Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

Wear This Stuff to the Beach: Thaddeus O’Neil

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Perfectly timed for any summer beach plans you might be making about now—or that trip to Cannes this weekend—our friends at UrbanDaddy just hipped us to a new line of handsome swim trunks and other beachy sundries from Thaddeus O’Neil.

The man behind the sun-baked collection of menswear (that would be Mr. O’Neil) is a philosopher-king-of-the-beach who spent a few years of endless-summering around the globe, picking up menswear inspiration and a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model for a wife along the way. In other words: exactly the kind of guy you want designing your Japanese indigo après-surf kimono, breezy double-weave stripped blazer and colorful popovers. It’s the sort of surf-worthy gear that wouldn’t look out of place at a coffee shop on the Lower East Side.

A closer look at some of our favorite pieces from the collection, after the jump.»

Now Open: The OB Archive from Orlebar Brown

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Perfectly timed for any spring break getaways you might have planned, Orlebar Brown has just launched the OB Archive.

And while there’s plenty of good stuff from seasons past in there, we’re most interested in the limited-edition print swimsuits. It’s your chance to pick up a design that probably won’t see the light of the beach ever again (or anytime soon, at least) and for 20% off with the code ARCHIVE20 at checkout.

Here are the five swimsuits to consider.»

Six Essential Upgrades to Your Paddling Kit

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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...»

Dusting Off: Digging a Hole to China

There comes a point in every boy’s life when he realizes that digging a hole to China is impossible. Previous attempts at burrowing a Sino-antipodean tunnel had been foiled not by the inability of the boy’s plastic shovel to withstand earth’s 9,800-degree inner core, but rather by a late-afternoon thunderstorm or his mother’s maddening penchant for whisking him off the beach just as the tip of a chopstick was being exhumed. “If only I didn’t have to take a nap today,” he’d reckon, “I’d be in Hong Kong by supper.” We could all benefit from dusting off that sort of arrogant, boyish ignorance once in a while.

The older we get, the more absurd our childish scheme becomes. As Robert Krulwich explains, China’s antipode, or diametrical opposite, is in fact 150 miles north of Buenos Aires. If you dug a hole from any point in the contiguous 48 states, you’d end up in the South Pacific Ocean somewhere. And that’s not nearly as cool as ending up in China.

The Summer Briefcase

On the heels of our 10 essential beach gadgets, we've stumbled upon what might very well be the most ideal bag to lug it all to the shore.

It’s a military-issue fighter pilot’s helmet bag, but Alexander Grant has brought to our attention that its rugged nylon construction and simple design make it extremely versatile for daily use—when child rearing, in his case, but we imagine using it for beach-going or even carrying a laptop around town. It's all about tactical simplicity: two front snap pockets (one for a pair of flip-flops and another for your sunscreen) and a padded main section with more than enough room for your summer reading, a towel and those high-tech goggles. All at a price that ought alleviate any fears of sand- or saltwater-induced damage.

And since they’re army spec, they come in every pattern of camo under the sun. (Great news for the Wooster camp.)

This Weekend, You're... Heading to the Beach

In this new weekly series, we’re peering into your summer weekend agenda and offering a few essential sundries to help you make the most of your upcoming escapade. And it appears that this weekend, you’re heading to the beach.

You enjoy the beach. Of course you do.

It’s just that you’ve been enjoying the beach for dozens of years now, and it’s become a bit predictable: the sand, the sun, the water that’s “freezing!” and then “actually not so bad!” and then “aren’t you gonna get in?!” and so on, and so on.

Let’s be honest—you’re not going to read the Steve Jobs biography. So don’t pack it. In its stead, may we recommend one or more of the following...

10 Exceptional Gadgets to Combat Beach Boredom»

The Art of Surfing

You don’t have to be a surfer to appreciate the effortless cool of surf culture—anyone who’s spent a weekend at the beach has gotten a good taste.

Here to give you another taste: this fully custom surfboard built by the surf gurus at Swami’s in collaboration with the eccentrically British designer Paul Smith. (Another exclusive from our friends at UrbanDaddy Perks.) It crosses the cultural gambit by marrying form and function—the board’s got the chops to keep up with any die-hard surfer, yet it’s handsome enough to be displayed as art. (Just say you hang it there between trips to Borneo.) And even if it never rides a wave, it will certainly lend you more cred than a Point Break poster.

Summer Outlook

If you can’t quite put your finger on why things are feeling more summery on Kempt this morning, we’d like to direct your attention to the left column (you might want to scroll down a bit). We’ve got a fresh crop of seasonal must-haves at the ready for your impending summer adventures. Some can be ordered online (see: Sid Mashburn’s Favorite Shorts), while others will require a little creativity and stylishness (see: A Beach Companion). But most of all, they should serve as inspiration for the warmer months to come. Happy summering.

Caught in the Rain

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It’s one of our favorite rules of summer style: If you can pull off shorts, you have permission to get loud. And if you’re tired of the eye-popping plaids of the Newport set, Rogue Territory has dug up a new kind of camouflage just for the occasion.

It’s called raindrop camo, inspired by an Eastern European pattern that hasn’t been seen since the 70s. The result is a vaguely military vibe you can’t find at a surplus store—unless it’s a surplus store in Leipzig. And since the fabric weighs in at 10 ounces, you don’t have to be squeamish about taking them to the beach.