Today’s must-reads from around the Internet.
It has come to our attention that the prominence of jean shorts, henceforth referred to as “jorts,” has been increasing in recent months. In fact, in June we even saw our friends over at GQ endorsing them. (Though not their shortened nomenclature.) And suffice it to say, we’re more than a little concerned.
Knee-length denim is not a notion to be taken lightly.
Now, this isn’t the first time such a sartorial dilemma has given us pause. (See: mandals.) It’s certainly not going to be the last, either. But, as in the past, we’d rather not outright condemn such risk taking. No, instead we’d rather just give you some qualifications to consider before you go cutting that pair of pre-distressed Levi’s at the knee and calling it a day.
You might think we’re all selvage denim and bespoke suits over here at Kempt HQ, and not unfairly so. But we’re starting to think it’s high time you got a bit of a deeper look into what really makes us tick. So starting today, we’re going to give you a piece of our minds.
Actually, more like five pieces.
Every Wednesday from here on out, we’ll present you with five things that we’ve had our wandering eyes on recently. And what defines “things,” you ask? Well, really, nothing is off-limits. Given we find it cool, or interesting, or downright beautiful, it’s got as good of a shot as any of making the list. New collections or gallery shows, a novel we’ve been reading, an album drop or even just a damn fine pair of pants—you’ll see quickly that our interests are as varied as the next guy’s. And it’s time we celebrated that accordingly.
A rough-and-tumble unstructured blazer is indispensable this time of year—and by now, the typical chino-like cotton ones are already thick on the ground.
But here’s an option you might want to consider: Taylor Stitch’s Washed Italian Denim Telegraph Jacket.
This isn’t stiff denim we’re dealing with here—when it comes to rumpled luxury, there’s no better place to turn than the fabric mills of Italy, so you can leave the twill in the closet this summer. Not to mention, the wash of this denim comes in the recently on-trend shade of “dad jean.” Here’s what else you need to know.
The Story: The gents at Taylor Stitch built their small empire in SF’s Mission District on well-made, impeccably cut shirting and have been expanding into other realms of menswear with equal success. This jacket—which is actually part of a denim suit, if you dare—might be their most ambitious offering yet.
Who to Channel: One of those impossibly well-heeled older Italian fellows who only seem to exist in mythical Pitti Uomo street style photos; Ryan Gosling just nailing his native Canadian tuxedo.
When to Wear It: Be prepared to be reaching for this jacket way more often than you initially assumed. This is basically your denim jacket on sprezzatura-PEDs, so wear it whenever you’d like a leg up on the competition. (Plus, it’s office appropriate in most instances.)
Degree of Difficulty: Not as high as you’d think. Unless you’re bold enough to pick up the matching pants and go full-on denim suit… Then we’d suggest steering clear of bolo ties—unless you’re in the Southwest.
If you’re not familiar with LA’s Rising Sun & Co., just imagine for a moment what heaven would be like for an Americana-phile with a penchant for raw denim and historically accurate Gold Rush–era vestments.
Selvage denim jeans in every weight. Duck canvas chinos, reinforced ad infinitum. Racks of chambray as far as the eye can see. It’s a special place. Everything in the shop is made with a focus on craftsmanship—and mostly done on period-specific looms. Needless to say, it’s some ruggedly handsome gear. (That will likely outlast you.)
And the kind souls at UrbanDaddy Perks are knocking an unprecedented 20% off your next $300 purchase. Marking this the beginning of the Selvage Rush era/week.
A lot of bloggerly ink has been spilled in the excitement over J. Press’s neo-trad capsule collection York Street, helmed by the #menswear golden boys at Ovadia & Sons.
It’s the sort of brilliance that could only happen in the Tumblr age—or by being willed into existence by a small cadre of menswear influencers performing ritualistic dances in some clandestine Ivy League clubhouse. (It could’ve been either, really; we’d rather not comment any further.)
And while it seemed that the stuff would only exist on the Internet, today it all became a reality in a real-life brick-and-mortar shop in NYC—and our friends at UrbanDaddy got us a sneak peek at all the cable-knitted wool and tufted-leather handsomeness. If a trip to the city isn’t in the cards anytime soon, not to worry—all the stuff is available online.
Every year around this time, the pantheon of fine menswear purveyors sets up shop in a warehouse deep in the hinterlands of Manhattan. And every year around this time, we trek downtown to check it out. Since most brands show clothes that won’t be available for about six months—and because the show is enormous—we decided the best thing to do was break it down, using our patented scientific formula.
We’ve just stumbled upon the best-looking use for an old pair of jeans this side of jorts: this denim sweatshirt from NYC-based Made in Lieu.
Here’s what else you need to know.
The Story: A couple of enterprising New Yorkers began snapping up leftover denim from some of your favorite jean companies and turning it into some incredibly durable sweatshirts. Hence, the birth of Made in Lieu. (They’re also repurposing flannel shirt scraps now.)
Who to Channel: Muhammad Ali on a jog in Zaire; a Canadian tuxedo gone even more informal; not a Spears-era Justin Timberlake.
When to Wear It: Throw one of these on anytime you might wear your favorite gray sweatshirt—over an oxford cloth button-down, under a blazer or just as an extra layer on the weekend.
Other Things You Can Do with Old Jeans: Make denim quilts; tie the legs around your shoulders and wear the jeans like a short cape; cut out the waistband and one back pocket to create a beer holster; cut them into strips to create an escape rope or an Etsy shop; make a scarecrow.
