Last night at the wedding reception for our Millennial Fogey columnist DCG, an old Yalie serenaded the two of us with an old song about a student who can’t afford J. Press clothes but he’s got to have his white bucks, which he wears all the time. It was perhaps in response to George Frazier’s “Harvard Blues” which also talks about wearing white bucks all the time, but with the added financial heft of being able to “wear Brooks clothes.”
Anyway, I’ll track down the lyrics for a subsequent post, and in the meantime here’s a repost of a piece from September of 2011. — CC
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We close this week’s tribute to white bucks in autumn with some random images. Convinced yet?
One of my favorite images, from our post “The Princetonians”:
From the LIFE archives:
Roblee’s “Ivy buck”:
Winston ad, 1957:
And now the bloggers. First up, Maxminimus (whom I had the pleasure of meeting the other night at the reception for the Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. auction):
Next, a look from Unabashedly Prep:
Joe from An Affordable Wardrobe:
Another shot from Joe (he’s a big-time buck fan):
And finally, The White Bucks, looking very pristine:
I’ve never found just the right pair, but I’ve tried on several over the years. One of these days I’ll find a pair with the right color, the right fit, at the right price. Alas, today is not that day.
I have one pair I wear and a back-up pair in the event they stop making them. As with most summer items they are frequently on sale. Also an eraser is useful
Walkover white bucks and dirty bucks, then there are white buck and snuff buck dress tassels, include white buck penny loafers and Topsiders. Think maybe I have some Southern influences?.
I purchased a pair about five years ago while living abroad in a locale where getting away with the occasional GTH look was met with little to no interest from the natives. Sure enough, on the white bucks’ first outing a friend managed to drop a glass of red wine in my vicinity and give them the most unfortunate, distinctive stains one can imagine. I was less than amused at the time, but now when I bring them out my dirty white bucks I see a great memory.
I picked up a fresh pair of white bucks and dirty bucks from Alden on Madison in NYC. I believe this is the only shop that sells the white with the classic red sole Alden’s.
I have been wearing the same pair for about twenty four years. I chalk them every time before I go out and they still look new. However, I have worn the sole down to such an extent that I am in the market for a new pair next Spring. I can not imagine not having a pair. My fourteen year old son has told me he would like to have a pair and I think that is a positive thing.
The best right now, far better than Alden, are Mark McNairy — really the gold standard for white bucks and other colors.
Whatever happened to An Affordable Wardrobe? I bought a great tie from him a few years ago, but his shop and blog seem to be gone.
Do you guys prefer your bucks with socks or bare feet?
Mail-order white buck bluchers are available from Crockett & Jones through Ben Silver: a more traditional toebox than the current, plump Brooks Brothers offering. Pricey but nice.
My white bucks are a 1930s Sak’s 5th Avenue plain toe Balmoral cut (closed lacing), with reddish tinged leather soles, and a very fine and lean dress profile and narrow waist. Their color is closer to chalky cream. I love them very much.