Kempt

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An UrbanDaddy Publication

A Taxonomy of Spring Jackets

  • Kempt Staff
A Taxonomy of Spring Jackets

We live in uncertain times.

One minute it’s all sunshine and chirping birds, the next minute the clouds roll in. We speak, of course, of the transition to spring. And since your shelter from the elements should be experiencing an evolution, we put together this very scientific taxonomy of spring jackets.

Study up.

Jacket Companies Making Things Besides Jackets

  • Najib Benouar

042814_Barbour-Watches

We’ve been noticing a startling new trend in menswear: jacket companies are diversifying their portfolios.

First we heard that venerable coaterie Barbour was getting into the watch game. Then there was something about Patagonia selling food. And with a bit more digging, we found even more options to buy non-outerwear gear from your favorite jacket makers.

Let’s take a look at the new ventures from these enterprising labels.»

Style Icons in Corduroy Jackets

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Corduroy’s gotten a bad rap over the years, especially when it’s in jacket form.

And that’s a damned shame.

Because though you might imagine the ribbed fabric as off-limits to all but New England prep schoolers and college librarians, great men have perennially donned all forms of the stuff—pinwaled, wide-set and everything in between—and have managed to look pretty darned handsome regardless. With a bit of inspiration (and maybe a good tailor), we firmly believe that you could, too.

Herewith, a visual tutorial from iconic men in corduroy jackets, after the jump…»

Head to Toe: Madras

  • Caitlin Ganswindt

Madras

The 113th US Open went off this weekend, and it had us pining for the glory days of golf fashion. Back when the hair was feathered, the caps were newsboy and the prints were bold.

The ostentatious culture peaked around the time of Caddyshack, but thankfully, some pieces have remained steadfast. Most notably, madras.

The fabric is lightweight, easy to maintain and stays sharp when traditional suiting would fold under wrinkle-inducing humidity. So versatile, you can pretty much find any garment rocking its signature tartans. Hence, we went ahead and found all the gear necessary to don you from head to toe.

Wearing them all at once, well, that’s a lifestyle choice you’ll have to make for yourself.»

Summerizing Your Formalwear

  • Najib Benouar

Formalwear

Formalwear, by design, is usually pretty stuffy.

But with the warmer, more carefree summer party circuit on the horizon—weddings, society croquet galas, et cetera—you’ve got permission to lighten things up a bit. That means cotton instead of silk, linen instead of cotton and, for the love of all things holy above 90 degrees, not a stitch of velvet in sight. So we’ve rounded up a few lightweight substitutions for your tuxedo routine that will keep you just as dapper through the hotter months to come. No sweat.

Summerizing your formalwear in four easy steps...»

Kempt’s Guide to the Father’s Day Gift Guides of 2013

Father's Day

All right, the man’s not perfect. But he’s your father. And this Sunday, you have to show him that you appreciate that.

Now, fathers are certainly easier than mothers when it comes to these sorts of things. All dear ol’ Dad probably expects is your presence and a strong handshake. And maybe a card. But since he taught you not to do anything half-assed—for better or worse—you should probably go ahead and get the guy something anyway. And no excuses here; you can afford to splurge a little on the man you owe half your existence to.

From GQ to Cool Hunting to Vanity Fair, everyone’s got their opinions on where you should spend that pretty penny. So in an effort to simplify the decision, we’ve cut through all that noise and chosen our favorites... of their favorites.

For the slightly narrowed field, take a gander at Kempt’s Second Annual Guide to the Father’s Day Gift Guides (in order of Dad’s expected reaction), after the jump...»

Head to Toe: Seersucker

  • Najib Benouar

Seersucker

Around Derby weekend, the seersucker suit gets all the attention.

But the fabric itself is so versatile—and cooling, with its uneven weave lifting the cotton off your skin and leaving hundreds of tiny pockets of air to cool you. So, in the event you’d like to outfit another part of your body with seersucker—say, your neck, or your feet—we’ve gone ahead and found enough gear to swathe you from head to toe in the legendarily cooling fabric. Now, we’re not saying you should try wearing every single piece here at once...

But we’re not not saying that either.»

Staying Cool at Coachella

  • Najib Benouar

Coachella

Nothing brings out a gentleman’s most pragmatic sense of personal style more than facing the hot, hot heat.

