We’re officially into the “odd uneven time” of seasonal transition—when a cloudy morning could just as easily mean rain or a balmy afternoon.
Our suggestion: look to the perennially underrated henley.
It splits the difference between a tee shirt and a rugby, which is ideal in casual layering situations, but it can hold its own when the temps unexpectedly rise and your collar needs loosening. (A nautical stripe helps with the latter.) Some might even be adventurous enough to slip it under a blazer (what helps here: being Ewan McGregor).
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.
September is a big month in the print world of menswear. It sets the tone for the following season (and, effectively, the remainder of the year).
It also means the page counts are at their bulkiest—so many woolen things, so little time. And in our continued dedication to sussing it all out, we’ve thumbed through the 1,000-plus pages (we’ve thrown in the bonus round of Vanity Fair since they’ve weighed in on the year’s best-dressed men) just for you.
A picture can say a thousand words. But those words rarely reveal how it all came together.
Like this snap of a leather-clad Ewan McGregor and company from the first ad campaign in the brand relaunch of British label Belstaff. Aside from the fact that it seems the brand is moving away from its tradition of waxed cotton to slick leathers, the most interesting part of the story is that McGregor pitched himself to star in the new campaign. And the Belstaff honchos were wise to accept. It also helps that Ewan is an avid motorcyclist and longtime Belstaff enthusiast (who, apparently, reads the business page of WWD very closely).
It’s not just black suits either. Even in a more casual setting, you have to go through the minefield of assembling an outfit’s worth of matching-but-not-too-matching shades of deep gray, and then hope your complexion is warm enough that you don’t look like a corpse or a Tim Burton character.
But at last week’s W.E. premiere, Ewan McGregor pulled it off—and on a red carpet, no less. The fur collar on his coat keeps things from getting too severe, but the real trick here is the roughly textured sweater, which keeps him looking more rugged than gothic.
Add in some winter stubble and an Old Hollywood flourish of the hair, and he’s ready for his close-up.
Christopher Hitchens with Ian McEwan (left) and Martin Amis in Uruguay via The Guardian
We spend a good deal of time here at Kempt headquarters discussing the gentleman’s style: his clothes, his facial hair, his accoutrements, etc. In addition, though, over the past year, we’ve attempted to broaden the definition of style to include his behavior as well: his adherence to a certain chivalric code, his etiquette, the words he uses, his manner of pursuing artistic and athletic endeavors, his morality, his aspirations and, inevitably, the periodic missteps that can and squander those aspirations.
While we hesitate to dip our toe into the murky, stale bathwater of year-end reviews (and while we have even greater hesitation to hurl ourselves, willy-nilly, into the business of doling out meaningless, award-less “awards”), we’re doing so anyway.
Maybe we’re slightly more nostalgic for 2011 than we’ve been in the past.
Or, more likely, maybe we’re finding the exercise of attaching superlatives to people and things and moments to be kind of fun.
Whatever the reason, we present for your perusal—in three parts over as many days—the 2011 Kempt Awards.
It’s the sort of thing you’d usually see on a mixologist or an unusually well-groomed bike messenger, but damn if he doesn’t pull it off, thanks to an otherwise unassuming goatee and a generally unpretentious demeanor. (Pro tip: it looks a lot better over a t-shirt than a tweed suit.) Mostly, we’re happy to see this stache inching towards the mainstream. If you’ve got the courage (and the mustache wax), it might be worth a try.