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Going Euro: The Six Swimsuits to Consider

  • Kempt Staff


It’s not unlikely that you’re going to find yourself in or very near a body of water in the next few months.

And should that body of water happen to be on the Iberian peninsula, in the French Riviera, on a lake with an Italian name or at that very European pool party your neighbors throw every Bastille Day... you’ll want the appropriate pair of trunks: ones straight from Europe. There’s just something different about the way they make swimsuits over there—maybe it’s the power-tie-esque patterns, their progressive stance on upper-thigh visibility or those six weeks during summer when the entire continent shuts down while everyone heads to the nearest beach.

So, should you be in the market for a pair of trunks from the land that invented the concept of “summering,” we’ve rounded up your best bets, after the jump.»

The Lion’s Share at Lyonstate

  • Najib Benouar

We’ve just got word that Alabama menswear shop Lyonstate is taking all of the handsomeness they’ve already got on their web shop, putting it on sale, and then slashing off an additional 25% (with the secret code “TAKE25”). Which puts some of these prices at the lowest we’ve seen for stuff from brands like Our Legacy (like this double-breasted blazer), Rachel Comey (like these oxford shoes) or Oliver Spencer (this fisher jacket, for instance) go for. There’s plenty more where that came from, so get after it, gentlemen.

Take a closer look at our favorites, after the jump.»

The State of Linen

S.E.H. Kelly

Linen’s been our summer go-to for a while, but this year it’s taken a sophisticated turn. We’re seeing navy hues instead of the standard hazy taupe, along with a heartening number of summery DBs. The bottom line: it’s not just camp shirts anymore.

And to prove it’s not just talk, we’ve rounded up a few specimens after the jump...

See the best linen of 2012, in eight easy pieces»

Three Ways to Pull Off the Hawaiian Look

Hawaiian Shirt

The sun is out, the air is hot and, trendy or not, the shelves are filled with Hawaiian shirts.

Gentlemen, this is a dangerous situation.

It’s not that the Hawaiian shirt is such a bad idea. Pull it off right, and you’ll be carrying around a beach-drink-flavored halo all day. But pulling it off right is so tricky, and if you don’t do it perfectly, you’ll be stuck in a purgatory of itchy polyester and substandard episodes of Magnum, P.I.

The way we see it, you’ve got three options, any one of which should keep you in good sartorial standing. Let us count the ways...

Three ways to pull off Hawaiian prints»

Karlie Kloss Is Taking a Minimalist Bubble Bath

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A Bat is Involved: Answering the age-old question, “What the Fuck is Cricket?” [The Morning News]

The Legacy Pick: Our Legacy’s latest lookbook is every bit as handsome as you’d think. [Selectism]

Our Inbox Runneth Over: Survival strategies for the flood of email which threatens to consume us all. [Betabeat]

The Modern Hawaiian Shirt


On the heels of our Selleck appreciation, we noticed a modern take on one of the man’s signature pieces. Ladies and gentlemen, Our Legacy is getting in on the Aloha shirt.

It’s more 2011 than 1986 (that’s the first button-down collar we’ve seen on a Hawaiian shirt, for instance), but the important beach-ready touches are still the same. We’re talking about the light fabric and the high side vents—the details that make it fit for 90-degree days. The biggest shock is that you’ll have to deal with long sleeves…but by our lights they look better rolled up anyway.

The mustache is optional.

The Soft Blazer


The chunky cardigan is already one of the cozier items in our closet, but here’s a twist we hadn’t anticipated: Our Legacy’s made a blazer out of it.

The key is that notch collar, which pushes it into more formal territory. (The patch pockets don’t hurt either.) The result lines up perfectly with the high-chested silhouettes that have been gaining cred lately, but with Italian lambswool subbing in for the usual twill. Most importantly, the smaller neckspace the perfect venue for an early-winter bowtie.

All of which is to say, it’s one of the cleverer sweaters we’ve seen all winter.

Flecked Off


It’s been a while, but we’re ready to call trend on a new item: the flecked sweater.

The look’s been building steam for a while, most notably in the marled sweater resurgence that popped up last fall, but between this autumn-hued jumper in APC’s latest shipment, and this Utility Coop crew neck, along with earlier entries from Our Legacy and Paul Smith, pushes it over the threshold into trendhood. Four’s a trend, right?

Naturally, we’re in favor. Sweaters can always use a bit of texture, and giving a contrast color just means more to look at. The APC jumper is the most extreme of the lot but we’d more conservative versions to keep their sheen long after they’ve stopped being hip. And in the meantime, a static-dappled crew neck should be the right kind of eye-catching.

The Off Season


Call it a case of bad timing.

This Our Legacy shirt is one our favorite items to come out of the recent plaid revival…but we’d wait at least a couple months before you put it on.

It’s not quite in espadrille territory—i.e. you won’t catch pneumonia—but as long as the sun’s touching down before 5pm, anything this colorful is apt to be downright depressing. Of course, if your summer wardrobe needs a refresh, we still heartily endorse picking one up, but you’ll have to delay gratification for quite a while.

On the other hand, we bet it looks great in sunlight.

Loosen Up


The nautical sweater has been kicking around for a while, but the knits keep getting looser, which is leading us to some surprising places.

Our Legacy’s latest collection adds a bit of fuel to the club collar resurgence, but the item that caught our eye was this cardigan. Aside from the tighter stripes, the mesh is so loose you can see through it. We’d recommend a light dress shirt underneath to make the most of it…but that’s just the beginner move.

Layering just got a whole new dimension.

Tickets, Please


The hunting-style spring jacket is having quite a surge these days.

We marveled over Mr. Ford’s version yesterday, but the folks at Winn Perry just pointed us towards a treated cotton version that offers a lighter hang and adds a ticket pocket in front for anything that didn’t quite fit in the others.

That makes for five total pocket flaps—more than any reasonable man should ever need—but we’re glad to see the ticket pocket outside of a suit jacket. It’s too good an idea to leave to bespoke tailors alone.

The Wind and the Rain


Waxed cotton may be overtaking worsted as Britain’s favorite fabric. It started with Belstaff, but now it’s just about everywhere.

This parka from London’s Our Legacy takes the rough material into American Apparel territory, and it works surprisingly well. After so many years of clingy nylon, we’re ready for something a bit more earthy and a whole lot rougher. It gets windy out there, after all.

Best of all, there’s still a little bit of the British savoir faire. Is that a ticket pocket on the gentleman’s left?