Yesterday we brought you a seemingly exhaustive list of 25 style lessons from Seinfeld. Or so we thought.
This curious GIF of Drake sitting courtside at the last Toronto Raptors game has been making the Internet rounds lately…
It would seem that the high-profile Raptors fan was openly using a lint roller during a break in play. (And of course the watchful eye of the Internet caught it.)
While we must applaud Aubrey Graham’s commitment to garment maintenance, it seemed a bit out of place. And it got us thinking deeply about the situations wherein it’s appropriate, mildly appropriate and not at all appropriate to use a lint roller.
Just when you thought the passing Internet-fashion sensation #normcore had been left for dead six weeks ago, the New York Times goes and kicks some life back into it.
And after reading yesterday’s trend piece/preemptive eulogy, we couldn’t help but think about how the good name of normal, hardworking Normans everywhere was being dragged through the mud all over again. So we’d like to take a moment to salute the most #normcore of them all:
Some press releases come to your desk that are so absurd, you can only shake your head. But every once in a while, a company crosses the line into shaking-your-fist territory.
An underwear brand is offering $50,000 worth of “Penis Insurance” if you buy three of their pairs.
Something curious we noticed while covering fashion week was the sudden widespread use of the term “puppytooth” to describe micro-houndstooth checks.
It was a little off-putting at first. But then it got us thinking about what would happen if we started giving diminutives to other fabrics and patterns that could be shrunk. And it opened a Pandora’s box of menswear baby talk, but a few ideas actually stuck…
And while we’ll agree that those are some damn cool shades, we must take exception to such a patently absurd blanket statement. Even if you were to limit it to accessories, it misses the mark when taking stock of history’s most stylish on-screen accoutrements—the watches, the sunglasses, the Stetsons—that over time have become just as iconic as the character who wore them.
Okay, hear us out.
Johnny Depp has been catching a lot of flack lately—not all of it unwarranted—but before we start ringing the death knells, let’s not forget that the guy has been a bona fide icon going on three decades now. Sure, Depp’s been on a downhill trend since around the release of The Tourist (and Rango wasn’t doing him any favors), but everyone has slumps. Let us remind you that this is the same guy who held court at his infamous clubhouse, the Viper Room, befriended the likes of Hunter S. Thompson, courted Kate Moss in her rambunctious heyday, trashed hotel rooms and was just about everything you wished your rock-star-actor hyphenate would be. Hell, if he survived Chocolat, he’ll survive this.
Even the most well-versed man of style can still learn something new. Case in point: a cordwainer is not a cobbler. A cobbler is not a cordwainer. It’s an important distinction. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to be using the word in polite company…
As you surely remember, last week we interviewed Maine’s new hotshot shoemaker, Kyle Rancourt. In the title, we proclaimed him a rising star in the cobbling world. As a reader kindly pointed out, Kyle is a cordwainer (the traditional term for a shoemaker), not a cobbler (the traditional term for a shoe repairman). It’s a subtle distinction and one that’s been eroding over time—now that big labels often outsource their lines entirely, and most off-the-shelf shoes aren’t worth repairing—people forgot who was doing what when it came to their footwear.
We’ll probably stick to “shoemaker” in casual conversation (and writing), but the next time we’re looking for a quirky turn of phrase from the past, rest assured “cordwainer” is high on the list.
That’s a tough one. Mostly because it’s hard to fathom a situation where you’d want to both wear shorts and don a jacket—not to mention that, well, a man wearing shorts cannot be taken seriously. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few (very specific) instances when a modern man might find it appropriate to go business from the knee up, party from the calf down.
Numbers don’t lie. Even when it comes to the highly abstract world of Fashion (yes, capital “F”). And the latest study proving this is the ominously titled “The Most and Least Fashionable Cities in America.”
Internet, take note: Orange County, CA—the mythical land whose economy is almost entirely propped up by Botox and reality television, where “cougar” is still used unironically, the sole reason Christian Audigier is still in business—is home to the most fashionable people in America. All right, it’s not as apocalyptic as we’re making it sound. The findings are interesting if not predictable, so let’s take a closer look at the infographic to understand why your city (or NYC, for that matter) hasn’t been crowned “Most Fashionable” this go-round.
Some brands are more mystifying than others…
Justin Bridges has been pondering the meaning of Supreme all week, on the heels of a profile of the cult brand in this month’s GQ. He covers a lot of ground, but it boils down to a simple question, one that’s struck nearly everyone at some point: what makes a man camp out for a pair of cargo pants?
Naturally, we’ve got a few ideas.
Time unveiled their Top 100 fashion icons today, and it’s ugly stuff. Of the full 100, there are about 10 gentlemen whose wardrobe we’d actually like to dig into. Unfortunately, it’s not all James Dean…
It’s not that the list is bad, exactly. It’s just the latest in a long line of stodgy fashion pieces that completely ignore menswear. It’s enough to make you think the last 10 years never happened…
Male jewelry is always a maze of conventions, but we recently ran across a particularly complex case via A Suitable Wardrobe: the pinkie ring.
