Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

Duck Head Is Back, with Your Summer Chinos

  • Najib Benouar

070914_Duck-Head-hed

It’s safe to say that the heritage menswear revival is alive and well in the South.

Earlier this year it was the return of Louisiana’s Haspel, and now Garden & Gun brings word that Civil War–era Southern brand Duck Head has relaunched their line of sturdy chinos and polos just in time for the dog days of summer.

As far as heritage brands go, all of the bona fides are there: founded in Tennessee by two brothers after their tour with the Confederate Army; started with chinos made of leftover duck canvas from war tents; supplied the US military with overalls during WWII; spawned a chino craze among Southern fraternity prepsters in the 1980s; everything went downhill when they moved production overseas... And now they’re back—with a couple of Ralph Lauren vets at the helm. Most importantly: so is their iconic label, stitched with a mallard’s head.

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

The Future of Americana: Dyer & Jenkins

  • Najib Benouar

010814_Dyer_HED

In an ideal world, every item in your closet would be made in America—save for a few Neapolitan or British things—but that’s probably not the case... yet.

Enter Dyer & Jenkins, a new upstart out of Los Angeles whose webshop just went live today stocked with incredibly well-priced American-made selvage denim jeans, washed indigo sweatshirts and tees. That’s just for starters, because their new “lean manufacturing” process—born from their Kickstarter roots—will continue to introduce new items every time there’s enough demand to kick a new small batch into production. The latest limited run: a hefty sweatshirt constructed from recycled denim. But there’s plenty more where that came from.

Take a look at some of our favorites from the inaugural run, after the jump.»

Discovering George’s Handmade Boots

  • Najib Benouar

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Thanks to the all-knowing Internet powers that be at Reddit, we discovered this curious video of a small bootmaker in Oregon.

George’s Handmade Boots is a one-man operation that’s been quietly turning out handsome custom footwear out of eastern Oregon for the better part of the past century, and now the world is finally getting a look into his shop. As you can imagine, it’s as Americana as it gets—he still operates the way he did back then: phone orders and a mail catalog that you can request by, you guessed it, phone. In the recent flurry of interest, his granddaughter set up the Facebook page and there are talks of an e-commerce site—as well as George’s talk of finding someone new to take over his operation in the next few years. So, if you’ve ever romanced the idea of heading to the Western frontier to make your bones in the craft of bootmaking—or the idea of owning a really handsome pair of handmade boots—now’s your chance.

Meet George, take a look around his shop and start dreaming...»

What Your #Menswear Baseball Cap Says About You

  • Najib Benouar

Caps

There are plenty of perfectly good reasons to wear a baseball cap.

Driving a convertible. Watching a ball game. Premature balding.

But we’ve been noticing a sharp rise in guys wearing more #menswear-y versions—without a hint of support for a sports team—even more so, with the recent rise in popularity of the five-panel cap and floral prints. And it got us thinking about what it all means. So we’ve gone ahead and taken stock of all the nonstandard baseball caps out there to give you a better idea of what your choice in billed topper is projecting to the world.

So, without further ado: what your #menswear baseball cap says about you, according to Kempt.»

Heritage Lost, Google’s Hit List and Berlin’s Handsome Subway Stations

  • Kempt Staff

Berlin

Strong Willis: A Continuous Lean explores the rise and fall (and subsequent re-rise and re-fall) of legendary American expedition outfitters Willis & Geiger.

Google Melee: In the wake of Google’s spring cleaning of five products—most notably, Google Reader—Wired names the next five Google products on the chopping block.

Underground Snapper: Take a photographic safari through all 173 of Berlin’s U-Bahn stations, courtesy of Kate Seabrook.

The Power of Doves: The Atlantic asks the hard questions on why there aren’t any women magicians to speak of.

Brazilian Merrymaking, Fashion’s Astrologer and Waka Flocka Flame’s Valentine’s Playlist

  • Kempt Staff

Rio

Rio’s Grand: The Atlantic shares some spectacular photos from the Carnival festivities in Rio de Janeiro.

Haute Svengali: The Cut tries to figure out how Susan Miller became the de facto astrologer to the fashion elite.

The Flame Rekindles: The best part of GQ’s Valentine’s Day guide has to be the romantic playlist from Waka Flocka Flame.

Denim Jumpsuits: Put This On embarks on a photo safari through the Americana jungle/annual vintage menswear show, Inspiration LA.

Field Report: Steven Alan F/W 2013 Presentation

  • Najib Benouar

Steven Alan

NYFW: still happening. And while none of this stuff will be available for a good seven months—or until the weather’s gone from cold to warm to cold again—we consider it of paramount importance that we keep you informed (and show you how stylish future-you could be). Hence, a series of quick-and-dirty posts on as many of the shows as we can get to.

Up next: Steven Alan.

The Background: Mr. Alan digs deeper into Americana subcultures with a collection inspired by ’60s post-bop jazz. (Back when jazz was still subversive and cool.)

