Kaptain Sunshine & the Quest for Real Clothes

Japanese brand Kaptain Sunshine exists for one reason only: to make the finest wearables imaginable. Like so many other quality-conscious labels from the island nation, Kaptain Sunshine specializes in fairly approachable garments made domestically and made to exquisite standard, no-nonsense stuff that makes more sense when you get it in hand.

It’s not designed to turn heads, mind you, unless you happen to walk by some other folks with comparably good taste.

They may catch a glimpse of your Kaptain Sunshine Donegal wool overcoat or perfectly washed denim jacket and understand what’s happening here, but the average viewer probably won’t understand the difference between this kind of subtle elegance and the average normcore layering piece.

Rather than opting into crazy cuts, Kaptain Sunshine designer Shinsuke Kojima rejects ostentatious detailing in favor of quiet confidence.

For its Fall/Winter 2022 collection, initially revealed back in July, Kaptain Sunshine digs into some truly opulent outerwear. You’ve got plush toggle coats, suede deck jackets, classic Prince of Wales blazers, and a wool/leather varsity jacket that epitomizes classic cool.

Some soft mid-layers, like knit cardigans and ribbed sweaters, reiterate easy comfort and flattering proportions.

Paired with Kojima’s signature spin on militaria — puffer vests, retro training gear, and baker pants — the entire look is one of crisp elegance, a sense of timelessness that draws from several decades of menswear, including Japan’s inimitable Heavy Duty movement. Real clothes for real life.

It doesn’t hurt that Kaptain Sunshine is, frankly, pretty reasonably priced for a brand that develops a host of unique fabrics and makes basically everything in its own country, though importing it to international retails bakes a layer of fees that raise the cost a bit.

Still, with a bevy of stockists to choose from — including Cultizm, COVERCHORD, and Namu Shop, to name a few — there’s no reason not to elevate your essentials with a little humble sophistication.

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