Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

Olivia Culpo Is Number One

  • Najib Benouar

CFDA, LOL: You know who the big winner was last night (see: MOTH, Kempt), but Seth Meyers also made a good showing. [NYMag]

More Neck-cessorizing: We’re starting to think we’ve injected some renewed vigor into neckerchiefs. Selectism brings us five more options. [Selectism]

Dancing Shoes: Just some incredibly handsome photos of bench-made shoes by cordwainer Yohei Fukuda. [Die Workwear]

Two Words: Steve Kerr: With crunch time in the NBA playoffs getting crunchier by the second, ESPN analyzes who’s got a better chance at hitting the buzzer-beater: the superstar or “the guy who’s open.” [ESPN]

Hail to the ’Chief

  • Najib Benouar

Last summer, we finally came around on neckerchiefs. Mostly because they’re more than just affectation in certain situations—say you’re a gaucho, or a leathery paleontologist exploring a remote island where an eccentric billionaire has genetically cloned dinosaurs. They’re basically your typical bandana, but sizeable enough to make it around your neck and double-knotted comfortably, and A Headlong Dive tips us off to a handsome new crop from RRL. If your neck is prone to particularly heavy sweat, this is your summertime answer.

Rothko's Bandana

Between biker style and the reappearance of the neckerchief, bandanas are having a pretty good year. And while Hill-Side is still the go-to, we may have found a slightly more ambitious option.

The brand’s called Grei, and they specialize in taking US-made chambray and running it through smart dye routines until it resembles the kind of thing you’d see on the wall at MoMA. SF’s Unionmade just put up a dozen pieces in their e-commerce shop, so you can start perusing now. Now if they only made pocket squares…

Milok Returns

Milok

Speaking of Japan, one of the country’s most overlooked labels just released a new lookbook for fall/winter, complete with bear-hugging cardigans and extremely scrappy blazers. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Milok.

They’re still working the neckerchief-ascot continuum like the last time we checked in, but now it feels a bit more Californian than Argentinean. None of them are easy pieces to pull off, but they make for pretty unassuming statement pieces. Now all they have to do is make it into a few shops.

Also, that bedhead is either a commentary on their status as a slept-on brand or the result of some kind of static-electric event. We’re going to assume it’s the first one.

See a few more pics from the line…»

Club Masters

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As you might remember, we left the last round of shows buzzing about Riviera Club, and we’ve finally got a few lookbook shots to show you why. On the surface, it’s another line from the workwear mill, but there’s a more than a little continental flair below the surface. (Exhibit A: the porkpied and neckerchiefed gentleman on the right.) Keep an eye out for these when they roll into stores in August.

A few more looks from the fall/winter collection»

The Bandana Returns

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This bandana just arrived alongside Gant Rugger’s spring collection, as a more rugged cousin to the summer scarf, and we’re pretty impressed. It’s the kind of Wild One-era flair that’s increasingly hard to find, and works just about anywhere you fit it into your outfit.

Judging by the lookbook, they’re mostly envisioning it as a neckerchief (under the collar, please), but we could also see it as a more rough and tumble pocket square, or an impromptu hat lining if you find yourself in more tropical climes. And, as Glenn O’Brien would hasten to remind us, it makes a great tourniquet.

1979 Is Going To Be a Good Year

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In honor of the New Year, Tom Ford’s released his Spring/Summer collection to the wilds of the internet. On some level, it’s the same bombastic 70s loungewear we’re used to from Tom Ford—but as a vision of things to come, it’s downright exciting.

The big winners so far are spectators and dangling belts, along with the same safari jackets, wide-lapeled tuxes and neckerchiefs he’s been pushing since ‘09. Also, if you have a pair of white pants cluttering up your closet, you might want to start airing them out now.

And maybe that fondue set.

Neck Protection

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If you were curious about the mechanics of joining the neckerchief movement, A Suitable Wardrobe just posted a handy guide to tying one so you don’t end up looking like a boy scout. You may want to paste this diagram on the back of your closet door.

And if you’re venturing into non-traditional rags—which, honestly, is part of the point—as long as you keep it around two feet square, you should be ok. And for comfort’s sake, you’ll probably want to stick with cotton.

It’s a look for the brave, but you’ve got our blessing.

Squares

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The bandana is as classic a summer piece as we can think of, and apparently we’re not the only ones. Archival Clothing just tipped us off to Discharge Style a fantastic Japanese blog entirely devoted to the versatile squares, and it’s got our head spinning with sartorial combinations. The classic thing is to keep it in your pocket and break it out for an occasional brow-mopping, but if you’re feeling adventurous, it can double as a neckerchief, an ascot, or even a pocket square.

Our favorite so far is this one. It was stamped with an ad for Wolverine gloves back in the 50s, then dug up by Hickorees a few decades later. There’s also a wealth of good finds on eBay—particularly these two—if you want something a little cheaper and with a little more history to it. Supposedly Archival Clothing has one in the works…but we’re not sure we can wait that long.

Kempt Man of the Hour: Carlos de Souza

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This snap comes from a Diane Von Fustenberg opening in Sao Paolo—prime fodder for MOTHing, by any standards.

The gentleman in the middle is one Carlos de Souza, a socialite jeweler and prime example of a southern hemisphere dandy. This particular outfit caught our eye not because of the gray sharkskin suit—which works far better than we’d expect—but because he provides a master class in our favorite sartorial quirk, the neckerchief.

He’s wearing this one in true under-tie mode, stringy and simple enough to be taken for pure functionality. It’s hot out there, after all, and if you’re keeping your neck dry, you’d rather have cotton than silk. It might be the least luxurious part of his outfit, which is only right, since it’s got a job to do.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt if you’re in gaucho country.

The Other Neckwear

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As part of our ongoing coverage of the neckerchief beat, we were happy to see this pic pop up in a lookbook for the Morocco-inspired Milok label.

We’re not wild about the ensemble in general—for starters, we’d prefer some more discreet trousers—but it nails the gentleman-in-the-desert look we’re hoping to maintain throughout the summer. By the time July comes around, this may be the only kind of neckwear that isn’t stifling, and wearing pulled down the middle like this is a pretty good way to pull it off. We’re not sure where we’ll pick one up—Milok isn’t in stores just yet—but we’ve got some time to figure it out.

Necks, Protected

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It would appear the neckerchief is once again at the throats of the stylish populace. Don’t say you weren’t warned

The Cut just shined a spotlight on a new line of western cravats out of Brooklyn, and took the opportunity to call “trend.” Of course, Mr. Ford was on this particular tip long before Williamsburg caught on, and Robert Downey Jr.’s Zodiac look included a well-placed foulard before just about anyone. But we’re crying foul on this particular retro kick for one simple reason: the weather.

The Brooklyn-based gentlemen of leisure are using the neckerchief to protect their neck and collar from summertime sweat. It’s rooted in function and comfort, making it a much better idea than most trendspotters realize. The problem is, it’s August, and while it’s still gross out there, nobody’s going to be gearing up for a neckerchief purchase until next spring. There’ll be a lot of options waiting for them after the thaw, but it’s a little early to start making predictions.