This snap comes from Levi’s recently unveiled Holiday 2012 lookbook and it’s got us looking forward to gifting, eggnogging and cozying (preferably near a crackling fire).
And on the occasion that today is Cyber Monday, Levi’s has instituted free shipping and a sitewide sale at 40% off*—which means you can knock off a few very thoughtful gifts from your list while updating your corduroy situation with Levi’s tailored cuts. Plus you’ll want a cable-knit cardigan and a herringbone blazer to make sure you’re well prepared for your rounds on the holiday party circuit.
And that you aren’t cozying fireside alone.
*Offer valid today, 11/26, at us.levi.com only with code CYBERMON.
Your time to commune with nature is dwindling. (You’ve got about a month, tops, before it’s strictly log cabin weather.)
Luckily, the leather experts at Makr—who’ve gone from making the blogger-bait of slim wallets to building a small empire of neo-rustic home goods—just teamed up with the outdoorsmen of Seattle’s Scout for a capsule collection of handsome camping gear. There’s a hickory- and brass-pole tent, an insulated field bed wrapped in selvage denim, bone-handle pocketknives and some rugged hiking boots from Oak Street Bootmakers. It’s more of the handsome, unfussy, low-over-high-tech stuff we prefer—that’ll come in handy should you be planning any last-minute autumnal getaways.
And if you’re worried about staying warm, the tent happens to have just enough room for two.
via Vanity Fair
Ladies and gentlemen, behold: the most Americanest American-made jeans of all time, courtesy of Glenn Beck, 1791 Supply & Co.
Seriously. The shock-jock conservative pundit who loves “his America” so much it often brings him to fiery tears has just unveiled his own line of jeans made from Cone Mills selvage denim (by way of North Carolina) and sewn in Kentucky. Both cuts are of the politician-approved dad-jean variety. Interestingly enough, for their American List pedigree, these jeans tally in at less than 150 greenbacks.
Which seems very 99%-er of him.
With all the mudslinging happening in Wisconsin this week, we couldn’t help but think of all the other Scott Walkers out there in the world. Their name being cursed by thousands if not millions of Americans, through no fault of their own.
And one especially stylish and enigmatic Scott Walker came to mind: the Ohioan-turned-Brit singer, bass player and songwriter who was on track to be a superstar before leaving it all behind in the ’60s.
He made waves overseas with his band, the Walker Brothers, and later on, as a solo act, gaining notoriety from the likes of David Bowie just before disappearing entirely from the spotlight. Before walking away, he spent a few dapper years in the limelight. There were scarves indoors, corduroy blazers and almost always a pair of sunglasses. It’s the stuff ’60s rock star legends are made of.
The denim shirt doesn’t get much respect. In fact, it’s most often recognized as the cummerbund of the Canadian tuxedo. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The West Coast denim artisans at Rogue Territory just unveiled their denim work shirt, and it’s another beast entirely. The fabric is 13.5-ounce overdyed denim from Japan, which means it’s got more in common with raw denim than the broken-in hues you see in most cowboy shirts. In other words, it’s a denim shirt for denimheads.
Given the growing respectability of the denim shirt (exhibit A), we’d say it got here at the perfect time. Just be ready to break it in.
Denim shirts usually conjure up images of truckers, cowboys and, well, George Harrison—but that may be about to change. This newly unveiled Run of the Mill shirt swaps the Levi’s-style blue jean for a softer Milanese denim that wouldn’t look out of place under a suit. It also boasts one of the widest cutaway collars on the market, which should give your half-Windsor plenty of room to breathe.
California’s Unionmade just unveiled a serious gift to the world’s denim-heads—an 18-piece collection assembled with some of menswear’s best brands (Unis, Farm Tactics and Raleigh Denim for starters) and a lustworthy quantity of 10.5 oz Cone Mills selvedge canvas.
It’s called Unionmade Indigo–and in the interest of getting behind the denim, we sat down with manager Spencer Lemon for a tour of the goods.
With washed denim decidedly back in style—and the backyard jean shops that specialized in rawness gradually switching sides—we’re seeing some pretty interesting shades of blue.
Our favorite so far comes from Imogene & Willie, a cottage industry out of Nashville. This is their latest Plus Wash, hand-sanded in their store and washed in their own backyard into a light, natural wear. And for this season, they’ve beefed up their fabric from a 12oz to a 13.3 oz weight—so even though it looks like that pair of Levi’s you had as a teenager, it’ll feel like you’re wearing raw denim.
It might sound like a small thing, but for anyone with a closet full of APC, it’s a good reason to try a new style.
Between this month’s GQ and a certain Internet-breaking lookbook, the turtleneck-under-a-blazer is having a moment. You’ll want to approach this one with caution, but if you can pull it off you’ll be able to get a lot more wear out of any blazers in your closet—and you’ll be spending the next few months with a much warmer neck than the rest of us.
Ladies and gentlemen, your workwear royal wedding…
Filson and Levi’s Fall 2011 collaboration arrives online here Monday morning, so we thought we’d give you an early peek to whet your appetite. It’s only five items—three jackets, a denim vest and a pair of pants—but it’s just about everything you could want in a Levi’s crossover with the tin cloth artisans.
Our favorite so far is probably the oil-finish trucker jacket on the left, but there’s a lot more to like. The big surprise is how tempting it all looks now that it’s not quite so hip. Even the more avant garde items like the denim hunting vest seem pitched more at aficionados than trendwatchers—something that wouldn’t have been true a few seasons back.
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