And with Coachella kicking off its two-weekend run of concerts in the sweltering California desert tomorrow, there’s no better place to witness this firsthand—especially onstage, where true wills of sartorial resolve are tested.

Which is why there are some valuable lessons to be learned from those who manage to maintain a rakish poise even when performing high-kicks in the unforgiving desert sun. (Hint: sometimes you’ve got to embrace the sweatiness.) So we present to you...

The rock star’s guide to stylishly dealing with extreme heat.»

Celebrating Tweed Day the Only Way We Know How: Handsomeness

  • Najib Benouar

Tweed Day

Breaking news: today is, apparently, Tweed Day.

Now, we’ve taken a pretty hard-line stance against bullshit holidays in the past. We even spent the requisite paperwork and fees to name a “No Bullshit Holidays Day” (get excited for May 10, gentlemen).

But we’ve also been known to bend the rules every so often, because... tequila. And today, we’re revising our stance once more to include the glorious celebration of a fabric that we rely on so dearly during the fall and winter months but won’t see much of for the next six or so. Like most of these holidays, the founding is dubious at best—but ultimately, it feels like a good enough reason to give the rugged wools a proper farewell until we meet again.

So, we present to you: a photographic ode to the handsomeness of tweed.»

The Weekend Sales Report Card

  • Kempt Staff

iPhone and card holder

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 Every Stripe: The Brits at Sunspel—legendary for their buttery-soft polo shirts and tees—are knocking 20% off everything striped. Discount: B Sizes Available: A Selection: A

For the Tennessean: Nashville shop Imogene + Willie is slashing up to 50% off some flannels and work shirts. Discount: A Sizes Available: A Selection: C

For the Traveler: Makr’s signature slimmed-down wallets, cordovan leather gadget sleeves and other travel gear are all 20% off through Sunday. Discount: B+ Sizes Available: N/A Selection: A+

For the Rugged: The purveyors of hard-to-find craftsmanship-driven menswear at Bench & Loom are knocking 20% off jackets, coats and sweaters with the code SPRING20. Discount: B+ Sizes Available: A Selection: B+

Icon: Francis Bacon (The Artist)

Bacon

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up this Sunday, we’re reminded of one of the most sharply dressed men to hail from the Emerald Isle: artist Francis Bacon. (Even if he wasn’t the sort of Irishman to believe in his indigenous claim to luck.)

In fact, we’ll admit he might be our bleakest icon to date. The post-WWII artist—not to be confused with his philosophical ancestor—is known for his pretty-damn-creepy paintings of monster-like figures, friends, screaming popes and slabs of meat. Maggie Thatcher is quoted in his obituary as having called him “that man who paints those dreadful pictures,” and he was an unapologetic alcoholic, gambler and “optimist, but about nothing.”

You’d think a man like that would be pretty terrifying, but he actually kind of looked like your grandfather, only more stylish.

Allow us to elaborate, while painting his dapper portrait in six iconic photos.»

What Your Rainwear Says About You

  • Najib Benouar

Raingear

With spring showers beginning to sprinkle over the northern hemisphere, it’s more than likely you’ll be reaching for a raincoat sometime soon—or looking for a new one. And in 2013, there’s a dizzying array of options to choose from. But before you head out into the damp unknown in your finest waterproof jacketry, you should know what your choice in gear says about you.

So, without further ado: what your rainwear says about you, according to Kempt.»

The Stat Sheet: Unionmade Fairfax Jacket

  • Najib Benouar

Unionmade

With another spring arrival—this time at Unionmade—comes another lightweight jacket perfect for the wintry side of spring we’re soon to be transitioning into.

This Fairfax shawl-collared varsity jacket is the next piece in the long-standing collaboration between San Francisco’s own Unionmade and Golden Bear—just in time for spring training. Here’s what else you need to know.

The Story: SF men’s shop Unionmade has made a name for itself selling sensible, heritage-leaning menswear, and they’ve also made a habit of collaborating with some of their favorite labels—including Golden Bear, a local company that’s been in the varsity jacket business for nearly century.

Who to Channel: A well-heeled relief pitcher warming up in the bullpen; a varsity boat skipper.

When to Wear It: This one is your windbreaker for all seasons—the shawl collar can be turned up for even more protection to your breeze-susceptible neck.

Think of This As: The ideal love child between a windbreaker and a varsity jacket.

A moment of inspiration, after the jump.»

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.»