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Pacific Northwest Gentlemen

By Gabrielle Nomura on December 14, 2010 – 6 Comments


Angelo Spagnolo, college fashion blogger for Class Act, weighs in on staying warm and looking good in the Pacific Northwest this winter. With recent La Nina snow and Pineapple Express rain, we can use all the help we can get. Go to Class Act for more of Spagnolo’s adventures through the eyefive corridor and the local fashion scene throughout our region.

Story by Angelo Spagnolo

If the unexpected November snow didn???t make it clear enough, the holiday lights now make the fact impossible to ignore; winter is upon us. But as much as we Northwesterners may loathe the winter weather, or at least the accompanying traffic, fashion-savvy Eastsiders should relish in the layering options that come with the season???s cool temperatures and holiday-themed events.

With the economy still on the rebound, winter trends are surprisingly focused on quality craftsmanship rather than gaudy excess. Classic American retailers like Polo and Barney???s are taking cues from a handful of small domestic designers looking to keep production here in the states. I???ve assembled this head-to-toe guide of winter???s men???s must haves to aid those of you looking for last-minute gifts, or those of you already planning how to shed your Christmas cash.

Bellevue’s Blue Owl Workshop has quietly grown an international following as one of the West Coast’s go-to spots for hard to find Japanese denim and clothing. As one of the countries only retailers, and in the case of certain brands???the only retailer??? of much-sought denim lines such as Denime, Kicking Mule Workshop and Triple Works, Blue Owl is definitely one to check out if you’re having a hard time finding a gift for your fashionista friends. Sales by appointment only and online at | 343 112th Avenue Southeast Bellevue, WA 98004 | (206) 849-6500

photo courtesy of Class Act,

Red Watch Cap
Six years after Wes Anderson???s “The Life Aquatic” brought red sailor???s beanies back into the scene, you still can???t go wrong with this nautical classic. Portland???s Woodlands Supply Co. is carrying these Cascadia Knit chunky caps at a price that is hard to pass up.
Sourced and knitted in Portland, Ore. $15 at Woodlands Supply Co. | | 114 NW 3rd Ave. Portland, Ore. 97209 | 503.922.1797

red hat

Photo courtesy of Woodlands Supply Co.

Cashmere neckwear:
We all know that wool neckwear is a winter essential (you do know that, right?) But this holiday season try tying up a softer winter knot. Brooklyn based Graham Withers Clothing released the cashmere Franklin necktie and bow tie with their latest collection, and the we think the decision to trade the itchy tweeds usually associated with winter neckwear for cloud-soft cashmere is genius.
Necktie: $88, Bow tie: $68 at??


Photo courtesy of Graham Withers Clothing

Duffel Coat
Military influences are everywhere this winter, but the Duffel coat provides a subtler nod to its British Royal Navy roots than some of the more prevalent winter coats (see: the now-ubiquitous pea coat.) Like the sailors who originally donned the coats to keep out the icy ocean breeze, you wont find more classically stylish armor against Washington???s worst weather than a heavy-duty wool duffel. Our favorite comes from New York based 3sixteen.
$440 at, made in America.

Photo courtesy of 3sixteen

Shawl-collar sweater
Another item with a nod to classic styling, the shawl-collar sweater has been popping up a lot this season. Easily dressed up with a shirt and tie or worn casually over a tee shirt, the shawl-collar sweater is the perfect item for mixing up the usual crewneck and v-neck sweater rotation. Another nice thing about this style is that the collar can be popped to act like a scarf if a wearer finds himself caught by unexpected cold temperatures. Eugene-based Archival Clothing recently produced a set of shawl-collar cardigans sweaters based on a classic design and produced at Centralia Knitting Mills in Centralia, Wash.
$180 from


photo courtesy of

Down vests
Down vests seem to be in fashion every year, but this season we???re favoring quilted versions, like this Down Wax Gillet from the classic British outdoorsman clothier Barbour. Even in the city, it???s never a bad idea to hint at your Pacific Northwest outdoor roots, as refined as those roots may have become.
$330 at Barneys in Seattle | | 600 PINE ST. (BETWEEN 6th Ave & 7th Ave) SEATTLE, WA 98101 | (206) 622-6300

Cashmere lined leather gloves
This winter a lot of brands are pushing fingerless gloves aimed at Smart Phone addicts. We say to skip the gimmicks and look go with a simple, cashmere-lined leather glove. There are a variety of options available from the likes of Nordstrom and J. Crew at various price points. Stick with brown leather for a less bank-robbery aesthetic and give the Smart Phone a rest while you???re out in the cold.

Alden for Blackbird short wings
The nostalgic styling of wingtip oxfords have been showing up fairly often the past few seasons, but as anybody in the Seattle area knows, it???s a struggle to talk yourself into investing in quality dress shoes when your daily commute likely has you hopping foot-deep puddles. Seattle???s Blackbird has the Northwest customer in mind with their recent collaboration with Alden, the historic New England shoe makers who have been handcrafting their shoes in New England since 1884. The Blackbird team went with Alden???s double Waterloc outsole on this model, which is specifically designed to stand up to wet conditions. Availability is very limited, contact Blackbird for specifics.
-$470 at Blackbird | | 5410 22ND AVE NW SEATTLE, WA 98107 | 1 206 547 2524

photo courtesy of Blackbird