Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

A Cobbler Grows in Brooklyn, Win Ron Swanson’s Mustache Comb and American-Made Bass Weejuns

  • Kempt Staff

Cars

The Shoe Fits: Celebrating a legendary cobbler who’s been making and repairing shoes in his Brooklyn shop since 1945.

Mustache-Have: You can win a mustache comb made by Ron Swanson (of Parks and Rec fame).

Doing It Right: Ivy Style gets a sneak peek at the new American-made Bass Weejuns.

What’s in a Wheel: Gear Patrol dispels the confusion between four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

The Desert Work-Boot

When desert boots hit the saturation point last winter, guys started thinking of new ways to make them their own again. (Also, they were wearing holes through their crepe soles.) And so a small group of intrepid menswear enthusiasts with access to a trustworthy cobbler began resoling their desert boots—but instead of merely replacing the crepe soles, they chose large, monstrous rubber bottoms. (See this Midwestyle post for an early example of the movement.)

And it seems Clarks has taken notice, since they’ve just unveiled the Desert Trooper (at Need Supply Co.), which has their classic desert-boot upper and a chunky, rubber tread at bottom that’s reminiscent of a work boot. If you’ve been considering trying to upcycle your own desert boots but haven’t worn your way through the crepe yet, here’s your painless answer.

Just don’t be surprised when everyone else is wearing them by this time next year.

Jake Davis Is At It Again

  • Kempt Staff

via Jake Davis

Blessed Union: This time Mr. Davis and Adrianne Ho have reconnected (and brought in some backup) for the lookbook of the LA shop, Union. [Jake Davis]

Zen and the Art of Menswear Maintenance: A handy guide on the easy fixes you can give your occasional ripped seam, pulled hem or loose button. [Valet]

Lock Stock: Put This On vets an attractively priced pair of bench-made shoes by having a local cobbler put them through the paces. The results are encouraging. [PTO]

Beats by Omar: Michael K. Williams reveals the playlist he made for his legendary (and presidential favorite) character from The Wire. [Vulture]

A Cobbler’s Guide to Protecting Your Shoes

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Much as we love spring, it’s a fair bet the season’s going to bring a few unexpected showers with it—and your poor wingtips are going to suffer the consequences. So as a preventative measure, we’ve brought in one of L.A.’s foremost cobblers for a little wisdom on protecting your shoes from the elements.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. George Esquivel.

How do you recommend we protect our shoes from rain over the next few months? For a formal shoe, I would suggest polishing it up with a neutral color wax. It’s not a total waterproofing, but it acts as a water repellent and stain repellent while still letting the leather breathe. The brand I use is Angelus, made here in Southern California. I use neutral wax because I don’t like too much shine. Now, you can’t do that to suede because it creates this kind of oil effect that stains, but it should work for any leather.

Read more shoe-related wisdom»

Fixing Up

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There’s a Self-Repair Manifesto currently making the rounds among the tech crowd under the familiar slogan, “If you can’t fix it, you don’t own it.” In short, they want you to learn to fix your bike and figure out what Linux is.

For the sake of our pants, we'll skip the axle grease, but it's worth considering what this would mean for your wardrobe.

To start with, you may want to learn to sew...

Allow us to elaborate»