Jim Ockert, owner and buyer for Khakis of Carmel, is an artist at heart. He’s a man for the fine details, and when I visited him last week I was welcomed by his personal style resonating throughout the Khakis store located in bustling Carmel Plaza. Jim meticulously assembles every outfit adorning the 70 mannequins displayed throughout the store, down to the seasonal arrangements poking out between arched mannequin arms. I can’t say that some of the choices didn’t strike me as unusual, but they were personal, honest and they exuded confidence. Jim has created an eclectic and modern men’s clothing experience, and I’m told he takes such care in creating the Khakis experience to have even personally dictated the floral arrangements embellishing the outside of the store. He is a man with vision, a man guided by intuitive rhythms.
When I met Jim, I was immediately struck by his outfit. He wore a slightly short pant with 2 inch cuffs. I admit that I was caught off-guard by the combination of cargo-style dress pant mixed with a double-breasted tweed plaid jacket. He appeared ready for a day of both business and pleasure. His bracelets were unusual. One burst with a shocking array of color; I’m told it was custom made in Ghana. The other, an Italian bracelet, featured a blend of earthy wooden browns. The combination offered the impression of a man that is passionate, but grounded. He wore tasseled Edward Green shoes, and his 15-year Panerai watch was something that particularly drew my eye. Jim’s tie featured unusual texturing with rich blues and browns. I hear his favorite ties are all made in England.
When I spoke with Jim, the unique elements of the store and his attire came together. He spoke with enthusiastic fervor about his personal favorites, including Drake’s ties and Nackymade glasses. He guided me through the sprawling store, pointing out little eccentricities, such as a unique display of bowties playfully attached to meticulously polished seismic support beams. While these personal touches might go unnoticed by the casual observer, they accentuate the unique flavor of the store and tastefully augment the total experience. I started to understand how this design philosophy mirrors the styles of Jim’s most adored classic drummers, including Ringo Starr and Charlie Watts (here’s a surprise, I hear Jim is quite the drummer!).
At Khakis, the spirit is in the subtlety and the character is in the bold. The whole experience is personally tailored by an artist with the passion, creativity and free-form ingenuity to turn his favorite materials and designs into unique, ebullient works of art.
I’m inspired to up my style game with a few new pieces from Khakis of Carmel.