J. Lawrence Khaki’s of Carmel
Last week I finally traveled south to visit J. Lawrence Khaki’s Of Carmel. The long-established menswear retailer has received a lot of buzz lately regarding its private label and the launch of its online store. I had been wanting to visit for quite some time and so when Jim Ockert personally invited me to take a tour of the store, I eagerly accepted.
Khaki’s is located in the Carmel Plaza where it makes its home next to stores such as Tiffany & Co. and Kate Spade New York. Inside, the store is simply stunning. Running the full spectrum of the rainbow, gorgeous colors shine from the enormous stock of ties, pocket squares, and sports coats. It might seem unbelievable that red, pink, yellow, green, and blue all go together, but when you see it on one of the mannequins that has been so expertly curated, it suddenly makes perfect sense.
One of the things that I found interesting and appreciated is that Jim doesn’t organize his store by brand. Instead, everything is grouped together by style. So rather then making a beeline straight to your favorite designers, customers can visually explore the store to see what appeals to their sense of style and are able to discover new brands in the process.
And there’s a lot to discover at Khaki’s of Carmel. The store’s goal is to make Khaki’s completely different than any menswear retailer in the country and to carry things here that you won’t be able find anywhere else. Instead of the same Drake’s tie you’ll find in other stores across the United States, Jim carries literally hundreds of options from brands like Eton, Breuer, Canali, and Seaward & Stearn.
Another example is their collection of Edward Green shoes. These aren’t the same typical models you would find in other stores. Instead, they feature special antiquing and burnishing as well as natural edge coloring. These special details really give the shoes a unique accent that make them stand out among their contemporaries.
The store also offers its own private label featuring shirts and pants made in the United States. The company is gearing up to launch its own private line of sports coats this July with models ranging from an ultra-soft shoulder three-button jacket to a more Savile Row inspired coat with strong shoulders.
I could literally go on for days about the wonderful work that Jim has put in to his store. The way everything is perfectly collected and arranged reflects Jim’s own passion for menswear. If you’re ever in the Carmel area, take a stop at Khaki’s of Carmel. You owe it to yourself to experience this unique and colorful menswear retailer.