Kempt

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The Stat Sheet: Seize sur Vingt Water-Repellent Cashmere Peacoat

  • Najib Benouar

Cashmere makes for a great sweater, scarf or even watch cap—but once you get into the realm of outerwear, cashmere has always seemed to be a little too delicate. Until now...

Seize sur Vingt—the downtown New York menswear hub run by a husband-and-wife team—found a way to toughen up an ordinarily delicate wool (via science) to create this water-resistant cashmere peacoat. It’s the most rugged cashmere out there, by far. Here’s what else you need to know.

The Story: Seize sur Vingt took some cashmere to the lab, treated it with a water-resistant compound and gave it some elasticity, to make it durable enough for winter. Twelve coats were made from this revolutionary fabric, available at their flagship in NYC.

Who to Channel: A super-luxe naval admiral; Serge Gainsbourg walking along the Seine; someone not afraid to beat up their cashmere.

When to Wear It: You’ll be reaching for this whenever you’re in need of an overcoat. Here’s your new go-to for everything from the morning commute to attending your multitude of winter gala invites.

Think of This Jacket As: Your favorite cashmere sweater turned into a fortress of coziness.

Mr. Gainsbourg shows how it’s done, after the jump.»

The Stat Sheet: Nigel Cabourn Naval Jacket

  • Najib Benouar

When it comes to a good wool overcoat, we prefer something weighty enough to withstand the Antarctic tundra.

Which is why this naval jacket from Nigel Cabourn’s latest capsule collection—based on Captain Robert Scott’s crossing of Antarctica—is especially up to the task. Here’s what you need to know about it.

The Story: Nigel Cabourn painstakingly researched the Antarctic expedition (so thoroughly, he released a companion booklet) on its 100-year anniversary and has recreated some of the most iconic pieces he discovered.

Who to Channel: Decorated admirals; Albert Camus; a man who risked life and frostbitten limb for the sake of crossing Antarctica.

When to Wear It: In Antarctica. Or on your way to and from the office. It’s just roomy enough to wear over a suit or a heavy cardigan. (Don’t forget a scarf.)

Or Spend Your $1,450 On: A used motorcycle, 5.3 Schott naval peacoats or a weekend in Old San Juan—which should give you roughly the same feeling of warmth without the coat.

Degree of Difficulty: The peak lapels and green bands on the sleeves do add more flair than your typical peacoat, but we’d say: proceed as usual. Just skip the captain’s hat.

An iconic photo of how it’s done right, after the jump.»

Reid... Billy Reid.

  • Najib Benouar

The gents over at Valet have uncovered the story on how Billy Reid became the official peacoat supplier of James Bond for the soon-to-be-released Skyfall. (As luck would have it, Daniel Craig had picked one up for himself a few years back and has been a fan ever since.) It’s more confirmation that Mr. Reid is still riding high. The jackets sold out instantly once a few film sleuths figured out where they came from, so another limited run is on the way, available for preorder now and shipping on the same day Skyfall is released... But of course.

Unionmade Indigo, Round Two

  • Najib Benouar

San Francisco’s Unionmade unveiled their Indigo project last year—and it was some groundbreaking stuff. (We even felt the need to take a closer look.)

And they’ve just unveiled round two of the dozen or so collaborations, all garment-dyed in deep blue to produce a sea of handsomeness—from button-downs made in New England, to shawl-collar cardigans, to peacoats made in San Francisco. There’s even an indigo dye kit in case you’ve got something that you think should’ve been part of the collaboration.

If you can even find anything in your closet that isn’t already blue.

The Best New Designers of 2011

A lot of great new labels arrived on the scene in 2011—the most we’ve seen in recent memory—so we thought we’d give a much-deserved victory lap to our five favorites. They range from homegrown Italiana to biker-tough outerwear, and they’ve been pulling together some of the most exciting ideas in menswear and making clued-in gentlemen look like rock stars from February on. If you were waiting for a chance to get acquainted, now’s the time.

