Wythe: Tasteful and accessible Americana

Monday, November 27th 2023
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Peter Middleton is an affable Texan with a real passion for fabrics. We talked previously for a PS piece on Navajo rugs, and also for an article about the design side of Ralph Lauren, where Peter (above, right) worked in fabric research.

But when we had dinner in New York recently, the subject was how his own brand - launched after leaving Ralph - has developed. Wythe had just opened its first store on the Lower East Side and suddenly the start-up was feeling rather bigger. 

“It’s definitely more real now,” Peter says of Wythe, which started with a Kickstarter campaign for oxford shirts and is now in its fifth year. “There are more questions from the customers, more conversations in person.” 

From my point of view, the store gave me more of an understanding of the Wythe products, having previously only seen things online and owned one piece (the Camp Friendly Pines overshirt). 

Wythe wears its influences on its sleeve, with a pair of old cowboy boots hanging on the shop door and some of those Navajo rugs hanging around. Peter’s family are from Texas and the Adirondacks, and a love for those places runs through a lot of the clothing. 

“It took me a while after leaving Ralph to feel confident in my own designs, that that background was relevant,” he says. “Bode was a big influence there, I like how every part of her brand is a different way to talk about her family lineage.

“At Ralph, by contrast, everything is from the outside - very little is from his own experience. I guess at Wythe I’ve found myself splitting the difference between the two, researching my family background but also bringing in influences from the time I’m interested in, like hunting or backcountry skiing.”

Peter didn’t have the easiest of starts. Although he had strong buyer reception for his first full collection in January 2020, that was swiftly shut down by Covid. Then as things started opening up in September 2021, his warehouse was flooded before stock could be shipped out. “So far, things with the store have been going more smoothly, but there’s always this lurking fear at the back of my mind.” 

As a PS reader, one of the first things that will strike you if you visit the shop and begin trying clothing, is the difference between these pieces and the Japanese brands such as The Real McCoy’s we often cover. 

Peter has a large archive and brings construction details from those vintage garments into his clothes, such as a particular trim, a stitch count, or the way a waistband is constructed. 

But at the same time, he prefers clothes that have already been washed and softened, rather than selling a rawer product that will get there over time. “I have less patience for that kind of thing than I used to,” he says. “I’m 31 now. It feels like a long time to wait three years to get those jeans to wear I want them to be.”

The flannel shirts I recommended recently are a good example, with a softness you might not expect. And the cardigan and cord suit below are both surprisingly light.

Peter doesn’t necessarily want to go to some of the extremes of the Japanese repro brands either - which is reflected to an extent in his prices. “A lot of the modern buttons are stuck in even sizes - 24 ligne or 26 ligne - whereas the older pieces are often odd, like 25,” he says. “Often we’re not going to produce our own buttons for that small difference. Same goes for a zipper colour or doing the tape in cotton rather than a cotton/poly blend.”

That positions Wythe somewhere between those niche producers and mainstream America, whose products are generally pretty low quality and mass produced. Does he think that’s a sweet spot?

“It’s really hard to know to be honest - it depends how many normal guys out there care about the points we do,” he says. “I mean if you’re looking for a flannel shirt there are a million options out there, so that market’s well served. 

“But I’d certainly rather find my own niche than try and compete with those Japanese brands. Like Orslow does a great OG107 trouser, and if I want one maybe I’ll go there - or we’ll recommend that to a customer. Same goes for some of the denim.”

My favourite pieces from Wythe tend to be the sturdier ones, like that jacquard overshirt I covered a couple of years ago, and the tweedy coats. But the Wythe range also stands out for me for its taste level, particularly the colour choices. 

The biggest issue I have with flannel shirts from the repro brands is not that they’re too heavy or too expensive, but that the colours aren’t very flattering. I have some nice vintage examples (eg here) but even they are in quite stark colour combinations. 

The Wythe ones are much more wearable, while still containing a lot of colour. The three pictured below, for instance, are nice despite the contrasting tones. Its something in the softness of the yellow, or the inclusion of brown rather than black. 

