StyleForum Visits Kamakura

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Teger, Sep 25, 2013.

Tags:
  1. Teger

    Teger Senior member

    Messages:
    21,962
    Likes Received:
    6,608
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    

    I had to have my OCBD darted in the back a little bit, but that's true for really any shirt I buy OTR, so...

    Definitely a good slim fit in the chest/shoulders though.
     


  2. landscapes

    landscapes Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    I almost never buy things at retail but these are quite tempting.
     


  3. TonioKroger

    TonioKroger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    There's a reason everybody is so excited about the Kamakura shirts-- they're amazing. But I don't think that's why they're being talked about all the time. Nope. It's something else. It's because they have an *identity*. What do I mean? Read on...

    For years, we've all been spending 100 bucks to buy some corporate committee's flaccid version of the once-great Brooks Brothers shirt. We've seen Land's End - which, let's face it, was always second rate- get even worse by chopping their collar down to a fashionable nub. We've been sending away to David Mercer for baggy, 80's style, shirts which, however nice they are, start at $135 for anything besides oxford cloth--- and rise considerably from there. Same with Gitman and O'Connell's. J. Crew? Gant? Come on. These are throwaway offerings created for people who have never worn a shirt made with care.

    I can already hear people saying "Well, what about Luxire and Paris and all those bespoke places...?", but that brings me right back to my original point; the oxford cloth button down shirt is the quintessential off the rack shirt and it should NOT be made in some fancy bespoke place. American manufacturers created the popularity of the button down shirt in all its common-place, casual greatness. The shirts had an identity; they were affordable, relaxed but smart, and at the height of their popularity they defined a real American egalitarian ideal--- *everyone* could have access to the same great, classic look.

    So let's start with a review of the shirts: first off, they are made beautifully- someone cares about the stitching, the shell buttons-- and for once the damn collar rolls!!! The fabrics are either great workhorse oxford cloths or nice day-to-day pinpoints (*my favorites...though I don't own any broadcloths.) Though they do offer Made to Measure and 300 count shirts, the great thing about the shirts at Kamakura is that they are your everyday shirt- but done with old fashioned care and style and workmanship. All somehow in a shirt that is under $80!! (PS- Their knit oxford pique shirt is one of the most comfortable things I own and no one has yet guessed it isn't cloth.)

    But- and here's my point if anyone is still reading- Kamakura is doing well not only because their product is good. It's because they re-embody a lot of the ideals that started the popularity of the button down in the first place. They haven't just "Frankenstein-ed" the best parts of historically great shirts together (the way most other makers have done). Instead,they've made shirts that have an IDENTITY ALL THEIR OWN. They have re-imagined the traditional American button down and come up with THEIR version; somewhat slimmer, more precise, neat without being fashion-y and topped it off with a grand collar that frames the neck and face.

    So why am I posting this long speech? I'm selfish. I want to buy shirts from this place for a long, long time. I want them to do well so they'll have more patterns available and bring in the jackets and other products I see they sell in their Japanese stores. Also, when is the last time you went into a tiny store in Manhattan and had the sales people offer you Japanese desserts, iced water or ran to hold the door as you left?
     


  4. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

    Messages:
    68,951
    Likes Received:
    31,128
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Location:
    Charm City
    been meaning to try them out for a while. great write up tegs, you may have pushed me over the edge. :)
     


  5. Verniza

    Verniza Senior member

    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    20
    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Looks good but the sizing guide is a whole new ball game.

    Will probably wait for more information and reviews on sizing.
     


  6. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

    Messages:
    68,951
    Likes Received:
    31,128
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Location:
    Charm City
    i wanna stop by in person and try stuff on. does not look like my size is available online for the shirts i liked, anyways
     


  7. Louys

    Louys Senior member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    145
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    

    I thought so too, but I took a plunge and got lucky, the 15 32-1/3 in the Tokyo Slim Fit was perfect. For reference I also wear a Brooks Brothers Extra Slim Fit in small. The quality of Kamakura is superior, the roll is worthy of some good hype, but most important for slim guys the TSF arm hole and waist size are better proportioned to someone with an already narrow frame.
     


  8. a tailor

    a tailor Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    109
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Location:
    chicago suburbs
    

    That extra width in back is what gives you the ability to reach fore ward without restriction.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013


  9. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

    Messages:
    14,725
    Likes Received:
    2,328
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    

    I mean more so than my Barba shirts and Mastai Ferretti shirts. I don't know if it's a Kamakura quirk
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013


  10. a tailor

    a tailor Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    109
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Location:
    chicago suburbs
    

    Its just their way of avoiding problems since their shirts are well fitted.
     


  11. Fred G. Unn

    Fred G. Unn Senior member

    Messages:
    2,759
    Likes Received:
    752
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Had 2 shirts arrive today. Wow! They pattern matched the sleeve to the shoulder on a thin "London stripe." Honestly the only shirt maker I've seen pattern match for under $100 is Hilditch and Key for 55 GBP during their July and Dec sales. I think I have a new favorite sub-$100 shirt maker.
     


  12. TonioKroger

    TonioKroger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    That is why the fronts look so good and yet, you are still able to put your hand over your head!
     


  13. Winston S.

    Winston S. Senior member

    Messages:
    2,318
    Likes Received:
    111
    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Location:
    New York City
    Great article. The only thing I would change is that most New Yorkers, don't consider the 40s to be Upper East Side. Mid 40s is Midtown East to me.
     


  14. TonioKroger

    TonioKroger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Reason #259 why I like Kamakura shirts:

    They are cut in such a way that when you wear them you actually look like one of those trim, boldly drawn advertising images from the 60's.
     


  15. TonioKroger

    TonioKroger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Reason #4567 why I like Kamakura shirts:

    MTM
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by