A Visit to Kent Wang in New York City

kent wang Mar 05, 2020

Kent Wang is an interesting brand. A favorite of /r/malefashionadvice for providing a great value, it comes -- as with any such brand -- with a few compromises.

One of those compromises is their retail space. If you've heard of people in NYC living in closets and shoeboxes, you might understand this. Kent Wang's "store" is only open two days a week, and only by appointment. It's not listed in its building's floor directory, so I had to call up to figure out what floor it's on -- I'm sorry to say that I've since forgotten.

A friendly salesman named Aaron opened the door, welcoming me into a room they share with another brand, separated by a divider -- the cheap kind, not the fake wall of a flex. And it's about the size of a larger-than-average walk-in closet. The floors are crude and unfinished, as you'll see, and there aren't too many places to sit. But I didn't mind, really. I wasn't there for the ambiance.

Oh, the things we do to look good.

The pocket squares are a selling point for the brand. Although I only bought a plain white linen square myself ($20), I've often found myself enamored with their patterned squares (generally $45, generally silk). I'll close off this article with a few instagram posts showing them off -- something to look forward to.

Aaron actually offered to sell me his own Rose Window pocket square, since they didn't have a regular one in stock. That's a cool move, Aaron, even if you will just get another one for free.

Gloves and Knitwear

The gloves were also great. Deerskin with Cashmere Lining. Really solid option there.

But then... The shawl cardigan (which is inexplicably in the outerwear section of their website). This is one of the pieces I really wanted to try out, but in person, it really didn't live up to my (admittedly high) expectations. It was a warmer, yellower tone than any of the photography showed. It was a full size smaller than you could reasonably expect -- definitely size up. And the material was itchy and just... not very pleasant. I guess it must break in. I'm sure some people would appreciate it, but it was not for me, so the main lesson here is just: Try things on before you buy them.

Watches! I've had my eye on their Bauhaus watches (left) for a while. They're nice mechanical/automatic watches for $350-$400. Well-designed. The Art Deco watch (right, $450) is less my speed, but might be right for you.

Their Keyhole Sunglasses ($55 for acetate, $150 for horn) are pretty cool. They're a point of pride for the brand, and at those prices, they really should be.

They have candles and fragrances from Jardin de France.

And they have thick ebony chopsticks at $5 a pair. I almost bought two, but this was their only pair in stock, and I was looking for a set I could share with a guest.

The dress shoes seemed pretty nice at a glance. Some cool antiquing effects. The sneakers were nice too, although rumor has it that they come with the stink of a thousand leather goods, and retain that stink for months, so I'm looking elsewhere for sneakers.

Fabric books

And here's a great reason to go in person: they have an extremely large number of fabrics and linings to choose from. Like, more than you see here. A huge portion of their office is just piles and piles of fabric books for your perusal. On top of the old standards, I really enjoyed the Drago fabrics. Their lining options didn't just include the standard solid bembergs, but a variety of materials, subtle patterns, wacky patterns, cultural references, pieces of art, you name it.

Another customer was there with me -- I was there early, and his appointment ran long -- and I heard him going over his options. They offer way more customization than other MTM shops. A few stood out -- I believe they mentioned four different pocket width options, which... I can see why I would want that, but I might not ever have thought to ask. So that was pretty exciting.

They do fully canvassed MTM suits and half canvassed outerwear at great prices. But you have to go in person.

Grenadines!

They have Grenadine Ties for $75. Grenadine ties are a really cool weave that provides texture that can make a solid color interesting. They also have Ancient Madders for $75 and Sixfold Ties for $85. These are more really solid prices.


If you're curious to learn more about the brand, consider reading Kent's AMA on reddit. Now, get ready for some funky squares.

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Star chart Burritt white pocket square from artist Elijah Burritt. . First published in 1833, this star chart depicts the northern circumpolar constellations for each month of the year. The depicted constellations are also shown in the center of the Star chart Cellarius, in particular Ursa Major, the bear, and Camelopardalis, the giraffe. Also available with a navy background. . . . #kentwang #pocketsquares #pocketsquare #rakish #rakishgent #gentlemenstyle #classicmenswear #stylishmen #menstailoring #stylishgent #sartorial #madetobeworn #styleforum #dandystyle #mnswr #ptoman #mensweardaily #dapper #dappered #sprezzatura #style #stylish #fashion #menstyle #mensfashion #menswear #menwithclass #menwithstyle #ootdmen

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Dendera zodiac pocket square. . The Dendera zodiac is a bas-relief ceiling from the temple of Hathor in Dendera, Egypt. Based on the position of the stars, paleoastronomers have determined that it dates from 30 BC–30 AD, during the Late Period of ancient Egypt. Both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sky iconography are elegantly combined in the composition. . The central disc represents the celestial realm which include Ursa Major, the great bear, and Tauret, the pregnant hippo-lion goddess. Another ring of figures outside of these circumpolar star groups depict Greco-Roman astrological signs such as the Ram, Lion, Bull, and Scorpion. Around the rim of the sky disc, Decans or 'hour stars' used to track time appear above the horizon at dawn. Outside of the sky disc, four pairs of falcon-headed gods and four priestesses from the Temple of Isis are shown holding the heavens above the earth. . The Dendera zodiac is on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris, and has lost its original painted decoration. Ken Bakeman has researched and meticulously redrawn the design, adding color in keeping with the vision of the original Egyptian artists. . . . #kentwang #pocketsquare #pocketsquares #rakish #rakishgent #gentlemenstyle #classicmenswear #stylishmen #menstailoring #stylishgent #sartorial #madetobeworn #styleforum #dandystyle #mnswr #ptoman #mensweardaily #mensjackets #dapper #dappered #sprezzatura #style #stylish #fashion #menstyle #mensfashion #menswear #menwithclass #menwithstyle

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Rickshaw Cart pocket square. . Illustrated by Jed Henry as part of his Ukiyo-e Heroes series. . The top cartouche phonetically reads "Ma-ri-o", and the bottom cartouche means "Beloved friends, dear rivals". . The design of Bowser is based on the legendary dragon turtle from Chinese mythology, a chimeric creature with the body of a turtle and the head of a dragon. Later period ukiyo-e artists such Utagawa Kuniyoshi often depicted such monsters and anthropomorphic creatures in their fantastical woodblock prints. Jed now brings this millennia-old motif full circle by merging 19th century Japanese woodblocks with 20th century video games. . Swipe for a full look at the design. . . . #kentwang #rakish #pocketsquare #pocketsquares #rakishgent #gentlemenstyle #classicmenswear #stylishmen #menstailoring #stylishgent #sartorial #madetobeworn #styleforum #dandystyle #mnswr #ptoman #mensweardaily #dapper #dappered #sprezzatura #style #menstyle #mensfashion #menswear #menwithclass #menwithstyle #ootdmen

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