Sunday, April 28, 2013

Question for the Community: "Lamentations of a Texas Prep"

Narragansett Bay

I'll start by saying how much I enjoy reading The Daily Prep, both for entertainment and education value. It really is rare to find a blog worth reading these days, and rarer still to find one that stands the test of time (in true prep fashion, of course).

My dilemma is that of being preppy at heart, but not preppy by birth. You no doubt surmised from the title of the email that I live in Texas, as I have for my entire life of three decades. Needless to say, there is not a reliable prep tradition here in the South, and the version that does exist more than stretches the bounds of proper prep taste. As a frequent reader of your blog, I am attuned to this, but still the problem remains: How is a prep without the heritage, such as myself, able to balance/attain true prep style, keeping in mind (1) environmental differences between Texas and more traditional prep climes and (2) wanting to avoid appearing as an impostor or worse, trend-chaser?

I have no desire to fool anyone into thinking I have some long family history of a prep persuasion, but I cannot deny that my demeanor and style would be more befitting of Narragansett Bay than urban Texas. This being the case, what are the rules for those who share my quandary and wish to avoid appearing contrived and inauthentic (especially to true preps in-the-know)?

Humbly, a reader.

Newport, Tigris, Quoddy, Guernsey, Guernsey, and Herm


This weekend has provided a scatter shot of memories that defy any neat narrative - other than geography - or dominating moment.   Even the temperature, so warm on land midday and cold and raw on the water and when the sun was down, epitomized the cacophony.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ox Ridge Horse Show, 1966, Darien, Connecticut

Photographs from our personal archives         .
Here are some pictures from our archives we took at the 1966 Ox Ridge Horse Show in Darien, Connecticut.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Question for the Community: Nantucket Reds for a Wedding?



I came across your blog recently when I was looking for some Nantucket red photo inspirations, and thought you might be able to give your opinion/advice on this:  How does one execute Nantucket reds appropriately for a wedding?  Specifically for the groom and the groomsmen?

My fiancé and I are getting married in late summer/early fall at the Ocean House in Watch Hill, and we really want to do Nantucket reds, blue blazers and bow ties for him and his groomsmen, but we're starting to get cold feet about the whole idea (well, just about the Nantucket reds part, hopefully not about the wedding itself :)).

We have already hit up both J. Press and Brooks Brothers, and plan to try Murray’s (probably through Orvis), but we’re just starting to wonder if this will really look wedding appropriate, or perhaps it’s just too casual?  And maybe too much to have him and his 10 groomsmen in that much color (bridesmaid will just be in navy)?  Does the shade of the Nantucket red or the shirt color (blue or white) or the bowtie choice (I’m loving this Madras bowtie from J. Press http://www.jpressonline.com/madras-bow-tie-plaid-navy-green-orange-yellow-red-and-white/) play in to the appropriateness?

If you have any thoughts we’d love to hear them!

Thanks!!!

Love your blog!!






Referenced entries:

Video: From the Land: A journey to the heart of the Outer Herbrides



Here is a beautiful six minute black and white film by Ian Lawson on the people and sheep of the Outer Hebrides.  There are few things more appealing than sheep in a boat.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Reader Question: Nantucket Knotworks Classic Rope Bracelets

Favorite Nantucket Knotworks Colors
I noticed you wear a plain rope bracelets. Who makes them? Do they come in colors? Love the Daily Prep!!


 Nantucket Knotworks   has been making the classic New England rope bracelets for years.  They are known for their simplicity,  toughness, and generally not getting in the way of outdoor activities.  They come in different sizes and slide on and off easily, or as some prefer,  can be left on all summer.

Questions and Comments to the Community on Madras; a Job Interview Outfit; RL Polos; Chesterfield Coat; J. Press Made in China; and Thoughts on the Classics

Questions for the Community:



1) Thank you so much for your delightful blog!  It is a true joy to read.  I have question concerning madras.  How exactly does it fit into the men's prep world?  Is it worth going for the authentic bleeding madras sold by O'Connell's, or are the offerings from Land's End, Brooks, and Press, which are made of madras fabric, but apparently with dyes more stable than the original vegetable dyes that caused the bleeding effect better options?  Also, how about sleeves?  It seems as though the general long sleeved orthodoxy seems to give way for some as far as madras is concerned, but I'm not so sure how i feel about it.  Any thoughts?

Thank you so much for your time, Muffy, and thanks again for a wonderful blog.
Yours.



2) I am an enthusiastic reader and I have a quick question for you - what should I wear to a job interview? I'm interviewing to become an elementary school teacher. I'm in my 20s  so my usual wardrobe consists of jeans, high quality sweaters, long or short sleeved thick cotton crew neck shirts, lots of cashmere or silk scarves (usually gifts from traveling friends or older female relatives since they know I like them), Topsiders, my staple Barbour coat, some lovely, understated heirloom jewelry (anything big and gaudy is kept in my parents safe deposit box...I still have yet to find a place to wear that!), and tweed jackets passed down from my mother from when she was my age (they were her riding jackets in the early 1970s, quality cut and material so they are timeless. I get compliments on them all the time!) My wardrobe is 80% functional and 20% fun (I am a student, after all!).

