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The State of the Kite


It’s nearly picnic season again.

And suddenly we’re reminded of when picnicking was a bona fide event: your parents would pack snacks and drive the whole gang to the park, or the beach, or whatever breezy venue felt most appropriate. You’d munch. You’d enjoy the sun. And you’d fly some damn kites.

Good times were had by all.

Soon enough, it’ll be you in the driver’s seat. You’re probably not entirely there yet—what without the wife and the kids and the station wagon and everything—but there’s still nothing stopping you from a little high-flying glory of your own. Because the game’s the same: just run like hell until the darn thing stays aloft. However, your old box-kite might not cut it anymore.

Lucky for you, we’ve taken stock of today's kite market and rounded up your best options.»

Yard Workwear

  • Najib Benouar

Paul Newman

Now that your spring awakening should be in full swing, you’re going to want the proper attire for all the spring cleaning you’ll be doing this weekend (especially if you’re dusting off the push reel mower).

Sure, an old retired pair of jeans will do in a pinch, but there comes a point in the life of any piece of clothing when it’s been run too ragged to be of service (but hey, now you’ve got something authentically broken-in to wear fashionably).

The answer: something tougher than the workwear-inspired stuff that’s been floating around the Internet for the past few years now. We’re talking about real workwear. Stuff you don’t have to worry about beating up, because it was made for it—and because the price didn’t have the overseas shipping from a small artisan workshop in Japan built into it. We’re not guaranteeing all of this stuff will fit the same way, but you’ll be happy to have that extra give in your pants’ rise when kneeling down to change the spool in your edger.

Herewith, your head-to-toe yard workwear kit.»

The State of the Sled

  • Najib Benouar

News of yesterday’s record-setting snowball fight in Seattle got us thinking about how there was a time in our lives when snow in the forecast was an exciting thing—instead of just a notice to allot a few extra minutes for our morning commute.

And more specifically, it got us thinking about the holiest of snow-day pastimes: sledding (hey, we did make a sled a winter must-have). After some cursory research, we were surprised to learn that the sledding industry is alive and thriving—possibly as strong as it has ever been. In fact, the options are nearly endless, from the old-school variety to the sort of snow-bullet you’d imagine someone named Sven spent his life perfecting. There are even concept snow sleds.

So we slalomed through them all and found the five finest sleds for whatever snow-centric endeavors you might have planned in the near future.»

Weekending the Right Way: The Summer Alfresco Party

In this new weekly series, we peer into your summer weekend agenda and offer a few essential sundries to help you make the most of your upcoming escapade. This weekend, you’re throwing an alfresco soiree.

Let’s face it: that repurposed keg tub has served as the centerpiece of every outdoor party you’ve thrown since graduation. It’s time for it to leak weird liquid somewhere else. And since you’re already headed to the dump, you might as well toss out the wobbly coffee table, the not-supposed-to-be-blinking Christmas lights and, well, just about everything else that’s been outside for over a year. We know, you kind of like that stuff.

We also know you’re going to kind of like this stuff more...»

Dusting Off: Alpinism

As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, habits and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off alpinism.

It’s hard to know the meaning of our lives.

We muddle through, doing the best we can, but we’re mostly making it up as we go, ignorant of any larger significance our time on earth might have.

So we’re just going to tell you. The fates have guided you to this blog post, and now we’re going to provide you with the purpose of your existence. We’re not even going to put it after the jump.

Your purpose in life is to ascend the tallest mountains on earth, bringing glory upon your name and country.

It sounded strange to us at first too …»

Loose Threads: Outdoorsman Edition


Seasons change—at least on the East Coast—and it’s worth it to take a moment for seasonal appropriateness. You can’t wear flannel all year round, and those short have to go back into storage sometime. Suits come in different weights for a reason, and over time, we put together a wardrobe appropriate to our climate, whatever that may be. But even if you live in the land of aerial wolf hunting, there’s still no excuse for wearing this heap of junk.

Somewhere between a snowsuit and a tailored sleeping bag, this loose thread entry provides us with a useful rule of thumb. If you can’t tell if something is clothing or furniture, it might be wise to avoid it entirely.