Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

Farewell to the Dandy Congressman

David Dreier

It’s a dark day for Congressional style.

Representative David Dreier (R-CA), widely considered the best-dressed Congressman in the House of Representatives, announced yesterday that he would not be seeking a 17th term in office. “After three decades on Capitol Hill,” he said jokingly on the House floor, “I am finally doing my part to improve Congress’s sorry image.”

Of course, he’d been doing that all along»

The Icon: Charles Eames

Designers have gotten a lot more hip in the past few years, and along with the newfound cachet, we’ve seen a resurgence in the kind of minimalist style that rules most design firms with an iron fist. So for this week’s icon, we thought we’d turn the spotlight on one of the men who made the style—and, incidentally, one of the best American designers of the 20th century. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Charles Eames…

See five iconic pictures of Charles Eames»

Make it Raen

raenoptics

It’s always nice to have a source for a $100 pair of shades. Not because you’re unhappy with the ones you’ve got…but the way you live, accidents happen.

So you’ll want to keep Raen Optics on file in case your clubmasters fall prey to a tragic windsurfing mishap. They’re a California brand specializing in mid-century style shades and optical frames. At the moment, our favorite is the Squire, inspired by James Dean’s 50s frames—something like Wayfarers by way of Moscot.

Just try to keep them out of the ocean.

The Boys of Summer

pendletonbeachboys_crop.jpg

At the moment, flannel’s more associated with bearded mountain men than flaxen-haired Californians, but it wasn’t always so. For proof, check out this picture of the Beach Boys—erstwhile masters of summertime Americana—decked out in five matching lumberjack shirts and impeccably geeky white undertees, and somehow still channeling the endless summer.

We’re not alone in being impressed. As it happens, Hurley seized on this particular photo to turn out red and blue versions of the Pendleton flannel, which has since found its way onto racks at Bloomingdales and Fred Segal. It’s a pretty good twist on a classic item and some classic style icons.

But mostly, we’re glad no one showed them this.

See the shirts»

Summer Days

trovatamiro_crop.jpg

Trovata’s been overshadowed by their former collaborators Shipley & Halmos these past few seasons, but they’re still a pretty reliable source for breezy West Coast gear. This Miro shirt, for instance, is the kind of garment they can turn out pretty reliably, a linen-weave summer shirt lined up for their Spring/Summer 2010 line.

It’s not enough to call a comeback, but if they meet January with a whole line of these items, they’ll definitely raise a few eyebrows—even more than the storytelling stunts that got them noticed in the first place. Four years in, they may finally be hitting their stride.

The Tin Man

tinshed_crop.jpg

For all our gushing about ACL’s American List, we’re more interested in how things are made than where. Of course, it’s easier to keep an eye on things if they’re domestic, but really we just want to see what those factories really look like.

Patagonia is giving us the next best thing with their latest site, the Tin Shed (via Josh Spear). It’s not exactly complete transparency, but it gives a peek into the early history of the brand, which turns out to look a little different than you’d expect.

More on the Tin Shed»

Coloring Book

963_crop.jpg

Seavees is well on their way to becoming California’s finest shoe, but they’ve got more than sunshine on their mind.

The latest line (via Men.Style) is titled 9/63, in honor of the founding of color magnates Pantone. Of course, we’ve admired their work in the past, but we never thought we’d end up seeing them on a sneaker.

Unfortunately, they skip out on Mimosa in favor of seven more 60s-oriented color blends, but they’re richer choices than you usually see on footwear. It might be a bit hard to match, but this orange hue is our favorite. You’d better hurry if you like it, though: it’s a limited collection (as usual with Seavees), and only 1,963 are going on sale.

Counting Down

usa_crop.jpg

Men.Style’s Material Interest alerted us to WWD’s latest poll ranking cities on menswear spending and the results are a little staggering. Perennially hip, Austin comes in first, closely followed by the loose thread that is Las Vegas. Southern California takes up the next three spots, while the New York area barely makes the list.

Best of all is Salt Lake City in the #7 spot, confirming our long-held theory about Mormon style. Sadly, neither of the Portlands made the cut.

See the top 10 for yourself»

Skating By

skate_crop.jpg

With 90s culture poised to leap back into the mainstream, it’s probably time we gave skateboarding another look.

We ran across Mumble’s retrospective of skate photographer Grant Brittain and it inspired us to do just that. From a pipe-bound photo of a young Tony Hawk to surprisingly quiet contemplations of Del Mar’s concrete underbelly, there’s a lot more here than just tattoos and knee shorts.

As a subculture, skateboarding has already been coopted so many times over the past 15 years that it’s been very hard to take seriously, but we’re reaching a moment when we can see it with all the hype and glamour stripped away, as a genuine reimagining of the urban landscape. Of course, it helps if you grew up in a suburb full of smooth concrete and gentle curves. And if you take a few photographers along for the ride.

See a few of the shots»

Celebrating Life

stevejobslives_crop.jpg

It’s not news until someone puts it on a t-shirt, so we’re hardly surprised to see this pass through our RSS feed after the Apple honcho copped to a non-life-threatening hormone imbalance. We’re sure it’ll be a big hit in the business-very-casual circles at Silicon Valley, but as zeitgeist moments go, this one rings a bit hollow.

And like any figurehead, there’s always the possibility that Jobs is using doubles.

Down Under

streetpeeper_crop.jpg

Outside of Cronicles of Never and Ksubi, Australia’s style footprint has been pretty small. But we’re always willing to take another look.

This snap (courtesy of Street Peeper) comes from the opening of Alphaville, Melbourne’s latest Godardian boutique. The jeans are from Ksubi, and look familiar enough, but the rest of his getup comes from labels we’ve never even heard of, including Alpha 60 and The Vanishing Elephant.

Judging from the getup—and the success Ksubi has had with the Soho crowd—we’d say the continent’s ripe for a larger crossover, especially in sunnier climes like California.

We’ll call it the trans-Pacific look.