Ooe-Yofukuten Double Wear Overalls 10oz Deep Blue Denim

Time for the second incarnation of a Ooe-Yofukuten X Bandanna Almanac collaboration. This time around we go back in time to the pre-riveted era of jeans. The time when single-needle construction was a standard and an integral part of the craftsmanship of tailoring.

Ooe-san has made these pants before if you may recall I featured them several years ago in this post. However I always felt I would like them more in denim, and with belt loops. I feel that the design of these pants are very versatile, even if you never get full functionality out of the design they are light and very comfy. They work with a multitude of styles and gender neutral.


The denim is a selvedge 10oz Japanese “dungaree style” sanforized with unique grey weft yarn. The construction is designed for comfort and function. 5 cleverly layered pockets on the front and one on the back. Single inseam construction means there is no out seam.They are reinforced from the waist to the bottom of the knee.

A very elegant one-piece fly, and a special reinforced crotch. The fit on these is straight forward, they will be delivered pre-shrunk so there shouldn’t be a worry about how they will fit after you wash them. They are darted in the hip, and then straight down the line. Considering the summer heat… this fit and fabric should be suitable for all-year wear.

When thinking about the fabric for these and details I came up with multiple images of occupations. Starting with movie-set painters, or sign painters or what I would term occupational-artists -people with long tools to stick in their pockets.(I have actually watched a few sign painters work… they use their pants pockets for their brushes a lot actually) The function isn’t occupation-specific but more of a versatile pair of pants that have amazing details, and that could actually be used for real work in upmost comfort. “Versatility without compromise of comfort, or relying heavily on historical accuracy or specific authenticity.”

While they may not get any awards for fashion, these are as rugged and hard-wearing as they come. The buttons have been painted over with army green paint, and will age nicely. The thread is 100% cotton “hemp-color”. That has a subtle contrast but not quite the typical orange, yellow, or white on regular jeans.

The labeling does not include any obtrusive branding. I went with a retro label that is a part of Ooe-san’s family history. This is a part of the Wayo-ism I was talking about a few months ago. The crossed thread snips are my collaboration stamp and I think it blends perfectly with the label they’ve designed. The waist and length sizing are indicated on the labels.



Pricing is 36,000 JPY. Shipping extra. Depending on how quickly orders come in we may be able to have them to your door by June. You can order these through email or though my Etsy page. Limited to 30 pairs.

Indigo Late Summer Blues


Things are winding down after a busy summer. Looks like the Oak Street Bookmakers indigo boots will ship soon. Looking forward to seeing the reactions… Here are the pair of Kapital Lumber pants I wore when I was dyeing the boots. I like the way the indigo stains turned out.

I also spent some time dyeing these antique French Linen night shirts. The texture, and the gradation of the color close-up is really striking. Plus some of them have the most beautiful darning on them. The fine intricate stitching is proof people tried to take good care of clothing.

I am starting to realize that indigo dyeing is sort of like a hobby that helps me meditate and reconnect with myself. It may sound a bit new-age but whether you go hiking, or bike riding or escape into nature you’re really just trying to reconnect with yourself… especially since the world we live in is generally devoid of nature.

The Kapital Century Denim 123S after a few months of wear. The pattern has really come out in the sashiko, on the front side of the jeans. They have been washed 3 or 4 times. It was also a sunny day when I took these shots so they do seem much lighter than the actual color.

I am already working on the second pair of these in the new Okagilly fit. Which is a sarouel fit… and am enjoying this new pair more because of the fit.

Also I am planning a trunk show that’ll be in November. Stopping in 3 cities: LA, SF, and Seattle.


Brown Tabby Works X The Bandanna Almanac

I have been gathering worn out, and faded items over the past few years. Narita-san and I have teamed up to bring these items back to life with a more shibui feel to them. Through detailed repairs we bring out the faded beauty of each item, their individual stories become apparent by keeping the stains and scars. We also add some more function to them by stitching pockets and altering the length of some items. All items and future items are/will be available on my new Etsy site. Kishoten…, means: introduction, development, turn… and the conclusion is up to each customer. From the Japanese 起承転結.

The first item we have completed is this noragi. I wanted to keep the original repairs and fabric on this piece, so we shortened the length and added pockets to the font side. The addition of a blanket pin acts as a closure, to keep the rustic theme.

Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 7 Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 10 Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 8 Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 9

The second item is this Red Cross Army vest. The worsted wool in Army green has a mother-made feel to it. Probably because these were hand-knit by housewives and volunteers during the two world wars. This one had several holes in it. So we used some old sock yarn and hand-darned each hold. This adds a little colorful contrast to the otherwise mute khaki green.

Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 1 Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 2 Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 3 Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 4 Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 5 Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 6

The third is my personal favorite. I found a Harley Davidson dude’s Lee Storm Rider. There was a lot of wear and damage to the entire piece that made it very unique. We cut out the back panel and put in a repurposed Chimayo fabric from a Kapital vest. The holes we are all patched with indigo thread. The collar features a nice contrast green corduroy patch, and the blanket lining inside was patched with fabric from a Warner Brothers Costume Department tunic.

Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 13 Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 12 Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 16 Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 11 Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 15 Brown Tabby Works x Bandanna Almanac 14

Interview | Ryo and Hiro of Ooe Yofukuten

Hiro and Ryo of Ooe Yofukuten

I sat down with Ryo and Hiro of Ooe Yofukuten during my visit for a brief interview and to answer some questions about their products.

BA: Where, and when did Ooe Yofukuten start?

Ryo and Hiro: We are living in Aichi prefecture now but before we used to live in Mie Prefecture, which was more countryside than where we are now.

Hiro: It was so countryside you could see wild boar and monkeys walking around.

Ryo:  At that time we had a lot of free time and Hiro said she really wanted something to do as a hobby. So we bought a domestic sewing machine. At first we made a shirt on a sewing machine we picked up.

Hiro:  The shirt wasn’t really good at all, and after that I wanted to quit sewing.

Ryo:  We never studied how to make clothes or anything; we just used what we learned in elementary school homemaking class. We were really bad, and we quit doing that. Soon after that time I was thinking of buying a pair of jeans.  The jeans were really expensive, and there were so many kinds it was hard to choose which to buy. Then I remembered we had a sewing machine at our house and I realized why not just make the type of jeans I want.

Hiro: Ryo said “let’s make a pair of jeans” and I was like “huh?!”.

Ryo: So this is how we started to make jeans.

BA: So where did the interest for denim start?

Ryo:  When I was in junior high school, which was about 15 years ago, there was a vintage American clothes boom among young people in Japan. Because of this boom, I have been hooked on vintage American clothes since. So that is how I got interested in denim.

Hiro: When I tried to sew the jeans it was very interesting and fun.

BA: You liked jeans and you started collecting, and now you are making jeans how did that evolve?

Ryo: At first I was making jeans for myself, family, and friends. I was updating my blog about those jeans, and readers asked me to make them a pair. So that was the first time I made jeans for a person not in my family. I only received the materials fee so I didn’t make any profit. That person loved the jeans I made, and that made me very happy. So it became really fun to make jeans. And that was the start of producing an actual product. I started thinking about bringing our jeans to a big flea market in Nagoya to see people’s reaction. So we tried it out and brought 12 pairs of jeans and sold about 6 pairs over a period of 2 days. You know at flea markets people are selling old jeans for 5 bucks or 10 bucks to get rid of the stuff they don’t want. But, we were selling brand new jeans for 100 or so bucks and six people bought them and that made me really happy, and that drove us to start this business.

BA: What is your biggest success?

Hiro: Our biggest success is we are enjoying making jeans and sharing that with our customers.

BA: What is your biggest mistake/failure?

Ryo: We make mistakes everyday-

Hiro:  -our first big mistake was when went to buy denim, and there I couldn’t believe how many varieties of denim there are. We looked very carefully, and we picked one we really liked. We mistakenly thought it was indigo, but actually it was black

Everyone: Hahahaha

Hiro: We didn’t realize that thought until six months after we bought it.

Ryo: So like I said earlier I never studied about making clothes professionally, so when we make one item we learn by trial and error. So we make errors everyday.

Ryo and Hiro: We are careful people, so we usually do a lot of research, so we don’t have any major mistakes but it is very time-consuming.

BA: Do you have a new or current project you want to talk about?

Hiro: We have so many projects.

Ryo: We cannot pick which one to do first. We have some projects we would plan to do but orders come in and the projects get pushed to the back burner.  We can’t tell you when our next new project because we don’t even know when they’ll happen.

BA: Could you tell me about the “World Tour Jeans” project?

Ryo: Ah that was a customer’s idea. He asked us to cooperate and we did. We painted star on the jeans and it was really a lot of fun to do that. I felt really close to all the people who participated because we could share something together even though we live in different countries.

Hiro: That was a big opportunity for us to get our jeans promoted.

Ryo: So we really appreciate the people who participated in this project.

BA: Any future vision or plans?

Ryo and Hiro: I want to try everything. We are making jeans now, but we want to try with wool.  Really anything and everything I want to try. We are a tailor, not only denim or jeans, so we are open to anything. But it takes time like we said.

Thank you Hiro and Ryo so much for your time and hospitality while we visited you.

*Translated from Japanese

Kapital | Kobe – Vernal Temptations

Spring is just around the corner in the Kansai area of Japan. Plenty of pleasant weather items for Kapital fans to enjoy here. More fantastic quilt pockets from Kountry and elaborate patchwork.

