Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

This Year's Bean Boot

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L.L. Bean’s new Signature collection arrives online today, and our pick of the litter is this unusually sharp update to the Bean boot. That upper is navy waxed canvas, colored to match your jeans and treated to keep out water almost as well as the classic leather version. Wear them hard, gentlemen.

The Pre-Loved Pack

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We can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of satisfaction when we’ve managed to visibly break in in a prized belonging. The telltale patina of marks and scratches is an accomplishment of sorts. It makes a statement—this thing has been with you for years, maybe even decades. It’s traveled with you and it’s somehow managed to look even better with time.

This Babylon Backpack from Wheelmen & Co. achieves the veteran status sans elbow grease, with the help of some unusually weathered waxed cotton. And despite their pre-loved appearance, the bags have some heavy structure, thanks to pivot hardware on the shoulder straps.

So don’t be squeamish about tossing them down a few staircases for the sake of some extra wear.

The Other Waxed Cotton Jacket

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We’re still recovering from the sheer quantity of green, corduroy-collared Barbour coats we saw at the Pop Up Flea, so we thought it might be time for a slight variation. Maybe something a little thicker…

This Spiewak deck jacket has the same rich waxed cotton look as your beloved Barbour, but the sheepcoat lining is thick enough to push it into Jeremiah Johnson territory—and make it a lot more snow-ready than most of its waxed cousins. They’ve been making industrial jackets for firemen, paramedics and soldiers for upwards of a century—presumably in a forward-thinking bid to shore up their workwear cred—but the off-center buttons put the whole thing just off-center enough to stay current.

As for what to do with your old Barbour, your girlfriend would probably take it off your hands…

Barbour’s New Look

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The ongoing Barbour x Tokito collaboration deposited a new crop of goods at Opening Ceremony this weekend, and it’s not a moment to soon.

This wax quilt jacket caught our eye now that our local climate has switched from “Indian summer” to “Shackleton-esque.” It’s the same waxed cotton that Barbour built their empire on, but it’s a lot trimmer than their flagship items. More importantly, the quilted vibe takes it into equestrian territory, pushing the heritage look just outside of its comfort zone.

And, most important of all, it’s really warm. It’s cut high, so you’ll want to start stockpiling long underwear now…but if you can get through the winter without a plastic parka, it’ll be worth it.

The Minimalist’s Overcoat

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You might not know it from today’s swelter, but someday in the next few months, you’re going to be faced with a brisk, drizzly day that’s too wet for a blazer, too dry for an umbrella and too hot for the deep-winter parka.

And on that day, you will need something like this coat.

Designed by the hip minimalists at Folk, it’s part of the same treated cotton genus as Barbour and Belstaff, but it’s a little less impenetrable and a lot less heritage-minded. More importantly, it makes for a perfect outer layer—particularly if you leave the top strap unbuckled and show a little sweater.

And if you have a hat handy, now might be a good time to get it ready.

Miranda Kerr is Feeling Matronly

Put It On Wax: Another entry in the long, proud history of rewaxing guides. This one has pictures, which helps more than you might think. [Archival Clothing]

Vintage Brawlers: A peek into the world of bare-knuckle boxing in the 1890s. [New Republic]

Holiday Snaps: Julian Schnabel takes stunningly beautiful polaroids, as you might expect. [The Moment]

Norgay For Life!: A few vintage snaps of Tenzing Norgay on Everest with some British guy. Well-dressed chaps, both. [A Continuous Lean]

Farm Aid

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One of San Francisco’s best men’s shops, Unionmade, just opened up for eCommerce, and we’ve been picking through the resulting lucre all day. The haul includes a few Gitman button-downs, Alden boots and Hill-Side ties—in short, everything you’d expect from a modern purveyor of gentleman’s goods.

The big surprise? This messenger bag from an outfit called Farm Tactics managed to spice up the staple waxed cotton satchel with a layer of mesh—perfect for holding any rugged items (including starfish) you may pick up in your travels. It gives the whole item a military quality, which is about right considering the history involved...and thankfully, you won’t have to trek out to San Francisco to pick it up.

Poncho Weather

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The poncho is seen as a lost cause by most of the fashion world, but apparently Oliver Spencer’s a true believer. It’s good news, since we’re bound to see a few nasty rainstorms over the next couple months and it’s just about the perfect item for facing them down.

This newly arrived Quay jacket has all the wood-and-leather hardware you’d expect from Mr. Spencer, but the thirsty waxed cotton and the grade-school coloring put it miles ahead of the plastic competition—and it’ll still keep your head drier than even the largest umbrella in your broom closet. All told, a pretty good piece to have in your closet once fall rolls around.

And naturally, if it gets worn down in a few years time, we’ve got some ideas on how to fix it up.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Re-Waxing

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As you may have noticed recently, just because it’s summer doesn’t mean it can’t start pouring rain at any moment.

And now that the first crop of trend-inspired waxed cotton jackets and bags are getting a bit weathered—and, consequently, a little less waterproof—it might be time to look into re-upping your wax coating. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier than you might think.

First, you'll need some wax...»

Cottage Industry

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The gentlemen at Oregon’s Archival Clothing have been impressing us with their yen for neckerchiefs and safari pants for a while now, but this week they’ll be graduating from bloggers to bonafide shopkeepers. As of Friday, they’re getting in the eCommerce game.

The flagship item is this Filson-y rucksack, but they’ll be filling out the shelves with messenger bags, classic St. James sweaters and new limited edition gear throughout the summer, all designed according to meticulous research and more attention to the past than the future. It should be worth a bookmark, particularly if you’re still buzzing for waxed cotton as much as we are.

Do Your Research

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With January taking a brief vacation, the east coast has been looking surprising English. Fortunately, we’re the adaptable type.

This Trapper Hat from Heritage Research takes after hats that have sheltering North English heads since the industrial revolution. It’s waxed cotton—with just enough waterproofing to withstand the winter rain—and a Stormy Kromer-style flap to fend off any gusts you might encounter. The design was taken from classic northwestern hunters caps, with fabric lifted from a factory north of Manchester and stitched together without leaving the country.

As for the Heritage Research itself—you guessed it—it’s Japanese.

Putting it on Wax

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The beloved Swedes at Fjällräven launched their eCommerce site last night, which means those ubiquitous backpacks are one step closer, and we finally got a chance to peruse some of their more functional items, like this Oban parka.

It’s the same waxed cotton that keeps the packs sealed up, but with a fuzzy inner shell warm enough to get you through a Scandanavian winter. It’s a lot more low-tech than it looks, which might be its biggest strength. After years of seeing Barbour on the backs of outdoorsy scenesters for so long, it’ll be nice to see a fresh Swedish version.

Taking Flight

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The rules of the flight bag are pretty simple: Keep it slim and keep it simple. If you do it well, you’ve got a

And in this case, BillyKirk did it very well indeed. This flight bag brings together waxed cotton and beautifully worn leather trim for a one of the better carryalls we’ve seen this year (at least of the ones that didn’t say Filson on them). Luckily, the retro vibe didn’t stop them from sizing it just large enough for a laptop.

But it should fit in that overhead compartment.