Welcome to Kempt’s #Merica Week. It’s pretty much exactly what you think it is. Fuck yeah, U-S-A.
Welcome to Kempt’s #Merica Week. It’s pretty much exactly what you think it is. Fuck yeah, U-S-A.
Sure, you’ve probably walked into your local revivalist cocktail den to find a mustachioed gent chipping away at a large block of ice for someone’s julep or Old Fashioned recently—but there was a time when every home in America had a block of ice in its cold box this time of year.
And that’s something worthy of dusting off.
While there are plenty of times when just a few cloudy cubes from a tray will suffice, we say this: you can do better. Especially because the virtue of many a summer cocktail depends on its ice. Luckily, ice blocks aren’t that tough to make at home, or break down to cubes, spheres, cones and more as long as you know what you’re doing.
By now we’d suspect you’ve already made a good deal of headway into your spring-cleaning checklist.
Congrats on that.
Yet there’s one area you may have overlooked that deserves some serious attention: your face and the beard (or beard-like situation) you’ve let grow wild on it during the colder months. While you’re very well allowed to continue cultivating the scruff—if you think the UV protection will outweigh the heat your cheek-blankets are sure to retain as the mercury rises—you still ought to make sure you’re keeping it tidy.
Seems like you’re just about ready for Saturday’s festivities—now all you need is a little encouragement. Which is where we come in, with some of the most handsome equestrian moments in style icon history. Because why should the jockeys get to have all the fun?
Which means, if it looked good in 1940, or 1965, it still looks good now. And that’s why we’re continuing our grand tradition of exhaustive garment journalism by compiling all of the greatest moments in the history of polo-shirt-dom…
If you’ve got a pulse, you know the final season of Mad Men premiered this week. And while the wide world of media is abuzz with the life and style of all things Sterling Cooper, we thought it was high time to get an insider’s take on the real-world glamour of a ’60s ad man.
We caught up with a Mr. Gareld Duane Rollins. A bit of background on GR’s credentials: spent 10 years working for Southwest Athletic Conference Broadcasting, had a 13-year tenure with McCann Erickson, helped coin the phrase “Put a Tiger in Your Tank,” shared an office with Reagan…
If you haven’t heard, David Letterman is riding into the late-night sunset “sometime in 2015,” to be replaced by Stephen Colbert. (Also: how are you enjoying that rock you’re living under?)
It’s somewhat earth-shattering news, really. Letterman is the last of the old guard—he spent the better part of the past four decades defining what a late-night host is supposed to be in America. And what one’s supposed to look like. There were the big-rimmed glasses. Then came the giant shoulder pads. Followed by a whole lot of pinstripes. Then there was that run of billowy double-breasted suits that he just refused to button. But toward the end he’s reverted back to his sartorial sweet spot, the trad two-button blazer and power tie. What we’re saying is: it’s been one helluva ride.
There’s a special place in our heart for the most stylish trophy in sports: the Masters Tournament green jacket.
But when the players take to the course for the championship rounds this weekend, don’t expect an entirely dapper affair. Nowadays you’ll see more neon tech fabrics, white belts and oversize logos than slim-cut polos and pressed slacks. Which is a shame.
This Monday marks the premiere of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. And in honor of this cultural changing of the guard, we decided to take a look back at the stylistic evolution of the men behind the monologues.
Before iTunes and Spotify instantized music, allowing any toddler with a few favorite Bieber songs to make a playlist, putting in the requisite hours of effort to make somebody a mixtape was something of a grand gesture.
Hitting record. Pausing. Recording. Pausing. Repeating ad infinitum.
It was a labor of true love. But then, somewhere on the way from analog to digital (and back to analog again, in some parts of Brooklyn), this soul-searching endeavor lost its reputation as heartfelt and became, well, nerdy. Which is an injustice if we’ve ever heard one.
The late master of sketch would’ve been 65 today, which got us pining for the good ol’ days of the Olympia diner, Samurai Futaba, John Blutarsky and the like.
So, we did what we do, and took to the Internet—putting together a little primer for you, a greatest hits reel if you will. And while (unfortunately) copyrights and various other red tape have nixed most of the greatness, we were steadfast.
We’re going to venture a guess and say that there are at least four sexy-somethings, 12 Don Drapers and a hearty handful of cat ears somewhere in your office at this exact moment.
That’s right, folks—it’s Halloween.