That goes for other colour choices in the Wythe range too, such as this green collared sweatshirt. It’s not a colour I would have ever thought about, but it looked great when I tried it in person in New York. 

“A lot of that comes from my time at Ralph Lauren,” says Peter. “If you look at the fabrics in a Ralph shop, 90% of those were custom developed. It’s not an option to just take something from stock - or if you do, it’s an inspiration which you then change and sample. Very few brands do that.”

A reader commented recently that the cuffs of the Wythe shirts are surprisingly large, and I’d echo that. I’d add that I found the chest pockets a little high on both the sweatshirts and the coats. 

But I like the colour choice so much I’d likely get the sweatshirt anyway, and having seen everything in person, I’m much more interested to see what Peter and his team come up with in the future. 

In the meantime, readers in New York are recommended to visit the store at 59 Orchard Street, and anyone that wants to learn more should look at the Editorials section of the Wythe site, as well as the product descriptions on each piece. There’s lots of detail there to get your teeth into.


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Well done…


I have three Oxford shirts from Wythe and yes the cuffs are large/wide. I really like the shirts because the fit and make is quite traditional and the shoulders seem to be broader than a lot of brands (especially the Italian ones).

Brian Ramos

Perfect Timing, I recently purchased one of their rustic plain weave hunting jackets as I was looking for a casual hunting jacket/chore jacket that I could use and its the only jacket that has my size (at the retailer) but I’m still unfamiliar with the brand.
The one that I got is the indigo dyed jacket here:
Any thoughts on this particular piece? They call it as a “Custom-developed open-weave canvas” that is well suited for the warmer months but the thing that interested me the most is the indigo dying on this jacket that will fade over time.


Interesting looking through their website that while it’s not at all my style I really appreciate the existence of this type of brand. It’s great to have brands with a slightly different point of view that are also relatively fairly priced.


Agreed. Worth a look at their lookbook.


I wore my Wythe flannel pearlsnap shirt this past Friday and got multiple compliments on it. My only nitpick is that there’s only one snap on each cuff rather than 2 or 3 as is customary on Western shirts. My understanding of Western shirt design is that the additional fasteners served to help keep the cuffs closed (to keep out dust, etc) and provide some redundancy if a snap failed. More importantly for me, a cuff with three snaps looks a lot cooler.


the denim versions have 3 snaps so it may be an intentional choice


“Tasteful and accessible” sums Whythe perfectly. Not much I wouldn’t wear in the lineup, shame there is no UK retail outlet. I find it is increasing becoming difficult to buy from niche brands in Britain. And no, I resist the temptation to mention that most divisive word. Now timing purchases with trips outside the UK now. Surely we can’t carry on like this.


I think it’s nice stuff, I have a few shirts. The sizing is not consistent at all, which can be frustrating. Hopefully this is something they can iron out in future seasons.


The sizing is so inconsistent that I think it has to be intentional. I think they want you to pick a size, but everything in that size, and embrace the different silhouettes they’re putting out.


I adore the color and design of Wythe’s flannels, but the boxy cut does no favors to my 183 cm, 65 kilo frame. S is much too baggy in the chest and arms, while XS has short sleeves and a tight collar.

Sadly the case for many American brands for those with physiques similar to mine. Perhaps I’ll try my hand at altering an S.

Andi Hentschel

You may want to check out the western flannels from Barbanera. Tailored, slim cut. I’d go for M with your measurements.

Aaron L

I’ve been obsessively trawling their website for a few weeks now (since you last mentioned them). How does the green zip up sweatshirt feel quality wise? I’ve been looking at some Japanese loopwheel options online, hoping to get something that would last (more a standard grey jumper), but found the design and colour of wythe’s green option tempting. Just worried the fabric won’t age well…


the flannels are really nice especially the washed out colourways. I have the sage green and pale grey from last year, and considering the pink and yellow one from the current season. The corduroys are very nice and soft but quite lightweight if you are used to Brisbane moss. This makes them suitable for a wider range of seasons.


