Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

The Stat Sheet: Ralph Lauren Wimbledon Umpire Blazer

  • Najib Benouar

062314_Ralph-Lauren-Wimbledon-Blazer

Wimbledon might be the last bastion of sartorial tradition in sport—with its age-old requirement that all players wear white—but as the competition kicks off today, you’ll notice it’s not nearly as stylish an affair as it once was.

But there’s still one last torch of dapperness being carried by the gentlemen perched above ground level—and that’s the piped umpire’s blazer, supplied by none other than Ralph Lauren. Which means, if you’re feeling up to the task, you can pick one up for yourself.

But not until you read up on the facts and figures first.»

Head-to-Toe Tennis Style from the Icons

  • Kempt Staff

052714_Rene-Lacoste-Stylish

The French Open kicked off this weekend and it reminded us of how tennis players have been, historically speaking, a pretty stylish bunch.

Perhaps the guys on the courts today aren’t as stylish as the ones back when René Lacoste and Fred Perry were chasing down lobs, but if you look at a number of players’ great contributions to sportswear, it’s quite impressive. Simple, enduring classics that still look as good today as they did in the 1930 or the 1970s.

In fact, you could stylishly outfit yourself from head to toe in gear fashioned by tennis icons...»

Kempt Man of the Hour: Andy Murray

  • Caitlin Ganswindt

Andy Murray

After a 77-year rift, Andy Murray brought the golden chalice of Wimbledon victory home to the UK, sweeping the men’s final in three sets against Novak Djokovic.

He took to the Wimbledon Champions Ball last night dressing the part. Both he and longtime girlfriend Kim Sears were head-to-toe in Burberry. Murray kept to high-and-tight British tradition, donning a satin-lapel tuxedo and patent leather ceremonial shoes.

For this, we’re bestowing the honor of Kempt’s Man of the Hour, which we’re sure is the real highlight in becoming a national hero and tennis legend.

Well done, sir.

Icon: Ilie Năstase

Ilie Nastase

Nadal, Federer, Murray: all great tennis players who’ve been battling it out for the title of Wimbledon Champion over the past week, with varying results. (Chin up, guys.) And all preceded by the oft-forgotten Romanian tennis boss, Ilie Năstase.

Though his luck at the All England Club wasn’t that great, either.

In fact, although he was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1991, Năstase never won that title himself. But that’s not to say he’s without his share of accomplishments. So to give the man his due, we’d like to bestow upon him Kempt Icon status, our own highest titular honor.

Follow us for some more on Năstase’s illustrious career both on and, ahem, off the court, after the jump...»

Wimbledon Whites: A Retrospective

  • Najib Benouar

Wimbledon

There’s a special place in our hearts for when sartorial tradition finds its way into sport.

And with Wimbledon kicking off today, we have to mention our favorite: Wimbledon’s requirement to wear white. (A close second: the Masters’ green jacket.)

The rule has been in effect for as long as anyone can remember, but it was codified in the ’60s with a few extra guidelines requiring “almost entirely white” with exceptions for “a preference to pastel” and other minute deviations. For the most part, players are following the guidelines to this day—it’s up to the match referee to make the final call on decorum. And it’s made for quite the handsome array of on-court style over the years.

So we’d like to take a moment to look back at the finest moments in Wimbledon whites.»

The Kempt Five

  • Caitlin Ganswindt
  • Najib Benouar

Kempt Five

Every Wednesday from here on out, we’re giving you a piece of our minds. Actually, more like five pieces. It’s a chance to get a deeper look into what makes the minds behind Kempt tick—you know, beyond the usual Internet handsomeness we’re serving up daily. So welcome to our newest and most personal weekly feature: The Kempt Five.

Without further ado: here’s what’s on our minds this week.»

Your Pre-Summer Must-Haves

  • Najib Benouar

Must Haves

Summer’s so close, we can almost taste it.

Sure, we’ve still got about a month to go before it’s officially dirty bucks and sundress season, but it’s already time to trade in the power umbrella for May flowers and attend to a few other orders of business in preparation for summer.

We like to call this magical warmer-but-not-hot-yet time “pre-summer” and we’re making sure you make the most of it with our new crop of Must-Haves (as always, you can find them in our left column whenever you need a refresher).

Time to tune up the barbecue grill, break out the whites, have a shandy and much, much more.»

Icon: Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi was never afraid of a little pressure.

When he was 9 years old, his father pit him against NFL legend Jim Brown in a $10,000 tennis match at a Las Vegas country club. Brown initially thought the challenge was a joke, though it’s safe to say the pro shop got a lot less funny when Andre’s father, Emmanuel B. Aghassian, a retired Iranian boxer, put up the family home as collateral. That is, he literally bet the house that his pre-tween boy could take two out of three sets from the best athlete of all time.

Andre won in straight sets—6-3, 6-3, 6-2—the third of which paid double.

Eleven years later, Agassi, now an unmitigated international sensation, sauntered onto center court at Roland Garros to compete in the first Grand Slam final of his career. This time, though, the pressure was of a different, and far more gruesome, sort: Agassi’s iconic, tri-tone lion’s mane mullet was in fact a wig.

And that wig was falling apart in front of the world...»

In on the Djokovic

  • Najib Benouar

Tennis has been known for some offbeat sponsorships—it’s never been all “Nike or Adidas.”

There’s always been a strong foothold for smaller, more fashion-forward labels: Sergio Tacchini, Fila, Lacoste and now, Uniqlo. News of Novak Djokovic’s split with Tacchini (he actually ditched Adidas to sign with McEnroe’s old sponsor) and signing with Uniqlo shocked the tennis world a few months back. The move sounded a bit questionable at first, but anyone familiar with Uniqlo’s HeatTech thermal wear knows that they’ve been dabbling in high-tech fabrics for a while. The tennis gear, timed with the US Open, is finally hitting stores, and we’re most interested in the zipper-placket polo in tennis white. It’s decidedly sporty, but should come in handy the next time you’re slated for a round of mixed doubles.

You’re always up for a round of mixed doubles.

Icon: Rod Laver

  • Najib Benouar

Every time some new tennis hotshot goes on a major winning streak, Rod Laver’s name gets bandied about. It’s for good reason, of course. He is the only man still living to have completed the Grand Slam—winning all four major tennis tournaments in the same year. And he’s done it twice. It’s really an impressive stat, seeing as the recent technological advancements in sports have led to the shattering of just about every other record in the books—and the tennis world has had since 1969 to catch up.

The latest contender was Novak Djokovic. The kid was on a tear, but ultimately met his demise on Monday, one game short of the Grand Slam, on the clay courts of Roland Garros—reaffirming that Rod Laver is in a class of his own. In addition to his contributions to tennis, he also gave us one of the more timeless summer shoes in existence (his eponymous Adidas). They’re most commonly found in all-white with a grass-green sole—which is how Rod dressed almost exclusively. We’d like to take a moment to give the man his due with five iconic photos of Mr. Laver.

Consider this your master class in tennis whites.»