Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

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The New White Shoe

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Now that we’re on the cusp of white-shoe weather, we couldn’t resist a quick survey of this season’s options. Suede bucks are still the gold standard, but if they seem a bit too stodgy…there’s always corduroy.

This pair comes from Florsheim by Duckie Brown, a reliable source for traddish twists. They'll work any time you’d try out the bucks—think warm weather and khakis—but they’re just offbeat enough to warrant a second look. More importantly, the charming smudges that give your bucks so much personality will end up as diagonal stripes here, so by August they'll have quite a signature on them.

The Other Summer Shoe

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We’ve always had a soft spot for the white shoe, but if the white buck is a little too formal—possibly because your white suit’s at the cleaners—you may want to venture a little farther into sneaker territory. Zuriick’s new suede sneaker splits the difference just about perfectly. It should match with any cotton suits you may have in your closet and breath better than anything short of sandals. Of course, you’ll have to be wary of grass stains…but you should probably be sticking to the pavement anyway.

The New Rule

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When shoes like this Alden suede longwing are finding their way into stores, it’s time to reexamine your feelings on white shoes. Traditional wisdom dictates waiting until Memorial Day, which would give you another 41 days of wingtips, but we’d suggest in the following rule for anyone north of the Mason-Dixon: Any time you’re switching to summerweight suits or wearing short sleeves outside, it should be warm enough to accommodate a little white footwear.

In other words, give it another couple weeks.

Pre-Smudged

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We’re on the cusp of white shoe weather, so we were pleased to see this pair of oxfords come down the transom from Paul Smith.

The wooden sole does a lot to separate it from the pretenders, and the perforated material does even more, but look closer and you’ll see the casually uneven dyeing that makes it worth whatever Sir Smith is charging these days. As any dandy knows, looking clean and bright is overrated.

In Conference

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Black and gray get all the cred, and there’s always a new color of the year kicking around, but whites and light khakis can have the same panache if you pull them off right. And white bucks are certainly a step in the right direction.

In this case, your guide is Conference of Birds, the same label that gave us the coats we gushed over this summer. This time around they’re feeling a little more summery, and giving us a quick refresher on the best ways to wear white pants.

Memorial day can’t get here soon enough.

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Location, Location, Location

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A lot of good stuff has come out of Japan recently, but they haven’t had much in the way of suits. Until now, anyway.

Our friends at A Continuous Lean tipped us off to the Japanese brand Whereabouts, currently on shelves at L.A.’s *H. Men*.

Free of the pop-art touches we’ve come to expect from the land of Mario, Whereabouts seems content with thin lapels, tasteful tailoring and impeccable fabrics. The look has served them well in Asia: they’re stocked in more than 20 boutiques and department stores in Japan, with four more locations in China and Korea. In the States, however, the label's still under the radar.

More on Whereabouts»