Boyer Book Bash

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On Thursday night a book launch party was held for G. Bruce Boyer and “True Style.” The event took place at The Armoury and brought out a plethora of Boyer groupies and menswear personalities.

Here’s Boyer with Alan Flusser, that other great menswear author, and who was clad in sneakers and sweats (perhaps from just playing tennis):

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Richard Press, The Viking Prep, and “Rebel Without A Suit” co-author Joseph Cosgriff:

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Nick Hilton and Dustin of Maxminimus:

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Sean Crowley, he of the three-thousand neckties:

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The unabashedly eclectic FE Castleberry, in neckerchief and big hat (he’s from Texas, remember):

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Battle of the beards: Armoury employee at left, in center Alex Littlefield in buttondown and penny loafers, editor for Boyer’s “True Style” and currently nursing a project with the Viking Prep:

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And who’s this suave and handsome mystery man? Find out in our next post. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

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67 Comments on "Boyer Book Bash"

  1. Disappointed with the book-just got it through Amazon-6 pages on Ivy. No need for ascot info. Took it to the library as a donation. I should have known by his shirt collars. No blame cast here-it was never promoted as an Ivy style book. Win some-lose some. I lost.

  2. Frankly, I find the attire and or grooming of Mssrs. Flusser, Castleberry and Chensfeld inappropriate for the occasion and perhaps disrespectful to Mr. Boyer. Here’s a tip…Be more Bruce.

  3. Damn that Sean Crowley, he just pipped me. And I’m with you all the way Gerst Buyer. Had I been fortunate enough to be breathing the same air as the Master, my ensemble would have been simply scintillating…..or even better!

  4. On the other hand, some might find the two boys (at least one of the boys appears to be old enough to know better) wearing hats indoors to be rather bizarre.

    Sorry that Mr. Morgan seems to have received a bad copy of “True Style”. My copy of “True Style” was a good copy. Odd how two copies of the same book can be so different, but I once shared a sandwich (which was cut in half) with a coworker, and my half of the sandwich was very good but he didn’t like his half of the sandwich at all.

  5. In defense of the older man wearing his hat indoors, perhaps there was no safe place to put it. I doubt that The Armoury has a hat check clerk.

    There is no defending Mr. Castleberry.

  6. The mystery man appears to be Yamamoto-san of Tailor Caid. Tailor Caid was the other featured attraction on Thursday at The Armoury: http://tailorcaid.exblog.jp

  7. Mine was a hardback copy. Perhaps yours was a paperback. Also, your half of the “sandwich,” may have had the swiss on it. Let’s continue the banter. I am retired, and have 24 x 7!

  8. Mr. Platt always gets the melted swiss on his half. I am taking a break to wipe away a tear on my left cheek. I have owned three Kent clothing brushes for fifteen plus years. I don’t wear velvet slippers and even gave my ascots to the Goodwill with the book! If you have an attempt at growing facial hair, write about how to brush clothing, etc., shame on the buyers. I learned and burned cold cash. (he doesn’t even wear a nice OCBD with a roll. I also et he has never heard of a Mercer shirt–which I have a closet full of.) Bye! Talk soon Platt!

  9. I wasn’t born Ivy or prep, but learned to appreciate it and emulate it watching the Kennedy years, his Ivy cabinet, and following Bobby to the end. Fraternity in college and Gant button downs. Sold Polo before many new what or who that was(before his own stores). Learned to never look “studied.” FE Castleberry looks like a studied ASS!!!!!!!

  10. That so-called mystery man is on the “Take”! Lol

  11. Nick Hilton looks fantastic. Love his suit. A lesson in colour and pattern matching.

  12. That’s a sportcoat, as I recall, and in wool/silk/linen. It was amazing how when there’s a menswear event the guys all break out the fancy duds. There were multiple 3-piece suits in wool, as well as wool double-breasteds. I believe the temperature reached a high of 89.

  13. Christian
    Can you say anything about the project Alex Littlefield is nursing with you?

  14. @Gerst Buyer: Dear Mr. Buyer,
    As you take it upon you to fight the battle of formality, may I point out to you that the correct abbreviation of Messieurs is spelt thus: Messrs.

    Respectfully,

    Philip Mann

  15. Fred sort of looks like he saw a picture of Gay Talese while he was drunk, woke up the next morning thinking what a great outfit he had dreamt up, and marched down to the Goodwill to assemble it.

