The Vintagey Magic Of A Waxed Cotton Aerostich And Salt And Aether Sunglasses

Something special happens when new ideas meet proven designs

enduring the elements gear
A vintage look and a modern touchDrew Ruiz

Andy Goldfine's Aerostich Roadcrafter is a modern classic. The 35-year-old design is a fortress of safety and contemporary chemistry that's practically a uniform among endurance riders. But Goldfine has a soft spot for waxed cotton and the way its natural fibers conform to your shape as they break in, their protective coating discoloring around areas of wear and use. It makes each garment distinct to its wearer. The breathable and water-repellent textile is trendy too. So, appealing to the style-conscious, Goldfine applied the venerable fabric to the Roadcrafter, and the result is the $1,127 Cousin Jeremy suit you see here.

Let’s get this out of the way: There’s no practical benefit to wax and cotton over Gore-Tex and Cordura. The Cousin Jeremy suit is just slightly less expensive, heavier, and less durable in a crash than its synthetic cousins. Your choice in colors is limited to black-ish, and a kind of paper bag brown instead of the rainbow of vivid colors nylon can provide. But, somehow, it’s perfect. Comfortable. Familiar as an old sweatshirt but with the hard-core TF3 armor you’d expect in an Aerostich suit.

Salt's sunglass collaboration with Aether inverts the formula. Their Explorer model modernizes the aviator frame popularized by fighter pilots and astronauts. Polarized lenses with modern coatings are good for impeccably clear vision down the road, while perforated shrouds protect the corners of your eyes from dangerous debris. Almost indestructible and incredibly flexible temples replace broad, plastic bayonets. If anything, they slip between a skull and a helmet even easier than the original.

Taken together, there’s just enough hint of the old-fashioned aviators to feel nostalgic. But while they hum of mid-century Americana, these Salt glasses are handmade in Japan and strung together with titanium, making them impressively light as you’d imagine, with a $600 price tag to match.

New or old, you know a classic when you meet it: When it stands up to abuse, fits like it was made for you, and looks good doing it. Style is circular, but tough and handsome equipment that protects and improves over time—that’s a proposition that lasts.