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Soft Shoulders


The soft-shoulder blazer has gotten a bad rap, mostly thanks to outlet shops who went after it for low margins. It’s worth remembering what it looks like when it’s done right.

Selectism just leaked this Rag & Bone version from their pre-Fall ’09 Collection, and it’s reminding us of more than a few things we like about the style. The lightly wrinkled fabric, visible pocket seams and slight lapels all give the jacket a casual feeling that even the slimmest hard-shoulder version can’t replicate.

And the summery weight couldn't be timelier.

Leaving the Country


Workwear makes for strange bedfellows.

It wasn’t too long ago the puffy jacket was bette noir among the slim Soho crowds. But after a couple of decades of exile, they’ve finally seen the light on Penfield again. (At least, as long as it’s black.)

This goosedown comes from a collaboration with Rag & Bone that tones down the usual plaids and adds zipoff sleeves, but keeps the same ursine profile that makes usually Penfield coats so much fun. There’s also a hooded model for women and a vest for earlier in the fall, both in similarly monochromatic form. The whole batch hits Rag & Bone stores in august, but if you can’t wait… there’s always the older version.

See the rest of the collab after the jump»

The Week that Was


Now that the overstimulated fever dream that is Fashion Week has drawn to a close, it’s time to sort the whole mess out through a period of meditative reflection. Our favorites were rag & bone, Simon Spurr, Antonio Azzuolo, General Idea, and Band of Outsiders, but there was plenty more to see that got lost in the shuffle.

Luckily, our friends at Valet Mag have put together a comprehensive but manageable guide to all the menswear to come out of New York Fashion Week, via a little bit of well-applied Flash programming and a whole lot of legwork. Let the browsing begin.

Fear & Loathing in Menswear

mwilliams_crop.jpgRag & Bone

Kempt compatriot and American hero Michael Williams (better known as the man behind A Continuous Lean) is out in Vegas for the Project trade show. Things got a bit weird, but he managed to file the following dispatch for Kempt. Godspeed, Michael!

Being in the apparel business, coming to Las Vegas trade shows are a necessary evil. The adventure begins at the airport when you see twenty people you know load in to what is endearingly referred to as the "garmento express," a plane where you can't walk to the bathroom without hearing someone say "feel this quality." Once you arrive and get yourself settled in, the ping pinging of the slot machines gives way to the soft embrace of convention center fluorescent lights.

More info and photos from the western front»

E-Z Bowl


We were looking through Rag & Bone’s latest offering and the thing that caught our eye wasn’t the puzzling resurgence of the car coat, but the welcome reappearance of the bowling shirt. Only we remember them looking a bit different…

Don’t let the androgynous model fool you, this is a men’s shirt. Shouldn’t there be a cursive nametag somewhere? Shouldn’t there be a polyester sheen? They call it a bowling shirt, but the combination of the piping, the lightweight chambray and the shawl collar put it a lot closer to sleepwear than sportswear.

Then again, maybe it’s just what the times call for.

Objects of Desire


We’ve updated our must-haves—that’s the line of well-chosen items on your left—to bring in a new fall feeling and a helping hand for those of you scrambling for a good pipe. Add in some stomping boots, a classic holiday sweater and this rag & bone overcoat, and you should have enough swag to last you through the winter.

Consider your wishlists officially filled.

Like a Glove


Maybe it’s the O.J. stigma, but folks don’t appreciate the value of a good pair of leather gloves. We say ditch cat-burglar black in favor of country-gentleman brown, and keep your knuckles warm through fall in the bargain.

Selectism turned us on to these items from Dents, a UK firm with a Rag & Bone collab already under its belt. Lucky for us, we prefer the unadulterated British version.

It's A Mod, Mod, Mod, Mod World


A lot of things are pointing to an imminent scooter revival; the price of gas and that business about carbon footprints, of course, but also the fact that folk like Rag & Bone keep basing collections on Mods and Rockers That makes Mick Walker's zippy new book, *Classic Scooters: 1945 - 1970* all the more timely. The Italian Piaggo company's iconic Vespa and the equally alluring Lambretta are the famous ones, of course, but there are many others whose names may be unfamiliar but embody just as much great vintage verve. Snap up a copy, pop *Quadrophenia* on the stereo and be transported to a simpler, much more stylish era. We'll meet you there.

Mad People, Man Bags and Lauren vs. Lauren


Madison Avenue Chic: Behind the scenes at the Vanity Fair "Mad Men" shoot (January Jones in the house). []

Bag of Sunshine: Sacks for the season. [Refinery29]

May it Please the Court: Traditional-dressing British Judges to get even more awesome. [UPI]

Deal Alert: Savings on Rag & Bone and Helmut Lang from Wednesday through Friday. [Racked]

Bush Whacker: Seeing as he was uninvited to Jenna Bush's wedding, David Lauren, son of Ralph, cheated on alarming beautiful/surprisingly intelligent/secretly liberal Bush cousin Lauren because he is very, very stupid. [NYPost]

Fashion Week Hangover #5


Shipley and Halmos

At this point, we're almost hungover from the hangover. As the our impressions of Fashion Week drift slowly into what remains of our long-term memory, we arrive at the best of the best. Nervous?

2. Band of Outsiders:

Since visiting Scott Sternburg's presentation early in Fashion Week, we've been hearing mixed reviews. More than likely, though, these returns were based more on Band of Outsider's trend targeting than the quality of the clothes. The hunting motifs, plaids and English references on display were almost tired by this point. Sternburg's narrow evening jackets, tartan pants and corduroy cargo pants (yes, you read that right) were spot on, however, even if they were riding the tail end of a bell curve. The blue-plaid hunting jacket and a double-breasted vest will most likely stand the test of fad. [Men.Style]

And the winner is...