A surprising number of well-dressed men have popped up wearing them, from Prince Charles to Jay-Z, so we understand a guy getting curious—but this is dangerous territory.
Like most affectations—a monocle, for instance—if you’ve got any doubt in your mind, don’t do it. It’s not a necessity. The success rate isn’t even all that high. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll take a walk right now, forget all this pinkie ring nonsense and go back to your easy, comfortable life of wingtips and oxford shirts.
Thumbing through snapshots of Fashion Week, you might get the idea that it was nothing but good ideas and great clothing, just aching to leap off the runway—but it’s not so.
For every mouthwatering-but-wearable suit, there are two more that you’d never dream of putting on your shoulders, that made it to the runway only out of artistic bombast and the enduring provocateur spirit.
It’s not a bad thing (it certainly makes things more interesting for writers), but we thought we’d take a moment to look past the gushing prose and see how five of the most outlandish outfits look in the harsh light of commerce. We’ve even picked out the rare situation when you could wear them, if you’re feeling brave and wealthy…
It’s always dangerous when you start taking style cues from Silicon Valley, but we never guessed it would get this bad. Friday’s New York Times contained an improbably timed ode to what they’re claiming is the new talisman of business success: the happy sock.
Never mind that the CEOs they’re trotting out are at least three years behind the curve here, or that the piece is drenched in PR-ready lingo, calling colorful socks “like a secret handshake for those who have arrived, and for those who want to.” (Again, that’s colorful socks they’re describing, not a Mercedes or a Breitling.)
But the real problem is the strange assumption that you’ll be taking style cues from tech CEOs, simply because they’re tech CEOs.
Sometimes the fashion world ruins things.
It happened to Chuck Taylors. It happened to the espadrille. And now, it’s happening to the slipper.
This note arrived in the Kempt inbox this morning, concerning the state of the black suit:
I was after some advice with a black suit. I want to wear it for numerous parties over Christmas period but I want it to be versatile to wear out and about. To be honest I can’t tell what makes a great black suit from a bad one.
This is a tricky one, as the black suit is the subject of much debate. Here’s our advice.
The preternaturally on-point Justin Bridges has launched a mini-campaign for the tucked tie in the past few days, starting with these snaps for Baron Wells and this out-and-out endorsement. But before you take to the streets with half a placket showing, we’ve got a few words of caution.
Unlike the army officers who started the style, you’re not in danger of getting your neckwear caught in the gears of an artillery cannon, so there’s no functional reason for the tuck. As with so many affectations, it looks a lot better on the Internet.
Having said that, there are a few rare situations in which a modern man might find it appropriate to slip his tie between the buttons of his shirt… and we’ve compiled an exhaustive list after the jump.
Businessweek dropped a minor bomb last week with a piece titled, “Where J.Crew Shops for Ideas.” The answer, surprisingly enough, seems to be Freemans Sporting Club and Steven Alan. We’re fans of all three—and also fans of squashing beef—but the whole piece seems to be under the impression that a retail style is the kind of thing you can just copy, like a haircut or a term paper. Not quite…
On the heels of Fashion Week, Daily Intel has spotted an interesting trend: models with shoulder-length hair, even at shows for otherwise classic brands like Steven Alan and Tommy Hilfiger.
Intel’s got a bunch of theories, including the down economy and the decline of the clean-cut banker—and Don Draper types—but we know Italian style when we see it, and we’re going to call this as one more example of Continental Drift.
This list has been making the rounds of late, via Mr. Porter’s take on the working wardrobe. It’s a familiar roll call—well-proportioned, not too adventurous—but we have to confess a certain sinking feeling every time we contemplate opening up our closet and finding this inside.
Open up the closet of a certain class of professional—a corporate lawyer, say—and this is about what you’ll find. Open the right closet, and it might even look good. And yet… this still feels like the sort of thing that makes people give up on dressing themselves entirely.
It’s not that it’s wrong. It’s just that it’s depressing.
It hits close to home—we did just write a post about sweaters and tweed jackets in 80-degree heat, after all—but we’d like to offer a mild defense of the topsy-turvy fashion calendar.
There’s a lot to like about Left Field—they make a pretty good polo shirt, for instance—but we can all agree this gentleman (from their latest lookbook) would look a lot better if he were in some sort of chalet/yacht setting, instead of glowering into the middle distance while clutching a firearm. But someone had to guard the junkyard…
There’s a pretty good post about buyer’s remorse over at A Headlong Dive, covering the basic things you should consider whenever you step up to the retail plate. (The short version: fit matters; brands, trends and markdowns don’t.)
It’s important stuff to know, especially in the age of flash commerce, but we can’t help but think it missed a little bit of the magic that can pop up between a stylish guy, a good shop and a well-made item.
Men’s grooming guides follow a simple playbook. You stake out the basics (the barber, the nail clipper), the adventurous flourish (beard oil, anyone?) and the forbidden zone where any self-respected heterosexual man dare not venture.
We’re not complaining—or lining up for pedicures, now that you mention it—but we’d like to make the case for a certain oft-maligned product that usually gets short shrift, most notably in Esquire’s latest ode to grooming.
Gentlemen, it’s time to reconsider eye cream.
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