I'm not sure how to transfer my classic prep wardrobe into interview clothes, or if I even should in the first place. My mom helped me pick out a navy blue suit that didn't look too dowdy and is well cut, and a pair of low healed heels (I have to teach for a half hour as part of this interview!) but I wanted to know your take on things if you are willing to advise me. I plan on wearing the matched pearl studs and necklace gifted to me by my grandmother for a milestone birthday, a white cotton crew neck t shirt (is this too casual? I feel like I'm breaking a rule by wearing a t shirt under a suit, no matter how thick that t shirt is), and the navy suit. I have shoulder length hair so I will wear it blow dried under or up in a pony tail. I am carting all my teaching supplies for my sample lesson in my large Monogrammed boat & tote. There will likely be other interviews this season as the teaching job market is a bit competitive and it is unlikely I'll be getting a job with just a single interview and I may need two or even three interview outfits.

Thanks so much for any help you are willing to provide.



Madison Avenue
3) My family and I (husband, 3 children) have been wearing RL polo shirts for a zillion years. However, in recent years (and longer!), these shirts have become so pedestrian and mass marketed that I hesitate to purchase new ones for family members. It's a bit cringe-worthy to see such a preppy staple being splashed across the back of an otherwise "average joe" dresser.  I realize that many quality, preppy items do end up being cheaply copied, become fad items and so on--we are patient enough to ride it out, but the RL polo shirt seems to enjoy an unending popularity in the bargain basement!  I would greatly appreciate your comments.

Can't get enough of The Daily Prep!  Thank you!

Ralph Lauren Polo Shirts



4) When should a Chesterfield coat be worn in your opinion? Where is a good place to buy one?
I hope you have a moment to answer and thank you very much in advance.

Best.




J. Press, Madison Avenue
5) Hello! I thought this might interest you/your readers. I recently purchased a new lightweight gray wool suit from J. Press in New York. (Jerry was fantastic!) It was a seamless and pleasant (so long as I avoided the York St. products) process. Having received the suit back with completed alterations yesterday, I was completely satisfied, until I noticed one thing: the suit is made in China.

I am certainly not militantly against imported products, nor was the issue important enough for me to raise it prior to purchasing the suit. And I still hope to get years of use and enjoyment from the suit. But I was quite surprised and a bit disappointed to receive a Chinese-made suit, considering the not-insubstantial price paid, and the company from which my purchase was made. Can a suit retailing for $795 really not be made anywhere else but China?



6) I like your blog.  Yes, I am a male, and typically most of my buddies would not take time to read this sort of thing.  I do have a friend in MA who went to Yale, and we used to joke how we were the only guys who dressed "Ivy League" here in the Midwest.  (Ohio)

We both wear only Bills brand of chinos and they are typically short and always cuffed.  Most other guys out here have their darned trousers dragging below their heels getting frayed!

I only wear Bean Boots, Alden shoes and Bean camp mocs.  It is funny to think how many regard Bills khakis to be so expensive, similar to a high quality Southwick navy blazer.  However, over time (ie-the "long haul")  I know for a fact that I spend much less $ on my wardrobe than the guys who go to Macy's every season and by "what is in style."  I am wearing the same Talbott rep ties that I wore in 1985!  I also believe in "minimalization" which is super easy if you buy your wardrobe according to "Ivy" style.  Chinos, grey wool trousers, a couple of navy and/or charcoal suits and a few prs. of Alden shoes.  Some of my Aldens are over 30+ yrs old!  I send them to the factory for a complete refurbish when necessary.  Shell cordovan penny loafs, black dressy lace-up cap toes and some tassel loafs and you are set for 30 yrs!  These crazy black shoes with the squared off toes that they are wearing now look so absurd to me.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A New England Early Spring Day
































Catmint, Phlox, Peonies, Sedum, More Catmint, Unknown Daisies, Butterfly Bush, Irises, and Lilies.

























Saturday, April 13, 2013

Guest Post: Flag Etiquette by a Chesapeake Bay Yachtsman

The author displays the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron Burgee at the Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association Hall of Fame at the Robert Crown Sailing Center in Annapolis (and notice the St. Davids Lighthouse Trophy in the display case)
"The Third Place" is a term for a location where people can come to relax with friends, and share stories, personal interests, and discoveries.  Over centuries, these places have ranged from bath houses to beer halls, jazz clubs, office water coolers, salons, and espresso cafes. Conversations range from critical to moot, and many start in one camp and end up in the other.    Perhaps in this age, some blogs and other social media can serve a bit of that role for the intellectually curious.   Regardless, my favorite part of hosting The Daily Prep is hearing the knowing and witty comments of so many.  Brad has been a favorite commenter (and photographer), and I am grateful he agreed to do a full "guest post" on some of the grammar of flag etiquette, and then also let me use the above picture of him. - MA

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

L.L. Bean Signature’s Three Year Anniversary Catalog

In looking looking through the L.L. Bean Signature catalog that arrived this week one gets the sense that Signature still hasn't figured out who or what they are trying to be.

At the brand’s launch three years ago, their first photos featured hipster models that looked as if they were just coming off of all-nighters.  Now, it looks like all of the employees fired from Plano, Texas’ JC Penney have found a new paycheck.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rachel and Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson, of course, was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball.  His was a life of extraordinary achievements.
It was wonderful to see Rachel Robinson and how fabulous she still looked (in her smashing hot pink dress) and sounded on the news coverage of her at the White House last night, celebrating next week's opening of the new Warner Bros. release, 42.

Jackie and Rachel Robinson at their Stamford, Connecticut home in the late 1960s.  Photos from our archives.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Reader Question: Why don't preppy people like to wear black clothes?

Spring Colors and Textures (in Contrast to Fall Clothes)
Outside of evening events in major cities, the reader asked,  "Why don't preppy people like to wear black clothes?"