Here’s a little history lesson for you: plain white T-shirts first appeared in the late 19th century, when some manufacturer decided to split the union suit into separates. And originally, they were meant to protect one’s finer outer layers from the perils of, well, sweat.
Like boxers for your chest.
But the rules have changed in the past century. The undershirt has, on occasion, been called to take sartorial center stage. Like before bed. Or between takes on set. Or during takes, for that matter. And throughout it all, some brave, overtly stylish men have succeeded in proving that these baser layers can be worth way more than their thread count.
Utter the term “murse” anywhere and it’s instantly recognizable: the portmanteau of “man” and “purse” describing a compact bag or satchel meant for hauling things around town. It’s become patient zero of emasculating menswear—now we have “meggings” and “mewelry” to name a few of the more egregious.
But how did we, as a society, get here?
It’s a good question. One worth exploring. And as menswear anthropologists, in our quest to understand the inextricable link between manhood and baggage choice, we present to you:
We understand it’s sad news—step-and-repeats everywhere have been pouring out liquor for their fallen hero—but it’s also great news for a handful of well-groomed contenders. They’ve been waiting in the wings, slowly building their résumés with promising showings of tuxedomanship, casually dapper park strolls and landing roles with the requisite indie cred. Granted, their “suit and tie shit” might not be infallible just yet, but with a few more of the right moves, they could find themselves on the cusp of greatness. But the question still remains: who will rise to the occasion? Who will be there when fights in the East Village need breaking up, or adorable dogs need companionship? Who will be the new face that launches a thousand “Hey, girl...” Tumblrs?
What you wear to bed can often feel like an afterthought...
But not today.
Because today we’re giving sleepwear, in all of its glorious forms (including Marilyn Monroe’s lack thereof), its proper due. And after a painstakingly thorough search—no movie set, red carpet or private boudoir went unturned—we managed to assemble a definitive list of the 64 greatest moments in pajama-dom. That’s right, we found every last one of them.
We caught a screening earlier this week, and throughout all of the expected Eisenhower-era dapperness, there was one scene that really struck us. Naturally, it involved one Ryan Gosling, but the real scene-stealer was his dusty-blue fedora. With all the charcoals and browns atop everyone else’s heads, when Gosling donned the blue hat mid-film, we knew things were about to get a little more badass. (And they did.) We did a little research—each gent had his hats done separately, but Gosling’s hat was a custom job from a milliner in Chicago.
And thanks to menswear’s recently rekindled love affair with hats, we’re sensing this could be the silk scorpion jacket of 2013.
One Coin to Rule Them All:The New Yorker weighs the pros and cons of the Treasury’s option to mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin that could save America from financial ruin—with assistance from F. Scott Fitzgerald.
We’re only three days into 2013 and things are already looking up in the Ryan Gosling department with this recently released trailer for The Place Beyond the Pines, (which sounds like a mashup of his roles in Blue Valentine and Drive... with stunt motorcycling swapped in).
Aside from one fleeting flash of brilliance on the red carpet, Ryan Gosling was largely absent from 2012’s menswear conversation—mostly because his two big projects got pushed. Gangster Squad will be out next week and Pines, though it premiered last year, doesn’t get released until March.
It’s Christmas Eve. That means at some point in the next 24 hours you might be faced with the opportunity to don a fur-lined topper, Santa-style...
Now, we included the Santa hat in our holiday must-haves, but with a stern disclaimer: there’s a time and a place for taking such a sartorial risk. If that time’s ever going to come, it’s tonight.
So in the event that you’re feeling up to the challenge, we’ve found some of history’s most stylish gents pulling off the look—from Bing Crosby to Ryan Gosling—and put them here for you, sort of as a sartorial confidence booster. (And as something to keep you occupied for the next couple days, until Kempt returns to our regularly scheduled dapperness.)
The leather bomber jacket lost its way over the past decade or so—mostly relegated to the backs of street toughs and old fellows who didn’t mind a lot of billowing in the arms and midsection.
But this suede bomber from Brioni is righting the course: the trim silhouette, the slim arms, the partial lining to remove the threat of bulkiness. Here’s what else you need to know.
The Story: Brioni. You’ve heard of them. They were ruling #menswear for decades before all you hashtags were even born. Ancient rulers of the prehistoric #menswear kingdom. And they’re still on top of their game.
Who to Channel: An incredibly dapper fighter pilot or, if you’re of the mind that this suede is somewhat satin-like: Ryan Gosling in Drive.
When to Wear It: This is another versatile layering piece that you can wear over a light shirt or chunky sweater, so it’s got a decent amount of shelf life. Just make sure there’s no chance of rain.