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Dusting Off: Men Wearing Fur

  • Kempt Staff


At some point in the past, before there were terms like “polar vortex,” a man would rise on an exceedingly frigid day, survey the cold and forbidding landscape before him and then reach for the thickest wool pelt in his coat closet as he headed outdoors.

Wearing a fur coat was not only the best way to stay warm, it was the most elegant.

But somewhere along the line, possibly circa 1980, a man wearing a fur coat became an egregious affectation—no longer a simple matter of staying warm. And even more recently, it would seem that the tradition has fallen off almost entirely, even with older ladies and the less savory crowd it’s usually associated with. Perhaps that’s a good thing, because we’re making the case for a revival of gentlemen in fur coats. Especially with all of the puffy synthetic outerwear thick on the ground this time of year, we wouldn’t mind seeing a return to a more graceful way of staying warm.

And if the Princeton man above isn’t inspiration enough, we’ve got a few style icons wearing fur who’ll show you how it’s done...»

Gentlemanly Gardening, Surviving Coachella and Fleetwood Chat

  • Kempt Staff


Green Thumb: Everything you need to know about tending your garden—or planting your first—according to Men’s Journal.

Flying Coach: If our guide to staying cool at Coachella wasn’t enough, Four Pins has some advice on not being a “dickbag” at the show.

Return of the Mac: Details chats up Mick Fleetwood on their latest tour and what the sexiest Fleetwood Mac song might be. Hug It Out: A robotics school has developed a toggle coat that can mimic the sensation of being hugged by a significant other. That’s totally why menswear was created.

If Kempt Ran the Oscars...

  • Najib Benouar

Aaron Taylor Johnson

We couldn’t help ourselves. With the Oscars only days away and awards season coming to a head, we felt honor-bound to weigh in on the subject of style, cinema and the intersection of the two.

So we collected our memories of the past year’s worth of handsomeness on film and tried to nail down exactly what made each film stylish—much like the actual Oscars, we’re breaking down the movie by individual garment performance, not just handing out awards willy-nilly.

So without further ado, the Oscar for Best Cardigan in a Supporting Role goes to...»

The Stat Sheet: Billy Reid Heirloom Lafayette Coat

  • Najib Benouar

We’re heading into the wintry deep and you’re going to need an overcoat ready to ward off any bone-chilling cold snaps headed your way. Preferably, something trimmed with animal fur.

This charcoal-green Lafayette Coat from Billy Reid Heirloom—his recently unveiled luxury line—should do the trick. Here’s what else you need to know.

The Story: Billy Reid has been applying his Southern dandyism to spectacular effect over the past few years (he’s got the accolades to prove it). And he’s recently unveiled his Heirloom collection, which promises to represent “the highest level of American craftsmanship.” We believe him.

Who to Channel: Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October; the villain in a Dick Tracy movie; Joe Namath on the sideline.

When to Wear It: When the temperature has dropped below “hell freezing over”; on trips to the Russian countryside.

Degree of Difficulty: High and low. The fur collar is a statement, for sure, but it’s also removable, leaving you with a pretty classic winter coat. Add the high-degree-of-difficulty fur collar when you’re looking for some extra intimidation factor or heading to Studio 54 in the year 1975.

See how it’s done, after the jump.>>

Kempt’s Guide to the Menswear Gift Guides

  • Najib Benouar

No doubt your inbox and just about every menswear site you frequent has made you aware: ’tis the season to be gifting. And, therefore, receiving. (This is geared toward the latter.)

In our ongoing campaign to help you win the holidays, we had our team of menswear research fellows cull every single gift guide on the Internet, pull out all of the best menswear and lay it all out in one handy be-all, end-all guide.

Put all of this on your holiday wish list, if it isn’t already. Or just conspicuously leave this guide open on as many browsers as possible.

Onward, to the bounty of handsomeness that awaits, in Kempt’s Guide to the Menswear Gift Guides.»

