Kempt

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The New International Men’s Shops to Know

  • Kempt Staff

041414_Shops_4

In our grand tradition of keeping you up to date on the international men’s shop scene, we’ve scoured the globe for the newest openings in your regular haunts—you know, Shanghai, Berlin, the usual. Because you never know when you’re going to need some British tailoring while in Hamburg.

Here are the latest updates to your already-dapper international rolodex of men’s shops...»

The 10 Most Important International Menswear Openings

  • Caitlin Ganswindt

International

As enthusiasts of a well-tailored lifestyle, our quest for noteworthy handsomeness knows no bounds. We’ve trekked the farthest reaches; from Ibiza to London to Aoyama and back to bring you our next installment of the international store report. Think Savile Row tailoring, Japanese surf style and American heritage with some Hong Kong-ese topspin.

Presenting: the 10 most notable new storefronts overseas.»

Stat Sheet: Blue Blue Woven Herringbone Vest

Herringbone Vest

Ah, spring. It has a special way of keeping us guessing.

Near-freezing in the morning. Up to the high 50s by lunch. And then right back down to nippy, just in time for the evening commute.

Luckily, this hand-dyed herringbone down vest by Blue Blue Japan that’s just made the transpacific voyage to SF’s Unionmade is one of the better solutions. Lacking that synthetic sheen that so often plagues quilted vests, it’ll prove a handsome weapon in your arsenal to stave off that early-spring chill. Here’s what else you need to know.

The Story: Blue Blue, a Japanese brand founded in 1990 on the love of indigo and denim craftsmanship, continues their Japanese-interpreted Americana streak by using “natural materials and natural [blue] dyes that are related with traditional Japanese aesthetics and the beautiful four seasons of Japan.” In this case, those natural materials are cotton, but Blue Blue has been known to dabble with “rice-paper yarn” (the mere concept of which leaves us speechless).

Who to Channel: Robert Redford surveying the beauty of his Utah estate with his morning coffee; David Beckham walking the streets of London, avoiding puddles and paparazzi; a stylish urban lumberjack in need of brachial mobility.

When to Wear It: An early-spring day when the temperature is such that your overcoat seems like overkill, but wearing your blazer au naturel would leave you a bit too exposed to the wind.

Degree of Difficulty: Easier than you might think. If it’s warm enough, the down filling should handily fulfill all of your outerwear needs. If you need to add a layer of removable warmth to your cottony spring blazer, though, you could up the degree of difficulty by either wearing it like a waistcoat or going full Wooster and just watching as the flashbulbs go crazy.

A few moments of inspiration after the jump.»

Field Report: Leather Japan 2013

Leather Japan

NYFW is coming to a close. But it seems the fashion gods were saving the best (or at least the most memorable) for last—we stumbled upon the most mind-blowing presentation of them all yesterday. It went by the name of Leather Japan and it was quite the way to go out.

Allow us to explain...

The Background: A consortium of eight Japanese leather designers teamed up for a show that seems designed to confirm whatever stereotypes you have about Japan’s tendency to get overzealous. On display: a 10-piece “folk-punk” band. Stuffed crows wearing leather jewelry. Surprisingly cool sneakers. Some pretty out-there clothes. And lots and lots of sake to wash it all down.

The Formula: Formula

Degree of Difficulty: Very high, unless you stick to the sneakers and nothing but the sneakers... or play in a 10-piece Japanese folk-punk band.

The Showstopper: The spectacle itself.

More looks after the jump.»

Sideboobs and Double Monks: Five Tumblrs You Should Be Following

  • Najib Benouar

Fictional girlfriends aside, there are a lot of great things to be said about the fantastical escapism provided by the Internet.

And there’s no faster escape route than Tumblr. So since it’s Friday and we’ve got a long weekend ahead of us, we thought we’d help guide you on the pictorial menswear journey you’ll inevitably find yourself lost on, sometime in the next 72 hours. Whether you’re in the mood for super-sprezzatura, American nostalgia or just cool pictures of the extremely fashionable people traipsing around Europe—we’ve got you covered.

Herewith, the five #menswear Tumblrs you should be perusing this afternoon.»

The Stat Sheet: Beams+ Nep Tweed Blazer

  • Najib Benouar

Just when you thought there wasn’t any more room in your closet for another tweed blazer...

We went and dug up this spectacular Nep Tweed Blazer from Beams+.

Oh, and before we forget to mention it: Unionmade’s got it for 40% off as part of the epic Fall-40 sale they launched this morning. Here’s what else you need to know about your newest blazer.

The Story: The near-mythical Japanese label Beams+ was once impossible to find on American shores, until the fine folks at Unionmade began smuggling it (legally) over here for the past few years. Now you’ve got a chance to get ahold of this stuff without a proxy or the full price tag.

Who to Channel: The Scottish countryside; a bookish professor at Cambridge with a penchant for the New York Mets—the “nep weave” intersperses flecks of oranges and blues in the houndstooth; Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry.

When to Wear It: From the moment your shipment arrives till the temps start getting above 50 degrees. And then when fall comes around and the temps start dipping toward 50 degrees and lower again.

Degree of Difficulty: About as hard as it is to slip into a fine tweed blazer.

Some inspiration from Dirty Harry himself, after the jump.»

The Stat Sheet: Yuketen Wingtip Roper Boots

  • Najib Benouar

We’re still trying to figure out what these boots might say about you.

But if you’re in the market for some handsome shell cordovan leather wingtip cowboy boots, look no further than these Wingtip Ropers from Yuketen that have recently arrived at Context Clothing. Here’s what else you should know about them:

The Story: Yuki Matsuda has been heading up the Japanese-led Americana revival for nearly three decades, while making some incredible American-made shoes along the way. But for these boots, he’s leaned on the ranchero expertise of Mexico—where they’ve been meticulously crafted from Horween shell cordovan #8 in a limited run.

Who to Channel: Whatever a dandified British-Texan oil baron rancher might look like—perhaps a mashup of Prince Charles and George W. Bush.

Or Spend Your $1,114 On: 12.9 barrels of crude oil, an old pickup truck or a shell cordovan leather wallet to hold your remaining $1,000 in.

Degree of Difficulty: High to impossibly high.

Our best estimation of the look you’re going for, after the jump.»

Playing with My Wind Machine, No Big Deal

Wind Machinevia YHBTI

Right on Track: Michael Williams visits California’s Santa Anita Derby. Great photography ensues. [A Continuous Lean]

A Man, His Suits, His Cars: More photos of Lapo Elkann than you’ve ever wanted to see. [Men of Habit]

Look Close: Derek Guy breaks down the details that separate a well-made shirt from a cheap one. Look close, and you’ll know what you’re getting. [Put This On]

The Latest from Japan: Beams unveils their spring/summer lookbook, including vintage caps and innovative scarf knots. Take notes. [Selectism]

The Strange Pleasures of Japanese Baseball

By now, you know the shape of American baseball. There are the sluggers, the DH arguments, the sabermetrics partisans, the steroids, the astroturf. Of course, the game is beautiful enough to overcome all that, but for a few seasons now, I’ve been thinking it might be nice to see the game from a different angle, maybe even a different continent.

And so, perhaps inevitably, I started watching Japanese baseball...

One man’s journey into the strange pleasures of Japanese baseball»