That Autumn Look | Turning Japanese

The only thing better than the things you can have, are always the things you can’t. I stick to my belief that menswear in Japan is leaps and bounds ahead of what we get here in the States. Of course, maybe that is just because I’m here and Japan is, well, there. Everything in the below was basically created by the Americans or the British, but more than anything I see this as a purely Japanese look. Of course, maybe it is just me. Take the spirit of this and translate, coagulate and/or appreciate it as inspiration from our friends in the East.


Military Field Parka (Japan)

Beams+ Navy Blazer (Japan)

Tan and Navy Grosgrain Belt (Japan)

White Mountaineering Gray Wool Pants (Japan)

Rolex Submariner

J. Press Watch Strap

White Mountaineering Socks (Japan)

Danner Mountain Light Tan Suede Boots (Japan)

Plaid Button (Japan)

Woven-Plastic Button (Japan)

Journal Standard Chambray Shirt (Japan)

Gregory Backpack

More That Autumn Look posts can be seen here.

Comments on “That Autumn Look | Turning Japanese

    teabiscuit on September 21, 2009 1:56 AM:

    Michael, I call shenanigans on the US ARMY M-65 FISH TAIL PARKA as “Japanese.”

    Michael Williams on September 21, 2009 2:01 AM:

    Teabager — it is supposedly “vintage,” but since it was from a Japanese store, I am going to go ahead and label it Japanese. If I take a good photo from a website / shop, I’m going to credit it as such. Besides, this whole series is about inspiration, not provenance. Don’t be so effing literal. —ACL

    Heavy Tweed Jacket on September 21, 2009 3:08 AM:

    ACL, This is a very cool look, and one that I see a lot of guys riffing on in Tokyo in the colder months. That Beams blazer is pretty nice with a 3/2 roll and hook vent. You are off to a great start on this year’s ‘That Autumn Look’. Best, HTJ

    Jack on September 21, 2009 3:30 AM:

    I’m with you ACL. All I been posting lately is Japanese interpreted americana. They seem to understand the essence of america better than we do sometimes.

    angelo on September 21, 2009 4:44 AM:

    Those buttons are nice additions, but on first look I was hoping they were cufflinks.

    angelo on September 21, 2009 4:45 AM:

    And I bet you could snag the Danners through Portland Outdoor Store.

    Stephen on September 21, 2009 9:12 AM:

    Damn I wish they sold those Gregory bags in the US

    Tintin on September 21, 2009 11:02 AM:

    I’ve had my Sub since ’77. Always thought it was Swiss.

    wayne pate on September 21, 2009 12:34 PM:

    I bought those same Danners in Japan last year and man they are the most uncomfortable boots ever. It feels like you got bricks strapped to the bottom of your shoes! The white soles are a bit thicker than the soles on a pair of RW 875’s and the damn things just won’t flex. Only really suitable for wearing for bragging rights which would need to happen within an hour’s time or you’ll be limping down the street.

    Michael Williams on September 21, 2009 12:36 PM:

    Wayne — wear ’em for a car ride upstate…

    liquidator on September 21, 2009 12:42 PM:

    “Michael, I call shenanigans on the US ARMY M-65 FISH TAIL PARKA as “Japanese.””

    I call shenanigans on paying $200 for one. You can buy an M65 on ebay for $25

    wayne pate on September 21, 2009 12:50 PM:

    @Michael ?

    jon on September 21, 2009 1:00 PM:


    Really? I’m in Tokyo right now and almost tried them on and everything. I ended up going with a crepe sole style (not Danner). It’s interesting to see how many stores actually carry gear like this- after reading about it on the internet for so long it’s strange to see pieces like this sprinkled in almost every mens’ store here.

    Just a Guy on September 21, 2009 2:51 PM:

    Danner store in Portland stocks a ton of jp factory seconds, all in great condition for a little under 200 dollars. Orvis has a nice pair of Merrell boots that look similar for 225.

    Fishtail parka’s are tricky. Most of the time the fit is so generous you end up with something poncho-like. Supreme and Uniqlo both have slightly slimmed down versions this fall/winter though.

    DAM on September 21, 2009 3:03 PM:

    The socks and boots are iconic.

    DAM on September 21, 2009 3:04 PM:

    The socks and boots together, with a wax wear Barbour will be perfect for cold tromps in the woods.

    damien on September 21, 2009 6:15 PM:

    If one more person put’s the word “shenanigans” in their post I’m gonna strangle myself with that Japanese grossgrain belt!

    Great looks Michael! :)

    Rick/ Know Your Legends on September 21, 2009 8:12 PM:

    Fishtails are the way to go!!

    Nathaniel Edwards on September 21, 2009 8:36 PM:

    I just came off a year-long study abroad trip in Japan, and I can say that one might very well see this look there. Of course, this isn’t a major or significant trend within the greater context of Japanese fashion and fashion cliques. I enjoy ACL and the looks, but the menswear love for “Japanese” products and takes on Americana is very misleading. Most of Japanese fashion is laughable by American and European standards, at least for menswear. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t something easily emulate-able in the states. “They” is unfair; “some” is much more accurate. I don’t mean to troll or post something worthy of the Michael Williams critique, but I do find it surprising that even ACL gives in to the generalization of Japan as doing Americana better…
    -Just my thoughts

    Michael Williams on September 21, 2009 8:51 PM:

    Nathaniel — did you go to any stores in Japan while you were there? Cause I’m pretty sure every-time I have been to Japan pretty much every store I went to in Tokyo was better than the stores in New York. The Japan only North Face, New Balance, Levi’s, Filson, Champion, etc etc. are all better than what we have here. Obviously, I’m not talking about the entire country, yet a niche. Just like Americana in America is a niche.

