Today we’re going to talk about Fight Club. That’s right, we’re nixing the first two rules and getting down to the specifics of Brad Pitt/Tyler Durden’s absurd yet phenomenal getup in the ’90s flick. Yeah, we’re talking the iconic red leather jacket and that toucan-printed shirt he’s got going on. Because when it comes to stylishly not giving a shit, Tyler nails it with his effortlessly cool glad rags.
Historically, there’s been a pretty wide creative divide between the guys designing your clothes and the folks selling them.
But as of late, we’ve noticed a rash of new joint projects emerge, connecting innovative designers with our favorite menswear shops across the country. And we certainly won’t say we’ve hated it. So to honor this newfound camaraderie, we’ve taken a moment to round up the handsomest final products of their collaborative efforts.
The good folks over at UrbanDaddy New York have brought big news from the leather front. American masters of riveting Schott have set up their first brick-and-mortar in half a century—and it’s ready for your shopping pleasure tomorrow.
We know, it’s huge. They think so, too. Oh, and they’ve also gone ahead and put together a pop-up museum (this weekend only) to commemorate 10 decades of badassery, with about 70ish one-of-a-kind pieces from the brand’s archives. The “hand-painted Basquiat for Glenn O’Brien” kind of one-of-a-kind.
Yesterday we celebrated Veterans Day—and it reminded us of the great contributions our servicemen have made to this nation over the years.
In terms of protecting our freedom, foremost, but also in our everyday dress. Just take a look at Major General Chuck Yeager here. He’s just hopped out of a fighter jet, but this very well could’ve been the same getup you wore out to watch football yesterday.
The list is long: khakis, bomber jackets, aviators, peacoats, desert boots, etc., all started out as military-issue clothes that veterans brought back home to wear around town—or, in some cases, had local tailors recreate to better suit their return to civilian life. And now we’re all wearing some version of them. Not to mention, a lot of the military-issued stuff (like Schott’s peacoat) is still among your better options out there. Further confirming that enduring style relies more heavily on function than form.
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.
The leather motorcycle jacket might seem a little risky—yet, if done right, you’ll spend the rest of fall wrapped in a warm, Brando-esque glow.
And perhaps even some of winter, thanks to this shearling-lined moto jacket from the newly released capsule collection from A.P.C. and leather jacket guru Louis W. Consider it the French translation of Schott’s Perfecto jacket (worn famously by Brando, Dean and other greaser-pioneers), so it’s a bit trimmer and more minimalist, with blue shearling lining, and probably better suited for a sidewalk café than the open highway.
You’ve already put your hog in storage till next summer anyhow...
As we mentioned on Tuesday, floral prints are having a bit of a moment these days. They're best used as an accent—more likely to show up in a pocket square or a jacket lining—but since flowers have been showing up more and more lately, we thought we’d pull together some of the best specimens the Web has to offer. It’s been a good year for the roses...
Christopher Hitchens with Ian McEwan (left) and Martin Amis in Uruguay via The Guardian
We spend a good deal of time here at Kempt headquarters discussing the gentleman’s style: his clothes, his facial hair, his accoutrements, etc. In addition, though, over the past year, we’ve attempted to broaden the definition of style to include his behavior as well: his adherence to a certain chivalric code, his etiquette, the words he uses, his manner of pursuing artistic and athletic endeavors, his morality, his aspirations and, inevitably, the periodic missteps that can and squander those aspirations.
While we hesitate to dip our toe into the murky, stale bathwater of year-end reviews (and while we have even greater hesitation to hurl ourselves, willy-nilly, into the business of doling out meaningless, award-less “awards”), we’re doing so anyway.
Maybe we’re slightly more nostalgic for 2011 than we’ve been in the past.
Or, more likely, maybe we’re finding the exercise of attaching superlatives to people and things and moments to be kind of fun.
Whatever the reason, we present for your perusal—in three parts over as many days—the 2011 Kempt Awards.
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.
You can take or leave most of the style advice we dole out. As cool as they are, you don’t need a checked blazer. You don’t need an advice-giving pen. But if you’re living anywhere that sees snow on a regular basis, you’re going to need a winter coat—and you’re going to be living with whichever one you choose for quite a while.
So choose wisely.
And to help you survey the territory, we’ve broken the world’s winter coats into three easy categories and singled out the best items in each one—starting with the most classic item in the bunch, the overcoat...
If you’ve been noticing a few more vests on the street, there’s a reason. A good vest is the perfect way to bulk up a fall outfit—and eke out a few more weeks without your full winter coat.
But if the standard puffer vest is a bit too woodsy for you, we’ve tracked down a better option from Schott. It’s modeled off archival garments from the ’20s, so the vibe is a lot more old-fashioned than the Reagan-era Lands’ End style. That also means swapping synthetics for old-fashioned wool, so it’ll fit under your blazer a lot more inconspicuously.
And just like the puffed version, it does wonderful things with flannel.
Here’s a dispatch from biker history: when Schott rolled out their now-classic Perfecto jacket, it was the first zippered leather jacket anyone had ever seen. Which means all the biker jackets before then were a little more…peacoaty.
Kind of like this, in fact. This is Schott’s best approximation of the 20s-era moto jacket (give or take a few zipper pockets), arriving with the rest of their spring/summer ’12 gear. Of course, we’re still partial to that legendary zipper, but if you’re looking for an offbeat twist, it could be just the thing.
It looks like Schott's not the only one trying out a lighter take on the classic leather bomber. Behold, Engineered Garments’ Explorer Jacket, a twist on the classic Schott silhouette and fabric straight from a trench coat.
It's good for a couple reasons. First off, it brings the bomber into warm weather with the breathable poplin. It also addresses a certain portability issue that plagued the old, heavyweight Schott—well-known to anyone who's gotten an incidental upper-arm workout from carrying around their bomber all day. This version is lightweight and plays well with suitcases and coat-hooks, which means you may end up getting a lot more wear out of it.
In short, it's a mint green Vespa to the Schott's Ducati.
We usually have a hard time getting excited about gear that won’t be in stores for more than six months, but this one—from Schott's Perfecto brand—is the exception.
You might remember the shape as the classic Schott leather jacket, of the Ramones, Brando and a whole lot of bikers. The fabric, on the other hand, is genuine Harris Tweed, of Doctor Who, Miss Marple and a whole lot of Latin teachers.
We’re big fans of both, but we never would have imagined the quintessential biker item made from the stuffiest fabric in the UK. Needless to say, we can’t way to see this one in the wild once August rolls around.