Erik Schnakenberg, former retail director of the Civilianaire, and Sasha Koehn, creator of the online art marketplace Socurio, didn't found Buck Mason with a specific consumer in mind. Rather than chasing a demographic or subculture, Schnakenberg and Koehn acknowledged that there are certain clothes that every man needs: simple T-shirts, white and blue oxford shirts, and lightweight polos. Their new company manufactures these basics in America and offers to ship packages of them to men around the country, who can then decide what they want to keep and what they want to send back. Given the quality of the goods, most men won't return anything.
The centerpiece of Buck Mason's first collection is the aptly named Perfect White Oxford, manufactured in Crate of California's Los Angeles factory. This shirt is a bit narrower near the waist and in the arms than anything men can find at Gap or J.Crew. It's also a bit on the long side and boasts a tighter neck than most oxfords, making it the ideal choice if you're the sort of guy who wears a shirt, tie, and jeans to the office; tucking it in is not a hassle. A little extra give in the collar makes it surprisingly comfortable and the shoulders are complimentary to men who aren't putting in hours of gym time.
That's a lot of specific praise, but the overall effect is more important. The PWO looks slick in a not-trying-to-look-slick sort of way.
The fundamentally casual nature of Buck Mason's clothes is reflected in the two packages they offer men who want to try shirts on at home. The Kerouac features fresh chinos, a chambray button down, an oxford, a hoodie, a simple navy polo, and a gray tee. The Dylan consists of gray and black tees, a white henley, a work shirt, a blue oxford, and a pair of selvage denim jeans. These are not clothes for flashy men. These are American clothes for American guys content to keep it rock-star simple on the road. Buck Mason eschews complexity in favor of wearability – and we're all for that. [Oxfords for $68 and packages from $350; buckmason.com]