Things We Like, That You Should Too: Res Ipsa

The Interpretation of Law

Res Ipsa shoes

Men’s clothing is a subject of history, utility, and masculinity. Because of these, laws govern everything from the appropriate width of a necktie to the manners of wearing a hat indoors. Res Ipsa challenges these guidelines with pieces that respect the foundations of these rules, while throwing the rule book out the window.

From necessity, the owners of Res Ipsa launched the brand to reintroduce a sense of style into courtroom proceedings. Representing clients in standard blues and grays, Atlanta-based lawyers Josh Moore and Odini Gogo sought a solution to the conservative palette. Easing into office-friendly neckties, as well as odes to Southern charm with a collection of bow ties, they have recently stated their case for bolder colors and patterns, inspired by their international collaboration and globetrotting spirit. What they have created is collection sure to raise as many eyebrows as objections.

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One such offering is their line of Harris Tweed footwear, such as the brown melange chukka. The chukka itself, like its playmate the jodhpur, was born on Indian polo fields. In order to last through match periods, or chukkers, these shoes required calfskin or suede construction. Whereas a tweed variety may not help you win the favor of polo teammates, the makers of Harris Tweed may claim violation in their own right. For a fabric under the protection of Scottish national authority – the Harris Tweed Act of 1993 – its guardians probably did not imagine their treadle loomed pieces to serve beneath the ankle cuff. But in footwear, these swatches of tweed create earthy anchors to any casual look.

With traditional Turkish rugs, leave it for Res Ipsa to create a new use out of these woven tapestries. While journeying through Istanbul markets, Josh and Odini picked out these hand-woven kilims, then pared them down into into loafers, boots, and weekender bags. While one kilim may produce multiple pairs of shoes, no single one would be the same. The result: truly unique items made from one-of-a-kind creations.

Res Ipsa loafers

Some may cry foul over such wanton disregard for the established rules of storied wear, but Res Ipsa make, perhaps exclaim a point. These laws, rules, guidelines . . . whatever you call them, they’re meant to be broken. That is the color of life that makes the ordinary something extra. And maybe Josh and Odini aren’t even looking to break anything at all. Their jobs exist upon the foundation that laws – in court and cloth – are up for interpretation.

Res ipsa loquitur translates to “the thing speaks for itself.” In the history of law, this ruling first applied in an 1863 case involving a barrel of flour falling from a second-story loft upon a plaintiff’s head. The ruling was swift because the facts required no explanation. As a closing argument, this company offers the same with their unconventional twists in clothing. In the end, follow rules or break them. Wear and do what you wish, and let that speak for itself.

Be sure to catch Res Ipsa at our upcoming trunk show The Proper Kit. November 7th in NYC. RSVP Here

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Christopher Tuazon

Hong Kong Correspondent

Teacher, student, and believer in the lifelong learner. Also trying to find my place on the other side of the world I grew up in. I write to share stories and the lessons within them.