world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

Icon: Chet Baker

  • Najib Benouar

SR4569876 Or.ChetMilan Bo

People tend to forget that well into the ’50s and ’60s, before rock and roll really took hold, jazz musicians were still the epitome of subculture cool—and they’d gotten even cooler since the raucous ’20s of ragtime in speakeasies.

So when Charlie Parker hit the West Coast for a string of gigs in 1951 and chose an up-and-comer by the name of Chet Baker to play with him, a new subculture star was born. He may never get the biopic treatment like Ray or Cash, but his story runs about the same—just swap in a trumpet and Baker’s magnificent head of hair.

Chet spent his formative years in the Army and was still sporting the preppy civilian style he’d picked up on base during his rise to stardom. And you can see documents of the style continue in his wardrobe as his life visibly unraveled—succumbing to the same vices that plagued most of the greats at the time (which, sadly, he would never fully get over). He was a jazz legend, a stylish dude and an all-around badass...

And here’s a look at his style evolution in these five iconic pictures.»

Andreea Stancu is Being Devoured by a Fur Rug

The Square of the Season: The Sartorial Advent Calendar kicks into gear with a surprisingly versatile Gitman Brothers’ pocket square. [A Headlong Dive]

The Most Expensive Car Crash in History: Earlier today, a pile-up in Japan claimed a Lamborghini, three Mercedes-Benzes and no less than eight Ferraris. Light a candle. (Yes, there’s video.) [BBC]

The Power of Blue Tweed: A nice street style shot showing off the power of blue tweed and oxblood shoes. [William Yan]

Let’s Get Lost: Bruce Weber’s sad short film about the legendary trumpet player Chet Baker. [Open Culture]

Reasons to Buy a Custom Van

The Brass Savant: A detailed description of how Chet Baker got so damn cool. Required reading. [The American Project]

Making the Cut: A professional’s guide to the haircuts of the stars. As always, thickness is important. [Esquire]

Living in Paradise: Andy Spade’s Napa Valley hideaway is incredibly beautiful, as you might expect. [Mister Mort]

Tomorrow’s Monk: The newly minted D.C. Lewis line unveils a crop of monkstraps. Not too shabby. [Put This On]

Kempt Man of the Hour: Ryan Gosling

  • Jared Paul Stern


*Photographed by our fearless lensman, Patrick McMullan.*

Out of all the Hollywood heavies stalking the red carpet at the 14th Annual SAG Awards the other night, bearded Canuck Ryan Gosling stood out for his superlative sartoriality.

Gosling, a Chet Baker fan and accomplished jazz guitarist in his own right, sported one of those signature Tom Ford single-breasted, peak-lapel three-piece suits we've been musing on lately, in a new incarnation. His was a steel-hued silk and linen herringbone number with oversized patch pockets, worn with a white-collared tan and gray checked shirt and black leather shoes also from Ford's closet. Adorning his lapel was a special tribute to unfortunate pal Heath Ledger in the form of a black ribbon designed by his sister Mandi, Gosling's date for the evening.

More on today's MOTH »