We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: cotton sneakers are the ultimate summer accomplices.
And we may have found the perfect specimens, courtesy of the newly launched Greats Brand, just in time for high summer.
And we’re not just saying that because they’re only 60 bucks. They’ve also got some high-end tricks: bar-tacked stitching for sturdiness, Italian vulcanized soles for traction and a deerskin toecap for… well, just being way cooler than your average rubber version. The minds behind this new direct-to-consumer footwear venture are a couple of industry vets, including Ryan Babenzian—who you might recognize as the guy responsible for resurrecting prepster-rebel brand Boast. And they’re promising that this is only the beginning of more handsomeness heading toward your feet.
This might sound odd, but we know you’ve been getting these urges lately. Really strong, burning desires to sit back, get a little wet and stroke…
We’re talking about rowing, obviously. Wait, was that not clear?
Now, these impulses are perfectly natural. And trust us, getting yourself into a canoe (or kayak, if that’s your style) will definitely help assuage them. But, of course, just because you’re dying to navigate America’s waterways the old-fashioned way doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do so in style. So we’ve taken the liberty of compiling a handful of attractive options, to help you get the most out of your next aqueous adventure.
Ah, August after dark: perfect for romance, bonfires and waxing nostalgic about your pre-desk-job days as a lifeguard.
Why would you ever waste the time indoors?
But the thing is, once the sun sets, it has a way of getting pretty darned chilly out. And since nothing can ruin a beautiful beach day’s epilogue like a set of chattering teeth, we’d like to advise you to take the necessary precautions and invest in a bit of lightweight knit protection. That way, you’ll be able to focus more on achieving the perfect s’more-char and less on maintaining your body temperature.
Or your date’s, for that matter.
In this heat, you should be taking every opportunity you get to go sockless.
And chances are, by now you’ve already logged more than a few (hundred) barefoot hours in your loafers, plimsolls or boat shoes. But here’s the rub: it’s only a matter of time before the sweatiness catches up to you.
Printed swimsuits are having a moment. (Look no further than our summer must-haves for proof.)
This summer, it seems that every menswear label with access to quick-dry material has put out some sort of printed swimsuit—from camo to full-on art photography—and in the event you’re in the market for one or have already jumped on the trend, it’s imperative you know how your fellow pool-mates or beach-goers are reading into your choice. So, in our grand fashion of telling you what your sartorial choices mean:
There’s nothing better than a good summer read—especially when it doesn’t require much actual reading.
You don’t need all of that flowery prose cluttering up your perfectly good beach weekend or scenic train ride upstate. What you need is a handsome book full of glossy pages you can breezily flip through at will. Whether it’s clever infographics with easily digestible tidbits, photos of interesting cultural phenomenon or just Paz de la Huerta wearing a lot of different wigs, there are plenty of new books out this season that make for ideal summer lounging companions.
Have we mentioned recently that it’s hot out? Because it is. Hot. And is there really any better way to sidestep that sweat than going to see a movie in a perfectly 74-degree cinema?
The plot and popcorn are pretty sweet perks, too.
We want to make sure you get the most out of the viewing experience, so we took a moment to cut through the noise on your behalf. Filtered out the truly cringe-worthy reels (we thought so much better of you, Elba). Handpicked the coolest theaters. Secured your accoutrements. And put it all together in this handy guide, covering all the bases of this summer’s film-ing.
Every Wednesday from here on out, we’re giving you a piece of our minds. Actually, more like five pieces. It’s a chance to get a deeper look into what makes the minds behind Kempt tick—you know, beyond the usual Internet handsomeness we’re serving up daily. So welcome to our most personal weekly feature: The Kempt Five.
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.
News flash: it’s hot out there. By “there,” we mean everywhere. The sun is oppressive, and the humidity pervasive.
Of course, there are the traditional remedies: Slip ’N Slides, ice baths, water-balloon fights and the like. But sometimes, there’s no better way to shake the thick summer heat than hopping on your bike and getting a bit of wind in your hair. And as always, we think you should look good doing it.
So we searched high and low for the sartorial upgrades your summer cycling requires.
The sun is out. The air is hot. And you’re going to need a drink.
But before you start ordering or mixing up cold, refreshing adult beverages at will, you’ll want to choose wisely. Because with the vast number of blended, lime-y, tiny-umbrella-wielding options before you, what you ultimately end up sipping on is making a statement. And since we’re here to help, we’ve gone ahead and laid out a handy road map for you:
If you can’t quite put your finger on why things are feeling more summery on Kempt today, we’d like to direct your attention to the left column (you might want to scroll a bit).
