Today’s must-reads from around the Internet.
Every Wednesday, we’re giving you a deeper look into what makes the minds behind Kempt tick. We call it: The Kempt Five.
Welp, it’s finally that time of year when we start seeing the familiar fall things: heritage tweeds, thick cable-knits and… seasonal salsas.
Okay, that last one’s just at Gant Rugger, where they’ve teamed up with the Brooklyn Salsa Company to launch “The Rugger.” Here’s the need-to-know.
The Story: Salsa has been a dinner-party staple since the Mayans prepared it by mashing tomatoes and peppers with a mortar and pestle. Wait, you knew that already. Re: this salsa: the Brooklyn Salsa Company starting mixing their own in a Bushwick loft, and the rest was delicious, spicy history.
Who to Channel: Butch Cassidy and Sundance snacking in a smoky Bolivian cantina; an Argentine beef magnate raising a tortilla chip as he surveys his empire.
When to Eat It: Whenever you damn well please. And ideally, near some kind of tequila or michelada situation.
Degree of Difficulty: Low to medium, depending on your spice tolerance.
Camouflage print has been a thing since what feels like the dawn of time. In the past several years, it’s managed to navigate off the hunt/aisles of Wal-Mart to enjoy a bit of love in proper menswear circles.
Each designer has their own spin on the stuff, but we’ve never seen such a unique take as from Gant Rugger with their Arctic Camo E-Z Original Button Down. It just hit their online shop yesterday—here’s what else you need to know.
The Story: The earliest iterations of camo can be seen as far back as the fourth century, when Julius Caesar used a Venetian blue to blend his ships in with the sea during wartime. Since then it’s evolved umpteen times at the hands of everyone from the US Army to Dries Van Noten. This pre-fall number from Gant Rugger takes it one step further, swapping penguins in place of nonsensical color swatches.
Who to Channel: Alan Alda, if the M*A*S*H hospital landed in March of the Penguins instead of the Korean War; the personification of Mr. Popper’s affinity for wildlife.
When to Wear It: It’s a lightweight selvage madras, so anytime between now and early autumn is fitting; occasions of arctic safaris are preferred.
Degree of Difficulty: Medium. It’s tough because, ya know, you’re wearing a penguin shirt. But made easier by the fact that you’ll blend into your surroundings.
We know. It’s summer. Your mind is a veritable View-Master of barbecues, long-weekend sojourns and scantily clad beach flings. But eventually, after the sand settles, and Mandy heads back to Vassar, it’ll be fall. And from what we’ve seen, you’re going to look fantastic.
Herewith, the definitive list of must-have sartorial trappings from our favorite Fall/Winter ’13 lookbooks.
Memorial Day weekend is only four days away.
Sure, it’s got us looking forward to the prospect of dusting off the white bucks, but we’re mostly excited to roll out the barbecue grill for the season and fill up a cooler with ice and beer.
And anyone who’s manned a grill in this modern era understands that a handsome apron is par for the course. Blame it on a few overeager souls who took the heritage trend a little too seriously—or a captive audience willing to spend countless hours reading up on 1930s butcher shops and perusing handlebar-laden Tumblrs—but the apron scene is perhaps hotter than it’s ever been. So we took a moment to check in on the state of the apron, to see what’s out there these days (luckily, another side effect of the heritage trend is that they’re all going to last you a lot longer than a dozen tanks of propane).
By now you’ve already begun the monumental wardrobe shift into summer—but your most important move: summer-izing your shirts.
Once the temps start climbing past 70 degrees, it’s a whole new world of chambray, gingham, seersucker, madras and festive summer prints. And, as always, we’re here to help guide you through it with:
We’ve filtered through all of the online sale noise and graded your best options out there, should you feel inclined to do any menswear browsing this weekend…
For the Rugger in You: Gant gets in the Friends and Family game, saving you 25% on all full-price merchandise with the code FAMIGLIA.
Sizes Available: A+
For Your Immediate Gratification: Ending tonight, Providence-based menswear shop Wharf is offering $20 off every $100 you spend, so stop dawdling and get to it.
Sizes Available: A
For a Look All Your Own: The gents over at J. Press are knocking 15% off their made-to-measure experience, only available in stores.
Sizes Available: A++
We’re working off a hunch here, but you’ve probably got a few semiformal gatherings to attend in the upcoming weeks.
And if you’re looking for some guidance on what to throw on, the latest holiday lookbook from Gant Rugger is a pretty good start. The middle one here is our favorite of the bunch, but there are plenty more after the jump—whether you’re thinking jeans and a blazer or head-to-toe green. In addition to the snaps, Christopher Bastin et al filmed a short video featuring the clothes in action, some textbook champagne sabering and a fond kiss from an Emma Watson look-alike—all set to the curiously spot-on tune of “The Promise” by British New Wave band When in Rome.
Synergy can be a wonderful thing. For instance, when Gant Rugger designer Christopher Bastin was looking for inspiration for his fall line, his mind wandered to his plate (great menswear and great food both require impeccable taste). So when it came time to shoot the fall campaign, he looked to his favorite farm-to-table hideout, NYC’s Fat Radish. And ended up casting the actual proprietors and staff in the lookbook. In the first snap here, you’ll find the owners and FoK (friends of Kempt) Phil Winser and Ben Towill fourth and second from the right, respectively.
Consider it a success, because it’s got us hungry for fall.
This is the bottom of Lapo Elkann’s shoe.
The pic comes from Gant Rugger designer Christopher Bastin, who nabbed Elkann’s tuxedo slippers for the label’s holiday lookbook shoot. The inscription reads, “Dedicated to my friend Lapo Elkann,” in case you were wondering. Naturally, when you’re the heir to the Fiat fortune, you make a lot of friends.
It’s something to keep in mind the next time you’re talking shop with a world-class shoemaker. We’re guessing they charge extra for cursive.
It never fails: the sun comes out, the coats go into storage…and pretty soon, we’re thinking of polo shirts. They’re a warm-weather classic for most of the Western Hemisphere, and for 2012, we’ve rounded up the three most important models, from the preppy to the fashion-forward, to help you attack the summer in style.
This well-appointed kit just arrived as part of Gant Rugger’s holiday collection—and it’s pretty spectacular.
For the moment, we’ll pass over the (cognac-colored!) gloves and the unfussy light-wash denim to focus entirely on that jacket. It already passes our 50-foot test, and the shawl collar pushes it into Bing Crosby territory. This is how holiday party legends are made.
Trads won’t like the high cut (it won’t, as Mr. Wong will remind you, cover your posterior), but we’ve never been shy about breaking a few rules.
With the double-breasted jacket cutting a swath through the italophile blogosphere, we’ve started seeing extra sets of buttons popping up everywhere. The first test subject? The cardigan.
Specifically, this Gant Rugger piece, dubbed “The Doubler.” It’s a bit more narrow than your average DB, but it’s also got some real function to it. Once November starts to show its teeth, the first thing you’ll want on your cardigan is a little extra fabric in front.
Together with another DB cardigan that may or may not be popping up in Jack Spade’s Holiday lookbook, we’re ready to call this one a trend.
In honor of the U.S. Open (and the newly trending tricolor stripe), we thought we’d take a look at an early tennis sweater on Mr. Jean Borotra, circa 1935. The shoes aren’t half-bad either, although they’re easier to find.
You may have noticed a few cool breezes in the air lately. It’s not brisk yet, but it’s getting there—and when it does, you’ll want to be prepared.
Which is why we’d like to sing the praises of a garment known as the parka.
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