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Dusting Off: The Black-Tie Masquerade Ball

  • Kempt Staff


News flash: Halloween is this Friday.

And you’re probably on the hook for at least one party this weekend—meaning you’re going to have to wear a costume that could very well sacrifice your dignity, or worse: your stylish reputation.

But this wasn’t always so—in fact, there was a day and age when dressing up only required a tuxedo and a mask, demonstrated by one Mr. Frank Sinatra, above.

Now this is the sort of costume party we would attend gladly...»

Man of the Hour: Bryan Cranston

  • Najib Benouar


Most of the red-carpet style chatter centers around Hollywood, but there was some serious style on display from the Broadway set at last night’s Tony Awards.

And for the most part, everyone kept it on the straight and narrow—not a bad thing when it comes to traditional formal dress—but there was one slight departure we could get behind: Bryan Cranston’s dotted bow tie. It’s the sort of subtle swagger that nabs you the Anthony for best actor. Bravo, sir. Bravo.

Have a better look at his getup, after the jump.»

The Real Winners of the Oscars

  • Najib Benouar

Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

There were plenty of good-looking tuxedoes at last night’s Oscars—which was to be expected.

But there were a few unexpected standouts, a few departures that we were pleasantly surprised by—like the Hemsworthian burgundy—and a couple of ivory-white jackets that split the difference between questionable and impeccable. When it really comes down to it, these were the real winners of the Oscars (some even took home a golden statue)...

The 10 best-dressed men at last night’s Oscars.»

Illesteva’s New Site, Gateway Tuxedos and J. Press for Dick Cavett

  • Kempt Staff

Dick Cavett

Catching Some Shades: Esquire directs us to the newly relaunched website for cult-y sunglasses purveyor Illesteva—replete with webshop.

Gateway Tux: In the wake of Sunday night’s black-tie clinic, Valet tracks down an attainable tuxedo for any budding red-carpet hopefuls.

Press On: Richard Press, the seemingly endless source of menswear lore, regales us with the tale of his tenure as talk show host Dick Cavett’s wardrobe supplier.

Fina-Cop-More: Why You Mad hips us to Neapolitan shirtmaker Finamore’s latest offerings.

"Gangnam Style" Style: 5 Notes On The Most Viral Video of All Time

  • Najib Benouar

This week, the music video/dance phenomenon that is “Gangnam Style,” from Korean pop’s prodigal man-child Psy, has entered the record books as the most watched Internet video of all time. We’ll link it here, in the rare event you’ve just woken from a long coma, but here’s the gist: a baby-faced man dressed in a colorful assortment of tuxedos, spectators and one curiously triple-breasted button-down shirt dances amid horses, boats, lasers and explosions (usually caused by the power of dance). It’s exactly as good as it sounds.

There are a lot of reasons the video has become the most virally viral Internet sensation of all time—Psy himself cites the “strongly addictive beats and lyrics ... thus certain to penetrate the foundations of modern philosophy,” which we couldn’t agree with more—but we think it really comes down to the seriously stylish undertones of the whole thing. Sure, at the video’s heart, the characters and their dress are meant to be send-ups on Seoul’s nouveaux riches, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still appreciate the style of Gangnam.

So we bring to you a look-by-look breakdown of this millennium’s most famous style (and possibly, some Halloween costume ideas).»

Kempt Man of the Hour: Tom Ford

  • Najib Benouar

It’s no secret that Tom Ford has been the driving force behind Colin Firth’s recently impeccable run at premieres and awards podiums everywhere—so it should come as no surprise that Mr. Ford can dress himself for the red carpet. Here he is at last night’s Met Ball, standing out in a field that was particularly formidable—everyone seems to be taking black-tie seriously again, thank goodness.

The difference here is that, even though we’re dealing with a double-breasted tux, a large bow tie and a larger boutonniere—all potentials for overdoing it—he keeps it in check, and in a black-and-white palette that manages to not look so, um, “Tom Ford.”

And having a supermodel at your side never hurts.

The Obama Tuxedo


It’s been a while since we had a president with a genuine style trademark, but Obama’s already staked one out.

If you had an eye on his lapels at last night’s state dinner, you might have noticed the lapels were notched—like a business suit, but unlike every tuxedo you’ve seen at the Oscars for the past 50 years. He pulled the same move at the inauguration (with a little help from Hart Schaffner Marx), and caught quite a bit of flack from purists over it. But he’s staying the course, and staking out new territory for the tuxedo in the process.

There’s a reason you don’t see it outside of the white house. Peak lapels are more elegant, and that’s usually what you want in a tuxedo. Otherwise, you’d just wear a suit. But if you’re a workmanlike president trying to show his sober side while respecting a black-tie state function, it’s a pretty good compromise.

And if your own personal style doesn’t jibe with the outsized elegance of the classic tuxedo, it's not a bad move. Your style handbook might disapprove, but Barry will be on your side.

Kempt Man of the Hour: Matin Maulawizada


In the midst of all the hate directed towards black suits, we thought we’d take a moment to appreciate what it looks like when it’s done well. In general, it’s something like this.

The gentleman in question is Matin Maulawizada, founder of Afghan Hands and a man who was born to wear a black suit. For starters, the charity gala in question was both after hours and serious enough that a little toning down was entirely appropriate. The three-inch polka dot tie keeps him from coming off as funereal, but otherwise he’s skirting the edges of black-tie territory. The result is a slightly more elegant version of a business suit—which is a pretty good model to keep in mind next time you’re hitting the gala circuit.

Kempt Man of the Hour: André Benjamin

  • Jared Paul Stern


*Photographed by our fearless lensman, Patrick McMullan.*

Here making his second MOTH appearance, the multi-talented André Benjamin (aka André 3000) stole the show at the Met Costume Institute's gala Monday night.

What won us over was his beautifully-cut cream shawl-collared dinner jacket with a subtle tone-on-tone glen plaid pattern, which could be from his Benjamin Bixby line, though it looks a little on the formal side—perhaps Ralph Lauren or Brioni is a better call—worn with Hollywood-waisted dress trousers, velvet evening slippers and a perfectly-proportioned pointed-end black velvet bowtie. His signature flourishes were apparent in the straw fedora, pearl shirt studs and a somewhat faded-looking but nonetheless brassy boutonniere»

Kempt Man of the Hour: Cameron Silver

  • Jared Paul Stern


*Photographed by our fearless lensman, Patrick McMullan.*

Look sharp, men, the competition is heating up—we have our second repeat MOTH on the heels of Daniel Day-Lewis' landmark victory last week. The first time around, dandified Los Angeles-based vintage clothing mogul Cameron Silver caught our attention with a green velvet Gucci suit and custom croc loafers. At the Art of Elysium benefit gala in L.A. the other night he went one better in a custom-made toile dinner jacket that blew the lid off the staid black tie crowd.

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