Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

Applauding Thom Browne’s Showmanship in Milan

As the pictures continue to roll in from Milan, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the sensibility of it all. Demure backdrops of grays, full shows of clothes you’d wear without hesitation. It was quickly turning into an impeccably dressed snoozefest.

Until Thom Browne showed up for his Moncler Gamme Bleu presentation with a winter forest, a smoke machine and jousting poles—yes, there was jousting on the catwalk. As casual observers of the entire spectacle happening overseas, this is the kind of stuff we’ve been hoping for. Kilts be damned.

A few more shots from the show after the jump.»

South Korea Goes Casual

South Korea, which prides itself on its green policies, has ordered all government buildings to go without air-conditioning this summer. But it’s hot in Seoul—like, Manhattan hot. To manage growing unrest, the president has applied “summer dress codes”—an unprecedented departure from the conservative dark suit/white shirt uniform that has come to define the country’s buttoned-up culture.

Seoul’s mayor, pictured here, has told his staff that they are free to wear shorts and sandals to work to combat the heat. Problem is, casual wear is strictly reserved for the home—many older South Korean gentlemen don’t even own shorts, let alone a shirt that isn’t white. As a result, legions of pasty-legged Korean politicians have been showing up to work looking as though they just mistakenly blew some dude’s head off in the backseat.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this thoroughly entertaining crisis as the summer months heat up...

Inside the Turnbull & Asser Archives

Turnbull & Asser

Turnbull & Asser has been making custom shirts for over a century now, for everyone from Prince Charles to Jay Gatsby (at least in the ’74 version). So naturally, they’ve built up quite an archive…and we’ve got a peek inside.

It comes by way of Bespoken, a more modern shirting brand that uses Turnbull & Asser’s factory for their made-to-measure business. When they’re in need of inspiration, they’ve been known to stop through Turnbull’s archive of swatches in Italy. It’s a room full of old, dusty books, holding some of the best-loved shirting fabrics in menswear history—and since we asked nicely, they decided to pass along a few pics…

See a few pictures from Turnbull & Asser’s shirting archive»

The Strange Pleasures of Japanese Baseball

By now, you know the shape of American baseball. There are the sluggers, the DH arguments, the sabermetrics partisans, the steroids, the astroturf. Of course, the game is beautiful enough to overcome all that, but for a few seasons now, I’ve been thinking it might be nice to see the game from a different angle, maybe even a different continent.

And so, perhaps inevitably, I started watching Japanese baseball...

One man’s journey into the strange pleasures of Japanese baseball»

The Last Authentic Fair Isle Sweaters on Earth

Fair Isle knits are thick on the ground these days. (Off the bat, we count items from Pantherella, Raf Simons and Epaulet, and a whole season’s worth of goods from Howlin’ by Morrison.) But there’s surprisingly little love for the tiny Scottish island where the pattern comes from.

It makes sense. With six square miles and under 100 permanent residents, they were never going to churn out enough volume to fill a Rugby store. But with the help of a few hand-carved spinning wheels and a genuinely frightening quantity of sheep, some residents have managed to bring back the traditional ways of knitting the sweaters. That means sheep’s wool that’s never left the island, dyed and knit on site in the pattern that made the isle famous.

Naturally, we’re a little excited…»

The Official Coat of Antarctica

Antarctic Parka

It’s very cold in Antarctica. At McMurdo Station, it can reach as low as -60 degrees, with 30-degree wind chill and dust-dry snow blowing from every direction. So when the US Antarctic Program sends some poor soul out there, they send them with one of the warmest coats money can buy—a synthetic monster known around the station as Big Red.

And as gentlemen with an abiding interest in warm coats and extreme temperatures, we felt honor-bound to track down exactly where they get them...

Tracking down the coldest coat on earth»

The Kempt Guide to the Obscene Gestures of the World

As a rule, gentlemen do not make obscene gestures.

But we live in a complicated world, and there may come a time—possibly in foreign lands—when such a gesture is suddenly, unexpectedly leveled against you. And due to Earth’s rich tapestry of cultural difference, you may not know exactly what you’re being accused of.

So we thought we’d take a quick, illustrated tour through five of the most prevalent and/or amusing gestures the world has to offer—from Italian devil horns to the secret meaning of the thumbs-up. Use this knowledge only for good.

There’s something called a Moutza…»