Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

The Impasse

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How’s this for a measure of a gift: it’s easy to use, life-changing in at least a minor way, and the lucky giftee would never in a million years pick one up unless it magically appeared in their stocking.

And then consider the shoe horn.

It’s not an essential item exactly, but most men’s morning routines would be improved by a mechanical shoe helper—and a gift from a knowing acquaintance is the perfect way to break the impasse between what’s ideal and what’s necessary. This one comes from an Italian cobbler’s shop, but there are plenty of other options in the wings if you’re willing to dig a little. We prefer the longer, standing model, but for some reason the best vintage ones tend to be the small kind. Take your pick.

Sofia is Sleeping in the Field

You Can Never Go Wrong With Paisley: A guide to developing taste in interior design. The key quote: “choosing a sofa can be more traumatic than choosing a bride.” [Esquire]

Horn of Plenty: You should really get a shoehorn. [Better Living Through Design]

The Mysteries of Robert Johnson: Robert Johnson may have sung a lot lower than we thought. [Boing Boing]

And, Just Because it’s Friday: A ranked, updated list of the most humorously named bankers on Bloomberg. Ms. Takenoshita will be hard to unseat. [Business Insider]

Mickey’s Face, Madoff’s Escape, and Sam’s Curtain Call

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Face Off: We’ve been waiting for someone to explain what the hell happened to Mickey Rourke’s face. And finally, someone has. [Vulture]

There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand: Arrested Development comes to life with the Bernard Madoff scandal. Watch out for loose seals. [Gawker]

Horn of Plenty: The discreet charms of the shoe horn. [A Suitable Wardrobe]

Fare The Well: Actor Sam Bottoms, best known as the surfer in Apocalypse Now, has passed on. [Take Part]

A Few of Our Favorite Things

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London-based Monocle (which, we hasten to add, is not a lifestyle magazine) has posted a front-of-the-book-style roundup that bears no resemblance to lifestyle journalism whatsoever.

Titled “Things to improve your life,” the multinational list includes Italian bathing clubs (pictured), an austere German day bed and Ambassador’s foot-hugging leather trainers. We’re all for self-improvement—we’re even willing to tolerate the dubious inclusion of Monocle’s local newsstand—but is this really what the good life looks like? We’ve taken our own crack at it with the must-haves on the left here, but we can’t help but think there’s something missing…

Maybe something to help put on all those shoes.