Newport’s own Island Outfitters holds the enviable distinction of being the exclusive U.S. retailer for Swedish line Holebrook, one of the most lauded manufacturers of functional and stylish marine wear around the world. More than just navy duds and nautical detail, Holebrook’s pieces fiercely fight the elements with windproof pieces that are as consistently comfortable as they are well made. Lighter cotton essentials for men and women pepper the spring and summer line, while standouts like the Skipper sweater, featuring navy and white wide stripes in a flat knitted Scandinavian style with a bold red lining peeking through the half-zip collar turns heads. Frankly, a good many of the pieces could be considered unisex, and Island Outfitters (with locations in Edgartown, Fairfield, CT; Newport, Oak Bluffs, Osterville and Watch Hill) carries a ton of it. No seriously, owner Greg Hall told me a few weeks back he orders a literal ton—a 2,000 pound crateful—of all Holebrook.
Island Outfitters has been carrying Holebrook for some time now, but with the J Class Regatta (June 15-19) and 2011 Bacardi Newport Sailing Week (June 23-26) taking place this month, sailing gear seems to be taking center stage.
Holebrook doesn’t come cheap (sweaters generally more than $150) but their timeless design and practical purpose on the water and off make them the kind of pieces that last a lifetime.