Arriving to Khaki & Black makes you feel like you’ve just walked off W. Broadway in SoHo. The open space, industrial vibe, well-placed lighting, and metal pipe clothing racks is reminiscent of a Downtown NYC retail loft. That’s precisely what owner Joel Stander wants you to experience — City vibes on Boston Post Road in Madison, CT. Store employee Kirstin Reu told me the minimalist environmentcaters to their clientele, saying that many of their customers are frequent visitors from the City and appreciate the modern taste and style.
Besides Women’s apparel, Khaki & Black is one of the few independent retailers in the area to sell menswear. “We try to buy brands you can’t find everywhere and for some of them, it’s even hard to track them down online,” Reu told me. Priding themselves on selling these hard-to-find, exciting brands, the shop is the perfect place to find everyday wear for the trend-conscious man or woman. “People always know they can come in and find something different,” Reu said. Some of their top brands include The Great, Closed, Zagid & Voltaire, Frame, Mother, Frank & Eileen ,STATE, James Perse, Max & Chester and several others.
Joel is always on the lookout for new brands and items are always brought in on a limited basis. New into the shop for Holiday are utility items such as STATE bags. Not only do STATE backpacks look great, they are that perfect combination of understated sophistication and functionality, but they also support charity. For every STATE bag purchased, another bag is donated to an American child in need. You can pickup a lightweight nylon laptop case or a more luxurious leather backpack. My pick would be the Bedford. This classic backpack is the perfect marriage of fashion and organization, making it a go-to bag.
Another staple is their jean selection. If you’re serious about jeans, you’re going to be serious about Khaki & Black. Hanging on the industrial pipe racks were a pair of Imogene and Willie non stretch jeans with a menswear fit – a trend we’ve seen moving forward. But, if your style is more classic, with excellent 2 way stretch you could opt for a pair of Mother or Frame jeans which have a traditional, timeless style and fit. The men’s jean selection includes washes and fits from SMN Denim and Citizens of Humanity to name a few.
If you are on the prowl for a good gift, Reu explained that not only are there interesting sweaters, cotton shirts , a large selection of jeans andouterwear for women and men, but also candles from LACFO, jewelry from Branford artist Susan Roberts and Body Care from Herbivore . For men a timeless Rodd & Gunn sweater , a Relwen shirt or outerwear piece, a James Perse knit each paired with jeans is always a good gift since it can be worn year after year. Reu told me, “I’ve had men come in and tell me, ‘I bought this sweater when you first opened!’”
Reu says the profile consumer for Khaki & Black is someone who appreciates good style, excellent quality and is willing to try something new. The shop has been doing business in Madison for over 21 years and welcomes you to experience their environment of fashionable apparel, modern music, and local art exhibitions