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Nine Essential Upgrades to Your Camping Kit


Winter might not be officially over just yet—nine more days, folks—but you’ve probably already begun feeling the early effects of spring fever.

You can just see it all now: walks in the park, sundeck brunches, pickup softball games... and at some point, you might even toy with the notion of going that extra mile (or hundred) to set up camp and commune just a little bit extra with nature. For when that day comes, we’ve rounded up a few of the best ways to do it in style.

Your next-level camping kit, after the jump…»

The Tie Bar Gets into the Scarf Game

  • Kempt Staff


Just in time to ward off any stiff winds in your neck’s near future, the neckwear enthusiasts at the Tie Bar have unveiled their first line of scarves.

And, as to be expected, they’re good looking, wrap around your neck and go for about a third of what you’ll spend at most shops for the same thing (it’s hard to find a good tasseled scarf these days). For the most part, they’re in 100% wool and the requisite plaids and a sharp navy blue, but there were a couple that especially caught our eye—and were vaguely reminiscent of our favorite knit tie, like the number above. All in all, it’s a handsome lot of mufflers that ought to have your neck protected and add a sliver of intrigue to an otherwise charcoal-gray season—which is all you can ask for in a scarf, really.

Get a closer look at our favorites, after the jump.»

Your New Watch, by Way of Sweden

  • Najib Benouar


Our esteemed colleagues at UrbanDaddy have just tipped us off to a handsome new line of Swiss-made watches by way of Sweden.

Bravur—you’ll notice their insignia tucked away on the dial at 3 o’clock instead of front and center—was founded by a couple of Swedes with a penchant for pared-down modern design (go figure) and handsome timepieces. In keeping with the minimalist approach, your options are uncomplicated: choose one of five cases and one of five bands. Then put the watch on your wrist and wear it to the office. Or to the cabin upstate. Either way, you won’t have to think about it much more than that—aside from when the compliments start rolling in.

Get a closer look at our favorites, below...»

The Evolution of Neckwear

  • Kempt Staff


The well-dressed man has been wrapping some sort of material around his neck to add to his general air of handsomeness practically since the beginning of time.

So to really understand why you cinched up that shantung tie this morning or intricately knotted that cashmere scarf around your neck (or spent the time to do both), we thought it prudent to trace the story all the way back to the beginning...

Herewith, a history of the evolution of neckwear.»

10 More Iconic On-Screen Accessories

  • Kempt Staff


Monday, Slate named Cary Grant’s sunglasses in To Catch a Thief the coolest thing ever worn on screen.

And while we’ll agree that those are some damn cool shades, we must take exception to such a patently absurd blanket statement. Even if you were to limit it to accessories, it misses the mark when taking stock of history’s most stylish on-screen accoutrements—the watches, the sunglasses, the Stetsons—that over time have become just as iconic as the character who wore them.

So we’ve gone ahead and rounded up 10 of our favorites.»

The 10 Commandments of Suspenders

  • Najib Benouar


It’s one of menswear’s most uncomfortable truths: you’ve got to keep your pants on somehow.

And when it really comes down to it, suspenders are not only the more elegant choice—compared to cinching a strap of leather around your waist and hoping for the best—but also the more practical one, by taking the unique contours of your waistline out of the equation. But like all sartorial unknowns, there are rules to live by. Rules we’ve put together in this handy guide:

The 10 Commandments of Suspenders.»

Giving Your Place a Sporting Chance

  • Kempt Staff


When it comes to furnishings, we’re partial to things that can take a little wear—and the more gracefully, the better.

Things like overstuffed leather chairs constructed from saddles, coffee tables made of salvaged gym mats, perhaps a dozen vintage tennis racquets for good measure.

Luckily, Timothy Oulton—Britain’s renaissance man of furniture making—has just unveiled his latest line inspired by classic sporting events around the UK. It’s full of the sort of ruggedly refined appointments that might have befit Ernest Hemingway had he been raised with a royal title in the rolling hills of Scotland. (And picked up a mean habit for polo and cricket.)

In other words: it’s handsome stuff. And we’ve got a closer look at it all after the jump.»