    Nathaniel Edwards on September 21, 2009 9:10 PM:

    Of course, I don’t mean to say that Japanese versions of Americana aren’t bad. But, to those who haven’t or won’t visit Japan, I imagine they have this idea that Japan is one big picture of Americana. But granted, Americana is a niche that certain fashion cliques in Japan have been drawn to, and replicate/adopt very well- in production and styling. You have not been as general as most other blogs, and I don’t mean to critique in a negative sense!

    Nathaniel Edwards on September 21, 2009 9:11 PM:


    Michael Williams on September 21, 2009 9:19 PM:

    To your point, Japan is 98% Ed Hardy-like clothes and 2% really really well done knockoffs with a twist. I will say, if it means anything, that the best Italian food I have had outside of Italy is in Japan, the best French bread outside of France is in Japan and the best Americana outside of America is all in Japan. It is a strange and amazing place.

    Nathaniel Edwards on September 21, 2009 9:23 PM:

    Agreed! Thank you for being reasonable, and not a Japan-fanboy!

    Mack on September 21, 2009 11:43 PM:

    seeing the submariner and nylon watch strap together reminds me of the movie “Goldfinger”. James Bond sported a similar nylon strap on his submariner. a website,, sells a replica strap i thought was pretty cool. I think it’s made in the US of A

    Markus on September 22, 2009 5:34 AM:

    the cute buttons you selected are from starstyling. they are designers from berlin.
    the site is here:
    it is worth looking at there prior collections.

    Justin on September 22, 2009 11:09 AM:

    I lived in Japan for awhile for part of my undergraduate studies and kind of understood pieces like these to be part of Japanese culture where imitation is respectful. The Japanese are obsessed with taking a classic, imitating it and trying to make it better. This carries over into architecture (Tokyo Tower) and food (french baking! done very well in their own style). I agree with Nathaniel Edwards though that this is pretty fringe. You will see lots of people sporting these looks in Daikenyama etc though. Definitely not outside Tokyo though…

    This makes me miss Japan but not the prices of the garments.

    kyx on September 22, 2009 3:15 PM:

    there is a quirkly Japanese shop owner, who shall remain nameless, in Portland that always comes back from the Danner outlet with stacks of Danner boots… undoubtedly they all end up back in Japan to be re-sold…

    CE on September 22, 2009 6:56 PM:

    Portland Outdoor Store is a GREAT place for many reasons, but Danner isn’t one of them (they MIGHT carry one style). The Danner factory outlet store is the place to go, for selection and the occasional deal. The last time I visited there was (unfortunately) no white sole boot, but they had the Mountain Light II in brown leather/black sole, which you can also order online:

    Andrey on September 22, 2009 7:33 PM:

    Japan is miles ahead, period. Where would Red Wings and Alden be, if it weren’t for japanese, what jeans we’d wear, if they wouldn’t become a japanese fetish, would anyone really care if they selvedge? I visit Tokyo at least once a year and can tell you — it changes you, it changes the way you look at things, it raises bar to a completely new hight. I thought Barney’s had a pretty good selection, compare it to Isetan’s, like vintage inspired — visit Ragged Museum or Ueno, if you like adventure. Until recently there were at least 4(!) APC stores, how many there are in NY? The choice you have in Tokyo leaves you paralyzed, you almost don’t want to buy anymore. There is only one problem — size, especially when it comes to shoes. Submariner? I’m selling mine. Can’t stand the fact that you can buy it in any major Tokyo electronics store…

    mfj20th on September 24, 2009 2:43 AM:

    Another great ACL post…I love that submariners on NATO straps are having a renaissance…I have a vintage james bond sub form the 50’s, but for roughing it, I am wearing a more recent model on a shell cordovan NATO strap from Nick Gabarro at

    ChessGuy on September 24, 2009 5:41 PM:

    The basic issue is that the typical Japanese consumer will not be satisfied with junk: they want–demand–a reasonable level of quality. So even the stuff sold at 100 yen stores is head and shoulders about the cr@p sold at dollar stores in America–and both of them feature goods made in China!

    So I buy clothes at Uniqlo and Muji and the like, and they last. They fit well (lucky me) and look good, though there is a tendancy towards two extremes: either the clothes are plain, even dull, or loud, even garish (just take a look at Uniqlo’s recent offering in men’s pants).

    There has long been a trend in Japanese culture to copy a foreign widget and improve upon it. In fact, you could call it the Japanese national genius. They’re just doing it again, this time with a certain clothing style.

    eltrain on September 27, 2009 2:09 PM:

    Love the look. I’m currently working on my “bargain” autumn look. Got the Schott NYC wool M-65 on sale. That is the jewel of my collection right now.

    Neil Eleven on September 30, 2009 9:58 AM:

    I’m getting a Parson Rusell terrier puppy in a couple of weeks. This is the gear I’m looking for – ideal for walks in the park and woods.

    leeon on December 25, 2009 7:28 AM:

    so good

Comments are closed.