Kapital Indigo Wide-Check Flannel Work Shirt

I am not the biggest fan of flannel, and most people wear them to death. So I was surprised when I found one I absolutely fell in love with. Kapital of course, put a fun twist on the most recently over-used style item around.

The overall medium-indigo tone of the shirt is tastefully paired with a natural gray. 100% cotton, heavyweight flannel ensures warmth during the colder months ahead. This subdued color combination suits Japanese traditional clothing, natural colors indigo and sumi really make this shirt special. This shirt really feels like it was crafted in a mountain cottage, the hearty cotton threads dyed by hand, and woven on an ancient wooden loom.


Classic military work-shirt pockets. Extra horizontal hole for a pencil, pen, or whatever you can imagine.


Selvedge fabric, which shows the high quality materials used in Kapital clothing. 


Kapital “Ropes & Anchors” Jacquard Denim 1st Jacket

My eye caught this piece from Kapital last year. The great classic design of vintage clothing paired with folk-crafty prints. An east meets west collaboration of style. I almost want to say it looks like some scavenged Japanese kimono fabric, paired with old American work-wear. 


The pattern for this denim looks like it came from an old fisherman’s work kimono. The texture is unlike standard denim,and has a really interesting effect which makes it feel like the pattern was sewn into the denim rather than loomed. 


The jacket pattern is based off of the old Levis 502XX Big E jacket. One pocket, pleats, and generous use of rivets. 


The pattern is made of anchors and rope, I like how the whole pattern works with the design of the jacket. 


Kapital | Kobe Muffler Coordination Idea Book

Here is a little special gift for the scarf and stole wearing season, from the Kapital Kobe store. 

Several different suggestions for wearing a Kapital stole or scarf.


“The Bolero” looks especialy good; can be worn over a jacket or cardigan.


Of course some of these are suggestions for the ladies, but guys don’t feel embarassed to try a few different wraps and use these suggestions as inspiration for other alternatives.



Kapital – Attention to Detail

Kountry bags; maybe they were thinking “十人十色”…?


Small accents on straps and knots. I love this sort of scraped-together accent, like using old bed linens or fabric scraps to make something new.


The world biker travel bag. Like a collection of tattoos; memories patched together.


Map patches, biker inspired details.


Army Quilt Vest, 1930’s hunting vest, drab olive base. This is the sort of thing that separates Kapital from all the other brands out there: the ability to take vintage design and combine it with wonderful fabrics.


Kapital 2011 A/W | Style Items

Jacquard “Ropes & Anchors” Denim 1st Jacket; 2010 A/W.


Hobo Kaya Mosquito Net Hunting Jacket. Classic shaped buttons, traditional pocket layout, but the light-weight knit kaya wool tweed makes a totally different look. Reminds me of something my former Russian literature teacher used to wear; looks like a jacket that would be and heirloom.


Although from 2010 A/W I still like this piece. A 1st Jacket done in a warp indigo and weft in a blanket-lining pattern. 


A very cool mechanics jacket done in blanket lining fleece, and indigo sweat-knit pockets. Corduroy collar makes everything fun and original. 


45rpm Pull-Over Dungaree Shirt

One shirt I bought years ago that has had it share of the elements (sweltering Japanese summers).

Limited release 45rpm indigo pull-over shirt.

The indigo started off a medium-wash and has almost totally faded out, except for a very slight hue of indigo hanging on for dear life.


Cloth covered buttons and contrasting red button hole.



Kapital | Kobe Boot Festival

Kapitals 2011 boot line-up display and promotion. 



Socks display showing off some of the new styles for A/W 2011


Autumn Reading Suggestions

Autumn marks the book season in Japan. I am going to try my hand at some book direction and suggest some of my personal favorites.


This book is about the first solo circumnavigation of the globe by ship. A story of trial and error, fending off pirates near Cape Horn, exotic destinations, and self achievement. This book I can’t recommend enough.



Kiro’s book about bandannas. Picked this up when it was first released a few years ago, and it is still one of my favorite sources of inspiration.



Edward Hopper: painting that have a great calming retro feeling to them, that always warm my heart.



A great short fictional novel, about a lone whaler stranded on a small island near Svalbard. Wonderfully surreal and creative.



A great book on self achievement and loneliness. A spiritual and psychological test of oneself in the desolate glacial archipelago of southern Chille and Argentina. 



Philosophy of making things with your own hands, the depreciation of craftsmanship and the art of working with your hands.



A true story about a Lithuanian man’s experience in a Nazi concentration camp and his survival.



The Aubrey-Maturin series, is an epic, 20 volume series of British Navy actions during the Napoleonic wars. One of the best historical fiction stories I have ever read. Once you get your head wrapped around the franca lingua, and period English a most enjoyable experience.