Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

The Sweater Scale: Six Levels of Warmth

  • Najib Benouar

1017_Sweaters_HED

“Sweater” is a pretty broad term.

It covers everything from the finest of gauge cashmere to the chunkiest of knit Shetland (throw a shawl collar and some elbow pads on it and you’ve got a full-on piece of outerwear). Then there’s everything in between—good for layering or on a day that might not require a jacket. So we went ahead and found the season’s six best options that should have you covered for any occasion you might encounter.

Here are your six degrees of sweater-ation.»

The Weekend Sales Report Card

  • Kempt Staff

iPhone and card holder

We’ve filtered through all of the online sale noise and graded your best options out there, should you feel inclined to do any menswear browsing this weekend...

For Every Stripe: The Brits at Sunspel—legendary for their buttery-soft polo shirts and tees—are knocking 20% off everything striped. Discount: B Sizes Available: A Selection: A

For the Tennessean: Nashville shop Imogene + Willie is slashing up to 50% off some flannels and work shirts. Discount: A Sizes Available: A Selection: C

For the Traveler: Makr’s signature slimmed-down wallets, cordovan leather gadget sleeves and other travel gear are all 20% off through Sunday. Discount: B+ Sizes Available: N/A Selection: A+

For the Rugged: The purveyors of hard-to-find craftsmanship-driven menswear at Bench & Loom are knocking 20% off jackets, coats and sweaters with the code SPRING20. Discount: B+ Sizes Available: A Selection: B+

The Most Stylish College Basketball Coaches of All Time

  • Najib Benouar

Basketball Coaches

Introducing Kempt’s March Madness bracket, wherein we pit the most iconic college basketball coaches against one another in an attempt to finally nail down who’s the most stylish of them all.

As you’d expect, it takes more than just sporting a pocket square or one nice blazer every so often to be named one of the most stylish college coaches of all time—everyone looks at least halfway decent in a suit and tie.

We were looking for coaches with a distinct through-line of personal style—and since most of these guys spent decades and multiple trend cycles on the sidelines, it usually came down to one iconic item they’d never given up. John Wooden’s thick-rimmed glasses, Bob Knight’s red sweaters or even Jerry Tarkanian’s “chew towel”—that sort of thing. Even if the pattern or cut of their sport jacket changed, that item didn’t. Which meant a guy like Jim Boeheim just missed the cut, because you might not even recognize his surgeon-cuffed look of today as the same guy who wore this in the 1970s. (Also just missing the cut: Gary Williams and his signature sweatiness.)

But there were plenty to choose from, and we just managed to cut the field down to the Sweet 16—which is where we’ll begin today, and continue to narrow down as the week progresses.

On to the Sweet 16, where Cinderellas are made.»

Your Spring Cashmere Hookup

  • Najib Benouar

Fischer

Consider this a last-minute addition to yesterday’s spring must-haves: fine-gauge cashmere.

And right on time, our comrades in style over at UrbanDaddy Perks are knocking 25% off a fine selection of spring-ready cashmere sweaters, cardigans and one exceptionally cozy-looking speckled henley from Christopher Fischer—an expert on balancing the yarn’s buttery-soft gauziness with just enough warmth retention perfect for the typical “summer in the light and winter in the shade” March day.

Clearly Dickens was pining for some cashmere while writing that line.

The Stat Sheet: Elder Statesman Cashmere Cardigan

  • Najib Benouar

Elder Statesman

As menswear’s love affair with Italian tailoring runs its course, there’s been a rising trend in rumpled luxury—some have gone so far as to name it “cozy boy.” (In other words, this refined-sweatpants craze is not going away anytime soon.)

Whatever you want to call it, the gold standard of this new menswear subculture has to be Elder Statesman, this year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund recipient. It features a collection of impossibly soft, well-made and exorbitantly priced cashmere. If draping yourself in the finest of hand-knit opulence is your thing, or you’d just like to admire a $3,200 cardigan (er, robe?), here’s what else you need to know.

The Story: The charmed life of knitwear designer Greg Chait has involved interning for Whitney Houston, dating an Olsen and stumbling into a high-level position with jean maker Ksubi. He founded Elder Statesman in 2007, making cashmere blankets for the wealthy—stocking private theaters and jets, that sort of thing—and the rest is history.

Who to Channel: Those Snuggie commercials—but while cozying up on your private jet instead of your lonely couch.

When to Wear It: This isn’t a sweater, this is a lifestyle.

Degree of Difficulty: Low/irrelevant: if you’re spending three grand on a stay-at-home sweater, you’re probably not going to listen to us anyway.

A few more lavish knit offerings from Elder Statesman after the jump.»

The 70 Greatest Sweaters of All Time

  • Najib Benouar

For centuries, mankind has relied on sweaters for winter layering and autumn-night warmth. But beyond that, they’ve been something of an afterthought. Until today.

Because today we’re celebrating the venerable garment in all of its forms by counting down the 70 greatest moments in sweaterdom—from lumpy cardigans to clingy cashmere hugging the shapely, we’ve found them all. And we’ve assembled them in full splendor.

Without further ado, the 70 greatest sweaters in the world.»

The Stat Sheet: Bolivian Alpaca Sweater

  • Najib Benouar

The finest sweaters were born out of cultural necessity: the fisherman sweaters of the Fair Isles, the hieroglyphic-like knit Cowichan sweaters, J.Press Shaggy Dogs...

And if you were to combine them all into one sweater, you’d get something close to the Andean alpaca sweater. Coincidentally, this new collection of Bolivian alpaca sweaters from Industry of All Nations has some especially handsome examples of the 3,000-year-old craft. Here’s what else you need to know.

The Story: The gents at Industry of All Nations have traveled the world, seeking out small factories and co-ops of local artisans making quality wares—from espadrilles in South America to jeans in India. Their latest discovery was this small knitting collective in Bolivia that’s making authentic alpaca sweaters the same way they’ve been doing it for centuries—except with an updated fit and exclusive color patterns—while giving back to their community.

Who to Channel: A turn-of-the-century backpacker, hiking up Machu Picchu; a worldly philanthropist with a penchant for hypoallergenic wool; Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

When to Wear It: Consider this the holiday sweater you can wear year-round (as long as it’s cold enough outside).

Degree of Difficulty: With such a versatile piece, there should be little to no difficulty subbing this in any sweater-related situation—over an oxford, under a blazer, with jeans, with trousers. Just go for it.

See the rest of the collection, after the jump.»

Paz de la Huerta Is Communing with Nature

  • Kempt Staff

via Selectism

RIP: Musical legend Ravi Shankar died today, leaving an obit to be jealous of. We spent the afternoon mournfully strumming a sitar in tribute. [NY Times]

Not Down: For the feather-averse, Well Spent rounds up the five best non-down insulated jackets on the market. [Well Spent]

Freeeedom!: New York’s Freedom Tower got the first piece of its spire today—making for some spectacular, vertigo-inducing photos. [BuzzFeed]

Dodging the Fuzz: A step-by-step guide to the art of sweater maintenance. Time to get out your sweater stone and start de-fuzzing those pilings. [Valet]