Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

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.»

Sammy Sosa, the Detroit Auto Show and a Wintry Cocktail

  • Kempt Staff

Say It Ain’t Sosa: Sammy Sosa has a Pinterest page. It’s full of amazingly staged shots of him. Almost equally mind-boggling: how the photos of him in the canary sweater didn’t instantly become a meme sensation. Internet, consider this a formal challenge.

Street Legal: Our octane-enamored partners in crime at Driven give us an in-depth look at the new face of American muscle coming out of Detroit.

A Gentlemanly Soak: One man’s journey to bathtub enlightenment, as told by Valet’s editor. (Good to know, in case your nearest hot tub is out of order.)

Bucking Branca: Esquire hips us to a solid wintry cocktail—that gets extra points for incorporating Fernet.

Edita Vilkeviciute Is Ready for the Ball

  • Kempt Staff

My Tie: Some well-deserved love for the herringbone tie—with some solid options, to boot. [Put This On]

Snow Business: Recounting the haunting tale of an avalanche in Washington—replete with impressive embedded GIFs of the snow and Doppler radar. [NY Times]

Another Look: Slate rounds up their top 10 most viral photos of 2012. [Slate]

Sheer Malice: A doctor diagnoses the injuries sustained by the “Wet Bandits” in a holiday film that just barely missed our list, Home Alone. [The Week]

The Stat Sheet: Sunpocket Glacier Sunglasses

  • Najib Benouar

Just in time to ward off any snow blindness, Sunpocket has unveiled their new mirrored-lens sunglasses designed specifically for winter mountaineering/finding the steepest hill in town and sledding down it.

So if you’re planning on doing anything remotely snow-related (or skipping ahead to the lodge for some après-ski), here’s what else you need to know.

The Story: The French brand Sunpocket began making sporty foldable sunglasses in the ’70s—not unlike the Persols Steve McQueen favored—that have recently begun gaining traction in the US. This is their first model made specifically for mountaineering and glacier exploration.

Who to Channel: Jean-Claude Killy; Robert Redford in Downhill Racer; a Swiss shipping magnate who’s slope shark by day, lounge lizard by night.

When to Wear It: Skiing, snowshoeing, brunching on a particularly sunny patio (as long as said patio is within walking distance of a chairlift).

Degree of Difficulty: The hand-perforated leather attached to the temples is definitely a statement—that you should either be able to back up with stories of slalom domination or remove when not on a mountain.

Let Robert Redford show you how it’s done, after the jump.»

What Your Knit Cap Is Saying About You

  • Najib Benouar

As deep winter approaches, it’s more than likely you’re starting to pull out the scarves and hats to assess the state of your current warmth-retaining paraphernalia.

At the heart of it all: the knit cap.

And on the occasion that you’re looking for a new one or contemplating reviving an old standby, you ought to know what your choice of topper is saying about you...

So, herewith, a handy guide to understanding the vibe your knit cap is projecting.»

This Year, You’re Getting the Right Winter Coat

  • Najib Benouar

Winter has a way of sneaking up on us. (Happens every year.)

And waiting until the first day it’s genuinely freezing to get yourself a new winter coat usually doesn’t end well—you’re either digging through whatever’s left on the racks or subjecting yourself to another year with that old coat that never lived up to expectations.

In other words, the time to find your perfect winter coat is now. And since winter means different things to different people (someone who lives in the Pacific Northwest versus a steelworker in Pittsburgh, for instance), we’ve put together a wintry mix of coats that should have you covered for every occasion.

Herewith, the six coats of winter...»

Kirsten Dunst Has Something to Tell You

Almost Blue: A very close look at some lust-worthy dip-dyed jeans from Tender Co. [OEN]

One More Round: The wisdom of a Portland bartender. A highlight: “A Negroni was the kind of cocktail that changed my view on what cocktails are.” [Esquire]

The Horse Race: A detailed look at a Polish sledge race, timed for the dead of winter. We just found our new favorite sport. [Reuters]

Your Hate-Read of the Week: And finally, the worst thing you’ll read about Linsanity. [Deadspin]

The Topcoat of 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, the topcoat of 2012.

We know it’s a little weird recommending a winter coat just as February’s tailing off—even weirder since you won’t be able to pick it up until August—but this one’s worth it.

It comes from Ian Velardi, who just unveiled his fall lookbook—but if you can’t peruse the whole thing, we’ll save you some time: it contains one of the most handsome topcoats you’ll see all year. It’s a frontal assault against the cloud of gray overcoats that usually pops up in late fall, and the neutral pattern means it’ll fit with just about anything you decide to wear underneath.

Note: we do recommend wearing something underneath.

Historic Achievements in Layering

Sometimes, four layers just aren’t enough.

This shot comes from Coggles in York, England, where things have apparently gotten cold enough that a gentleman needs a bomber jacket, cardigan, V-neck, shirt, tie and (presumably) undershirt just to walk down the street. And even more surprising, he pulls it off without looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

It helps that he keeps his baggiest layers on the outside, like the leather bomber, while the trimmer sweater and shirt end up a few layers down. They’re also pretty thin, so he doesn’t have to size up to accommodate anything as bulky as a puffer vest.

And, of course, a sharp enough pair of red shoes will let you get away with just about anything.

Avoiding Hat Hair

The groundhog is still fast asleep, and it’s only getting colder out there. As the winter gears up, you may notice more and more disarray in your usually well-ordered coiffure. It’s the affliction known as hat hair, currently ravaging scalps across this great land of ours.

We couldn’t just sit back and let the widespread mussing go unchallenged, so we’ve consulted the experts and developed five steps to keep your ’do intact under even the most stifling of hats. Ladies and gentlemen, your guide to defending against hat hair...

Our five tips for beating hat hair»

The Kempt Guide to Winter Skin Care

Winter’s a tough season for your skin.

You may have already noticed a little wintry dryness creeping up, now that you’re splitting your time between frozen streets and furnace-heated offices. Stick with your regular routine and you’ll be in sorry shape by the time February rolls around—so we’ve put together a quick playbook to protect your skin against the dry chill of winter.

Gentlemen, your guide to winter skin care...»