world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

The Stat Sheet: Epaulet Tennis Shoes

  • Kempt Staff


Epaulet has been on a real tear lately. What started as a well-appointed menswear shop on a sleepy Brooklyn block selling Aldens next to Japanese selvage has turned into a bona fide menswear label with an ever-growing line of oxfords, chinos, suits and even leather café racer jackets.

The latest: minimalist calfskin sneakers based on 1960s tennis shoes. And like everything they make in-house, the attention to detail is high.

Here’s what else you need to know.»

Now You Can Wear James Dean’s Boots and Shirts

  • Kempt Staff


You might remember when we hipped you to the Phoenix Project from menswear historians Bench & Loom.

Their mission of bringing extinct pieces of iconic menswear back to life, Jurassic Park–style, began with Johnny Cash’s beloved baseball jacket—but now they’re on to a new icon: James Dean. And it just so happens that our comrades in style over at UrbanDaddy Perks have your exclusive first dibs on the historically accurate reproductions of the boots and shirts that the rebel without a cause famously wore.

Suddenly your summer plans are looking a lot more badass (1955 Porsche Speedster optional).

Here’s why, after the jump.»

Style Icons with Sweet Rides

Steve McQueen

Stylish men have always had a special relationship with beautiful cars.

Probably because, if you think about it, they’re kind of the perfect accessory. Big, shiny, powerful—a little automotive affirmation can go a long way to securing your position in the Court of Cool. (We’re sure the King would agree.) But it’s not only those men defined by their cars who drive cool ones. And we’ve got the photo evidence to prove it.

Thus we present to you: Style Icons with Sweet Rides. To check out the high-speed handsomeness, follow us after the jump...»

Style Icons Wearing Undershirts


Here’s a little history lesson for you: plain white T-shirts first appeared in the late 19th century, when some manufacturer decided to split the union suit into separates. And originally, they were meant to protect one’s finer outer layers from the perils of, well, sweat.

Like boxers for your chest.

But the rules have changed in the past century. The undershirt has, on occasion, been called to take sartorial center stage. Like before bed. Or between takes on set. Or during takes, for that matter. And throughout it all, some brave, overtly stylish men have succeeded in proving that these baser layers can be worth way more than their thread count.

So we’ve assembled the finest moments in Style Icons Wearing Undershirts for you, after the jump.»

Style Icons and Their Mothers

  • Kempt Staff

Mother's Day

Here’s your last reminder that Sunday is Mother’s Day, gentlemen.

And to kick off the weekend of maternal appreciation right, we turn to some of our favorite style icons for some dapper inspiration on how to get into the spirit of filial gratitude...

With this handsome montage of style icons hanging out with their mothers.»

Style Icons Playing Basketball

  • Najib Benouar


It’s a big day for basketball, with March Madness finally kicking off this morning.

And it’s been a big week for basketball here on Kempt, with our own bracket pitting icons of the sidelines against one another in our quest to name the most stylish NCAA basketball coach ever. You can catch up on the first-round action here, the second-round action here and yesterday’s Final Four here. But you’ll have to tune in tomorrow for the grand finale...

Because today we’re taking a brief break in our tourney to present a roundup of style icons playing basketball.»

The Stat Sheet: Fred Perry Harrington Jacket

  • Najib Benouar

Fred Perry

The spring gear is beginning to trickle into our favorite shops—and Wittmore has just received the newest batch from Fred Perry’s made-in-Britain Laurel Wreath collection.

Since the temperatures aren’t exactly springlike just yet, our gaze skipped over the polo shirts and went straight to this navy Harrington jacket—a nice update on the classic mild-weather staple. Here’s what else you need to know.

The Story: After a long and fruitful tennis career (he won Wimbledon and the Davis Cup three times), Fred Perry turned to his passion of tennis clothing. So in 1952 he started with a piqué cotton polo, sewed a laurel onto the chest, and the rest is history.

Who to Channel: An accomplished tennis player grabbing an après-match Pimm’s Cup at the clubhouse; a rebel without a cause.

When to Wear It: On a spring day threatening to be a little too breezy for just a sweater.

Degree of Difficulty: Low to medium. For the low end: keep it casual (like Mr. Dean, below). The stakes rise to medium if you’re in trousers-and-tie territory—but this jacket is cut trimmer than a classic Harrington, which makes it a good outer layer for the morning commute.

A moment of inspiration, after the jump.»

Long Live the Chino

  • Najib Benouar

This snap of James Dean strolling New York City in a pair of khaki chinos comes from a 1993 Gap campaign unearthed by How to Talk to Girls at Parties. The series of photos features some of the greatest men’s style icons—from Ali to Dalí—going about their daily lives, wearing the simple summer pant. It’s a nice reminder of how style is timeless.

You’ll want to brush up on your summer pant game by harnessing your chino.

Touring the Web’s Newest Storefront

Web boutiques have been popping up like daisies lately, but we’d like to single out a shop called Builtwell that opened up last week and immediately shot to the top of our list.

It’s a jumble of brands like Tellason, Garbstore and 18Waits, together with company profiles and Art of Manliness-style nostalgia. You could spend a whole afternoon exploring the site—but since you’re busy, we’ve rounded up the three coolest things below.

A leather bag, a motorcycle and James Dean’s pea coat, after the jump»

Make it Raen


It’s always nice to have a source for a $100 pair of shades. Not because you’re unhappy with the ones you’ve got…but the way you live, accidents happen.

So you’ll want to keep Raen Optics on file in case your clubmasters fall prey to a tragic windsurfing mishap. They’re a California brand specializing in mid-century style shades and optical frames. At the moment, our favorite is the Squire, inspired by James Dean’s 50s frames—something like Wayfarers by way of Moscot.

Just try to keep them out of the ocean.

Drive Safe

jamesdean_crop.jpgvia NotCot

This crossroads was the site of the car crash that killed James Dean in 1955. The photograph is thanks to the British lensman Dean Rogers, and it’s snapped in the precise position of the car before impact, at the same date and time as the original crash. Other snaps in the series include Marc Bolan, Jackson Pollock, and Albert Camus.

Dean’s Pants, Political Knots, and Lots of Nixons


On the Block: Christies in London is selling off some amazing stuff, including one of Paul Newman’s auto racing suits, Daniel Day Lewis’ iconic green suit from There Will Be Blood and the tux trousers worn by James Dean in Giant. Here’s hoping there’s still change in the pockets… [Men.Style]

Change We Can Believe In: Can you tell the difference between Obama and Bush just by looking at their tie knots? Probably not. [CityFile]

Popping the Bubble: Champagne sales plummet. No word yet on vodka, Dr. Pepper and Cheetos, but early signs look good. [The Economist]

Ten Little Nixons: Counting down the best Nixons to make it to the screen. We love a little Hopkins, but our heart belongs to Dick. [Vulture]

The Hustler


Paul Newman has seen a lot of ink since passing away on Friday, but we can’t help but add a little more. It's hard to think of a more endearing movie star, or a more stringently moral one.

He was also the last star of his kind, bridging the gap between Old Hollywood’s contract players and today’s twenty-million-dollar free agents. More than James Dean or even Marlon Brando, Newman shaped the movies he was in around his own persona, the loveable, beatific loser. He made Hollywood more concerned with the heels of the world and less comfortable with the folks who run things, whether that meant the prison guards of *Cool Hand Luke* or the corrupt judges of *The Verdict*. There have been other movie stars—even other outsiders—but one way or another, they’ve all been copies of the same genuine article.

A few more pictures of Mr. Newman»