Crafted to last: R.M.Williams’ timeless gifts for the season of giving
From fine-leather boots to stocking-filler-friendly belts, the Australian label has options that’ll last a lifetime…
Despite its hackneyed use, there is a large degree of truth to the time-old saying that you get what you pay for, whereby the price-tag of a commodity is a reflection of the quality that goes into its creation. Being somewhat well-versed in the world of classic menswear, we’ve forever advocated the notion of forking out that bit extra for quality leather, a material which has the glorious property of getting better with age as it develops a beautiful patina, shape and a number of distinguishing features specific to the owner’s habits over time.
Properly cared for, it’ll last years, if not decades, possibly even a lifetime, which is why, season after season, we often fall back on this universally loved, timeless material – one that is even appreciated by the most difficult to please – as a reference point whenever we’re drafting up a present-purchasing list.
One such brand we frequently look towards is R.M.Williams, a label that, since its establishment in 1932, has blossomed into one the world’s most distinguished and reliable makers of leather goods. With a founding aim of creating one-piece leather boots for a clientele looking to traverse the harsh terrains of the Australian outback, it has since graced the soles of millions around the world, all while growing and diversifying its portfolio, expanding to new corners of the globe, and managing to preserve and pass on the art of heritage craft from generation to generation.
Due to its commitment to sourcing the world’s most premium leathers, and placing them in the safe hands of the country’s best craftspeople – behind every pair of boots, for example, are 80 artisans who move the footwear across 68 stations, from material selection to clicking, all the way through to final checks – we know that the result will always be products of singular quality.
With that in mind, these are the brand’s core seasonal offerings – ones that are particularly worth emptying out your wallet for during the season of gifting and giving…
Step into an Icon: ‘Comfort Craftsman’ Boots
Billed as an investment rather than a purchase, R.M.Williams’ well-heeled, sturdy boots are a fine foundation to start with, especially since the company has accumulated 90 years of footwear know-how.
Each pair begins with a single piece of fine grain leather – a material that’s hardy and durable enough to make an item that’ll last the decades, but one that also has a soft, workable feel that allows for ease-of-wear – before the team of in-house craftspeople go on to click, block and stitch the piece into the iconic design its known as today.
We’ve taken a particular liking to the ‘Comfort Craftsman’, which has been made from yearling leather, a rubber welt sole, chisel square toe and a comfort innersole. Frippery-free and elegantly pared-back, it is a hard-working all-round shoe that’s appropriate to wear with an everyday navy suit, for formal dinners or with a pair of slim-cut denim when having out-of-hours drinks at the bar – perfect for gifting to the gent about town.
Stocking Fillers: Essential Accessories
R.M.Williams’ finely tuned leatherwear expertise continues into its deep array of men’s accessories, too. Take its travel goods, for example: its whiskey-brown go-anywhere overnight bag is a globetrotter’s dream, a piece of gear generous enough to cart around a wardrobe-on-the-go, as well as room for a laptop sleeve and various accessories, all finished off with plaited handles, an over-shoulder strap and nickel hardware. Slip in the matching washbag, whose zip closure will secure all of his grooming essentials, and he’ll be set for a long weekend away, whether he’s jetting to Seoul or driving up to Scotland.
If you’re looking for further items that’ll combine function with sartorial flair, consider a belt, a hardworking accessory that can elevate and hold up even the most pared-back of outfits. For something that’s versatile, the ‘3 Piece Solid Hide’ has a wide, minimalist strap, and is finished rather simply with brushed-nickel buckles and the brand’s signature longhorn embossing; if seeking subtle texture, the O-ring belt, which is hand-plaited via traditional techniques in R.M.Williams’ Adelaide workshop, is defined by its kangaroo-leather weave.
Finishing Touches: Go Traditional in a Cashless World
Though the options of transactional tech are myriad these days, it still pays to fall back on a quality wallet, whether you’re stowing away your members’-club cards or travel tickets – and, like a good pair of well-fitting chinos or a classic fragrance, it’ll transcend fashions and seasons and never go out of style.
Don’t take a one-size fits-all approach to this department, as each will need to be tailored to the individual’s needs and wants. A maximalist who keeps his options open, for example, might appreciate this tri-fold wallet with flip-up window pocket intended for extra storage, or this bi-fold option, which is lined with a coin pocket, several slots for cards and notes, and a tab with press stud closure that adds an extra layer of safety. Those who like to travel light might be drawn to the full-grain ‘City’ – not only does it have a contemporary, streamlined feel look, but it’ll also develop a patina with usage over the years.
R.M.Williams Christmas Guide
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