J.Crew unveiled its new, higher-end line for men yesterday: Wallace & Barnes. Designer Frank Muytjens says the line is based on the vintage pieces that inspire him and he aims to replicate them with the best materials and details. Valet. got its hands on some of the items that caught our eye and decided to try them on for size—literally.
We can say that this oilcloth jacket is no joke. It's decidedly smooth to the touch, with a slew of pockets made for everything from shotgun shells to whatever you can fit inside. While the cuff and collar are lined in melton wool, open back vents and a partial lining are what make this ideal for transitional weather rather than a winter coat.
$285 at J.Crew
We found the fit on the shirting to be ever-so-slightly slimmer than J.Crew's main line. If you're between sizes on some pieces, err on the larger side. The flannel on this shirt is great, it feels comfortable with or without an undershirt. The quality and aesthetic is reminiscent of lines like RRL, and while it may not have all the authentic details, it's fairly priced at under a hundred bucks.
$98 at J.Crew
This is one of our favorite pieces in the new collection. Made in the USA from a slubby selvedge denim with a great texture, likely sourced from Japan's Kaihara Denim Mills, as J.Crew has done in the past. The fit is spot on, neither too tight or too loose, and they feel comfortable from the get-go. The one-wash fabric doesn't feel as rigid as raw denim, and the canvas back patch is a nice touch. No, they're not cheap, but when a pair of jeans fits this well, it's always a good investment.
$248 at J.Crew
This waffle-lined hoodie seems like the perfect piece for lounging around on the weekend or running a quick errand on a breezy day. It's got waffle-knit lining at the hood and is made from a 14 oz cotton that emulates Japanese loop-wheeled fabric. We found it heavier than the brand's other knits, and liked the side gussets, a nice workwear detail. It'd be a good wardrobe staple, but probably worth waiting for sale time.
$158 at J.Crew