo-dyed gloves. Yes, they are a beautifully rich, dark blue. Yes, they will fade with wear. I don't even care if you like denim or not - you need this in your life.
To order these, send an email to [email protected]
Antique Japanese Fabric Tote Bag - OldIndustrial12, Etsy, 170$
This might not quite count as a "stocking stuffer," but this Etsy shop produces incredibly beautiful tote bags made of vintage Japanese textiles, including both indigo-dyed scraps and vintage sakabukuro fabric. As a #StyFoDude, you're more or less required to own at least one patchwork Japanese item, and this one's hard to beat. Every single bag is different, but they're all relatively affordable. Stock goes quickly, though!
Kinuya Indigo-Dyed Leather Wallet - Japansquare.com, $150
Each of these beautiful, indigo-dyed leather wallets is individually hand-dyed by a master craftsman using natural indigo. No two are exactly the same, and show a beautiful depth of color that will fade and change with use. A beautiful accessory that someone should definitely buy for me.
Pre-reduced Indigo Dye Kit - Dharma Trading Co. $46/lb.
I like to give gifts that encourage hanging out with loved ones. What better choice than an indigo dye kit that promises hours and hours of fun, while simultaneously turning everything you own blue? Dharma Trading Co. has great dyes, great resources and how-tos, and everything you need to get set up. This links directly to the dye itself, but you may want to grab some of DTC's color reducers and fixatives as well. Fair warning: you may make a mess.
The Hill-Side Sashiko Pocket Square - Unionmade, $40
Yes. This is, essentially, a square of sashiko fabric that I'm encouraging you to wad up and stick in the pocket of your indigo-dyed work jacket. Why? Don't ask stupid questions. Sashiko. Pocket. Square. This is it, people. We've reached the peak. There's nowhere to go from here.
Epaulet Indigo-Dyed Tee - Epaulet, 55$
Forum affiliate (and forum favorite) Epaulet just so happens to make these beautiful cotton pique tees, dyed with natural indigo. To top it off, at 55$ they're cheaper than just about any indigo-dyed tee I've ever seen. They're a great, deep blue that will look great with faded denim (what doesn't?), and you could totally roll up a couple and stick them in a stocking. Made in downtown LA, to boot. Good stuff, guys. Good stuff.
Oak Street Bootmakers Indigo-dyed Roughout Boot - Context Clothing, $548
These aren't so much a stocking stuffer as a one-time thing. But they've got a place here, so let's talk about them. These boots, the result of a collaboration between a number of very talented individuals, are hand-dyed in all-natural indigo hand-harvested from a small plot outside of Japan. Word on the street is that making these a success took a lot of thinking and a lot of hands-on doing. Yes: hand-dyed in hand-harvested natural indigo, hand-cut, hand-sewn.
These boots are that special.
As of writing, Context only has a couple of pairs left (Oak Street themselves have sold out). If you're into them and you can find your size, act now - because it might be your only chance.
Yachimun Miyagi Pottery Indigo Dyed Plates - AAASelect.co, $48
Traditional Okinawan pottery, hand-made by a master potter. Indigo-detailed for your enjoyment. Beautiful and lasting. Time to buck up and wabi the sabi - just never put them in the dishwasher.
Toysmith Train Whistle - Amazon, $5.17
Five dollars to make fun of the denim nerd in your life? #Worth.