South Street Linen

Say the phrase made in Maine. What images come to mind? L.L. Bean Boots? Quoddy moccasins? Canvas totes?

I’m going to wager that lightweight linen clothes would not make your list. After all, linen is a fabric exceptionally well suited for warmer climes, the kind of weather in notoriously short supply in the Pine Tree State.

So color us surprised to find women’s linen clothes being made in Portland, Maine by a company called South Street Linen.

The company is the collective brainchild of three painters who got their start making colorfully dyed linen scarves. Over time, their product line expanded, and today they’re making a full range of women’s linen clothes, crafted by local sewers in their own homes. I gather that a fairly devoted local fan club of sorts has coalesced around South Street’s clothes.

My wife was recently in the market for a comfortable pair of lightweight pants. I had encountered South Street on Instagram, taking note of its made in Maine bonafides. So she decided to give the company a try. Within a few days of ordering, the pants arrived, and she wore them the first time this week.

They have linen’s characteristic slouchiness and breathability, with a comfortable, easygoing aesthetic. They’re the kind of trouser she can wear professionally, casually on a weekend afternoon or dressed up for a night out.

Allen Edmonds Recrafting

We live in a zeitgeist that prioritizes the transitory over the enduring, disposability over the long-lasting, fashion over style.

No surprise then, that most shoes are made to be worn until they fall apart–with no hope of repair.

For those of us, however, who partake in welted footwear, we know that a good cobbler can rehabilitate even the most wanting pair of dress shoes, giving them a new lease on life.

For most of my shoes, I have a local cobbler I call upon. But a pair of Allen Edmonds dress shoes recently needed work, and I decided to avail myself of the company’s recrafting services. I brought the shoes, the Rutledge in walnut, to the Allen Edmonds store in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood, and they sent the shoes back to Wisconsin to be worked on.

I selected the standard recrafting package. For the sum of $125, you get new soles, new heels, a new cork inlay, new welting, new laces and a complete refinishing.

About a month later, the refurbished shoes arrived on my doorstep. Almost as good as new, with the leather retaining that broken in quality that takes a few years to obtain.