    He looks happy though, and that’s good. Dress in a way that brings you joy, I say.

  16. @Ward

    Not yet. Give it another month or two.

  17. Seems like it was a good place to be — all in all a celebration of urbanity — and I wish Mr. Boyer all the best.

    I’m aware it may not be considered urbane to dwell too long on the gauche, but Mr. Castleberry really does require comment. It’s not just the hat, it’s also the too large glasses. The effect is Sorcerer’s Apprentice-ish. Perhaps the best thing that may be said is that he labors under the disadvantages of youth. Most of the other people there appear to be much more comfortable with themselves, at least to the extent that it shows in the clothes. Let’s see where he is in another ten years or so. That will be the test.

  18. Okay, thanks Christian. I’ll e interested to see what develops.

    I actually admire FE Castleberry. He dresses “outside the box” — something I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing. He has more boldness than I, and seems to pull it off well. I’ve never met him, but I would imagine he would be quite a bit of fun to be around. He obviously draws attention to himself, and seems to have a lot of positive energy. He strikes me as being good-natured, in a flashy sort of way. So what if he is flashy and youthful? I see nothing at all wrong with it. “Dress the way that brings you joy” — a nice comment.

  19. Ward

    It’s wonderful that you are so generous. FE may be good-natured, as you say. I wouldn’t know, but that wasn’t my criterion in the first place. The photo of Dustin from Maxminimus seems to me to show someone who pulls off “outside the box”, or even flashiness, with greater ease and confidence. FE gives me the impression that he is trying on looks, not that he has found his. And, yes, it’s good for him to be happy with himself. His effect on others, however, is not universally positive. Have you ever come across some of his prose?

    I can’t believe it, I’m becoming AEV. Get me out of here!

  20. It might be best if we all considered Mr. Castleberry to be the Emperor Norton of the internet, and if we all follow the example of the people of San Francisco and accept Mr. Castleberry as they accepted Emperor Norton.

    http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist1/norton.html

  21. Fred shouldn’t be allowed in the same room as Mr. Boyer. His new Iris Apfel meets sexually ambiguous Indiana Jones costume is particularly painful to witness. But, not as painful as his newest sure to fail venture debuting tomorrow on his blog….in case anyone missed it, he’s now a made to measure tailor!

  22. Fred looks like the hired clown at a children’s party. One–or several–tokes over the line, IMO.

  23. George Heidekat | September 21, 2015 at 6:51 am |

    Meaning no disrespect — is it pronounced “BOY-err” or “boy-AY” (like the actor)?

  24. “Viking Prep”?

    Fred looks like he’s trying to channel Truman Capote without actually knowing anything about Truman Capote.

  25. Christian, did you feel a bit under-dressed?

  26. Guys, please stop raggin’ on Fred, he’s on the cutting edge here. Even Colbert is getting in on the action:

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MYJz4okRpUk

  27. @Gornergrat

    Most people there know I only wear jacket and tie from October 1 to April 30.

  28. Peter Andreasen | September 21, 2015 at 11:28 am |

    What a delightful collection of rich white men!

  29. William Richardson | September 21, 2015 at 12:31 pm |

    Curious. Did anybody wear spats?

    Will

  30. Castleberry looks horrendous. I’m embarrassed for him.

  31. You should be raising a toast: his new website just launched:

    http://www.fecastleberry.com

  32. The obliviousness required for Fred to be asking $1600+ for MTM suits (made by him?) and $185+ for shirts (…$1200 for pants!) is astonishing. NYC needs another MTM shirt and suit “guy” about as much as Fred needs another kid to support. Moreover, Fred has exactly zero tailoring experience, making this entire concept so absurd – even for him – that I’m left wondering if it’s all just a ruse to provoke a reaction.

    Separately, who are the “we” and “us” he refers to throughout the text? Is he suggesting that his 21 year old, unpaid intern is part of the “team” that clients get for spending $4000 on a cashmere blazer?

  33. Preach it, Brother Andrew!

  34. @ Christian…..good on you!
    @ AEV….why would you expect anything less absurd from Fred? He approaches business the way a child might. Although perhaps that’s not entirely fair to children.

