At Pitti back in January, Shuhei Nishiguchi – menswear director at Beams – kindly gave me a copy of his book, ‘Nishiguchi’s Closet’.
I liked it immediately. It rationalised a lot of the outfits I’d seen him wearing over the years, breaking them down into small capsules – three coats, three blazers, two knits – and showing the various combinations they could make.
This kind of rationalisation appeals to me instinctively (I have that kind of mind) but I also found it made it easier for me to apply the outfits to my own wardrobe.
However, I was surprised to find that the book wasn’t available anywhere outside Japan. So a month ago I asked the Japanese publisher if I could buy the books, and sell them here.
I’m pleased to say they have arrived, and are now available on the PS Shop.
(For the moment, the Shop is shipping normally worldwide, by the way. But we do have a dedicated page detailing any small delays or issues here.)
Other than a couple of used copies on Amazon, no one is selling the book that the publishers know – so it’s a real pleasure to be able to distribute the book more widely.
Many of the outfits in the book have already been shown on Shuhei, on his Instagram feed. But they are much easier to see and decode here, as flat lays.
Plus the book includes the wardrobe capsule summaries, with a lot of accompanying notes.
Above, for example, are the set of six shoes he uses in the book. He owns far more, of course, but it is the versatility of these that is demonstrated through the outfits on the following pages.
And then there are the little pictorial close-ups, like the trouser/shoe combinations seen at the bottom of that page – or the seasonal breakdown below.
The text is all in Japanese, but it’s all so picture-led that it doesn’t matter.
The thing I like about Shuhei’s outfits is the number of interesting combinations each contains, which I can break apart and use myself.
As mentioned in the recent baseball cap/white jeans post, most looks are best broken down in this way, and the elements considered individually.
Many of Shuhei’s outfits are too fashion-y for me, personally. They’re the kind of thing you can wear if you work at a fashion company in Japan, but not great for someone trying to dress more simply in London.
For example, I really like the colour combination of cream, grey and green in outfit 006 below.
But I wouldn’t wear cargo trousers with it. Instead, I’d use more regular chinos like those I have from The Armoury. I would also wear a white oxford shirt with a jacket, rather than just a T-shirt.
In outfit 009, the colours also appeal – the brown roll neck with the apple-green cords in particular. But I wouldn’t wear the hat.
In outfit 007, I like the double denim of shirt and jeans, plus the navy knit tie anchoring them. But I would likely wear a Lighter Everyday Denim shirt, instead of the garment-washed one shown here. Because then shirt and jeans wouldn’t be too similar to each other.
And so on, throughout most of the 100 looks in the book.
The black roll neck looks great with the double-breasted brown suit in 012, above.
While outfit 014 makes me rethink combining black with a pale, natural colour like the straw of that suit.
This kind of step-by-step explanation of style is something the Japanese have always done – harking back to the days when they first adopted American styles, and wanted to get them right. (David Marx’s Ametora is great on that, if you haven’t read it already.)
One of my favourite is shown below: steps 1-4 in tying a trench coat just so.
Finally, below are a couple more of my favourite pages.
I find the use of the faded black western shirt particularly interesting (eg 022). And the simple white shirt and navy trousers with white panama that is 021, plus the slight variation in the lifestyle shot at the bottom.
Shuhei’s Instagram page, for future inspiration, is here.