And in the event that you’re looking for some stylish inspiration on the subject, we’ve brought in some seasoned dress-up professionals to prepare you for a little handsomely costumed revelry of your own—regardless of whether it’s of the black-tie or the door-to-door variety.
For all the agonizing over style icons that happens online, we rarely look beyond the clothes. Which is an oversight worth correcting—especially with the recent uptick in attention to home furnishings across the menswearosphere.
So we looked into the matter, and as it turns out, the homes of most of our style icons were just as stylish as the men they housed. (Not to mention, it’s reminded us of how good looking a well-stocked bookshelf can be.) So without further ado:
Corduroy’s gotten a bad rap over the years, especially when it’s in jacket form.
And that’s a damned shame.
Because though you might imagine the ribbed fabric as off-limits to all but New England prep schoolers and college librarians, great men have perennially donned all forms of the stuff—pinwaled, wide-set and everything in between—and have managed to look pretty darned handsome regardless. With a bit of inspiration (and maybe a good tailor), we firmly believe that you could, too.
The well-dressed man has been wrapping some sort of material around his neck to add to his general air of handsomeness practically since the beginning of time.
So to really understand why you cinched up that shantung tie this morning or intricately knotted that cashmere scarf around your neck (or spent the time to do both), we thought it prudent to trace the story all the way back to the beginning…
1860: Edward VII Prince of Wales commissions Henry Poole to design a short dinner jacket for estate shenanigans.
1886: American gentleman James Potter finds himself weekending at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk and is promptly directed to Mr. Poole’s services so he can look the part.
October 10, 1886 (circa 8pm): Potter debuts said dinner jacket stateside at the Tuxedo Park Club Ball, in Tuxedo, NY. (Get it? Tuxedo, NY.)
October 10, 1886 (circa 8:15pm): Club members swoon, rejoice, faint in the presence of true dapperness. The tuxedo is born.
October 10, 2013: Kempt honors a legend, amassing the 55 greatest moments in tuxedodom.»
Consider denim. It’s sturdy. Loyal. Cleans up nice. So we’re giving denim—in all of its forms—the credit it deserves by declaring it Denim Week here on Kempt…
Consider denim. It’s sturdy. Loyal. Cleans up nice. And this week, we’re declaring it Denim Week here on Kempt, giving denim the credit it deserves… starting with:
“You have reached the voice mailbox of five… one… four… six… Leave a message at the… To leave a callback number, press five.”
Lately, we’ve realized we spend about as much time on the line with female voice font number 154 as we did with Sir Moviefone in the late ’90s. And you know what? It sucks.
Gone are the days where an eighth unanswered ring was followed by a bite-size sound treat tuned to the melody of “We Will Rock You” or “Bohemian Rhapsody” (Queen was huge among influential answering machine circles).
It’s high time we made those 15 to 30 seconds before the beep personal again.
Stylish men have always had a special relationship with beautiful cars.
Probably because, if you think about it, they’re kind of the perfect accessory. Big, shiny, powerful—a little automotive affirmation can go a long way to securing your position in the Court of Cool. (We’re sure the King would agree.) But it’s not only those men defined by their cars who drive cool ones. And we’ve got the photo evidence to prove it.
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.
The Tour de France kicked off this week, and it got us thinking about the wonderfully colorful and international sport of cycling… and how it’s gone from a sport filled with gritty playboys to its current state of revolving doping scandals and performance-enhancing spandex. Perhaps this is an indictment on the current state of sports in general, but it seemed like people were enjoying it more back then (both the athletes and fans). Now all the juicing and the decisions have managed to take a lot of the fun out of it.
In fact, we couldn’t have said it any better than this picture does.
Countless devices have become obsolete since the advent of the digital age, but one of the most overlooked casualties has to be the pneumatic tube.
It went the way of the telegram decades ago (you’ll still find a few intact tube systems here or there—in a Midwestern packing plant or an old airport terminal—but even those are rarely used nowadays). This was the instant messenger that predated AOL by a century, thanks to some Industrial Age ingenuity and a giant air compressor. And we think it needs to make a comeback.
Every so often, a son will have the opportunity to take an inherited family name further than his father could ever have imagined.
Like, for example, using it to become president. Or Iron Man.
But while it might have been Jr. who brought the name distinction, we mustn’t forget that Dad had given it a reputation in his own time. It was his name first, after all. And besides, without his fatherly wisdom, moral guidance and, well, probably his ability to change a diaper, the kid probably wouldn’t have even had the chance to become a star at all.
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