For safety, we try to be conscious of what we wear when riding motorcycles. And when riding vintage or retro motorcycles, we like to find outerwear that fits the visual theme. Having not ever visited a specific “store for men,” I decided to ride over to James Dant to peruse their manly selection of goods and was very impressed. Read on and check out this photo-tour of the shop…
Tucked into an old oasis of shops and restaurants, the James Dant store is appropriately located in Irvington. A historic district in Indianapolis founded in 1870 that became a place where artists, politicians, military generals, academics, and heads of local industry chose to live. Taking one of our Ural sidecar motorcycles seemed like a proper shopping vehicle to transport any bags I might leave with.
It was clear upon entry that the owner, Tommy James Dant, had done his homework and painstakingly curated an impressive collection of products. I mean, you’re gonna need a good while just to give it all a high-level walk-through. From a motorcycle perspective, there were some great items and brands that fit the moto vibe: Deus Ex Machina, Dead Ace Co, Schott jackets, Grifter Gloves, and more.
For us vintage bike fans, we often find ourselves at rallies or urban hangouts where the jackets and helmets come off. Sometimes we want our off-the-bike apparel to be a little nicer than the 5 year-old, faded event tee that you also wear when painting the house. James Dant has options for you. And if you don’t want to smell like the road, there’s also a selection of masculine scents for ya.
You may be wondering, is everything expensive here? As a father of four, believe me, I look for a bargain when I can, but buying things made of high-quality materials, things that are unique, long-lasting, or things that have a story behind why they’re made can’t be put into the same pricing categories of big-box, mass-produced stuff. Here, it appears there’s something for everyone at price points that seem appropriate. Some products that may have fallen outside of my current budget still felt like a justifiable cost for the stitch quality, cuts, and for styling that surpasses goods from the hardware store or local farm supply store.
I needed a pair of Red Wing boots. Specifically, a pair from their American-made heritage line with Goodyear welt construction, gun metal eyelets, triple-stitching and Vibram soles. Alright, I didn’t neeeed a pair. I wanted ’em. So, I was able to walk in and try on a pair from their well-stocked selection.
“The people making our products matter. The story matters. You should know what you’re getting, why you’re getting it, and how we got it.” – Tommy Dant
You’ll find brands that have been around forever and even handcrafted goods from local tradesmen, like Howl & Hide (pictured below). James Dant follows this credo: “Every brand and product we carry helps develop a culture of higher quality, lower-impact men’s goods. When it comes down to it, it’s more important for us to carry the brands that…make truly amazing products that I’m excited about. It’s important to carry the brands that care.”
More than high-end flannels and fashionable cuts of leather, their personal care selection is plentiful, too. It’s funny, there’s a school of thought where a manly man wouldn’t buy scents or waxes or haircare products. But when a company that’s been around awhile has dialed in a solution for taming your beard or masking an afternoon of chopping firewood, it’s hard not to give it consideration. It isn’t always about vanity; sometimes it can simply be about good ol’ hygienic presentation.
“I love transferring my experiences to the store; direct experiences with the makers of our products because the story matters. The people making these products matter.”
Above: Tommy Dant is the owner/operator who keeps the shop’s inventory fresh and unique. By the way, he sold me that pair of Red Wing Iron Ranger’s with no pressure, making sure I tried on both boots and leaving me to a lone walk around the shop to consider the fit and the investment. #happycustomer
Check out James Dant: A Store for Men online, or stop in their shop in Irvington, Indianapolis; tell ’em the guys at Good Spark Garage sent you. If you’re looking for a Christmas, birthday, or Father’s Day present, Tommy will give you some good ideas for that special dude in your life. Or, if you’re throwing a bachelor party, surely there’s a set of gifts that’d be perfect for your best men.
(FYI: This is not a sponsored post. We just had a good experience!)