Hi Simon,
Wouldn’t it be fair to say that in the last analysis, today US contribution to menswear boils down to workwear & sportwear, and thus beyond these two areas – from “casual chic” to tailoring – what we could come across as niches looks like cultural afterthoughts. If that makes sense.
And yet – here are the most puzzling things – PS readership in the US has over the years remained substantial. And it also happens that the first blogs dedicated to menswear and tailoring have been set up in the US! I still remember your comments on shoes on Style forum!
Why Is that? Do you happen to have an explanation?

Ronnie Pickering

I think RL and some other US designers (and retailers) have made a substantial contribution. Or to put it another way being the geographical genesis of a certain kind of clothing is a bit a narrow definition of contribution.


I really enjoy these articles that provide some insight into smaller businesses. Much respect to Wythe, but trying to stake out territory in that crowded Americana-inspired space must be incredibly challenging. On one side you have heritage brands like Filson and the “as accurate as possible” repro labels. On the other you have bigger companies that dabble in similar designs (J.Crew’s Wallace and Barnes for example) or the “once classic” brands like Woolrich, Pendleton and LL Bean. And in the middle are a seemingly endless number of newer labels like Taylor Stitch, Huckberry, Buck Mason, Faherty, Todd Snyder, Gilded Age, maybe NOAH and OOBE Brand, etc. This is why I found it curious that you mentioned in your A/W 2023 Highlights that you were curious, “why there aren’t other American brands competing with RRL for this space.” To me there seems to be an almost overwhelming number of options available today! How did you personally come to decide to focus on Wythe as a favorite in this space? In any event, I looking forward to visiting their store next time I’m in the city! Cheers!


Hi John, which brands would you consider as “as accurate as possible repro brands”? i am in search for these 🙂

Zak Wagner

I’m really interested in this brand! Being from Colorado, the preppy style is foreign to me, but I am interested in it. Getting to go at a style that is more prep, but incorporating stuff like their western shirt makes me feel more at home. I need to check out this shop next time I am in NYC.

Per R

Great article, interesting to hear more about the brand. I bought the olive green western shirt via No Man Walks Alone Europe. I agree that the cuffs are large in circumference, but the style, color, and fabric are good. I’ve worn it as an overshirt, tucked into jeans, and ‘dressed it up’ with a heavier flannel suit. It’s a pity that the range of WHYTE clothing is still somewhat limited in the EU.


Hello Simon, This is my first comment, although I’m a long time reader of your columns. I was so happy that your covered Wythe, as I have been wearing their clothing (mostly the flannel shirts) since they came on the market. I was drawn to the colors and patterns of the shirts and the fit is perfect.
Keep up the good work.
All the best,
San Francisco, California


I was enthusiastic about Wythe at first, as the designs, especially their flannels, are great and that softened vintage aspect really speaks to me.
I am a little unsure however, about the conditions their clothes are produced in. They talk a lot on their website about a “family owned mill in India” where some of their cloth and shirts are made. That sounds small scale and “good” (as in living wages paid to workers and hopefully safe conditions).

But when I asked them about the production conditions in India, I never received a reply. That silence and the prices (that are indeed pretty low for the market they are serving) made me a little wary. Did that come up in the conversation, when you visited them?


i swapped all my wythe rayon shirts for LEJ silk ones…


I clicked on this to see if you’d mentioned the shirt cuffs! I have 4 shirts from Wythe and I love their POV and fabrics and cut, but the size of the shirt cuffs is baffling to me. This has been the case for several seasons now.


how do they differ from RRL?


Hi Simon,
I wonder if you’ve had a look at their tooled belts.
I think you’ve mentioned having one from RRL, or maybe Bryceland’s. I’m kind of curious about experimenting with one. Maybe with an oxford or workwear shirt, and vintage levi’s and boots.


Thank you!