We’ve got a fresh crop of seasonal must-haves at the ready for your impending summer adventures. Some can be ordered, while others will require a little creativity and stylishness, but most of all, they’re here to serve as inspiration for the warmer months to come.
June was a good month here on Kempt, and while it might have felt like it just flew by in an heirloom-y, Wimbledon-white blur, we’d like to take a moment to remember some of the more handsome moments. So we’re firing up the Kempt DeLorean and taking a quick drive down recent-memory lane in this new month-ending recap we like to call…
It has come to our attention that the prominence of jean shorts, henceforth referred to as “jorts,” has been increasing in recent months. In fact, in June we even saw our friends over at GQ endorsing them. (Though not their shortened nomenclature.) And suffice it to say, we’re more than a little concerned.
Knee-length denim is not a notion to be taken lightly.
Now, this isn’t the first time such a sartorial dilemma has given us pause. (See: mandals.) It’s certainly not going to be the last, either. But, as in the past, we’d rather not outright condemn such risk taking. No, instead we’d rather just give you some qualifications to consider before you go cutting that pair of pre-distressed Levi’s at the knee and calling it a day.
The following is taken from the current interior monologue of a Kempt contributor:
“Jesus Christ, it’s humid out there. I’ve sweat through my shirt. I look like one of those basketball coaches on the sidelines when he takes off his jacket. Jesus Christ. Why don’t I keep a spare shirt at the office? Smart guys did that back in the day. Don Draper. William Hurt in Broadcast News. Why don’t I do that? Jesus H. Fucking Christ.”
With the official start to summer only two days away, it’s only getting hotter, and decidedly sweatier, from here on out.
And since no doubt you’ve already transitioned your closet to lighter fabrics for the impending dog days of July and August, it’s time to focus on summer-izing your scent.
And we’re not just talking about deodorant.
It’s time for some fresh summer updates to your everyday grooming arsenal. Fact is, a light fragrance in all your primping products can really help keep the stench at bay. (Yes, even in your soap.) And when nature’s cranking the dial on the thermostat, we like to use the same rule of thumb with our grooming as we do our beverages: always better with a hint of citrus and herb.
Surf culture has been enjoying a moment in some of the more laid-back corners of menswear (look no further than Manhattan’s beach bum outpost, Saturdays Surf NYC).
And one of the more recent developments has been the beautification of the actual surfboards themselves.
It’s the sort of cross-cultural gambit that marries form and function—boards that’ve got the chops to keep up with any die-hard surfer, yet they’re handsome enough to be displayed as art. So we’ve gone ahead and found some of the most handsome examples of surfboards this side of Borneo for your riding/viewing pleasure. (And even if it never crashes a wave, it will certainly lend you more cred than a Point Break poster.)
The venerable British summerwear brand Sunspel—you’ll recognize their iconic Riviera polo as the one favored by James Bond—is launching their first-ever pop-up this weekend at slick NYC men’s shop C’H’C’M’.
And they’re bringing the rest of Britain with them…
Well, kind of. See, along with a curated selection of their own highly sought-after polo shirts, swim trunks and breezy cotton basics, they’ve chosen to feature a few more essentials from across the pond: hats, bench-made shoes and cashmere knits, just to name a few.
They’ve also teamed up with the typography gurus at House Industries to make some one-off merch for the monthlong gig, and those of you who can get to the city tomorrow will get first dibs during the opening event from noon to 4pm. As for everyone else, the shirts will be on the webshop come Sunday.
Let’s face it: things are about to get sweaty.
Now, during the week there’s not much you’ll be able to do about the predicament. Workplaces that condone the requisite ventilating brachial nudity are truly few and far between. So you’ll slap on some deodorant, don a lightweight fabric and go about your daily routine, albeit a little stickier.
The weekends, however… Well, they’re an entirely different ball game.
Strolling the boardwalk. Washing the car. Playing a pickup game of soccer in the park. These are situations where the dress code is as relaxed as your attitude should be. Likewise, these are the moments when a foray into the exposed world of tank tops is perfectly acceptable, if not encouraged. (Cue “gun show” jokes.) And though those few inches of missing fabric may not be able to stave off the impending perspiration entirely, they can sure as hell make it more bearable.
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