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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Cast Your Vote: Is Trad Politically Incorrect?

According to the season opener of “South Park,” which aired last month, political correctness is back with a vengeance. Its shelf life in the ’90s was about six years, says a character in the show, adding that we’ve got 5.9 more years to go before people start to chill out. In the meantime, you can


Honoring Tradition: The Sewanee Dress Code

Yesterday The College Fix — a site located on the conservative side of the political circus tent — put up an essay called “Dress for success: Why college students should junk the gym shorts and sneakers.” It was written by a female student at the University Of The South, otherwise known as Sewanee, located in


Gant Unveils Bold New Heritage-Fueled Campaign

After being teased earlier this week on social media, today Gant unveiled a bold new marketing campaign. A high-production video on Gant.com features an elderly campus dry cleaner narrating the story of all the changes he’s seen over the past 50 years, spoken over footage of campus-quad touch football, herringbone-clad students carrying picket signs, poetry


Lights Go Out On York Street

Hot on the heels of Brooks Brothers‘ announcement that it will pull the plug on Black Fleece comes the news that the lights are going down on York Street, J. Press’ attempt to court younger guys with money. The news actually came out last month — apparently while we were all on vacation. The story


Campus Capers: The Atlantic On Coddled College Students

Back-to-school month may not be until September, but magazines generally publish a month early. That means that hot on the heels of Vanity Fair’s lengthy dissection of the dating apocalypse is The Atlantic’s September cover story on that other thing kids do at college — or rather are supposed to be doing — namely, getting


Blacklisted: Brooks Will Discontinue Black Fleece

On Thusday it was reported that Brooks Brothers will cease its Black Fleece collection headed by Thom Browne. The New York Times interviewed both Browne and Brooks CEO Claudio del Vecchio, and writes: “I don’t think people ever saw the collection as being inappropriate or irresponsible to live within the world of Brooks Brothers,” Mr.


Old Navy’s War On Prep

Summer 2015 will be remembered as the summer of outrage. On whichever line of Donald Trump’s combover you stand, each day brings some gaffe, injustice or felonious act about which to gripe bitterly to the enjoyment of your friends and followers on social media. And so within this spirit of antogonism and hyperbole that I


ACL On Ostentatious Loafers

Today A Continuous Lean put up a post entitled “The Enduring Appeal of Ostentatious Loafers.” What does “ostentatious” refer to in this context? Why to bit loafers, Prince Albert slippers, and Belgian Shoes. Here’s the preppiest passage: … By the eighties the Gucci loafer came to represent the pretentious bravado of pastel wearing undesirables. From


Pretty Penny: Mr. Porter And The $480 Weejuns

  This week the e-commerce company Mr. Porter brought out an exclusive collection of Bass Weejuns. And I mean exclusive in every sense of the word: the shoe carries a whopping price tag of $480, a pretty penny indeed. Today, perhaps to get consumers excited and justify the price (especially when you consider the shoes