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Introducing Baseball Week: Catching a Foul Ball

  • Najib Benouar

Opening Day

America’s Pastime returns to regular season play this weekend, so in our countdown to opening day, we’re proclaiming it Baseball Week here on Kempt.

Deep in the baseball almanac of 2012 lies a very extraordinary yet underpublicized stat: your humble blogger caught two foul balls in the stands last season.

And luckily for you, I, as a seasoned veteran of foul ball fielding, plan on taking you under my wing Bull Durham–style to teach you the ways of the elusive foul ball catch. You will learn from my mistakes (and my triumphs) and we’ll grow all the closer for it. (As long as we don’t let Susan Sarandon make things weird). So when that life-defining moment finally arrives, and you’ve got a baseball hurling toward your face like an orb of red-stitched destiny, you’ll know exactly how to play it.

Herewith: a user’s guide to catching a foul ball.»

Your Spring Awakening Begins Now: The Checklist

  • Najib Benouar

Spring Menswear

Wednesday marks the vernal equinox and thus the official end to winter and beginning of spring.

Which means you’ve basically got this week to check off any lingering items on your winter bucket list, and then get yourself fully into spring mode. (And you know what that means: the reappearance of sundresses. Lovely, lovely sundresses.)

So, during this week, we’re helping you out with a little series we like to call “Your Spring Awakening.” And we begin with your spring preparedness guide (you may want to print this out and tape it to your bathroom mirror).

Herewith, everything you should have done by week’s end.»

A Gentleman’s Guide to Kissing Strangers


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:

The gentleman’s guide to the cheek kiss.»

Your Six-Step Path to Pocket-Square Enlightenment

  • Najib Benouar

Here at Kempt HQ, we often receive letters from our readers—most of it adoring fan mail, but every so often we get a nude photo. Also every so often, we get an inquiry from a wayward soul that we feel compelled to answer...

“Pocket squares. I have them. I also have blazers. I want to wear pocket squares in my blazers. But not all squares are sized alike, and neither are all pockets. What should I be looking for? I have a pile of unused squares in a drawer, yearning to be free.”

While it sounds like a simple sizing issue, this conundrum goes a lot deeper, centering on how one approaches the philosophy of the pocket square. So, dear reader, we’ve come up with a six-step plan to put you on the path to pocket-square enlightenment.»

Dusting Off: The Condescending Nickname

  • Najib Benouar

Here at Kempt, we always endorse abiding by the due prescriptions of social courtesy and politeness.

But sometimes you need to take someone down a peg. You’re not trying to be disrespectful or mean outright—just to give a subtle reminder that you’ve got their number. After all, there’s a difference between a slight dig and fighting words.

Since in a few months Jay Gatsby will return to screens everywhere to give a master class on the subject, old sports, we decided it was high time to dust off the practice (and give you a few ideas on where to start).

So, eyes up front, champ—this is the Kempt guide to the condescending nickname.»