Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

The Gospel According to Kanye

Kanye West turns 35 today, which, if our math is correct, makes him two years smarter and cooler than Jesus Christ. (Case in point: JC’s sandals never sold for $90,000 on eBay.) Yeezy’s ability to break down the complexity of life into revelatory rhymes and 140-character musings is undeniably Christ-like. Or at least Bueller-like: “If you have the opportunity to play this game of life, you need to appreciate every moment. A lot of people don’t appreciate the moment until it’s passed.”

Sure, Ferris said it better. And quicker. And, well, first. But he didn’t say, “Never do coke with an intern ... they may not be 21.” Which, we suppose, is as close to a point as we’re going to come to on a Friday afternoon. To that end, we leave you this week with:

The Gospel According to Kanye...»

One Handy Kerchief

The handkerchief was once a central part of any gentleman’s arsenal of personal effects—at the ready to mop a brow or console a distraught stranger. Or in the case of this new set of Wildwood Wisdom handkerchiefs from Barnaby Black: ready to assist you in starting a fire or finding your way out of the woods.

They’re all cotton and a bit more rough-and-tumble than your average pocket square—meaning you can stick one in your breast pocket for the same effect, but it works just as well tucked into the back pocket of your jeans. Consider these the utilitarian entry into our ongoing coverage of summer pocket squares.

Perfect for your next semiformal camping trip.

The Final Exam

There’s a pretty good post about buyer’s remorse over at A Headlong Dive, covering the basic things you should consider whenever you step up to the retail plate. (The short version: fit matters; brands, trends and markdowns don’t.)

It’s important stuff to know, especially in the age of flash commerce, but we can’t help but think it missed a little bit of the magic that can pop up between a stylish guy, a good shop and a well-made item.

Allow us to explain…»

End of the Trend: Mad Men Edition

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See if this sounds familiar: a brilliant cultural phenomenon arrives to wild acclaim, and suddenly everyone wants a piece of it. There are trend pieces, magazine covers and for a solid eighteen months it seems like the whole media engine runs on the fumes of this one magical creation. Then everyone gets famous and, four years later, the tastemakers in question finally confess to being over it.

You can set your watch to it…or at least your calendar.

In this case, the magican creation is Mad Men and the sour turn comes from Esquire. And, naturally, they’re right. The two-inch tie isn’t what it used to be, and a thin-lapelled suit won’t raise the eyebrows it did in ’07. But we’d like to think there’s more to it than that.

Allow us to elaborate…»

A Gentleman’s Guide to Gifting

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The world is a complex and terrifying place, and never moreso than when we are seeking out the appropriate gifts for our friends and family.

Fortunately, help has arrived in the form of our latest gift guide. We’ll be updating it down to the last minute, but if you stop by now you’ll find a healthy selection of giftable items—including an old-school medicine ball, a fisherman's sweater and a miniaturized version of De La Soul.

That should be enough to get you started.

The List

We knew Johnny Cash was great, but it turns out his greatness reached much farther than we realized.

Exhibit A: this casual to-do list, apparently written as an in-joke between himself and his family, currently being auctioned off at Julien’s.

It might be the most self-effacing piece of memorabilia we’ve ever seen—and a pretty good guide to the simple life, if you ever decide to pursue that sort of thing. Even more impressively, they seem to think it’ll go for under $500, which makes for a pretty tempting deal. Just take it one piece at a time…