It’s easy to forget that in a more genteel era, the pocket square wasn’t just a piece of sartorial flair—it served as a man’s first line of defense against a damp brow or a teary companion.
Which is why a little upstart pocket square maker out of Dallas named Quixotic has begun issuing a challenge: should any of their pocket squares get lost or ruined in the line of gentlemanly duty, they’ll send you a new one, free of charge. You’ll need to supply them with a good story or evidence of valor-related fraying or staining (which probably does not include mustard), and your chivalry will be rewarded. But first you’ll need one of their pocket squares…
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.
Advice from certified lady-person and Kempt friskonomy expert Michelle Ong.
Knowing when it’s okay to initiate physical contact with a woman should be common sense. Unfortunately, most guys are total dingbats when it comes to getting touchy-feely, confusing creepiness for charm. [Ed. Note: We would add “most guys of a certain age.”] At best, unsolicited caresses, rubs and pats are supremely annoying. At worst, you come off as the grossest kind of predator—the kind we scuttle away from and warn our friends about. It doesn’t matter if you just meant to be friendly. Unless you’re my date, physical expressions of affection should be kept to a minimum. (I guess if you’re my dad, that’s okay, too.)
The public apology has become one of our era’s defining phenomena.
It’s usually the same routine: a press conference or talk show appearance is scheduled, there are a few choked-back tears, perhaps beside a dewy-eyed supporting cast, and finally an avowal to right their wrongs. But the one thing that’s not always the same is how the transgressor has dressed for the occasion.
So, with Anthony Weiner back in hot water—and subsequently catching some heat for his preppy spectrum of pant choices this summer—following last week’s reports of Eliot Spitzer campaigning in the same exact tie he wore during his public apology press conference, we thought we’d take a look back at the various styles on display in the past few years of public apologizing.
Bow ties. The hotly disputed, professorial older brothers to the standard necktie, they are currently making an unprecedented return to the forefront of dapperness.
And you want in.
But understandably, you’re worried that you might end up coming off more Colonel Sanders than Fred Astaire. While this is a valid concern, it’s also easily avoidable; all you need is a little direction. And that’s where we come in, with a few carved-in-stone guidelines for making the jump from four-in-hand minor deity to neckwear god.
Your days of organized sports are most likely behind you. (Save for an office softball league walk-on or two.)
But that doesn’t mean you can’t relive the glory with a few hours of roundball, pigskin or doubles squash every so often. And with ballparks, courts and fields everywhere alive with the spirit of summer, there’s no better time than now to get out there and mix it up a little this weekend.
In light of recent shorts-related controversy here at Kempt HQ, some of us have been pondering the great gender-based injustice of summertime wardrobe options. While a man risks ridicule (and even threats against job stability) if he chooses to wear shorts to the office, a woman is allowed—encouraged, perhaps—to wear a skirt. The more sartorially adventurous gentleman may begin to consider a similar alternative to shorts… but please, before you make any moves we’ll all regret, consider our advice.
A Kempt contributor who shall remain nameless (hint: not me, and not Caitlin) had the audacity to wear shorts to the office yesterday.
Finally, at precisely 5:07pm, I mentioned it to him. I asked if I was the first to do so. I was. Was I the first to notice them? I can assure you not. Was this practice acceptable?
When the British Open tees off tomorrow, a few things are almost guaranteed:
—The wind will blow.
—Phil Mickelson will not win.
—Mike Tirico will wax rhapsodic about the Claret Jug.
—Someone will be called for a ridiculous, and probably unjust, penalty. He may even call such penalty on himself.
As happenstance would have it, one day you might run into that girl you dated sophomore year. Or post-college for a month or two. Or whenever. And after a quick catch-up over coffee, she’ll invite you to dinner. But you’ll just know she doesn’t mean dinner in the traditional sense.
Though food might still be involved, if you remember correctly.
Wait, why did you break up again? Doesn’t matter. You’re both single, and over each other, and she’s got legs till Saturday. This is your moment. Do something crazy. Hell, maybe even call it “closure.” But before you go ahead and bury the hatchet, so to speak, we’d like to set up a few guidelines to help you survive such a risky endeavor unscathed. Besides, we wouldn’t want this to end like last time, now would we?
There is no better season for drinking during the day than the summer.
Fine, spring is pretty great, too. And yeah, spiked cider in fall definitely doesn’t suck. But winter… all right, winter too has its perks. So let’s rephrase: there’s no better season for drinking and getting tan than the summer.
Traditionally, Memorial Day is when it all starts. Sure, maybe it’s not officially summer, but with a cooler of beer, good friends, good music and an entire farm’s worth of barbecue, it sure as hell does feel like it. Though like all good things, winning this glorious three-day jaunt requires some solid forethought. Luckily for you, we’ve done it already.
Travolta and Newton-John in Grease. Swayze and Grey in Dirty Dancing. Peck and Hepburn in Roman Holiday. Hell, basically any pair of characters in Wet Hot American Summer.
With the sheer volume of steamy summer romance we find in pop culture, you’d think we’d all be bumping uglies the second the temperature peaks above 70.
It would seem that falling madly in love with a stranger was totally acceptable—as long as it began and ended within the confines of June and August, on break from school, of course. Then we’re to believe that once your mandated summer breaks are a thing of the past, so are your chances for a casually balmy two months of abbreviated love.
