Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by LA Guy, Apr 1, 2009.
I wish I had snagged that; it's a great sweater.
Ah sorry about that. We don't have any 34's or 35's on hand, but stop by the shop to try on a 36 and bring along a sportcoat which fits you well now. Between the fit of the 36 and the measurements of your jacket, we'll be able to lock down what size you need.
Absolutely. Indigo restock is being counted and will be booked in within an hour or so. Working to get Grey & White online tomorrow!
Oh man, one of my favorite shirts ever. That looks great!
Sharp. This is a killer color combo (say that three times fast)
First off - this should definitely work. I see guys wear Rivets with very thick workboots, and it's not a problem. Second - all of us have a psychotic appreciation for Western boots. I LOVE them. Hand-made western boots are absolutely the pinnacle of shoe crafting the United States. But Dylan's the only guy who has the cojones to pull them off. I personally love most things about traditional Western wear. I can tell you that all of us would love to see how any Western boot owners match their boots to our trousers/chinos. It's totally inspirational. And, give me a few months. It's definitely an ambition for me to launch a roper boot for Fall. I think that it's about time.
Well deserved my friend! Enjoy those shoes!
Whoa, this would be great! I can check on this!
I'm in the market for tees and I'd love to give Epaulet a shot this round however the price tag puts me off. Yet, I trust the price isn't just a mark up. What is it that makes a forty-dollar tee? Personally I've only had experience with three tiers of quality: 1) The $10-target-am-I-aiding-and-abetting-the-violation-of-human-rights-by-buying-this-tee, 2) The $20 (on-sale) J. Crew-run-of-the-mill-tee and the 3) The nicer-fabric-$30 (on-sale)-J. Crew-tee. Higher up the chain the hand get nicer and the cloth stretches less over time but all of them seem to last about a year before disintegrating. How does the tee you make hold up? Will it last longer or does it just feel nicer? If you want to address this generally feel free to quote my PM in the Epaulet thread.
One of our thread members sent this PM, and I though that it would be helpful to post a reply so everyone can see it. I actually tell this story all of the time in the Los Angeles store, as many customers here are curious to know more about the clothing that we offer.
T-shirts are obviously a huge business, and there's all sorts of price points. For most companies, the markup is huge, and the quality isn't very transparent. Much of t-shirt design and production involves several steps of washing and dyeing - and these are no exception.
When it comes to t-shirt "quality," you've got three major factors at hand:
1) Construction is easy. T-shirts are either properly cut and sewn or they are not. Even cheap ones are made on big automated machines which minimize mistakes, so it's pretty rare to get a t-shirt which falls apart due to construction issues. Maybe something really shitty would actually come apart with wear, but figure that most tees in the $12 and up range are going to be decently assembled. Companies can realize a large economy of scale with this as well. It's cheaper to make a t-shirt in Bangladesh than California, and given the available machinery and the general simplicity of the garment, the difference in the final markup is not going to be enormous.
2) Yarn is key. No matter how big your company is, you're going to have to pay for quality pima-cotton yarn. We're using long-staple pima from the United States, which was the second-most expensive pure cotton yarn that I could source. The MOST expensive one was too silky and sheer - better suited for a womens tee. This was the finest yarn that still makes up a masculine shirt.
Initial feel can be misleading. Cheap t-shirts that feel very soft and light still use coarse, short fiber yarn - a little similar to the MDF furniture at Ikea. They wash the hell out of it, so it feels soft on the first wear. But over time the shirt starts to stretch out and wear out. Rather than aging, it just starts to look lousy and worn out. Cheaper tees from large fashion companies - including one very famous one that makes things here in America" are pretty emblematic of this
Cheap t-shirts that are coarse can be made of simply thick and tough yarn. These take ages to break in, but can wear nicely after a lot of use. We're talking about that heavy metal t-shirt that you got your Junior year of high school and wore the hell out of until it's perfectly softened. I have plenty of those. Nothing wrong with these, they're just not all that comfortable or luxurious in the early stages. But later on, they're pretty awesome. People at the Santa Monica Equinox gym get to see me all of time in my Sick of It All and Bosstones t-shirts from 20 years ago.
Better t-shirts are made with good yarn that still feels soft and comfortable on the first wear. But it retains its shape with repeated wash and wear because the fibers are long and strong. It holds the dye better. The t-shirt ages well. This is the same for sweater yarn, the same for denim, the same for suiting wools. I define "quality" fabric as feeling good on the first wear and aging well. Aging well isn't simply "not falling apart." Wranger jeans from Wal-Mart do not fall apart. Quality fabric looks good on first wear and maintains its good look throughout a decent time period of wear.
And I think that it's important not to equate quality with durability in absolute terms. Our t-shirt is strong, but you don't necessarily want to play football or construct a house in it. It's still a luxury garment, and is priced as such. Thick, coarse cotton tees are always going to be the toughest in real terms. Just like a Carhartt jacket.
