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This Year, Bring Something Better Than a Bottle of Wine

  • Najib Benouar

It’s one of the most important rules of party etiquette: don’t arrive empty-handed. (Good to note, since between now and 2013, you’ve got a lot of parties.)

In the past, that’s meant showing up with a bottle of wine, purchased last-minute, or an ill-begotten dessert item. But not this year. Because this year, you’re winning the holidays.

As you might recall, we kicked off Kempt’s Guide to Winning the Holidays last week with a little refresher course on your holiday kitsch. Now we’re upgrading your host gift. The real nugget of wisdom here is that you should be bringing something that enhances the evening—which is why a bottle of wine usually works in a pinch, but we’re thinking: more personal, more fun, more ambiance. (Since really, the best gift you can give any host is to help make the party more fun.) So, we bring to you:

The five host/hostess gifts guaranteed to make any holiday party better.»

Katrin Thormann Is a Shadowy Figure

Top 10: Domenica Vacca’s ten essentials include four-leaf cigars and To Catch a Thief. The man knows how to live. [GQ]

The Clothes, The Man: Are 50s-era satin souvenir jackets the next big thing? Drive’s costume designer makes the case. [Grantland]

Almost Blue: Driven shows off the beauty of Dunhill’s midnight blue tux. A thing of beauty. [Driven]

Roll On: Here’s your chance to own a roll of toilet paper rejected by the Beatles. We live in a strange time. [The Daily Mail]

Rebecca Hall Has Plans for that Table

Ash and Smoke: A fond farewell to the man who made the cigar what it is today—Edgar Cullman of Macanudo. [NYTimes]

The Dance Off: Critical thoughts on the bizarre pageant that was the VMAs. That was easily the second-worst thing Chris Brown has ever done. [Vulture]

The Illustrious Return: GQ arrives with the second half of Ian Velardi’s victory lap, spring and summer. The jumpsuit may look familiar… [GQ]

Well Chosen: If you’re in New York, you may want to stop by this Scoop sale for up to 80% off finds like Etro and Shipley & Halmos. [The Choosy Beggar]

Ashes to Ashtrays


Shalom: Shalom Harlow blips onto our radar via Vogue Nippon. [Refinery29]

Being Blunt: The ten finer points of cigar etiquette. We’d suggest, as an addendum, “Don’t ash on her cat.” [Luxist]

Mill Work: Woolrich Woolen Mills collections are always worth a look. [Selectism]

Going Quantum: Scientists build the world’s first quantum computer, potentially unleashing infinite processor power and breaking the codes that protect internet finance. But it still won’t run Vista. [Gizmodo]

Bar, Milk, and Yeezy


It’s a Low Bar: The divine Ms. Refaeli is on board to host MTV’s revamped House of Style. Here’s hoping she can avoid getting a catchphrase. [People]

Milking It: Vice experiments with the culinary possibilities of breast milk. We give it six months before this makes it to four-star restaurants. [Vice]

By Any Other Name: The good news: Kanye’s Nike collaboration finally has a name. The bad news: that name is Air Yeezy. [Secret Society]

Mr. President, Have Pity on the Working Man: Cigar taxes go through the roof, forcing decadence enthusiasts to light up with ones instead of twenties. [Luxist]

Shelby Gets The Green Light, Tattoo Jew, and Miranda Gets Greasy


Mean Green Machine: Who says hybrids have to be slow? Not Shelby, that's for sure. [Wired]

No Smoking: Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes it's a pointlessly complex electronic device. [Crave]

Kosher Ink: Seems you can still get buried in a Jewish cemetery even if you're tattooed. Hide your "No Fear" brand from the world no longer. [NYTimes]

Downgrade: Miranda Kerr switches from Orlando Bloom to the greasy scuzz who first called Lindsay Lohan "firecrotch." Meanwhile, you are charming, polite, fresh-scrubbed, thin and alone. [Popcrunch]

User Friendly: Man, that Mac guy gets all the starlets—all the starlets. [D-Listed]

Lady Law: Señor ACL picks his favorite men's style rules set down by Consuelo Castiglioni of Mari. [A Continuous Lean]

Going Both Ways: See, you can become the womenswear model you always wanted to be. Dreams do come true. [Jezebel]

Topping Out: British mom-and-pop store, Topshop, continues to roll out the goods. [The Pipeline]

Varvatos East and West, Cannes Style and a Cup of Ash


Hot Ash: The best can into which to put your cigar. [Uncrate]

Berlin Boys: A look at the Spring/Summer collection from Germany's QED. [Skeleton Legs]

Cannes Do: The history of men's fashion at the festival by the Côte d'Azur. [Men.Style]

Deal Alert: The Underground NYC sale has John Varvatos at 70% off all week (but get there early). [NYMag]

Varvatos in San Francisco: Meanwhile, on the other coast, Johnny opens up new digs in Fog City's Union Square. [DNRNews]