Ah, we can feel the love in the air. And the heat. ’Tis the season.
Summer wedding season, that is. Which means you’ve probably got a few RSVPs to attend to, stat. Next order of business: what to wear. It’s a tricky situation, balancing the unrelenting summer heat with the level of decorum required of a wedding. But that’s why we’re here to help, with:
The latest from Beach Week, our effort to send you to the shore in style this summer.
We would be remiss to spend an entire week talking about the beach without addressing the uncomfortable subject of sandals—especially now that the more leathery end of the spectrum has begun creeping into menswear.
The sandal has long plagued man with questions regarding decorum, stylishness and indecent foot exposure. Luckily we’re here to guide you on your quest to enlightenment with:
The public apology has become one of our era’s defining phenomena.
It’s usually the same routine: a press conference or talk show appearance is scheduled, there are a few choked-back tears, perhaps beside a dewy-eyed supporting cast, and finally an avowal to right their wrongs. But the one thing that’s not always the same is how the transgressor has dressed for the occasion.
Bow ties. The hotly disputed, professorial older brothers to the standard necktie, they are currently making an unprecedented return to the forefront of dapperness.
And you want in.
But understandably, you’re worried that you might end up coming off more Colonel Sanders than Fred Astaire. While this is a valid concern, it’s also easily avoidable; all you need is a little direction. And that’s where we come in, with a few carved-in-stone guidelines for making the jump from four-in-hand minor deity to neckwear god.
In light of recent shorts-related controversy here at Kempt HQ, some of us have been pondering the great gender-based injustice of summertime wardrobe options. While a man risks ridicule (and even threats against job stability) if he chooses to wear shorts to the office, a woman is allowed—encouraged, perhaps—to wear a skirt. The more sartorially adventurous gentleman may begin to consider a similar alternative to shorts... but please, before you make any moves we’ll all regret, consider our advice.
When the British Open tees off tomorrow, a few things are almost guaranteed:
—The wind will blow. —Phil Mickelson will not win. —Mike Tirico will wax rhapsodic about the Claret Jug. —Someone will be called for a ridiculous, and probably unjust, penalty. He may even call such penalty on himself.
To even the most hardscrabble gentleman of style, online shopping can be unsettling—like rowing in a vast ocean filled with “slim-fit" shirts, cryptic neck-to-sleeve ratios and hard-to-translate European conversions that might end up hanging like burlap sacks from your shoulders.
But we’re here to tell you that with a little preparation and study, there’s no reason to be scared of filling your cart with all that Italian linen and Scottish tweed that’s been tempting you from afar for so long.
In these tumultuous times, we’ve decided to revisit the rules of the past—to see if they’re really dead, and if so, if any are worth reviving. To kick it off, Kempt etiquette-tician and really polite soup-eater Gabby Kruschewsky looks at the rules of chivalry.
To start the assignment, I headed to the public library (libraries: also still real), where I came across a dusty tome, Esquire’s Guide to Modern Etiquette, published in 1969.
A well-tasseled scarf can be hard to find. And now that we’re heading into brisker territory, you’re going to want a go-to woolen muffler that goes with just about any jacket you throw on before heading into the cold unknown. A good candidate for the position would be this Pendleton scarf that’s just landed at Stag Austin. Here’s what you need to know about it.
The Story: Oregon’s legendary wool mill, Pendleton, has been turning out rugged coats, blankets and the like for trappers and lumberjacks since 1863 (and since more recently, for heritage enthusiasts with a penchant for Native American patterns). This scarf comes from the Portland Collection, which means it’s even more city-worthy.
Who to Channel: Italian businessmen, WWI fighter pilots, Steven Tyler’s microphone stand.
When to Wear It: From the first morning it feels too cold for only a coat. Mandatory if snow is in the forecast. Never indoors (except on these five occasions).
Think of This As: The franchise player of your fall-to-winter routine.
Degree of Difficulty: Depends on the knot you’re going for. We’ve always been a fan of the Euro-leaning knot (fold it in half, pull the loose ends through the loop, tighten). But this particular scarf looks long enough to allow for a few wraparounds or even leaving it hanging at the nape of your overcoat in a Draper-esque manner.
As the temps drop, you’re going to want something to stop your ears from going numb—and a trusty wool hat should do the trick. This Vermont-made wool cable-knit version from Palmer Trading Company that’s just landed at the newly minted Wittmore webshop is the perfect example. Here’s what you need to know about it.
The Story: A few years back, a couple of guys from Massachusetts moved their barn to NYC’s West Village and set up shop in the general store of every Americana-phile’s dreams—and they’ve since begun sourcing limited-run, American-made goods from places like Vermont (where a small knitting factory makes these hats).
Who to Channel: Salty sea captains, The Boss, Serpico.
When to Wear It: Anytime the weather drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Expiration Date: Late March, if you’re in the Northeast. Otherwise, please refer to “when to wear it” above.
Degree of Difficulty: Extremely low. Pull it onto your head (don’t do that thing where it sags off the back of your cranium) and proceed with your day. Take it off when indoors or on a red carpet.
Here’s a timely reader question that landed in our mailbox this past week, paraphrased below:
Every Labor Day we’re told to pack up the summer gear and start acting like it’s fall. But it’s still hot as hell out and I want to keep wearing stuff that’s not going to make me overheat. Will I be committing sartorial sin by wearing seersucker in mid-September?
Playing by rules can be tough—especially when you’re faced with the sweltering prospect of heading into summer-like conditions wrapped in hopsack wool. In our estimation, your need to stay comfortable in the tail end of summer should supersede any obligations to uphold the vestiges of sartorial tradition—but we don’t want you walking around town giving the wrong impression. So we came up with a simple guideline to follow.
Cheers, Mate: The opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Games will be on tv tonight, and the hospitable gents at GQ UK have come up with a drinking game for your viewing pleasure. (Just replace BBC with NBC and Boris Johnson with Ryan Seacrest.) [GQ UK]
Glimpsing the Future: The US has been forced to watch the opening ceremony on delayed telecast, but for those who’d like to get a sneak preview, CNN has been photo-blogging live. [CNN]
But Don’t Yell at the Fern: The 10 rules to live by when cheering your way through the Olympics. [Buzzfeed]
Leaps and Bounds: Gear Patrol lists the top 10 tech innovations happening at the Summer Games, from the track surfaces to the robotic cameras. [GearPatrol]