Summertime finally washed over the Kempt region this week, presenting two big dilemmas: how to look like you put some effort into your sweat-smothered outfit, and how to blend into a small, (presumably) cool island off the coast of New England.
This in mind, we turned to the oracle of all things effortless, Bill Murray, for answers—specifically, his quirk-meets-casual style in Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom.
The 113th US Open went off this weekend, and it had us pining for the glory days of golf fashion. Back when the hair was feathered, the caps were newsboy and the prints were bold.
The ostentatious culture peaked around the time of Caddyshack, but thankfully, some pieces have remained steadfast. Most notably, madras.
The fabric is lightweight, easy to maintain and stays sharp when traditional suiting would fold under wrinkle-inducing humidity. So versatile, you can pretty much find any garment rocking its signature tartans. Hence, we went ahead and found all the gear necessary to don you from head to toe.
The Real Old Spice Guy: Although we disagree on many issues, it’s hard to fault Vladimir Putin’s action-hero credentials. For instance, here’s a photoset of him bending a frying pan with his hands, hunting a whale with a crossbow and staring into the eyes of a snow leopard. [The Atlantic]
All Black Everything: The comprehensive architect’s dress code. Madras is right out. [Arch Daily]
Green and Brown: A roundup of the best in fall/winter 2011, and what you can learn from it. [The Midwest Style]
Let Us Now Praise Ladytron: It’s shaping up to be a good week for indie rock. Here’s five reasons why. [NYMag]
We’re particularly taken with the elegant rumple in the arms of the jackets, or the generous break in the pants—touches you don’t see much in the cropped and pressed stateside styles. It’s a more restrained, raffish kind of style, and there aren’t too many places you can find it in the U.S. just yet. But there’s always London…or the internet.
As soon as we see short sleeves, we start to think about madras ties. They’re one of the few preppy staples that’s risen above trendiness—thanks in part to being lighter and more colorful than anything else you might think of wrapping around your neck come June.
The latest three examples come from a globe-trotting collab between Opening Ceremony, Hong Kong’s Lane Crawford and Band of Outsiders. The square-end makes things a little bit more blue-collar, but otherwise they wouldn’t be out of place at a Newport garden party, or the Hong Kong equivalent. (For proof, here’s Chinese model Godfrey Tsao showing one off at the release party.) If he were feeling particularly daring, Godfrey might even tie it long and leave it tucked into his belt…but that’s between him and his bedroom mirror.
Madras might be the perfect summer fabric—lighter than regular cotton, not as wrinkly as linen or seersucker—but the eye-popping plaid can make it hard to pull off outside of the clambake circuit. Unless of course, you can find a non-plaid version…like this one from Gitman Vintage.
The key point: Madras is a fabric, not a pattern, so this is every bit as authentic as the bleeding variety—it just looks a little different. As for the new pattern, it's definitely Gekko-era, but we bet it looks pretty good over swim trunks.
You’ve already seen a lot of short sleeved button-ups, on Kempt and elsewhere. Just a hunch, but we’re guessing that you’re finally warming up to the notion. If it’s all the same to you, we’d rather skip all of the do’s & don’ts and point you to a shirt that should do the trick: LL Bean Signature’s madras s/s/b/u.
It’s plenty lightweight, cut from cotton madras—which should give you all of the benefits of a fabric historically known for being ideal attire in less-than-ideal heat, without having to deal with its more polarizing iteration, GTH patchwork. And there’s no need to quibble over sleeve-length because the sleeve has been cuffed at the hem and sewn in place—the imposed cuff. It’s another example of the no-fuss staples that LL Bean's known for.
Trad on the Run: The big news of the day: Mark McNairy is succeeding Daiki Suzuki as creative director of Woolrich Woolen Mills. Brilliant guy, awesome brand…there’s a reason everyone’s excited about this. We can’t wait to see what he does with it. [WWD]
Screened: A gentleman’s guide to sunscreen, without the ludicrously priced options magazines are sometimes obligated to include. Bookmark this one. [Valet]
This is Bat Country: The Times tags along with a classic car rally running from Zurich to Douz, Tunisia. It would have been a better piece if they’d taken more hallucinogens. [The Moment]
Haters No Like: In a depressingly comprehensive overview of the worst things about summer, madras gets called out as “the fabric equivalent of being harassed by a squad of lacrosse players.” Oh the rage! [Gawker]
The bowtie is already a pretty advanced item, so adding a little extra flash isn’t going to change anything too much. This version comes from Brooks Brothers, with a little inspiration by way of Social Primer founder K. Cooper Ray, and we’re pretty pleased—particularly with the madras-seersucker combination. It may be tiptoeing into J.Press territory, but nab the right tweed jacket and you should be all set.