  35. My comment was a dig at AEV, not Fred.

  36. I know….I was referring to your warm weather embargo on jacket and ties.

  37. Ah, I forgot how much I loved Fred on the interwebs: the awful home-made poetry; the typographical errors; the use of the ‘royal we’. And, of course, liberal use of the international code for douchebaggery: “suiting” and “shirting”. I’m surprised he’s not also offering “shoesing” & “socking”. That website is a goddamn tour de force. Bravo.

  38. Mr. Richardson,

    I’m sure that if you “enquired,” Mr. Castleberry would be more than pleased to show you his curation of “spattings” to make bespoke spats for you. What colors might he offer? White for tails; a couple of shades of gray for day wear; and a few Limited Edition F.E. Castleberry Signature Edition colors such as Marvelous Magenta, He-Man Hunter Orange, and Preppy Purple Paisley.

  39. Mr. Andreasen, please have a close look at the first and last pictures. I’m pretty sure that the Asian guy in the first photo isn’t white, and the next post identifies the man in the last photo as Japanese (also not white).

    Besides which, what is wrong with white people gathering together? What is wrong with men gathering together? Your unstated assumptions speak volumes.

  40. Everyone else,

    Please do go see Castleberry’s new site. The photo of Captain Dingbat with his Highwater Hijinx made me LOL my pants!

  41. William Richardson | September 22, 2015 at 10:19 am |

    Sorry Henry, I was being sarcastic. I do not require spats. Nor do I require style advice regarding ascots, those shirts with the contrasting material on the inside of the cuffs which men wear flipped backwards to reveal their multiple charm bracelets.

    PS, if FE, I believe that is his name, was an architect he may get away with those spectacles. I do not see architecture coming from him.

    Cheers fellows,

    Will

  42. William Richardson | September 22, 2015 at 11:25 am |

    …ascots, nor those shirts…

    Speaking of ascots, is not FE’s shirt unbuttoned too far for an ascot?

    Will

  43. Mr. Richardson, I, too, was being facetious. As for Fred’s specs, AEV hit the nail on the head with his assessment of Fred’s costume: “Iris Apfel meets sexually ambiguous Indiana Jones.”

  44. The Iris Apfel zinger was a good one, but hearing him beat his hobbyhorse again is really tedious.

  45. @CC – I was the 6th or 7th commenter to critique Fred. That’s hardly me “beating my hobbyhorse”. Fred is a clown – everyone sees that…..you softly promoting his buffoonery – and criticizing me for commenting on his obliviousness – is mind boggling to me.

  46. It’s mind-boggling to us how much you’ve harped on the guy for some five years now. Whether you’re the first or the last to comment, you never miss the chance.

  47. I doubt my posture is mind boggling to the 7 other readers who proactively critiqued Fred before I did. You get miffed because you’ve oddly befriended him. Fine, but don’t pretend that I’m harboring some sort of unique disdain for him – nearly everyone who witnesses his foolishness criticizes (or, at a minimum, scratches their temple, says, “….that poor guy needs an honest friend.”, and tries their best to ignore him).

    “Miss the chance” – ? You included a large, solo, non-critical picture of Fred dressed like a complete ass-clown – you’re right, I wasn’t going to not respond to that.

  48. “Fred is a clown – everyone sees that …” Everyone is an overstatement. I made clear my view of him, which certainly isn’t as a clown. Please don’t try to include me in your everyone.

    The comments to this post remind me of a post Muffy Aldrich made about people dressing in ways she found unattractive. It “ruined her scene,” she claimed. That was the beginning of the end for me and her Daily Prep.

    I find it extraordinarily baffling to understand why it is people are so unwilling to be forgiving and tolerant of others not like them, and freely vocalize it. It is very much a choice, you know. If we all had to be like one another, all dressing the same, not being allowed to deviate much from the norm, it would be tantamount to totalitarianism. Sartorial Nazism sounds pretty ridiculous, don’t you think?

  49. William Richardson | September 22, 2015 at 4:06 pm |

    Gents

    I had to look up Iris Apfel for the eyeglasses reference and it is funny. Being a student of architecture, I was thinking Le Corbusier.

    @AEV Keep calm and have a G and T

    Cheers,

    Will

  50. William Richardson | September 22, 2015 at 5:21 pm |

    I popped into a thrift store on my way home today looking for Harris Tweed. There were no tweeds to be found but…are those Nantucket Red trousers hanging on the rack next to the typical junk? Yes, Murry’s at that. Practically unworn and already cuffed as though they were made for me, which of course, they are.

