Kempt

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Summer Knits for Summer Nights

Knits

Ah, August after dark: perfect for romance, bonfires and waxing nostalgic about your pre-desk-job days as a lifeguard.

Why would you ever waste the time indoors?

But the thing is, once the sun sets, it has a way of getting pretty darned chilly out. And since nothing can ruin a beautiful beach day’s epilogue like a set of chattering teeth, we’d like to advise you to take the necessary precautions and invest in a bit of lightweight knit protection. That way, you’ll be able to focus more on achieving the perfect s’more-char and less on maintaining your body temperature.

Or your date’s, for that matter.

So take some time to check out our cotton, linen and cashmere selections, and prepare to fend off that evening chill, after the jump...»

Your Spring Cashmere Hookup

  • Najib Benouar

Fischer

Consider this a last-minute addition to yesterday’s spring must-haves: fine-gauge cashmere.

And right on time, our comrades in style over at UrbanDaddy Perks are knocking 25% off a fine selection of spring-ready cashmere sweaters, cardigans and one exceptionally cozy-looking speckled henley from Christopher Fischer—an expert on balancing the yarn’s buttery-soft gauziness with just enough warmth retention perfect for the typical “summer in the light and winter in the shade” March day.

Clearly Dickens was pining for some cashmere while writing that line.

The Stat Sheet: Elder Statesman Cashmere Cardigan

  • Najib Benouar

Elder Statesman

As menswear’s love affair with Italian tailoring runs its course, there’s been a rising trend in rumpled luxury—some have gone so far as to name it “cozy boy.” (In other words, this refined-sweatpants craze is not going away anytime soon.)

Whatever you want to call it, the gold standard of this new menswear subculture has to be Elder Statesman, this year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund recipient. It features a collection of impossibly soft, well-made and exorbitantly priced cashmere. If draping yourself in the finest of hand-knit opulence is your thing, or you’d just like to admire a $3,200 cardigan (er, robe?), here’s what else you need to know.

The Story: The charmed life of knitwear designer Greg Chait has involved interning for Whitney Houston, dating an Olsen and stumbling into a high-level position with jean maker Ksubi. He founded Elder Statesman in 2007, making cashmere blankets for the wealthy—stocking private theaters and jets, that sort of thing—and the rest is history.

Who to Channel: Those Snuggie commercials—but while cozying up on your private jet instead of your lonely couch.

When to Wear It: This isn’t a sweater, this is a lifestyle.

Degree of Difficulty: Low/irrelevant: if you’re spending three grand on a stay-at-home sweater, you’re probably not going to listen to us anyway.

A few more lavish knit offerings from Elder Statesman after the jump.»

The Five Warmest Socks on Earth

  • Najib Benouar

Let’s not mince words here: it’s cold out. And it’s coldest on the ground—which means you should be paying careful attention to keeping your feet as warm as bipedally possible.

So we went ahead and rounded up the warmest socks on the market—many of which won’t look out of place on your regular rotation of pastels and patterns.

Without further ado: some really incredibly warm socks for your winter strolling pleasure.»

The Legacy of Sid Avery and Some Very Handsome Pocket Squares

  • Kempt Staff

Not Too Shabby: The New York Times recounts the charmed life of theElder Statesman’s Greg Chait—who now spends his days designing cashmere knitwear after winning the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award.

Take Care: A look at the new spring offering from Drake’s London—including a handsome assortment of pocket squares—courtesy of Die, Workwear!

MacGruber’s Closet: Will Forte shops with Barney’s the Window and makes a surprisingly high amount of good choices—aside from the hot pants.

In The Picture: Mr. Porter flips through the new book from legendary photographer Sid Avery (he made sites like the impossible cool—possible).

Gateway Turtlenecks: The Five Best High-Necked Shirts Out There

  • Najib Benouar

On the occasion of this weekend’s premiere of the Steve Jobs biopic, jOBS, at Sundance, we are ever reminded of his iconic allegiance to the turtleneck. (Ashton Kutcher seems to have done a fine job of pulling it off himself.)

In fact, ever since we told the menswear-osphere to stop fearing the turtleneck, we’ve been noticing dapperly swaddled necks popping up everywhere—we won’t take full credit for the garment’s renaissance—on runways, in magazines, at tradeshows and even in our favorite menswear shops.

Luckily for all the shelter-seeking necks out there, we’ve rounded up the five best gateway turtlenecks currently on the market.»

The Stat Sheet: Seize sur Vingt Water-Repellent Cashmere Peacoat

  • Najib Benouar

Cashmere makes for a great sweater, scarf or even watch cap—but once you get into the realm of outerwear, cashmere has always seemed to be a little too delicate. Until now...

Seize sur Vingt—the downtown New York menswear hub run by a husband-and-wife team—found a way to toughen up an ordinarily delicate wool (via science) to create this water-resistant cashmere peacoat. It’s the most rugged cashmere out there, by far. Here’s what else you need to know.

The Story: Seize sur Vingt took some cashmere to the lab, treated it with a water-resistant compound and gave it some elasticity, to make it durable enough for winter. Twelve coats were made from this revolutionary fabric, available at their flagship in NYC.

Who to Channel: A super-luxe naval admiral; Serge Gainsbourg walking along the Seine; someone not afraid to beat up their cashmere.

When to Wear It: You’ll be reaching for this whenever you’re in need of an overcoat. Here’s your new go-to for everything from the morning commute to attending your multitude of winter gala invites.

Think of This Jacket As: Your favorite cashmere sweater turned into a fortress of coziness.

Mr. Gainsbourg shows how it’s done, after the jump.»