world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

These Are Your Summer Must-Haves

  • Kempt Staff

Must Haves

If you can’t quite put your finger on why things are feeling more summery on Kempt today, we’d like to direct your attention to the left column (you might want to scroll a bit).

We’ve got a fresh crop of seasonal must-haves at the ready for your impending summer adventures. Some can be ordered, while others will require a little creativity and stylishness, but most of all, they’re here to serve as inspiration for the warmer months to come.

Allow us to show you the way to the greatest summer ever.»

Dusting Off: The Summer Fling


Travolta and Newton-John in Grease. Swayze and Grey in Dirty Dancing. Peck and Hepburn in Roman Holiday. Hell, basically any pair of characters in Wet Hot American Summer.

With the sheer volume of steamy summer romance we find in pop culture, you’d think we’d all be bumping uglies the second the temperature peaks above 70.

It would seem that falling madly in love with a stranger was totally acceptable—as long as it began and ended within the confines of June and August, on break from school, of course. Then we’re to believe that once your mandated summer breaks are a thing of the past, so are your chances for a casually balmy two months of abbreviated love.

But we don’t think that has to be, and here’s why...»

The Gentleman’s Guide to Breaking Up

Heartbreak Hotel

Persistence is generally considered a virtue. Also: knowing when to call it quits.

Today we’re talking about that second thing.

Because even with the aid of Valentine’s-enhanced romance—and the champagne, the roses, the long weekend in the woods—your last shot still came up short. It’s not that she isn’t a spectacular gal and it hasn’t been great getting to know her... but, alas, the time has come to part ways.

So take a deep breath. Prep some band-aid metaphors. There’s no sense in putting it off:

This is the Gentleman’s Guide to Breaking Up.»

Style Icons on Dates

  • Najib Benouar

Steve McQueen

Valentine’s Day isn’t till tomorrow, but you can already feel it in the air: the unmistakable tingling of a bone-chilling winter frost.

But also: romance.

And since you’re more than likely on the hook for dinner, or at least a starry-eyed stroll, we thought you could use some inspiration for tomorrow’s festivities—with some style cues from history’s most fashionable gents on dates. Just don’t forget the flowers (or in the case of Mick Jagger: cotton candy).

Without further ado: 10 ridiculously good-looking dates and the style icons who love them.»

Brazilian Merrymaking, Fashion’s Astrologer and Waka Flocka Flame’s Valentine’s Playlist

  • Kempt Staff


Rio’s Grand: The Atlantic shares some spectacular photos from the Carnival festivities in Rio de Janeiro.

Haute Svengali: The Cut tries to figure out how Susan Miller became the de facto astrologer to the fashion elite.

The Flame Rekindles: The best part of GQ’s Valentine’s Day guide has to be the romantic playlist from Waka Flocka Flame.

Denim Jumpsuits: Put This On embarks on a photo safari through the Americana jungle/annual vintage menswear show, Inspiration LA.

Explaining Fashion Week, Bourbon’s Unlikely Rise and Frank Ocean on a Diving Board

  • Kempt Staff

Frank Ocean

Who Even Goes to These Things?: Four Pins does a fine job of explaining Fashion Week to the uninitiated by answering a few FAQs.

Sub Bourbon Flight: How the Samuels family took bourbon from backroom tipple to the revered drink it is today.

Being Frank: The story behind the photo behind the equally mesmerizing NY Times Frank Ocean profile (he’s balancing on a diving board hanging over a cliff above LA).

Cupid’s Arrow Looms: The editors of Details recount their most memorable Valentine’s stories.

A Cinematic Guide to Grand Gestures

Say Anything

Every once in a while, you find yourself needing to do some wooing (perhaps even on some evening next week). Sure, you’re great at gift giving and a pro at the art of the love letter.

But sometimes, the situation calls for something bigger—a little more intricate, Cary Grant–level wooing. And where does any self-respecting gentleman worth his weight in rose petals get a little inspiration? Why, the cinema, of course.

So to help you out, the Kempt Guide to Cinematic Grand Gestures—ranked by degree of difficulty.»

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.»

A Gentleman’s Guide to the New Year’s Eve Kiss

Advice from Kempt’s resident lady and expert on all things French, Michelle Ong.

If you play it right, the New Year’s Eve kiss (henceforth, the “NYEK”) is the cherry on top of a perfect evening. Like cherries, it shouldn’t be that stressful. Here’s why: both parties are on the same page—no one, man or woman, would rather ring in 2013 blowing on a party horn like some lonely elephant.

And really, those 10 golden seconds leading up to the NYEK are—by far—the easiest window of opportunity you’ll get all year, kissing-wise. The next 31,535,990 won’t even come close.

But as for all things, you need a game plan, so I’ve cooked up a how-to for the three types of girls you might encounter. (Girlfriends and wives aren’t listed—Lord help you if you can’t figure that one out.)

Ahead: a holiday guide to planting a wet one, breath mints not included.»

Models and the Art of the Champagne Celebration

  • Kempt Staff

via Poppin’ Bottles with Models

The Magic Number: The seven things you’re better off buying secondhand rather than new—from vintage watches to cashmere. [Put This On]

Pleat the Fifth: The Wall Street Journal is summoning the return of the pleated pant. [WSJ]

Gratuity Included: The kind souls at Complex have found the 20 most gratuitous movie scenes wherein two ladies get extra-friendly with one another. [Complex]

Working It: The story behind those Paul Ryan workout photos that Time leaked. (Some people will do anything for a “Person of the Year” nod.) [Washington Post]

Mad Men And The Legacy Of Aly Khan

  • Najib Benouar

In last night’s Mad Men episode, it seemed quite apropos that during a gratuitous afternoon of speeding through town in a Jaguar and playfully sentimental bar talk between Don and Joan (it was a fully immersive test-drive) the name “Aly Khan” was batted around. Those of you quick on the uptake might have noticed the well-placed reference to one of our 12 Original Playboys of the Jetset 60s.

As the bar scene played out, the conversation led to talk of old times, Joan’s many suitors and how Don was practically the only man in New York who hadn’t sent her flowers. He admits that he was intimidated—plus, the sheer number of flowers arriving for her daily gave him the impression she was being courted by Aly Khan, nicknamed “The Love Prince.” It was high praise—Aly was a member of an elite group of men so impossibly charming and worldly that they’d become famous for it. You can check out his resume (which included starlets and models) here.

And we’ll direct you to catch up with the rest of the Jetset playboys of the 60s, time permitting. It’ll be a three-martini read.