Ladies and gentlemen, the class of 2011»

Touring the Web’s Newest Storefront

Web boutiques have been popping up like daisies lately, but we’d like to single out a shop called Builtwell that opened up last week and immediately shot to the top of our list.

It’s a jumble of brands like Tellason, Garbstore and 18Waits, together with company profiles and Art of Manliness-style nostalgia. You could spend a whole afternoon exploring the site—but since you’re busy, we’ve rounded up the three coolest things below.

A leather bag, a motorcycle and James Dean’s pea coat, after the jump»

The Western Motorcycle Peacoat

Monitaly’s best known for Italophile suiting, but it turns out they know their way around a winter coat.

This peacoat puts five hazy stripes across the middle of the classic nautical jacket—along with yoked shoulders and a few moto-style collar snaps. It’s flashy, sure, but the colors aren’t too different from what you’d see on a Pendleton blanket, and it brings the nautical, motorcycle and Western styles together a lot better than you might expect.

Think of it as wearing your three favorite jackets at once.

Chantal le Fevre is Letting Her Hair Down

The Lion in Winter: Jack Nicholson gets melancholy, but keeps his cool. [Daily Mail]

Carrying the Flag: Barbour launches a limited edition Steve McQueen collection. Extremely handsome stuff here. [Luxist]

Make It New: Revamping pea coats with brass buttons. One of the many benefits of learning to sew. [Valet]

The Monkey Represents Wikileaks: The struggles in Egypt, as explained through Raiders of the Lost Ark. [Boing Boing]

The Sweater Coat

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There are sweaters and there are coats. And then, there’s that weird space in between…which is where you’ll find this.

This one’s still a bit of a curiosity, since the pea coat shape pegs it as outerwear, but the ribbed Peruvian wool can’t stand up to the wind. That means you’ll need to pair it with a Harrington or a deep-winter parka. The good news: once you’ve done that, it should be the coziest item in your arsenal.

What Goes Around Comes Around made their name as the best vintage curator in New York, so they know all about digging up curiosities, but this is the best one we’ve seen them actually make.

Puffed Up

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The double-breasted peacoat has been a staple since the days of the Victorian navy, so it could use an update.

This Comme des Garcons jacket keeps the basic pea coat design, but makes three very important tweaks. They raise the hem (for colder legs but a trimmer cut), they swap navy blue for electric blue, and most importantly they take the whole thing into the world of synthetic fabrics. The futuristic shift is classic CDG, but it also means the jacket should stand up to the wind a whole lot better than plain old wool.

Put the Book Back on the Shelf

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This coat might look a lot more familiar to French comics buffs, but on the off chance you aren’t a Corto Maltese fan, here’s a quick refresher course. Over the course of twelve graphic novels, he made a swashbuckling tour of the 20th century’s more exciting European wars, wearing an appropriately dashing series of nautical coats. And, thanks to his avid European readership, a few of those jackets are finally making it onto shelves.

Colette just offered up this nautical number on the heels of a Maltese-themed exhibition at the Museé National De La Marine. It’s not exactly seasonal, but we can never turn down a good nautical coat, and the gold stripe on the left cuff is the kind of detail that usually flourishes in fiction. Hopefully you can wear it in a suitably adventurous fashion.

Born Free

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Nautical duds are nothing new, but we’re always glad to see a good idea take root.

In this case, that means Mister Freedom, a Paris-by-way-of-Los-Angeles marque, is releasing a line based on the ten years their mascot spent sailing the Indian Ocean. It’s all fiction, naturally, but they go as far as titling the line “The Last Cruise, the Salty Years,” which certainly rolls off the tongue better than “spring/summer ’09.”

As you might imagine, the clothes are pretty thoroughly broken in, but they’re also impressively well-chosen, ranging from peacoats circa 1910 to replicated U.S. Navy “jungle cloth” that was phased out in 1950. Not bad for archival work, but we still can’t see a deck hat without thinking of Gilligan...

See the line here»