Knickers Dresses the Part:Where the Colors are a Little Brighter
Author: Lynnie Leavenworth | Photographer: M.Kat Photography
Vineyard Vines performance fabric polo $85
Vineyard Vines Chino Breaker Pant – $98.50
Maui Jim Sunglasses – $229
Button-downs, loafers, polos, Bermuda shorts, swim trunks, flip flops. Knicker’s men’s shop in Harbour Town has been dressing Hilton Head Islanders and visitors since 1971; and while they haven’t necessarily reinvented the wheel, they have curated a shopping experience that perfectly captures the spirit of what it really feels like to live in the Lowcountry. The shop is inviting without pretense; complementing the warm creams and wood tones, the splashes of color coming from the clothing and accessories create a kind of amused mood, and Jock Miller, shop manager and buyer, and his staff set the convivial tone—light, pleasant, relaxing. The shop offers just the kind of gear meant to wear on the links, building sandcastles at the beach, riding bikes, strolling the shops, or catching up over appetizer and martinis at sunset on the porch.
While the sportswear draws in shoppers, the Knickers staff, and particularly the nearly ever-present Jock, set customers at ease, providing assistance when needed and making suggestions that are hard to resist. The clothing and accessory lines Jock selects for Knickers have garnered a following of regular customers looking for ways to express their personality through their island-inspired sportswear.
Vineyard Vines and Southern Tide, with their whimsical whale and chubby fish logos, respectively, bring the color and the fun. Both lines began with the idea of injecting a bit of happy design into menswear, while maintaining high standards in fabric, fit, and finish. The Vineyard Vines boys began by selling 800 of their not-by-the-book neck ties in their first week in business back in 1998—brightly colored with many imaginative motifs including sailboats, turtles, dogs, sports gear, shells, flags, tacos, clay pigeons, and more. That element of fun has spilled over into the sportswear found at Knickers. Both Vineyard Vines and Southern Tide have devoted fans of their plaids, solids, checks, and stripes, decorating shirts, shorts, swim trunks, caps, and accessories.
The expression, “the devil is in the details,” refers to a mysterious element hidden in the details, expressing that whatever one does, should be done exceptionally well, and with lines like Peter Millar, Trask, Tommy Bahama, and Oliver Ridley, the devil is most certainly in the details at Knickers—details like the fabric-matching on Tommy Bahama shirts where patterns are seamlessly mated making their breast patch pockets virtually disappear. “Quality driven clothing lines are identified by how a piece is cut, the fabric, and the type of seam used,” Jock said.
Southern Tide Button Down – $99.50, Southern Tide Hoodie – $48, Southern Tide Shorts – $85, Smothers & Branson Handmade Needlepoint Hilton Head Life Belt – $165, Sperry Topsider – $57
The Knickers private label clothing collection was designed to complement their existing lines. First introduced in Spring 2016, the collection includes knit shirts and long-sleeve linen shirts in a variety of splendid colors, a T-shirt with a simple outline of Hilton Head Island, and new this year, performance fabric golf shirts. In addition to fine finishing, their private label clothing sports the distinctive Knickers logo. Per Jock’s design, the dapper gentleman golfer is positioned on the lower left hip area of the shirts. “A lot of people are wearing their shirts out, so it’s not in your face, but it’s there,” Jock said.
Accessories are a big part of connecting the island-vibe dots at Knickers. “We have designed our own belts coming from Smathers & Branson this spring,” Jock said. The company, known for finely made, hand-stitched needlepoint belts, will be making two belt styles to be sold exclusively at Knickers. “We’ll have a nautical belt that says ‘Hilton Head Island’ spelled out with nautical flags,” he said. “We’re also doing a belt decorated with icons reminiscent of Hilton Head Island; a palm tree, an alligator, the moon, a golf cart, a starfish, pelican, and dolphin, a martini, and more.” An additional selection of leather, canvas, and elastic belts further offers a range of styles to suit casual to dressy occasions.
Knickers also offers several lines of shoes and flip flops, including Trask, Peter Millar, Tommy Bahama, Sperry Top-Siders, and Southern Tide. With styles ranging from boat shoes to dress, along with the requisite flip flops, Jock is looking forward to adding Swims to their selection. Made of rubber, in styles ranging from boat shoes to loafers, this new kid on the block is a great addition to the sportswear wardrobe. “They’re something to wear instead of sneakers; they’re that comfortable, but they look like a shoe,” he said. “You can wear them in the water if you want to.”
With well-appointed ways of elevating an outfit, rounding out a wardrobe, and even doing a little pampering, Knickers is ready with accessories and necessities. They carry eye-bob® readers and Maui Jim sunglasses, both superior non-prescription eyewear. “The new eye-bobs are all-day readers which have a progressive lens,” Jock said. “And to me, Maui Jim’s are the best sunglasses out there. The polarization is between the two lenses. It’s in the middle, so it never wears off.”
Hats, caps, Saxx Underwear, with its exceptional wicking properties, socks, and Gekks, washable odor-eater type shoe liners are a few of the Knickers necessities. The Jack Black® line of skincare, hair, and grooming products offers an array of options. “I’ve been shaving with their product for 15 years. It’s fantastic,” Jock said. Their fragrance selection includes Peter Millar, Sea Island Spyce, and the full line of Royall Lyme®.
Stepping through the door at Knickers in Harbour Town, it doesn’t take long to find the island vibe, where the colors are a little brighter, the mood is easy, and it isn’t hard to imagine that a shady porch and an icy beverage are just a few short steps away.
Knickers is located in The Harbour Town Shops in Sea Pines Resort at 149 Lighthouse Road, Suite L, Hilton Head Island. For more information, please call (843) 671-2291 or visit knickersmenswear.com.