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The December Issues

  • Najib Benouar

As your calendar should've notified you, we’re a week into December—which means the new crop of magazines hit the newsstands a little bit ago. But in case they got lost in the holiday jumble, we’ve flipped through them all to give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about this month in menswear journalism.

The December issues were full of reflection on a year that seemed more dismal to some (Esquire) than others (GQ) and mostly about watching TV to Details. And, for the first two, possibly about ushering in a new era of the casually printed nipple. (Here’s to looking forward to 2013 on that one.)

Without further ado, we bring you the month in menswear journalism.»

Magdalena Frackowiak Is Going Mantel

  • Kempt Staff

On Paper: Put This On gives the co-eds of today a firm talking-to when it comes to their on-campus attire. [PTO]

In Practice: Ivy Style comes up with a similarly timed pictorial on fall campus style (or rather, post-prep dropout style). Good stuff. [Ivy Style]

Spray-Tan-Gate: BuzzFeed digs deep on the issue of whether or not Romney has been keeping his bronze visage by spray-tanning. You might not like what they find. [BuzzFeed]

Hay Now: A series of pictures of the candidates making speeches near hay. [Daily Intel]

Constance Jablonski Is a Nosy Neighbor

  • Kempt Staff

The Hill Side: GQ hits Capitol Hill to upgrade the style of a bunch of political-minded twentysomethings. [GQ]

Separating the Bonds: Tallying up the Bonds through the years in number of kills, martinis and conquests. [Economist]

Days Gone By: Now you can turn your favorite 365 Instagram photos into a calendar. [Highsnobiety]

Big Blimpin’: A Romney-sponsored blimp crash-lands in Florida. Everyone inside survives. (No word on Romney.) [Washington Post]

Barbara di Creddo Just Finished 100 Push-Ups

  • Kempt Staff

via World’s Best Ever

Parka Shuffle: Of all the great life lessons to be learned from Goonies, choosing the right outerwear ranks high. [Alexander Grant]

Binders Full of Handsome: Mitt Romney reminds Esquire that the binder can be a handsome accessory. [Esquire]

Secret Handshakes: The NBA’s latest killjoy rule is limiting pregame rituals to 90 seconds. Grantland suggests cutting elsewhere. [Grantland]

Take a Load Off: The gents at Well Spent take some autumnal style cues from The Band. [Well Spent]

The Fate of the Nation Is in Your Four-in-Hands

  • Najib Benouar

As you may or may not have noticed, the first presidential debate happened last night.

And while we’ll leave the parsing of half-truths and double-talk to the pundits, we noticed one glaring difference between the candidates: their tie knots. Obama’s was a study in the perfectly dimpled knot—it’s hard to tell whether it was a half-Windsor or just a masterful four-in-hand, but it was textbook, symmetrical, some might even call it professorial. On the other side of the aisle, Romney went with a taut four-in-hand with no dimple—an old blue-blood affectation that felt unfussy and verging upon Kennedy-esque—another surprise, considering everyone expected him to show up and pull a Nixon (which he managed to avoid). In other words, the ties told the whole story: Obama played it safe while Romney came off surprisingly slick.

Remember, ties have been a major stumping point this election year.

This Might End in a Tie

  • Najib Benouar

The big news over the weekend was that Mitt Romney finally chose a running mate, Paul Ryan... who showed up to his nomination announcement without a tie around his collar. (Though that woefully baggy jacket might have been an even greater offense.)

The mere sight of it on the podium had a Cajun raging and many under-qualified pundits talking fashion. It was all par for the course—obviously a ploy by the Grand Old Party to play up Ryan’s relative youth. But that shouldn’t have meant he needed to dress like a high school kid heading to his first semiformal dance. He’s 42 and a bit of a head-cracker in the House, which is why Romney went with him (the anti-Palin), so it’s somewhat confusing to see him reprising the aw-shucks role. We’re quite sure the man’s competent enough to tie a solid four-in-hand.

Which is always a good place to start when measuring any candidate’s competency.

Reentry: Richard Dawson, Tiger Woods and a Submarine Cave for Sale

Richard Dawson, the Kissing Bandit, has died.

As you may recall, Kempt recently sauntered back to the Golden (Brown) Age of Game Shows, a glorious, sepia-toned era of wide lapels, sexual innuendoes and long-stemmed microphones gracefully held by extraordinarily tanned and charismatic gentlemen like Richard Dawson. “The way he was on [Family Feud] was the way he was in real life,” said Dawson’s son, Gary. “He not only wanted people to win, but to have a comfortable, great experience.”

Click here for a comfortable, great experience (survey says)...

In the process of researching our game show story last December, we stumbled upon this clip of Dawson’s estranged sons surprising him, on air, for his birthday. We’ll go ahead and call it the most poignant moment in game show history.

Elsewhere over the weekend...»

Does Mitt Romney Use Hair Product? A Critical Investigation

We’ve never been afraid to ask the tough questions.

It started when the personal stylist of one Willard Mitt Romney swore the candidate has never touched hair product. But Mr. Romney’s impeccable coif suggested otherwise, and from the campaign, there was only an eerie silence... as if there were something they didn’t want us to know.

So on the heels of Romney’s Nevada victory, we conducted a thorough investigation into the apparent styling habits of the Republican front-runner. The results may shock you.

We’re calling it pomade-gate. This one could go all the way to the top.

The shocking, secret truth about Mitt Romney’s hair»