    Good hunting

    Will

  51. @Christian: There is no phrase in English like “beating a hobbyhorse.” To ride a hobby-horse is to follow one’s favorite hobby. To get on one’s hobbyhorse is to speak or complain about a subject that one brings up frequently, even though other people are not interested. To beat a dead horse is similar to crying over spilled milk.

    I don’t mean to pick nits and get on my hobbyhorse, but I think you intended to say that AEV is getting on his hobbyhorse when he critiques Fred Castleberry.

  52. Thank you for correction. I was thinking about using the term “whipping boy” and ended up just beating the dead hobby horse.

  53. FEC dropped the “prep’ lingo that he was so skewered for associating himself with. He goes off and reinvents himself in a way he believes is ‘authentic’, and tries to earn a living the best he can. He obviously has a love of clothing and “fashion”, let the poor guy alone, and do his thing. Rant over.

  54. Of course he dropped the prep act. The trend, with some help from him, appears to have mercifully run its course. So, he’s doing what pretenders with unremarkable talent do: desperately reinvent yet again. There’s nothing authentic or laudable about that.

  55. The trend run it’s course? Tell that to VV, KJP, and the rest of the brands that are serving that ‘trend”! Your rational has no merit, all you have is distain. We get it. You don’t like the guy.

  56. Yes, the neo prep, copy cat, blog-driven prep trend – of which Fred was the poster boy – has run its course. That doesn’t mean that niche (Kjp) or well financed (VV) companies won’t soldier on; it means underperforming posers like Fred can’t pay their bills fitfully monetizing it anymore. Fred is particularly painful to be sure, but he’s emblematic of larger internet style driven trend issues that are certainly relevant to this particular sandbox.

  57. Instagram & FB have killed much of the blog traffic across the board, but that’s another subject.

  58. I try not to harp, but AEV isn’t wrong, the guy just won’t stop.

    If he would just…stop.

  59. I try not to harp, but AEV isn’t wrong, the guy just won’t stop.

    If Fred would just…stop.

  60. So they both should stop?

  61. Poor Fred. Laboring under the misimpression that he is photogenic, he traipses about town, just happening to engage in madcap hijinx that just happen to get photographed. Yet there have been enough people entertained by his unself-aware show that somehow, he has managed to make a living doing this, thus proving Mencken right again. He strikes me as part P.T. Barnum, part Horatio Alger, and part Narcissus, yet in a pleasant way. The eternal optimist, he reinvents himself as need be, and remains likeable; perhaps it is his goofiness (and sweetness?) that temper the less appealing aspects of his persona.

    Unlike AEV, he’s not my whipping boy, but every time Fred shows up at Ivy Style he lobs us a nice, big, easy softball, and begs us to knock it out of the park. I wish him well, but can’t see how his newest venture can succeed.

    And yes, Dustin of Maxminimus pulls off over-the-top in a way that Fred cannot. It’s all in the attitude, that ineffable attitude. Dustin owns the look; Fred has awkwardly asked it if it wouldn’t mind too much accompanying him for a while. Perhaps it lies in Dustin’s dressing for himself and not caring what others think, while Fred dresses for others and lives by what they think. In that way, Fred and WASP 101 are two peas in a pod.

  62. As FECastleberry states, “the better you dress the worse you can behave.” I suppose he was on his best behavior in that photo.

  63. No sorry that was unclear…Fred won’t stop, perhaps because he’s of the opinion that “haters gonna hate”, but sometimes, just maybe, the haters aren’t completely wrong. If clothing really does communicate for us, which is one of the thrusts of Boyer’s book, what is Fred’s clothing saying? To me it says “I didn’t even read this book.”

  64. Ward

    I don’t think the issue is people being intolerant of people, or rude to people, who dress differently. I think we are talking about levels of skill among professionals, with the person under discussion appearing to many observers to be a pretender. Art requires knowledge, experience, discipline, and judgment. People who can carry it off are admired and respected. Others, not so much.

  65. @ Henry…..extremely well said. Cast in that light, I feel that Fred deserves more pity than scorn. Although I also would pity anybody that pays $1,600 for a suit from this……tailor?

  66. More like, “$1600 for a suit from this… hairdresser?”

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