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Six Essential Upgrades to Your Paddling Kit


This might sound odd, but we know you’ve been getting these urges lately. Really strong, burning desires to sit back, get a little wet and stroke...

We’re talking about rowing, obviously. Wait, was that not clear?

Now, these impulses are perfectly natural. And trust us, getting yourself into a canoe (or kayak, if that’s your style) will definitely help assuage them. But, of course, just because you’re dying to navigate America’s waterways the old-fashioned way doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do so in style. So we’ve taken the liberty of compiling a handful of attractive options, to help you get the most out of your next aqueous adventure.

Check out our next-level paddling selections, after the jump...»

Heirloom Week: Cold Hard Steel Edition

  • Kempt Staff


Typically, one thinks of an heirloom only after it’s weathered a few generations of patina-gathering. But before it got handed down to your father and his father and his father’s father, it started out shiny and new on some store shelf. And since there are still a few companies out there making stuff that looks timeless and will last longer than you, we’ve set out to find the new breed of future heirlooms in this weeklong series. Today we’re finding you weapons handsome enough to mount on your wall...

Herewith, the new sabers, shotguns and more to buy today, that will be heirlooms tomorrow...»

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...»

It’s Carving Season

’Tis the season to carve: pumpkins, turkeys, roasts, hams, ice sculptures, etc.

Which is why we were so pleased to stumble upon “The Chef’s Guide to Knives,” an incredibly long infographic via the expert meddlers at Lifehacker.

Perhaps you’re the new man of the house and thus responsible for putting knife to flesh on that giant Thanksgiving turkey your family and friends have already begun dreaming about—here’s the perfect opportunity to brush up on your “cat’s paw” grip and avoid ruining the whole goddamn holiday for everyone.

And who knows, maybe that wildcard slot on Top Chef season 30 isn’t such a pipe dream after all...

Flavia Lucini Pouring From The Sky

  • Kempt Staff

Come Out Swigging: A supercut of every drink ever consumed on Mad Men. It’s as dizzying as it sounds. [Slacktory]

Literary Advice: Valet assembles a handsome fall reading list of new releases for the modern man of letters. [Valet]

In Theory vs. On Paper Bills: Mobile wallets are either the future of commerce, or just a solution to a nonexistent problem. (We’d appreciate less bulk in our back pocket, for sure.) [The Atlantic]

Look Sharp: Gant Rugger designer Christopher Bastin is still on his epicurean crusade. Now he’s designing butcher knives. [Bon Appetit]

Finally, Your Swiss Army Knife Is Also an Animal

Sometimes, form just needs to chill out and let function do its thing.

Third-year design student David Suhami disagrees, judging from his latest masterpiece, the Animal Pocket Knife, which “combines the idea of a Swiss Army knife and a jungle safari in Africa. The prototype is made from stainless steel to represent the current technology, while the handles are made from fine tabebuia wood to symbolize the traditional craft.”

We’re just going to call bullshit on this whole thing and be on our way.

Honorata Never Removes Her Corset

How the Game Be: This oral history of menswear blogging has been tearing up the webs all day, despite a few notable omissions . Also, if Jesse Thorn is the target of a suspicious drive-by after this, all eyes are going to be on Fuck Yeah Menswear. [GQ]

Also, It’s Kind of Silly: And, for the sake of completeness, here’s a Vanity Fair piece making fun of the GQ piece. [Vanity Fair]

All the Checks: A showroom tour of Isaia. It turns out they’ve got some pretty handsome jackets in the works. [We Are the Market]

Knives Out: This could be the year you learn to whittle. Believe it. [Art of Manliness]

In Defense of the Old Gift


We take it for granted that your gift list is also a shopping list, but we’d like to suggest a curveball idea for those at the very top of your list: the old gift.

It’s something you’ve owned for years—a first-edition book, maybe, or a trinket you picked up in foreign climes. Something you’ve had long enough to get tired of, but that hasn’t lost its luster to anyone else. Something personal.

And most importantly, something money can’t buy.

The delicate art of the old gift...»

Scarlett Johansson Has Just Seen a Mouse

Zoos and Avenging: Scarlett Johansson talks with Arianna Huffington about her next few movies, and yes, those photos. [Interview]

In the Country Fair: A tour of what the English countryside actually looks like. There’s less tweed than you’d expect. [Vanity Fair]

A Man and His Blade: A guide to choosing the perfect survival knife. Yes, this is the woodsiest blog post ever. [Art of Manliness]

The Chinstrap: The first pictures of Daniel Day-Lewis in his Lincoln beard have leaked onto the Web. It’s spectacular. [/Film]

Natalie Wood Has Kidnapped Your Dog

Natalie Woodvia LIFE

”Country Gentleman Copy” Doesn’t Exactly Roll Off The Tongue: Lauren Bans pulls down the definitive Hipster Cop interview. Apparently he’s a big Ralph Lauren fan. [GQ]

Behind The Undershirt: Simon Crompton’s humorously named “Underwear Project” proceeds with an in-depth look at Sunspel. [Permanent Style]

Reasons to Learn to Drive Stick: The 1967 Maserati Mistral Coupe is an extremely handsome car. That is all. [Driven]

Blades of Steel: A guide to the deadly art of knife-throwing. You should assume your enemies have already read it. [Art of Manliness]

Catrinel Menghia Has Destroyed Her Washing Machine

Shame About the Cubs, Though: Dave Eggers’ ode to Wrigley Field. [Grantland]

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To: The loves and exploits of the magnificent bastard known as Clark Gable. Fathers: hide your wives and daughters. Bachelors: raise a glass. [The Hairpin]

Always Handy in a Barfight: Perhaps you should buy your father a knife for Father’s Day. [Blackbird]

When It’s OK to Tweet Dick Pics: Life is full of hard decisions, so here’s a flowchart indicating when it’s appropriate to tweet pictures of your “congressional representative.” It may be simpler than you think. [GOOD]

The Bunnies Race into the Future

Playboy Bunnies

An Illustrated History of the Playboy Bunny: It’s just what the title promises. [Vanity Fair]

Shivs Quarterly: Valet gives into the knife-wielding horde, and rounds up the best pocket knives for your buck. If you need help, a man named Chico can show you how to use them. [Valet]

Making Your Own Guitar: A photo tour of a small-scale guitar factory. Extreme handsomeness. [Wired]

The Man, The Brand: Sart Inc gets friendly with the Isaia braintrust. If they had a few spare blazers lying around… [Sartorially Inclined]

Eliza Sys is Having Trouble Layering


Outerwear: Disappointingly, this is not from an overcoat ad. [Fashion Gone Rogue]

The Death of the Uncool: Brian Eno says that, in a broad enough culture, nothing is uncool. Maybe this is a good time to get that Aja post ready. [Prospect Magazine]

He’s Got a Knife!: French kitchen knives are actually kind of sweet. [The Shoptometrist]

Tailoring: The tailor’s second fitting may be the most important. So, store that one away. [A Suitable Wardrobe]

In the Garage


We love a good straight razor, and we’ve gushed before (verbally!) about the various perks of shaving with a real blade. But finding the right blade matters, and real artisans are hard to come by.

This item was put together by one Frank Warner, a family knifemaker with a garage-based razor factory on California’s central coast. He’s not the most auspicious source, but he’s handy with a grinding wheel, and he’s spent 40 years developing a perfect understanding of balance and tempering.

And if you ask nicely, you’ll get a one-of-a-kind production.