Who Is This Guy? (Hint: He’s One of the Kempt 100)
The Kempt 100 is our definitive list of the 100 best-dressed men of the past 100 years.
Forty down, 60 to go. We check in at the halfway point of our list with the athletes, aristocrats, writers, fashion designers and... other guys who didn’t quite make the cut for our lists of Legends and Gods. Among them: Gay Talese (above). Also among them: ... well, you’ll just have to see.
David Beckham The takeaway: Every part of a suit—the jacket, the pants, the shirt, the tie knot—should fit precisely to your body.
Walt “Clyde” Frazier The takeaway: Sometimes by best-dressed we also mean most-dressed. Not often, but sometimes. (And God bless you, Clyde Frazier.)
Walter Hagen (left) The takeaway: Even if you’re a little bigger, even if you’re just spending a day on the links, those are no reasons not to dress like you give a fuck. (Fun fact: Hagen is said to have traveled with a second limo, which was tasked solely with carrying his clothes.)
Jean-Claude Killy The takeaway: Even bundling up doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on fit or style.
René Lacoste The takeaway: Head-to-toe white. Try it sometime. (Also, just imagine Nadal wearing this.)
John McEnroe The takeaway: Somehow this all just works. No one carries himself with more swagger on and off the court.
Prince Charles The takeaway: Find something that works and stick with it. And if “something that works” is perfectly tailored peak-lapel double-breasted jackets, then it helps to have a prince-sized budget...
Aristotle Onassis The takeaway: ... or a shipping-magnate-sized budget.
Samuel Beckett The takeaway: Some might argue Sam’s breaking some rules here, but if you wear it like you give zero fucks, no one will care. (Also, this list brought to you by the Confederated Turtleneck Manufacturers of America.)
F. Scott Fitzgerald The takeaway: A knit tie and plaid blazer: timeless.
Ernest Hemingway The takeaway: If you ever want to feel all of the emotions—joy, melancholy, fright, anger—image Google Hemingway. He’s unfailingly dressed like a man who could care less what you think of him, but he’s still dressed well because he’s a man who cared what he thought of himself.
Jack Kerouac The takeaway: Even undershirts looked cooler back in the day.
Gay Talese The takeaway: Want to stand out in a crowd? Try a perfectly tailored suit.
Tom Wolfe The takeaway: See above. (Also, tucking a tie into your pants: underrated move Tom nicked from the Italians.)
THE FASHION DESIGNERS
Michael Bastian The takeaway: On paper, none of this works. On Bastian, worn with a certain devil-may-care sprezzatura, all of it works. Take notes.
Thom Browne The takeaway: This guy single-handedly fought and won the fight against the baggy trousers of the Casual Friday ’90s. Your ankles should thank him.
Tom Ford The takeaway: Go ahead, open an extra button. (Feel free to button it back up if children or colleagues are present.)
Yves Saint Laurent The takeaway: We forget if it was YSL or ZZ Top who said girls sure go crazy for a sharp-dressed man. Either way, it’s true.
THE TWO GUYS WE THOUGHT WOULD BE FUNNY TO PAIR TOGETHER
Johnny Carson The takeaway: On screen, Johnny was the consummate host, right down to his handsomely colorful suits. Off screen, he was the exact... same, just without the suits.
Malcolm X The takeaway: The suit and tie. Serving radical minds since its inception.
NOTE: Click here for the previous installments.
- Kempt Staff