When I looked at the market, I saw a lot of cheap tees, a lot of mediocre tees around $30, and a lot of overpriced things at $55 and up. I'm hoping to create a sweet spot at $40 where you're getting a really excellent piece for a fair price. It's my strategy across the board.
3) Markup is important. For most companies, t-shirts are some of their largest markup pieces. They're seasonless, standard, and inexpensive. There's a million and one t-shirt manufacturers trying to make the same exact thing and they largely compete on price. The markup for your standard t-shirt is absolutely huge.
As you guys know, Epaulet is direct-only, and we always price things with a fair markup at the initial, full price. Compared to most of my competitors, I'm able to pay a lot more for yarn and construction. It's made in a comfortable factory that I visit weekly, and every single component of this item is sourced in the United States. The workers there have good jobs. This is important to many of our guys, but outside of the feel-good aspect, you're getting more for your money in the end product.
We received a new sample last week and wanted to post up some photos for you guys to check out!
First, let me introduce the Kamigata Jacket:
When I was working on this piece, I wanted to make something that was a bit of a standout compared to what we usually do. Something unique and different, but still very functional, wearable and, above all, comfortable. And honestly, I'm THRILLED with how this came out.
A truly interesting jacket that can easily be worn on it's own, or layered and worn more like a cardigan. I can't wait to see all the ways you guys rock this.
As many of you guys know, traditional and repro, for lack of a better word, noragis can be both hard to fit and somewhat difficult to understand. This jacket, in my opinion, is a traditional example viewed through our lens.
We did long sleeves with a buttoned cuff, to easily allow you to roll them. Welted lower pockets to keep things smooth , but add a layer of functionality. And also a hidden button on the left placket, so that worn buttoned or open, the lines are clean and there's no excess bulk to catch the eye.
The one change we're definitely making to the sample is raising the buttoning point closer to the midsection.
If you've ever dug denim jackets, but can't get down with the typical version, this could be for you.
While brainstorming on names, we landed on the Kamigata jacket.
Kamigata refers to the Japanese region of Kyoto and Osaka, and represents a distinct center of traditional Japanese culture. It's held in esteem for its kabuki theatre, poetry, ukiyo-e art and calligraphy. Given the classic lines of this piece, we chose the name to honor this special place and time in Japanese history.
And, without further ado, here are some sample fit photos!
Awesome. Just saw the restock and ordered a pair! If anyone else was waiting for the Indigo restock, it's up!
Congrats Matt! You did a great job designing this. A really nice piece.
I've never paid $40 for a t-shirt, so I guess I don't have much to compare with, but I'll repeat that I'm finding the EPLA tees to be all around excellent. And I particularly do appreciate this last item in Mike's response. Along which lines, I have bought some American Apparel tees (to compare on the domestic manufacturing angle) and I find the EPLA to be a much better feel and fit. Also, the AA guy kind of creeps me out. Don't really feel good buying his stuff.
This is so cool. Really looking forward to the official Kamigata roll out. Great job, Matt. One thing I note is that you've used full-length sleeves with button cuffs. A quick look at Google images of Noragis show cropped sleeves and no cuffs or buttons. Assuming that's a more traditional style, what is your thinking on the direction you went with the Kamigata?
Speaking of direct only, I vaguely remember a store - was it Need Supply? - selling some EP stuffs. Did that go nowhere?
I can answer this. The Kamigata is its own unique piece, and an Epaulet take on that look. We wanted to it to keep that Japanese style but have a host of functional details that make it more wearable. I have the only sample here in Cali, and I wore it straight out the factory. I'm able to keep my phone in one pocket, keys in another. It buttons if I want it closed. I can roll the sleeves up when it's warmer. It's a really practical piece with a lot of style, but it's not screaming.
Thanks man! It's excited to see all of the reactions we've gotten from customers on the idea/sample.
I edited my original post, but I'll also give a short response here.
I've tried on both traditional and repro versions and, honestly, couldn't figure out how exactly to make them work. The mixture of 3/4 sleeves, too tight arms, and/or volume of the garment left me wondering what I would do when creating this kind of piece.
I wanted to make sure we could make something that captures the vibe, but offers itself as a slightly different animal.
Mike and Matt: Thanks for the answers.
$40 isn't much for T's, esp. in SW&D
Charcoal flannel walt x post.
Mike and/or any Carmina bros:
Do you guys get or recommend getting a sunken metal tap installed in the toe? I know there are those small round metal pieces near the toe, but are those as effective? Also is it a bad idea to try to get a sunken metal tap installed since it would probably mean removing those?
I definitely get a lot of wear on the toes of my shoes otherwise, and will get even more since on this pair I sized up one half (Simpsom last).
Haha yes, it definitely went nowhere. Wasn't our fault or theirs, it's just that Epaulet goods are not meant to be wholesaled. That's how we can maintain the quality and value that we offer.
Separate names with a comma.