- Kempt Staff
Rain is temporary. Your umbrella should not be.
Rain is temporary. Your umbrella should not be.
If you’re wondering why it’s feeling a bit more spring-like on Kempt today, we’d like to direct your attention to the column on the left—where we’ve refreshed our seasonal crop of must-haves.
We’ve conjured a spring fever dream of baseball, gardening and corduroys that don’t have a hint of fall in them. Allow us to show you the way.»
A superstorm... the Frankenstorm... Sandy.
Whatever you’re calling the hurricane headed toward the Northeast this weekend, things are promising to get very wet, very quickly. So to weather this storm—and the ever-looming danger of torrential downpour this time of year—we’ve come up with a few integral upgrades to your rain gear that should keep you stylishly dry without looking like a rain-slicker-wrapped Gorton’s Fisherman (though not a bad last-minute Halloween costume idea). Even if that means braving a few errant drops or an oversized puddle—and taking it all in stride.
Upping your rain gear in five easy steps, courtesy of Kempt.»
Tanking Hard: Esquire takes issue with The NY Times’ endorsement of men wearing tank tops. (For our take, see: Russell, Kurt.) [Esquire]
Olympic Mettle: Meanwhile, on the other side of Print Media Town, GQ rounds up a dozen tank tops “fit for an Olympian.” (Everyone else should still proceed at their own peril). [GQ]
Whispers in Paris: The latest from the Kanye rumor mill: he might be presenting a menswear line in Paris next week. Naturally, the Internet is going gorillas. [Hypebeast]
Umbrella, Ella, Ella: Your daily dose of umbrella porn (if there is such a thing), by way of Naples. [Die, Workwear!]
The week has gotten off to a wet start on the Eastern Seaboard—and a trusty umbrella is key during the warmer months, when the stifling proposition of a waxed jacket is out of the question.
Right on time, Hypebeast has turned us on to a handsome collection at Club Monaco, made by the British craftsmen at London Undercover, with well-appointed wooden handles and shafts. The camouflage number is particularly on trend right now, but they’ve also got a blaze orange option along with your standard black.
Luckily, staying dry never goes out of style.
If you're still buzzed about British DPM camo after our roundup last month, here's an option that might not have occurred ot you: the umbrella.
It comes from the English brollophiles at London Undercover, with an oversized DPM pattern on the top and a warm red on the underside—presumably to make you feel warmer than you are. But mostly it's an inconspicuous way to work a challenging pattern into your routine.
And in the case of a wet snowfall, it'll be a lot more useful than cargo pants.
We do not necessarily endorse the project of outfitting yourself in head-to-toe blackwatch plaid.
However, if you decide to take it on and ascend to your rightful place in the fall/winter hall of fame, you’ll find a suitable shirt, scarf, blazer, smoking jacket, peacoat, boxer shorts, umbrella and kilt here.
And by all means, send us a picture.
The British umbrella’s already the pinnacle of rainy-day style, but we’d like to nominate a particular detail as especially crucial. We’re thinking of that notched handle known among connoisseurs as the whangee.
Make no mistake—this is advanced-level British nostalgia. (The icon, if we had to pick one, would be The Avengers’s John Steed.) But it’s also the kind of grace note that separates the standard article from the full trad. Especially if you happen to know the backstory...
The distinguished history of whangee...»
Now that trench coats are a Times-approved trend, we thought we’d dip back into the raingear scene for one of the more adventurous examples o the classic coat we’ve seen.
This Larke mac is the same treated cotton as the classic mac, but two twists push it forward into sci-fi territory. First is the obvious: it’s electric blue. It’s hard to think of a more trad-averse color. But even more importantly, it’s cut perilously close to the belt line, higher than half the blazers in our closet.
In short, it’s the rebel grandchild of the classic knee-length Mac. Next stop: the most Warhol-esque umbrella you can find.
A shocking number of the world’s umbrellas seem to be of the ramshackle $5 variety—especially shocking since just a little bit more flair will get you one of the more handsome items in your closet. One of our favorite examples: this plaid union jack brolly from London Undercover. Their Slim Walker line is full of cheeky takes on the classic English accoutrement, including another lined with a photo close-up of a plate of fish and chips—in case you forget to think of England.
Only PBR, Please: Apparently Orvis makes a wool beer coozie. Sometimes, that’s all you need to know. [10engines]
After Paper: Esquire makes a pretty handsome iPad, as it turns out. [Mashable]
A Girl and a Gun: From the department of answered prayers: Al Pacino will be starring in a Phil Spector biopic for HBO, penned by David Mamet. We can’t wait. [NYTimes]
Water Free: Some day soon, we will all be using drip-free umbrellas. [Yanko Design]
Sad but true: Umbrellas are not a very stylish item. In fact, you usually have to choose between “British nobleman” and “dry-but-silly-looking golfer.” Or just getting wet.
All of which is to say, we’re glad Filson got into the game. This cover cloth umbrella (hat tip) replaces the usual synthetics with a wood-and-waxed cotton approach, which makes it a good deal more rugged than any other rainy-day gear this side of a poncho. It won’t be shipping until October, but you should be able to make do with a golf umbrella until then.
The Saga Continues: The third triumphant installment of Put This On arrives, teaching you the art of the four-in-hand, the interview outfit and how to dress like Tom Wolfe. Nicely done. [Put This On]
A Brief History of the Umbrella: In honor of a rainy day, the Paris Review tracks down the Italian origins of the umbrella in painstaking detail. [Paris Review]
Nobody Puts Cee-Lo in a Corner: Cee-Lo’s awesome new single gets the cinematic treatment. [Dallas Observer]
Greatest Of All Time: The top 10 commercials from the NBA’s golden age…only somehow Jordan and Bird playing an intergalactic game of horse for McDonald’s doesn’t make the cut. [The Smoking Jacket]
This umbrella dome popped up in Rotterdam Friday night—a cross between Jacques Demy and Buckminster Fuller—with a DJ and bar in tow to liven up the night. The cops shut it down some time around 2am. It’s part of a guerilla civic planning project dreamed up by local architects, but it looks like they might have a future in event planning.
London may be seeing more snow than rain these days, but it’s still nice to have a brolly on hand.
This one from London Undercover (hat tip) caught our eye for its bright black-and-white houndstooth—a trad move, despite what Alexander McQueen would have you believe. It doesn’t pack quite the aristocratic punch of the more expensive models, but for 50 pounds ($80), we doubt you’ll do much better.