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Head to Toe: Red, White and Blue

  • Najib Benouar

Red, White and Blue

The Fourth of July is so close, we can nearly taste it.

And we’ve always been of the mind that when it comes to dressing for the most patriotic day of the year, you’ve got permission to get loud. Therefore, to fully commit to the spirit of the day, we’ve rounded up your finest options for donning an all red, white and blue kit—made entirely in the good old US of A, naturally.

Herewith, your guide to dressing for the Fourth of July.»

The Ambivalent Holiday

Happy Columbus Day! (Yawn.)

Chances are, you’re reading this at work, since chances are, your boss is about as ambivalent to Columbus Day as, well, the rest of us. We wouldn’t go so far as to call it a bullshit holiday, though we know a couple Native Americans who would.

If you happen to be in Manhattan, though, you might find some degree of relevance today by scaling six stories and kicking back in Tatzu Nishi’s Discovering Columbus, designed to provide up close and stoic views of the iconic statue of Christopher Columbus that has peered over Manhattan’s most renowned circle since 1892.

Or you could just call it another Monday and start thinking about lunch.

Not Even These Sweater Vests Could Save the Day

They’re calling it “The Miracle of Medinah”—one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, as Europe snuck the Ryder Cup away from the Americans, who had dominated the competition for most of the weekend.

It ended with Martin Kaymer jumping into the arms of his teammates, the singsong “Olé, olé, olé”echoing across Medinah Country Club.

A hat tip to the boys across the pond. But for God’s sake, it’s time to update that factory, son...

Gemma Ward Agrees There’s a Nip in the Air

  • Kempt Staff

Shopping Itinerary 2.0: A Continuous Lean presents what very well may be the most practical men’s shopping tool since the L.L.Bean catalog first arrived in the mail. [A Continuous Lean]

A Time Piece Eight Times Stronger Than Steel: Our friends over at Driven found the perfect watch for Superman. We think it will suit you just fine, too... [Driven]

Redefining Exceptionalism: Vanity Fair dims the light on that shining city on a hill and asks America: “Can we handle the truth?” [Vanity Fair]

Andy Williams Floats Down the Moon River in the Sky: Williams, one of the most popular vocalists of the 1960s, died at the age of 84 Tuesday night. Farewell to our old “huckleberry friend.” [CNN]

And You Thought the Military Was Gay Now...

In the process of researching various stories over the summer, we’ve stumbled upon a handful of vintage photographs that, at best, defy logic: Babe Ruth regifting a poodle to a wounded veteran on a stretcher, for example. A sinister “police officer” glaring at a splayed-out, tank-suited swinger, with a ghostly goddess in the distance patiently sashaying down the beach in an evening gown, for another example.

Jury’s still out on whether our readers are yearning for the latest in this head-scratchingly bizarre series, but one thing is certain:

This is the least heterosexual depiction of American servicemen we’ve seen since Rent opened during Fleet Week in ’96...»

Let Freedom Ring

  • Kempt Staff

Maybe Not #4: Nick Offerman gives his list of the 25 most American things you can do today. (Or any day you please. It's a free country.) [GQ]

If You Must Photograph the Fireworks: The photographers at National Geographic have some handy tips. [NatGeo]

Sound of the Union: There has been an impressive number of odes to each state of America—here are the 50 best. [Esquire]

Go Fourth: We’re taking a patriotic moment of silence on Kempt tomorrow, to allow you to get out there and enjoy all of the greatness this country has to offer (namely, grilled meats and lager) without missing us too badly. We'll see you back here on Thursday, singed eyebrows or not.

Red, White and Black Tie

  • Najib Benouar

We’re already gearing up for America’s birthday party tomorrow—for the past few days, we’ve been stoking the grill and tractor-beaming on anything with stars and stripes.

So naturally, we were more than pleased to stumble upon this masterpiece celebrating both America and menswear bearing a tuxedo, stars and stripes. It’s one of the standouts from the menswear-inspired paintings of Canadian artiste Sam Shuter, and it’s still a work in progress (hence, we’ve only got the black-and-white preview). But tomorrow, after some finishing touches, she’s unveiling the work of art in full red-white-and-black-tie splendor—so you’ll want to tune in.

This is going to be one handsome Independence Day.

Over: The Fat Lady (And Anyone Else) Singing ‘God Bless America’ At Baseball Games

We love our country, but we loathe “God Bless America.”

More specifically, we are vehemently opposed to the compulsory singing of the patriotic anthem 1918 showtune from Yip Yip Yaphank! at baseball games. (Yes, “God Bless America” is a showtune, and one that its author, Irving Berlin, cut from Yip! after two performances because he disliked it so much.)

Nearly a century later, we dislike it so much, too…»

Butts in the Military


We try not to write too much about politics, the military or women’s pants, but there’s a change coming to our armed forces and we can no longer remain silent. We’re talking, of course, about the military’s respect for large posteriors. And we’re pleased to say, that respect is growing.

The U.S. Army is currently testing a new women’s combat uniform with specific alterations for the female form. In particular, “more material... to accommodate the buttocks,” in the words of one designer. In short, it’s a victory of the indomitable female form over the baggy, shapeless military bureaucracy. And at the risk of sounding partisan, we’ll say this victory’s overdue.

God bless America.

The Cure for World Cup Withdrawal

  • Shawn Donnelly


This is the latest—and probably last—installment of The World Cup According to Kempt™, our series on the stuff that really matters at this summer’s tournament in South Africa.

You might have heard: the World Cup is over. (Spoiler alert.) Spain won. So that’s it, right? Wrong. There’s still a lot of great soccer to be played—and watched. And believe it or not, a lot of it will take place in the U.S. over the next month, when some of Europe’s finest club teams come over here to do a little preseason sparring (and sell a planeload of jerseys). If you’re itching to catch some live soccer, here are five—no, ten—fantastic opportunities.

See the list of games here»

Elisabeth Shue Is a Model American

  • Najib Benouar


State of the Union: Esquire rounds up interviewees' thoughts on the nation. God Bless America. And Alyssa Milano. [Esquire]

Loving Cup: Is Bill Simmons the Manchurian Soccer Candidate? [Page2]

Big Time: Big Boi's new solo album is streaming now. To remind you why you should take heed, he’s put together a retrospective of his finer lyrical moments entitled Big Boi MixTape For Dummies. [LATimes]

Mad Hype: Mad Men wardrobe designer Janie Bryant heads to the costume truck, giving a sneak peek at the upcoming season’s looks. Draper’s suits will be getting darker, to match his storyline. Should prove challenging, since he’s already living a pretty charcoal life. [AMC]

The Union Shield


We’re not usually much for coin collecting, but the latest plans for the penny just caught our eye.

Starting this year, you’ll start to see pennies with this symbol on their back half, thanks to some timely nostalgia at the U.S. Mint—and we couldn’t be happier. The symbol in the middle, far and away our favorite part, is called the Union Shield. It dates back to the 1780s, and you can see a few of them around the frescoes of the Capitol if you're the touring kind, making it one of the cooler retro revivals of the year so far.

We’ve never been thrilled about the flag pin revival of the 00s, but if everyone threw these on their lapels (this one, for instance), we would definitely be game.