This Year, You’re Getting the Right Winter Coat

  • Najib Benouar

Winter has a way of sneaking up on us. (Happens every year.)

And waiting until the first day it’s genuinely freezing to get yourself a new winter coat usually doesn’t end well—you’re either digging through whatever’s left on the racks or subjecting yourself to another year with that old coat that never lived up to expectations.

In other words, the time to find your perfect winter coat is now. And since winter means different things to different people (someone who lives in the Pacific Northwest versus a steelworker in Pittsburgh, for instance), we’ve put together a wintry mix of coats that should have you covered for every occasion.

Herewith, the six coats of winter...»

Cameron Diaz Is an Expert at Layering

  • Kempt Staff

Yogi Barbera: Always a worthwhile watch, Put This On has just dropped their latest episode—this time reporting live from Milan and spending a day with Luciano Barbera. [PTO]

Election Beer: Beer and politics go hand in hand. Here’s what your suds say about your ballot. [National Journal]

Boys to Men: Art of Manliness digs up a 1933 Harper’s Magazine article on what a young man ought to know. [AoM]

Old Chester: A history lesson on the Chesterfield—a double-breasted topcoat that’s become a rare sight these days. [GQ]

Gentlemen’s Club

  • Najib Benouar

Anyone not living under a rock for the past few seasons has watched Club Monaco up its menswear game by leaps and bounds. The materials have become more hearty, the cuts more modern, and the vibe: less yacht-hopping-Euro and more #menswear-poster-boy. In the center of this monumental evolution has been a man by the name of Aaron Levine. Since he’s been handed the design reigns, things have taken off—and if these new snaps for fall 2012 are any indication, his star is still rising.

Get a look at more good stuff to come after the jump, and keep watching the throne. (Rest assured, there’s plenty more where this came from.)

See more of Club Monaco fall 2012.»

Shipley & Halmos Fall/Winter ’12 Line, Annotated

Shipley & Halmos’s latest fall/winter lookbook just arrived in our inbox, and as usual, it’s pretty sharp stuff. It’s got at least two of 2012’s signature items—the shearling coat and the unstructured fedora, for those keeping score—and the whole thing is just a little bit brighter than real life usually is.

To give you a sense of what you’re seeing, we’ve broken it down look-by-look after the jump. Take a gander…

Our favorites from Shipley & Halmos’s new fall/winter line»

The Topcoat of 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, the topcoat of 2012.

We know it’s a little weird recommending a winter coat just as February’s tailing off—even weirder since you won’t be able to pick it up until August—but this one’s worth it.

It comes from Ian Velardi, who just unveiled his fall lookbook—but if you can’t peruse the whole thing, we’ll save you some time: it contains one of the most handsome topcoats you’ll see all year. It’s a frontal assault against the cloud of gray overcoats that usually pops up in late fall, and the neutral pattern means it’ll fit with just about anything you decide to wear underneath.

Note: we do recommend wearing something underneath.

Kempt Man of the Hour: Ewan McGregor

Wearing black is harder than you think.

It’s not just black suits either. Even in a more casual setting, you have to go through the minefield of assembling an outfit’s worth of matching-but-not-too-matching shades of deep gray, and then hope your complexion is warm enough that you don’t look like a corpse or a Tim Burton character.

But at last week’s W.E. premiere, Ewan McGregor pulled it off—and on a red carpet, no less. The fur collar on his coat keeps things from getting too severe, but the real trick here is the roughly textured sweater, which keeps him looking more rugged than gothic.

Add in some winter stubble and an Old Hollywood flourish of the hair, and he’s ready for his close-up.

The Rules of Winter

Winter is a challenge.

As always, you have to maintain your gruff-but-impeccable appearance, but you also have to navigate cold snaps and abruptly unseasonable weekends without getting too bulky. It’s a tightrope.

The good news is, we’ve got three hard-and-fast rules to keep you unencumbered through the season—and able to navigate any unexpectedly warm days that might pop up along the way.

Our three rules of winterizing»