1990-present

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Leaving As Men: Hampden-Sydney Commencement 2016

Founded in Virginia in 1776, Hampden-Sydney College is America’s 10th oldest and one of only three remaining all-male schools. Earlier this month the college, whose motto is “come here as boys so you may leave as men,” graduated its class of 2016. Here are some photos of the commencement, along with other shots of campus

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M. LaHart Brings World-Class Brands To America’s Great Universities

Ivy League traditions have inspired excellence for centuries. Michael LaHart felt that Ivy alumni deserved to have the best quality — dare we say luxury? — products to commemorate their college years. M.LaHart first introduced official TAG Heuer watches, custom-made for America’s great institutions. The concept of greatness continues, and M.LaHart featured brands now include

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From The Archives

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Lands’ End Spring Chino with Double Flap Pockets

Lands’ End has released a new pant called the Spring Chino that features double-flap pockets in the rear. It’s a detail I wrote about previously, having spied them in the 1984 prepsloitation flick “Making the Grade”: Curious about the origins of double flaps and how they might fit in the Preppy/Ivy/Trad/Americana pantheon, I asked around.

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J. Press New York, A Jazz-Ivy Mecca In Greenwich Village

Those lamenting that there’s no longer a J. Press store in New York will need to rethink that, starting with me. I hadn’t been to Press’ York Street store in quite some time. After all, it was always a little heartbreaking not to have the Madison Avenue store anymore, and who wants to check out


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No Country For Young Men

With competition from chain brands and the Internet, Charlottesville, Virginia has become no country for young men — The Young Men’s Shop, that is. The independent, family-run store was christened in 1927, but doesn’t cater to young men much any more. From an article on its impending close, owner Harry Marshall says his shop “caters


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Black History Month: A Gallery Of Polo’s African-American Models

His brand image draws largely on WASP iconography, and he himself, of course, is a Jew. But that didn’t stop Ralph Lauren from being a fashion-industry trailblazer in the early ’90s when he hired African-American model Tyson Beckford as the new face of Polo. Since then black models have been a commonplace is the brand’s


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Preppy Style Has Gone Mainstream — Thanks To Vineyard Vines?

Is it 1980, with “The Official Preppy Handbook” atop the best-seller list? Or perhaps it’s eight years later, with Ralph Lauren running epic 18-page narrative ad campaigns in Architectural Digest? No? Then perhaps the space-time continuum is at 2004, when this time Ralph Lauren introduces Rugby, putting an irreverent twist on preppy classics for a


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Ringing In The New Year In Signet-ure Style

For our first post of 2016, we turn to a topic destined to be more contentious than horsebits on loafers. Namely, rings on fingers. Several months ago Bloomberg ran a story called “Everything You Need To Know About Wearing A Signet Ring.” The author, a woman, is Nic Screws, formerly with Esquire. There’s some fun


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Trad By The Bay: Checking In With Cable Car Clothiers

A true bastion of trad style, Cable Car Clothiers has always held a special place in the heart of San Francisco. Established in the late 1930s, the retailer seems to ride the various waves of boom and bust that San Francisco is known for, while expanding and relocating the business to meet the continually changing



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Civil Discourse: Style Forum’s Proper Kit Trunk Show

This story was filed to the New York Observer for its website but was inexplicably “killed,” as they say in the newspaper business. My editor liked it, but apparently someone upstairs didn’t find it very compelling. There’s not much of a trad angle for you guys, save for the inclusion of G. Bruce Boyer and


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Forever Prep In Virginia

Recently dispatched to my inbox is a 2011 article called “Forever Prep” that ran in the magazine Virginia Living. Pegged on the release of Lisa Birnbach’s “True Prep,” it’s a lengthy piece that examines the Virginian branch of the WASPy, preppy tree. Author Caroline Kettlewell opines on how it was, how it is, and even throws


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Final Thoughts: Searching For The C In PC

As we bring PC Week to a close, I’d like to address why I thought it worthwhile to broach this issue that is so contentious on college campuses. In wondering how to close things out, I found myself pondering the “correct” in political correctness. Can we pursue the “correct” without the “political”? PC by definition


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What, Me Privileged? Diverse Prep-Schoolers Face Same Elitist Stigma

Political Correctness Week continues with this essay from a college student who addresses the changing notion of privilege, and the same old stigma of a private education. * * * These days a prep-school education is something that is met with hostility by the general public — especially one’s fellow college students. Even though I currently attend