Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

James the Spy

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Political endorsements come and go, but the most important one by far comes from England’s most globe-trotting, martini-sipping secret agent. Yes, we’re talking about the Bond endorsement.

Making the press rounds for *Quantum of Solace*, Daniel Craig has said that Obama would make a better Bond because he could “look the enemy in the eye and go toe-to-toe with them,” which we assume means he’s spry enough to chase some guy doing parkour. As for McCain, Craig says he’s more M material. “There is, come to think of it, a kind of Judi Dench quality to McCain.”

But he always seemed a little soft on SPECTRE.

Political Pumpkins, Denim Futures, and Fictional Gadgets

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The Boogeyman: A few politically minded jack-o-lantern templates in time for Halloween. [NotCot]

In the Trenches: A roundup of trenchcoats, in case the economy has you turning to gumshoe work. [Men.Style]

The Future is Now: DNR peers into the mysterious and terrifying future of men’s denim. [DNR]

Crossing Over: BoingBoing Gadgets crosses over from actual gadget-blogging to fictional gadget-blogging, but only three days a week. We promise to never ever do this. [BoingBoing Gadgets]

Weighty Issues

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We’ve given a lot of attention to the presidential candidates’ clothes, but maybe we should have been paying more attention to their bodies…

The New York Times has a graphic of the heights and ages of the presidential candidates for the last 29 elections. Apparently when there was a significant difference, height won out 17 out of 23 times, and girth won out 18 out of 24 times. It goes a long way towards explaining the Taft presidency, but it may have more to do with sartorial details than the Times realizes. We don’t remember the last president big enough to bust out the double-breasted suit, but we can’t think of an outfit more presidential than that.

Of course, Obama’s just a hair under 6’2”, more than half a foot taller than McCain, which might explain some of the recent poll numbers.

The Tale of the Ties

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The recent presidential debate has been analyzed to death, but one enormous sartorial story went unreported. At this point, politicians’ only remaining outlet for personal style is their ties, but things can still get complicated, as they did Friday night.

In past years, the democratic candidate has worn a blue tie, while the Republican candidate wears a red, but this always made Bush come off as more dynamic and, well…visible.

This year, Obama broke the party line by choosing a patterned purple number, putting McCain in a potentially awkward position. He couldn’t stay with red or switch to blue without risking an awkward “twins” remark from moderator Jim Lehrer. Cornered, McCain took yet another stylistic chance and opted with a pencil-stripe tie, the first non-solid-color tie seen in American politics since the dandified days of Herbert Hoover.

A maverick indeed.

Kicks We Can Believe In

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There’s grassroots activism, and then there’s…this.

These Obamafied Air Force Ones were whipped up by a street artist known only as “Van,” and they’ve been making the rounds all day. They don’t quite rise to the level of Kennedy-chic; in fact, they throw the senator's whole sartorial promise into question.

As a result, we’re throwing down the gauntlet and calling for Obama to denounce these irresponsibly ugly shoes. The American people deserve better than marker-soaked dunks marred by what one commenter correctly diagnoses as “wack execution.” Custom footwear may well be the largest challenge our next president will face. Unless we nip this in the bud, a McCain loafer can’t be too far off.

The senator’s office could not be reached for comment.

Obamathon

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Politicians are notoriously bad dressers—that’s a government salary for you—but if you’re enough of an icon, it doesn’t take much effort to become a style icon too.

After all, it’s called Kennedy chic for a reason.

The first contender to embrace the slim generation of suits (while his opponent is giving off slightly different signals), it’s no surprise that Obama's a favorite for the GQ and Esquire crowd. Unlike the rest of the C-SPAN fodder, Barack manages to make suits look good. (Not so hard, really—but like we said, it’s a low bar.)

The overseas reaction»

McCain Gets Kempt, Sexy Land's End and More

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Straight Talk Express: Noted fashion critic, Sen. John McCain, may support the Geneva Convention, but isn't above a little style torture. [AP]

Pop That Collar: An much-needed analysis of the "Douchebag Shirt". [DatingDish]

Mail Order Brides: "The Erotic Appeal of the Land's End Catalog." [Nerve]

End Run: We love menswear. We're ok with the Giants. Hell, we're even fine with Tiki Barber despite his snooze-inducing in-booth demeanor. But even our TiVo didn't want to watch Project Runway last night. Thank God for Jeff. [TelevisionWithoutPity]