The Formula: Formula

Degree of Difficulty: Steven Alan makes the opposite of difficult clothing.

The Showstopper: The corduroy suit.

More looks after the jump.»

Todd Snyder Joins the Internet

  • Najib Benouar

We’ve been tracking the meteoric rise of Todd Snyder and his eponymous menswear label for the past year and change now. (The guy can do no wrong.)

So we’re excited to report he’s just opened up shop on the Internet.

If you’re not familiar with his stuff, just imagine the sort of classic well-made American aesthetic someone who cut their teeth at the legendary tailoring shop Badowers, interned at Ralph Lauren and finally rose to the top ranks at J.Crew would turn out. Or, you know, now you can just visit his webshop to take a look.

Consider this a Christmas gift to yourself.

A few of our favorites, after the jump.»

Ralph Lauren Goes Vintage

  • Najib Benouar

Ralph Lauren is one of Americana’s most venerable institutions. He’s managed to clothe an entire nation—from the cable-knitted Northeast to the denim-on-denim’d Southwest.

And as a testament to that legacy, the brand is launching the webshop RL Vintage today. After a small army of vintage clothing enthusiasts/historians was assembled, the team set out, rummaging through the finer flea markets and antique shops to put together a veritable museum of Polo-centric Americana—well, a museum that you can actually buy things from. For the men’s offerings, you can expect a lot of suede—and even some fringe—but something we’re really looking forward to is the “Bring It Back” program that lets Polo fanatics dig through the archives and vote on pieces they’d like to see reissued. Whatever gets the most votes will actually go into production as a limited-run throwback. Currently on deck is the Polo Bear sweater, beloved by grandmothers, rappers and menswear bloggers alike.

Take a closer look at what’s in store at RL Vintage, after the jump.»

Golf and Americana, Together at Last

  • Najib Benouar

Our love for Americana is well documented, and we’ve already gushed about the incomparable charms of fall golf...

So naturally, we were pleased to learn of a Dallas-based shop combining the two, by the name of Pebble + Pine. It’s one of those ideas that feels novel, but at the same time surprising that it hadn’t been thought of before (the brick-and-mortar shop has been peddling American-made golf paraphernalia to Dallas locals for a few weeks now, but they’ve just launched e-commerce this week).

Think of it as the latest addition to the spate of heritage all-American menswear shops we’ve been seeing, like Chicago’s Haberdash or a permanent version of New York’s Pop Up Flea—but with golf balls. Here, the fleece vests are from Woolrich, the books were written by Ben Hogan and you can even pick up an exclusive cologne scented like moonshine—should your regular 19th hole not provide you with enough.

The heritage ping-pong emporium cannot be far behind.

More photos of Pebble + Pine’s Dallas shop, after the jump.»

Camille Rowe Is in Sweater Mode

  • Kempt Staff

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Field Day: Valet catches up with Left Field founder Christian McCann to talk Americana and rare Japanese tweed. [Valet]

Sight for Sore Eyelets: Mr. Mort takes his fine-tuned eye for vintage to the Manhattan Vintage Gentlemen’s Vintage Show. Vintage-fueled synergy ensues. [Mr. Mort]

Strong Bow: An interview with the newest bow tie maestro on the scene, Otis James. [GQ]

Following Suit: Vulture sits down with a bespoke tailor to learn the recipe for a Bond-worthy suit—one with room for motorcycling and ass-kicking while still looking dapper. [Vulture]

The Stat Sheet: Yuketen Wingtip Roper Boots

  • Najib Benouar

We’re still trying to figure out what these boots might say about you.

But if you’re in the market for some handsome shell cordovan leather wingtip cowboy boots, look no further than these Wingtip Ropers from Yuketen that have recently arrived at Context Clothing. Here’s what else you should know about them:

The Story: Yuki Matsuda has been heading up the Japanese-led Americana revival for nearly three decades, while making some incredible American-made shoes along the way. But for these boots, he’s leaned on the ranchero expertise of Mexico—where they’ve been meticulously crafted from Horween shell cordovan #8 in a limited run.

Who to Channel: Whatever a dandified British-Texan oil baron rancher might look like—perhaps a mashup of Prince Charles and George W. Bush.

Or Spend Your $1,114 On: 12.9 barrels of crude oil, an old pickup truck or a shell cordovan leather wallet to hold your remaining $1,000 in.

Degree of Difficulty: High to impossibly high.

Our best estimation of the look you’re going for, after the jump.»

If These Boots Could Talk

  • Najib Benouar

Fall is a special season for many reasons.

For some, it’s football season. To others: sausage season (or motherfucking decorative gourd season).

But here on Kempt: it’s boots season. And that means choices.

With a vast sea of options out there—hiking, Chelsea, desert, cowboy, et cetera—it begs the question: what is your choice in fall footwear saying about you? So we graciously came up with this handy guide:

Understanding what your boots are saying about you, courtesy of Kempt.»