This weekend, Boston’s the home base for the country’s best menswear

America, the beautiful
By THOMAS PAGE MCBEE  |  October 18, 2012


It's a good-looking time for American menswear: heritage brands have made a stylish resurgence, and a new generation of young bucks are drawing inspiration from their dapper forefathers, blending functionality and fashion to handsome ends. Newbury Street's Ball & Buck showcases the comeback with an all-American collection of fitted flannel, duck-camo bow ties, and hunting boots year-round. But on October 20 and 21, they'll host a special pop-up event, American Field, in the South End. The inaugural public tradeshow will feature 30-plus menswear and accessory vendors from across the country (with food trucks, live bands, and a beer garden to boot!). To get a preview, we asked the guys at Ball & Buck to show off a few of the red-white-and-blue brands that'll be on hand.

The shades: Nothing says "I mean business" like a good pair of aviators. (Non-mirrored, of course — what are you, a cop?) The Massachusetts-based Randolph Engineering started manufacturing theirs for the US military in the late '70s, thus providing us all with the only truly cool, pre-Scientology image of Tom Cruise. We salute you.

The shirt: Boston's Ball & Buck is as all-American as it gets: when they launched in 2008, they decided to only stock products made in the U-S-of-A. They also make their own line featuring accessories, tees, and this — the Hunter's Shirt, workwear at its finest. If the name and the tiny embroidered man with the gun don't remind you it's fit for hunting, the reinforced shooting shoulder will.

The jeans: Ball & Buck's collaboration with San Francisco brand Tellason results in dark-dyed denim that'll last forever. Established in 2008, Tellason was born out of a friendship that goes back two decades, and its denim — manufactured in Greensboro, North Carolina, and cut and sewn in San Francisco — says true-blue American style.

The boots: Red Wing is among the highest-profile heritage comebacks around, with good reason. Their boots are all-weather basics with style to spare — gritty enough to get dirty, versatile enough for a post-work cocktail. Of course, the Minnesota company knows a thing or two about getting it right: it's been around for more than a century.

The bag: Maryland's Blue Claw Co. hand-makes good-looking bags that can take a beating. The company's founders were inspired by an Argentinean vacation, but their sturdy canvas-and-leather weekender is ready for wherever the wind takes you — and it's much more dignified than those rolling suitcases.

AMERICAN FIELD | 540 Harrison Ave, Boston | October 20 and 21, 10 am to 5 pm |

Thomas Page McBee can be reached @thomaspagemcbee

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  Topics: Lifestyle Features , South End , American Field
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