If there’s one day of the year you should really feel obligated to clean up your act, it’s Mother’s Day.*
Which means a clean shave, tucking in your shirt and, by all means, absolutely no foul language. (A card wouldn’t be a bad idea either.) Yes, even if you’re just planning on spending a few heartfelt moments over the phone with your salty seafaring sailor of an old lady.
But chances are, you’re going to be seeing dear old mum, face-to-face, over brunch—possibly with an impressionable child or two within earshot of your every syllable. We understand it can sound like a tall order to keep it clean (especially when you’ve been waiting all spring to tell the family your Dennis Rodman story), but we’ve got you covered with this handy list of euphemisms and campy alternatives to your favorite four-letter words.
It’s the harshest reality of competition: sometimes your best efforts just won’t cut it, if only by a hair.
We’ve seen it all before: sweat. Slow-motion. And a final step, swing or buzzer-press that secures the glory of victory, with nothing to thank but a bit of luck. It’s the stuff that mediocre inspirational movies are made of.
But sometimes you’re the other guy.
And we’re talking big losses here, like being the wrong horse in a photo finish at the upcoming Kentucky Derby or the second guy on the moon. These moments we don’t plan for. But sometimes they happen, and just knock the wind right out of us.
The wedding toast. A time for tears, a time for laughter… a time when that drunk cousin is given a microphone and free rein to ruin a lovely evening. To ensure you’re not that cousin, our team of glass-raising aficionados has laid out some tips. Standing ovation not included.
And now for some wise words of advice from Kempt’s resident phone etiquette expert and certified lady-person, Michelle Ong.
Let’s get one thing straight: nothing ruins romance faster than a bad sext.
Even a perfect date can be spoiled if your best-intentioned goodnight message turns into a slightly vulgar description of your “peepee”—or worse, a deluge of winking emoticons and a picture. Ugh. Sure, the standards of courting a lady online aren’t much different from doing it in real life these days, but sexting comes with its own nuanced set of rules.
Fear comes in many forms.
There are fears with a logical evolutionary basis—the fear of heights, for example, was embedded pretty deep in our psyche so that our idiot ancestors wouldn’t go jumping off cliffs. Google would have you convinced that the only thing men fear is commitment (which, we’ll admit, is an objectively terrifying sentiment). Then there are ones you’re hesitant to bring up on a date in fear of coming off… soft.
Carnies. Insects. Stand-up comedians. We’ve all experienced those minor terrors of irrational fear. And that’s what we’re here to discuss. With a brief, uncontrolled and wholly unscientific polling of the Kempt staff, we’ve taken the time to learn about what makes men break out in a cold sweat and duck for cover. And we’ve uncovered quite a bit.
Becoming a regular seems pretty easy: go to a place. Go there again. Go again and again until they know your name. Repeat ad infinitum.
But that’s only half the battle…
It requires dedication. It requires patience. And once you’ve made it, like any good relationship it’ll require some maintenance. But we promise, it’ll be worth it.
Dinner plans: you’ve got ’em.
Tapas with friends. Family-style Italian feasts. Surf-and-turf date nights. Late-night tacos. Bottomless mimosa power brunches. All of which have one thing in common: other people.
Which, one could argue, is the entire point of eating. Hell, entire books have been written on this subject. But those who fear the company of no one are missing out on a truly noble and gratifying experience.
Which is why every once in a blue supermoon, it’s a good idea to dine alone. Not because you have to, but because you can. And just because you’ve chosen to spend the night in your own good company doesn’t mean microwavable burritos on your couch—in fact, we believe it should prompt the opposite.
Persistence is generally considered a virtue. Also: knowing when to call it quits.
Today we’re talking about that second thing.
Because even with the aid of Valentine’s-enhanced romance—and the champagne, the roses, the long weekend in the woods—your last shot still came up short. It’s not that she isn’t a spectacular gal and it hasn’t been great getting to know her… but, alas, the time has come to part ways.
So take a deep breath. Prep some band-aid metaphors. There’s no sense in putting it off:
You’ve been lauded for your handshake since you were a teen. A beautiful union of eye contact, pressure and two perfect pumps. But the world is a diverse and sometimes nefarious place full of French women, Argentine men, Real Housewives, wealthy grandmothers, amputees… none of whom care about your handshake.
This week is especially dangerous: it’s Fashion Week, when New York City will be flooded with designers, Europeans, the wealthy, people who have become wealthy via designing things in Europe… In short, you’re going to need this more than ever:
Apocalypse-heralding horsemen? Nigh.
In these tumultuous times, we’ve decided to revisit the rules of the past—to see if they’re really dead, and if so, if any are worth reviving. To kick it off, Kempt etiquette-tician and really polite soup-eater Gabby Kruschewsky looks at the rules of chivalry.
To start the assignment, I headed to the public library (libraries: also still real), where I came across a dusty tome, Esquire’s Guide to Modern Etiquette, published in 1969.
Earlier this week, we made the case for dusting off the slightly condescending nickname, and we’ve been inundated with an outpouring of support for the idea ever since. We’d also like to thank everyone who (non-condescendingly) pointed out some very glaring oversights. (You can’t win ’em all, toots.) As it turns out, there’s such a wealth of lesser-known noms des condescension out there that we felt obligated to make an addendum.
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