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The Appraisal: Jorts


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.

Herewith, we present you with this visual guide to the five times “jorts” are beyond a shadow of a doubt acceptable, after the jump...»

The Kempt Five: Inaugural Edition

  • Kempt Staff


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.

So do us a favor and join us as we introduce our newest, and most personal, weekly feature: The Kempt Five

The Stat Sheet: Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket

  • Najib Benouar

taylor italian

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.

Your moment of inspiration, after the jump.»

Your Selvage Denim Hookup

  • Najib Benouar

rising sun

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.

Shop Visit: A Sneak Peek at J. Press York Street

  • Najib Benouar

J. Press

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.

A few of our favorites, after the jump.»

Capsule New York, by the Numbers

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.

Ergo, Capsule New York 2013, by the numbers:»

The Stat Sheet: Made in Lieu Denim Sweatshirt

  • Najib Benouar

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.

Find yourself in the happy medium between these two looks of Ali and JT.»

Sponsored Love: Levi’s® Holiday 2012

  • Kempt Staff

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 only with code CYBERMON.

The Art of Roughing It

  • Najib Benouar

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.

Karolina Kurková Is Being Followed by a Personal Sunray

  • Kempt Staff

Under the Rug: Sad news for budding rebel-prepsters everywhere, RL’s Rugby is closing up shop. Jian DeLeon pens a well-deserved eulogy. [Four Pins]

Finish Him: By now your Halloween jack-o’-lantern is ready for the glue factory—here’s 10 slow-motion ideas on how to smash it. [Thrash Lab]

Uncool Mail: It’s hard to believe, but Hotmail was still the most popular webmail provider until this weekend. (Google wins again.) [SF Gate]

Sea of Jeans: GQ drops in at the San Franciscan institution of denim known as AB Fits. [GQ]

Miranda Kerr Just Remembered Today Is Halloween

  • Kempt Staff

Miranda Rights: The Brits of Esquire have named Mrs. Bloom the Sexiest Woman Alive. Here’s the accompanying video. (You’re welcome.) [Esquire UK]

Private Seat: Selectism takes us behind the scenes of making a custom pair of jeans at 3x1 Denim. [Selectism]

Good Grade: A handsome recap of the successful NorthernGrade menswear pop-up we told you about last week. [Well Spent]

TGI-Weds: For those of you staying indoors tonight (and with electricity), Paper has rounded up the seven best Halloween episodes from ’80s and ’90s sitcoms. [Paper]