Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

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The Continental Divide

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We hesitate to call Liberty of London too British—it’s in their name after all—but they could probably benefit from a few international influences. This cotton tie (hat tip) might be their best collab so far, partly because it lets them get some continental distance on Swinging London.

The Italian flavor comes courtesy of 10 Corso Como—think of a Milanese Colette—who managed to coax the Brits at Liberty into some of their finest work. It’s the same dense patterning they built their brand on, but the curves make it a little more lush, and the colors are muted enough to turn it into Liberty’s first summer tradwear piece. Here’s hoping there’s more where that came from.

Wild Eyes

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The liberty prints are piling up, but this is the first one we’ve seen that doesn’t bother with cloth. The shade designers at Super plastered three of the more iconic liberty patterns across the top bar of their best clear-bottomed frame, and the result is pure trend candy. We wouldn’t count on wanting to wear these when next summer rolls around, but for the next few months they’ll be just about golden.

The Northern Lights

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We managed to snag a copy of Norsea’s latest lookbook at the (capsule) show, and the results are nothing short of exciting. For one, the khaki blazer is one northern staple we’re happy to adopt.

The rest of the line has highlights like Liberty-style mock turtlenecks and a few new takes on the denim jacket—aside from the Stamford denim blazer we saw at the show. The cleverest trick may be the styling on the Dunes jacket: The three-button blazer is worn with the bottom two buttons fastened. We wouldn’t advise trying it without a jacket that’s tailored for the purpose, but it’s one of the more daring moves we’ve seen in a lookbook recently.

See more of the line»

Wallflowers

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Norsea’s 2010 catalog just came down the transom, and while there’s a fresh supply of liberty prints in tow, this Duke beach shirt struck us as a more impressive move.

After all, if we’re going floral, it’s survival of the loudest. And this one manages to reach almost Hawaiian levels of business while maintaining a certain stately grandeur. It’s not easy to put together elegiac beach gear, but Norsea seems to have it figured out.

Give Me Liberty

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There are a lot of odd nooks in British sartorial history, but if you hang around Paul Smith stores long enough, you’ll see just about all of them.

This shirt takes its cues from the famous Liberty of London floral prints, which have been popping up often enough lately to qualify as a mini-trend of their own. Mr. Smith takes a bit more impressionist approach—we’d guess Renoir deserves a little credit too—but the basic approach is more or less the same, and both styles are probably best viewed under a more subdued jacket.

And we’d keep the matching tie a safe distance away.