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Basquiat Style

  • Najib Benouar


The recent opening of the Basquiat retrospective at NYC’s Gagosian Gallery reminded us of one of our favorite peculiarities about the artist: his penchant for painting while wearing shockingly expensive Italian suiting. And for that matter, while generally regarded as a subversive vanguard, the man knew his way around a pocket square and bow tie pretty well. So we dug a little deeper, and found a good deal of trad items hiding in his wardrobe—even a herringbone blazer.

Which is why we’d like to take a moment to look back at some of the finer moments in his artful dishevelment.»

Textbook Ivy Style

  • Najib Benouar

Here’s a handsome addition to any well-appointed bookshelf or coffee table in need: the madras-wrapped Ivy Style.

In addition to its obvious clothbound charm, the book is filled with a wealth of information on the habitudes of the trad—published by Yale Press, naturally (and released just this week). The book serves as a companion catalog to an ongoing exhibit at New York’s Fashion Institute, but should serve you just as well if a trip to NYC by year’s end isn’t in the cards. Contributors include the exhibit’s curator, Patricia Mears; Esquire’s G. Bruce Boyer; and Christian Chensvold of the blog Ivy Style (no relation). And with the holiday season around the corner, it might be wise to earmark this for any bookish Ivy League enthusiasts in your life.

Or any collectors of plaid books.

Going Green

  • Najib Benouar

Here’s a snap we took at the presentation for the highly anticipated York Street capsule collection between J. Press and Ovadia & Sons. (Expect a larger recap of the madness that has been Fashion Week once it all wraps up.)

The fresh-faced preppiness was on point as expected—a master class in updated and tailored versions of trad standbys. But we noticed something a little different on some feet: the cotton tennis shoes weren’t all the white we’ve been seeing for the past few springs and summers. And most noticeably, there was a bright green pair—Tretorns like the rest of them—and we’re hoping to see more of it in the upcoming year.

After the hell you put them through this summer, your white plimsolls ought to be replaced anyhow.

Nora Arnezeder Got Jokes

  • Kempt Staff

[caption id="attachment_21894" align="alignleft" width="217" caption="via Esquire"][/caption]

Une Blague: Esquire’s latest installment of “Funny Joke from a Beautiful Woman” is not as much about the punch line as it is the wonderfully Parisian-accented journey, with Miss Arnezeder. [Esquire]

Over Andover Again: Ivy Style catches up with one of the most influential men in the American trad universe, Charlie Davidson. [Ivy Style]

Road Dog: Mashable has unearthed a rejected cover design for On the Road drawn by Jack Kerouac himself. [Mashable]

Hello, Brooklyn: In a surprising twist of sartorial-based economics, the Spanish hat trade is being supported by the dapper Hasidic Jewish population in Brooklyn. [NY Times]

Scenes from the Armory Show

The Armory Show started up this week, with hundreds of galleries piling into two piers on Manhattan’s western edge. It’s the closest you’ll find to a pop-up MoMA—and more importantly, it has nearly every variety of gentlemanly style you could want, from British Museum trads and disheveled artists to the Harajuku avant-garde. (Also, every conceivable hairstyle.) We stopped by yesterday with camera in hand to document the splendor. Check it out below.

The scene at the Armory Show, as seen by Kempt»

The Focus Is Soft


A Good Trench Will Make You a Spy: Marisa Zupan goes all Nerd Boyfriend on this year’s Best Actor nominees—including one of our favorite pairs of glasses. [The Significant Other]

The Gentlemanly Go-Bag: An emergency kit we can get behind, including everything to revamp for an after-work date. [Valet]

Going Big: A trad’s case for big plaids, outside of the Pitti crowd. [A Suitable Wardrobe]

Florentine Details: And speaking of Pitti, here’s Mister Mort’s favorite style from Florence. [Mister Mort]

The Kempt Guide to the Winter Coat

via Mighty Sword

You can take or leave most of the style advice we dole out. As cool as they are, you don’t need a checked blazer. You don’t need an advice-giving pen. But if you’re living anywhere that sees snow on a regular basis, you’re going to need a winter coat—and you’re going to be living with whichever one you choose for quite a while.

So choose wisely.

And to help you survey the territory, we’ve broken the world’s winter coats into three easy categories and singled out the best items in each one—starting with the most classic item in the bunch, the overcoat...

The three kinds of coat that matter...»

Happy Holidays from Gant Rugger

This well-appointed kit just arrived as part of Gant Rugger’s holiday collection—and it’s pretty spectacular.

For the moment, we’ll pass over the (cognac-colored!) gloves and the unfussy light-wash denim to focus entirely on that jacket. It already passes our 50-foot test, and the shawl collar pushes it into Bing Crosby territory. This is how holiday party legends are made.

Trads won’t like the high cut (it won’t, as Mr. Wong will remind you, cover your posterior), but we’ve never been shy about breaking a few rules.

The Old-Man Tie

Madder Drakes

As we head into tweed-jacket season, we thought we’d remind you of one of our favorite fall style moves. It’s a bit of understated traddism that happens to match perfectly with the rough fall jackets you just took out of storage.

Gentlemen, feast your eyes on the old-man tie.

Advanced age not required…»

Victoria Vetri Has Invisible High Heels

victoriavetri_crop.jpgvia WBE

The Weave of Our Lives: A gentleman’s guide to the latest developments in oxford cloth. There have been quite a few. [Valet]

Around the Neck: A trad’s take on the spring scarf. They're in favor. [A Suitable Wardrobe]

The Same Old Crew: J.Crew’s F/W presentation is pretty handsome. Also, a lot of tucked-in scarves. [Hypebeast]

There Can Be Only Four: The style choices of the final four. [Sports Illustrated]

Sarah Van Raden Really Loves These Curtains

Some of Their Early Stuff is OK…: Nitsuh Abebe offers a master-class hipster guide to hating the Beatles at parties. [Vulture]

Flipped: The Italo-trads of Japan are flipping up the ends of their collars. We’re all for affectations, but this one doesn’t quite make sense. [The Sartorialist]

Tales of the Krampus: Say hello to the Krampus, the evil leader of Christmas. He does make the holiday a lot more metal. [The Storque]

Stay Warm: In praise of the shawl collar cardigan. [Men’s Flair]