Every Wednesday we’re giving you a deeper look into what makes the minds behind Kempt tick. We call it: The Kempt Five.
By now the scarves, tweed and heavier knits have come out of their mothball-laden warm-weather hibernation and firmly reestablished themselves in your daily layering rotation.
Meaning, naturally, that the fall/winterization of your wardrobe is almost complete.
Key word: almost. So, lest you overlook the transition’s finer details, we’ve compiled for you some of the handsomest seasonally textiled four-in-hand options on the market right now. (Just don’t match them to your fall/winter pocket squares.)
The 113th US Open went off this weekend, and it had us pining for the glory days of golf fashion. Back when the hair was feathered, the caps were newsboy and the prints were bold.
The ostentatious culture peaked around the time of Caddyshack, but thankfully, some pieces have remained steadfast. Most notably, madras.
The fabric is lightweight, easy to maintain and stays sharp when traditional suiting would fold under wrinkle-inducing humidity. So versatile, you can pretty much find any garment rocking its signature tartans. Hence, we went ahead and found all the gear necessary to don you from head to toe.
Sale season’s in the air, and the second annual summer sample shindig over at Hickoree’s is at the top of our weekend to-do list.
For today and tomorrow only, they’ve turned Floor Two into a pseudo-warehouse pop-up, packed to the beams with overstock and never-produced samples from five stellar NYC brands.
Designers from Stanley & Sons, Left Field, Battenwear, 8.15 August Fifteenth and The Hill-side will all be stopping by the scene, so there’s a pretty good shot you’ll be able to seek styling advice straight from the source.
We swung by last night to check the scene and found everything from swim trunks to trousers, shearling bombers, anoraks, henleys, oxfords, ties, tees and seriously handsome bags, among a host of other gems. They’ve even brought in a rack of goods for the ladies in your life by way of 8.15.
We’ve spent the entire week speculating on the heirloom futures market, but sometimes it’s good to have a little head start.
Nothing too crazy, just 50 to 60 years or so.
Luckily, our esteemed colleagues at the Washington, DC, bureau of UrbanDaddy have just tipped us off to Hugh & Crye’s recently launched vintage stock. It’s mostly ties, pocket squares and lapel pins—which is a good start in the trinkets department—from the Eisenhower era, but that shouldn’t mean you’ll relegate these to the gray flannel suit days. In fact, a good amount of the ties sport a surprisingly modern slimness. (Plus, there isn’t a more timeless icon than the oriole bird.)
As you might have noticed around these parts, we’re excited about the impending onset of spring.
And one of our favorite things to watch during this season shift is the cottons, chambrays and linens replacing all that wool and tweed—something you can start doing immediately when it comes to your neckwear. To show you what we’re talking about, we’ve rounded up a dozen of the finest examples of spring neckwear on the market right now.
In our ongoing ruminations on black tie regalia during the lead-up to the Oscars, let us consider the little things that can make or break a tuxedo’s chances for best-dressed-list-ed glory…
As with everything menswear-related, attention to detail is paramount—we’ll spare you the lecture on how your tux should fit well (just make sure it does). We’d rather focus on the universally key factors like sizing up a lapel, the appropriateness of grosgrain and the employment of a pocket square.
A lot of bloggerly ink has been spilled in the excitement over J. Press’s neo-trad capsule collection York Street, helmed by the #menswear golden boys at Ovadia & Sons.
It’s the sort of brilliance that could only happen in the Tumblr age—or by being willed into existence by a small cadre of menswear influencers performing ritualistic dances in some clandestine Ivy League clubhouse. (It could’ve been either, really; we’d rather not comment any further.)
And while it seemed that the stuff would only exist on the Internet, today it all became a reality in a real-life brick-and-mortar shop in NYC—and our friends at UrbanDaddy got us a sneak peek at all the cable-knitted wool and tufted-leather handsomeness. If a trip to the city isn’t in the cards anytime soon, not to worry—all the stuff is available online.
Here’s a late-breaking addition to yesterday’s hard-hitting report from the menswear trading floor at Capsule New York.
One of the standouts: Forage Haberdashery, a Philadelphian outfit that’s handcrafting ties, bow ties and handkerchiefs out of deadstock fabrics—everything from denim to linen. Their (hunter-gatherer-themed) spring line is still in the works, but there’s already a good smattering of neckwear in the webshop. Consider the photo above your sneak preview.
Not everything requires an Internet search—just a quick glance to refresh your memory on the difference between bourbon and rye or a cut of Boston butt or rump.
And these handsome new letterpress prints from Bearings have got you covered on everything from tying your bow tie to identifying venomous snakes of the South (hat tip). They’re not exactly pocket-size flash cards at 9-by-12 on 220 lb cardstock, but they can be just as helpful framed and hanging in a strategic location—like next to your dresser mirror (the bow tie instructional), over your butcher table (the pork chart) or within eyesight of your overstuffed leather whiskey-drinking perch (the whiskey family tree).
Finally, you can own your favorite tie in shirt form.
Because the gents at The Hill-side have teamed up with Gitman Vintage to turn some of their most popular ties into full-blown button-downs for a limited-run holiday collection—we’re most partial to the flax/cotton multicolored polka dot and the of-the-moment microfloral pattern. There are seven shirts in total, and they’ll all be on sale this weekend at the Pop Up Flea before making their way online sometime next week.
Which reminds us, the gates of menswear heaven will be swinging open as the clock strikes 3 today, so make sure to brush up on our definitive guide to navigating the PUF V before heading over.
If you haven’t made the seasonal (or mental) transition to wool ties yet, now is the time.
And on the occasion that our friends over at UrbanDaddy Perks have 40% off an exclusive selection of woolen ties from Pierrepont Hicks—from the woolen-tie capital of the world, Minnesota—we thought we’d pass along this 1975 snap of a surprisingly on-trend Robert Redford giving a master class on how to wear one: over a chambray dress shirt and under a sweater and herringbone sport coat.
And for extra autumnal points, make that a double-breasted blazer.
As you may or may not have noticed, the first presidential debate happened last night.
And while we’ll leave the parsing of half-truths and double-talk to the pundits, we noticed one glaring difference between the candidates: their tie knots. Obama’s was a study in the perfectly dimpled knot—it’s hard to tell whether it was a half-Windsor or just a masterful four-in-hand, but it was textbook, symmetrical, some might even call it professorial. On the other side of the aisle, Romney went with a taut four-in-hand with no dimple—an old blue-blood affectation that felt unfussy and verging upon Kennedy-esque—another surprise, considering everyone expected him to show up and pull a Nixon (which he managed to avoid). In other words, the ties told the whole story: Obama played it safe while Romney came off surprisingly slick.
Remember, ties have been a major stumping point this election year.
It’s one of our favorite seasonal shifts: trading in the cotton and shantung ties for the heartier knits of fall/winter.
To lead the way, the Knottery has just unveiled their autumnal offerings, and we’re especially partial to these mélange knits. They’re the equivalent of your favorite fall sweater—that can be wrapped around your collar. They’ve also come back with a few more iterations of their Norwegian sweater-inspired tie from last year—which should also have you in the mood for some leaf-crunching underfoot.
We can almost taste the tweed.
We may have finally found the perfect tie for making the late-summer, early-fall transition—one that you can wear whether the day calls for a navy blazer in cotton or in wool. It’s from tie makers Graham Withers, 50% cotton, 50% linen, and just so happens to be 30% off over at UrbanDaddy Perks (along with a handful of similar ties that should also help fill out your gap-season neckwear). Consider it the regimental stripe of late August.
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