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Summer Knits for Summer Nights


Ah, August after dark: perfect for romance, bonfires and waxing nostalgic about your pre-desk-job days as a lifeguard.

Why would you ever waste the time indoors?

But the thing is, once the sun sets, it has a way of getting pretty darned chilly out. And since nothing can ruin a beautiful beach day’s epilogue like a set of chattering teeth, we’d like to advise you to take the necessary precautions and invest in a bit of lightweight knit protection. That way, you’ll be able to focus more on achieving the perfect s’more-char and less on maintaining your body temperature.

Or your date’s, for that matter.

So take some time to check out our cotton, linen and cashmere selections, and prepare to fend off that evening chill, after the jump...»

The Legacy of Sid Avery and Some Very Handsome Pocket Squares

  • Kempt Staff

Not Too Shabby: The New York Times recounts the charmed life of theElder Statesman’s Greg Chait—who now spends his days designing cashmere knitwear after winning the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award.

Take Care: A look at the new spring offering from Drake’s London—including a handsome assortment of pocket squares—courtesy of Die, Workwear!

MacGruber’s Closet: Will Forte shops with Barney’s the Window and makes a surprisingly high amount of good choices—aside from the hot pants.

In The Picture: Mr. Porter flips through the new book from legendary photographer Sid Avery (he made sites like the impossible cool—possible).

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:»

Revenge of the Nerd Crew

  • Kempt Staff

via GQ UK

Sweating It: Your 60-second guide to the holiday sweater (also a Kempt must-have). [Valet]

Easy Abe: Vulture ranks every Abraham Lincoln biopic ever made, in terms of how historically accurate they will make your school essay. [Vulture]

Geek Out: An excellent oral history on one of the greatest overlooked high school dramas of our time, Freaks and Geeks. [Vanity Fair]

Caps on Caps on Caps: In case our guide below wasn’t enough, here’s more knit caps for your wintry headwear needs. [To Take the Train]

What Your Knit Cap Is Saying About You

  • Najib Benouar

As deep winter approaches, it’s more than likely you’re starting to pull out the scarves and hats to assess the state of your current warmth-retaining paraphernalia.

At the heart of it all: the knit cap.

And on the occasion that you’re looking for a new one or contemplating reviving an old standby, you ought to know what your choice of topper is saying about you...

So, herewith, a handy guide to understanding the vibe your knit cap is projecting.»

Fly to Death

  • Najib Benouar

In a late-breaking addition to our Olympic gear roundup, we just stumbled upon this new pair of Nike Flyknits, made exclusively for the four nationless competitors known as the Independent Olympic Athletes, and we had to share.

They’re made with Nike’s latest “flyknit” technology that has captured the attention of both the running and #menswear worlds—for different, yet obvious, reasons—so you can imagine how nearly impossible it already is to get ahold of a pair. This edition will actually be impossible to get your hands on, since only four pairs have been made.

See the rest of the IOA “team” gear over at Four Pins.

Behold: The Silk Knit Pocket Square

  • Najib Benouar

It’s surprising it’s taken this long, but you’re looking at the world’s first silk knit pocket square (hat tip). And we have the mad #menswear scientists at MS&Co. to thank for this latest breakthrough in pochette technology. Consider it the answer to the prayers of anyone who can’t stand to be without the touch of knit silk but doesn’t necessarily want to wear a tie in this heat. Which makes a good case for its entry into the summer pocket square canon.

The Spring Sock Grid

  • Najib Benouar

Not to belabor the point, but it’s still spring. Hence, we’re not into the sockless, throw-caution-to-the-warm-breeze weather quite yet. Odds are, you’re still spending some time in socks, but much like you’ve done with your sweaters, you should be ditching the wool for lighter, airier cotton knits. So we dug up the six finest cotton-blended specimens on the market right now, ranging from outrageously colorful to Breton-striped to linen-woven.

Sock up after the jump.»

The Last Authentic Fair Isle Sweaters on Earth

Fair Isle knits are thick on the ground these days. (Off the bat, we count items from Pantherella, Raf Simons and Epaulet, and a whole season’s worth of goods from Howlin’ by Morrison.) But there’s surprisingly little love for the tiny Scottish island where the pattern comes from.

It makes sense. With six square miles and under 100 permanent residents, they were never going to churn out enough volume to fill a Rugby store. But with the help of a few hand-carved spinning wheels and a genuinely frightening quantity of sheep, some residents have managed to bring back the traditional ways of knitting the sweaters. That means sheep’s wool that’s never left the island, dyed and knit on site in the pattern that made the isle famous.

Naturally, we’re a little excited…»

Steven Alan Bundles Up

Steven Alan unveiled his fall/winter crop this morning, full of high-buttoning blazers, shackets and chunky sweaters. You can see the goods here, but there’s plenty to learn just from eyeing the lookbook.

This snap in particular nails down the quadruple layer just about perfectly. (We assume there’s a tee under there.) The big shift is that Alan’s feeling for the shawl-collared v-neck sweater along with the crew necks this year, thanks to some chunky new knits from Relwen. Otherwise, this is as close to timeless as it gets.

If you needed a playbook for tweedy fall style, you just got one.