The 10 Commandments of Bow Ties

Bow Ties

Bow ties. The hotly disputed, professorial older brothers to the standard necktie, they are currently making an unprecedented return to the forefront of dapperness.

And you want in.

But understandably, you’re worried that you might end up coming off more Colonel Sanders than Fred Astaire. While this is a valid concern, it’s also easily avoidable; all you need is a little direction. And that’s where we come in, with a few carved-in-stone guidelines for making the jump from four-in-hand minor deity to neckwear god.

With that, we solemnly present: the 10 Commandments of Bow Ties, after the jump...»

Six Essential Upgrades to Your Paddling Kit


This might sound odd, but we know you’ve been getting these urges lately. Really strong, burning desires to sit back, get a little wet and stroke...

We’re talking about rowing, obviously. Wait, was that not clear?

Now, these impulses are perfectly natural. And trust us, getting yourself into a canoe (or kayak, if that’s your style) will definitely help assuage them. But, of course, just because you’re dying to navigate America’s waterways the old-fashioned way doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do so in style. So we’ve taken the liberty of compiling a handful of attractive options, to help you get the most out of your next aqueous adventure.

Check out our next-level paddling selections, after the jump...»

Detroit, Shinola and Making No Little Plans

  • Geoff Rynex


“We believe in the beauty of industry. The glory of manufacturing. We know there’s not just history in Detroit. There’s a future.” —from the Shinola website

“Detroit may be bankrupt, but if Shinola is any indication—and I think it is—the story of America’s great city’s revival has already begun.” —David Hershkovits, Paper

“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood.” —Daniel Burnham

As we speak, the David Whitney Building (a 1915 architectural treasure constructed by Burnham’s firm) is being converted into a downtown Detroit boutique hotel. And Shinola, a two-year-old Detroit watch- and bicycle-making outfit, is settling into its shiny new flagships in the Motor City and NYC.

We have a few thoughts about all this...»

Six Things You Need from Ball and Buck

  • Caitlin Ganswindt

Ball and Buck

Today we bring you a treasure trove of leather, shirting and sundries (gracious wink and finger-gun-trigger-pull to our friends over at UrbanDaddy National).

Yes, the gents from Boston’s Ball and Buck have launched a new website and online shop, stocked with exclusive collaborations from the likes of Rancourt & Co., Tellason and Allen Edmonds, along with their own house label.

It’s basically what would happen if a fox hunter teamed up with a tannery run by a barber with an affinity for well-tailored menswear. It’s all glorious, and it’s all made in the USA.

Here are the six things your arsenal requires.»

Your Summer House Essentials

  • Najib Benouar


Everyone needs a good summer hideaway.

It could be the family lake house, a weekend rental on the Cape or just a really summery corner of your sixth-floor walkup.

But to really make it feel right, you’ve got to have the right vibe—which, granted, is a little different if you’re summering near the sea versus a woodsy lake or river. So we’ve gone ahead and found some handsome appointments and setting-appropriate curios to properly equip your abode.

Here’s what you need to stock that summer shack of yours, depending on whether you’re heading inland or to the beach.»

Dive Watches: How Low Can They Go?


Let’s just say, you’re in the mood for a little underwater adventure. And what submarine traipse would be complete without a bright new bit of marine-equipped wrist candy?

But often when it comes to marine horology, it’s easy to find yourself drowning in the sea of available options. So to help you make your choice, we’ve taken a moment to compile some of the finest nautical timepieces out there. And we’ve arranged them by depth of water-resistance, so whether it’s casual snorkeling or Mariana Trench diving that you’re into, we’ve got you covered.

Now, follow us for your deep-sea watch champions, after the jump...»

Seven Essential Upgrades for the Everyday Photophile

  • Caitlin Ganswindt


Photography. You’ve dabbled. Perhaps fancy yourself a modern-day Helmut Newton. Your social life: a graphic compendium of Kemptresses/muses.

Yes, generally speaking, your life imitates art. In the spirit of keeping things beautiful both behind and in front of the lens, we’ve compiled the must-have upgrades for your photographic endeavors. Your camera will thank us.

Check out all seven after the jump.»