The fancying-up of the humble sneaker has been happening for some time now.
First it was haute fashion brands putting studs and wings on them. And then a few loving homages. But now it seems brands aren’t even trying to disguise the fact that they’re making the same shoes, nearly stitch-for-stitch, as the non-fancy ones we’ve been wearing since childhood.
You can always wear boots. We’ll never stop you. They might be part of your personal uniform, and we support that. But here at Kempt, we’ll be happy to put those motherfuckers away for the next several months and jump back into the world of sneakers.
Epaulet has been on a real tear lately. What started as a well-appointed menswear shop on a sleepy Brooklyn block selling Aldens next to Japanese selvage has turned into a bona fide menswear label with an ever-growing line of oxfords, chinos, suits and even leather café racer jackets.
Really, it’s closer than you might think. But we’re not there yet. (We’re still about a month out from white bucks and sundress season.) Though, with spring rains giving way to warmer sunnier days—we promise—it’s time to start easing into the summer spirit.
Which is why we’d like to direct your attention to our leftmost column—where we’ve refreshed our seasonal crop of must-haves for this warm-but-not-yet-hot time of year we’ve dubbed “pre-summer.”
You may have noticed over the past weekend: you weren’t the only person wearing a pair of white canvas sneakers—or “plimsolls” to the Anglophiles—not by a long shot. Hence, it might be time to start considering a pair cut from a different, more colorful cloth.
We’ve seen the future of your footwear, and it’s right here. The gents over at The Hill-side took us through their upcoming spring/fall collections and, aside from the standout selvedge indigo covert stripe they’re using just about everywhere, the real star is their new sneaker collection.
It’s the first time they’re delving into footwear independently and they’ve done a stellar job—sourcing materials and construction from the best of Japan. They’ve got low-tops hitting the shelves for spring, and a range of high-tops and chukkas coming for fall ’14.
Like wearing jorts. Or casual-ing up your daily suit-and-tie routine with some sneakers. Today, we discuss the latter.
A staple of haphazardly dapper rebellion long before modern menswear editors brought it to the mainstream, the suit-sneaker combo is not, in fact, a recent development. (Check out the guy on the right in this iconic image if you don’t believe us.) And when perfected, it’s a look that oozes nonchalant cool. But attempting it (and succeeding) can prove a weighty endeavor for even the most seasoned sartorial veteran...
By this time of year, white canvas sneakers are thick on the ground.
And while we’re fans of the simple, utilitarian pleasures of the common plimsoll, they’re nearing their saturation point—meaning, it’s about time you started venturing into the even summerier depths of footwear. Madras. Linen. Seersucker. Swimsuit material. All proven summer fabrics that have found their way onto shoes, so we rounded up your best options.