1990-present

See Ya Later Alligator: The $1,000 Brooks Brothers Belt

I think I’m going to get an engine-turned belt buckle. I’ll have it engraved with just two initials — CC — a little in-joke reference to my abbreviated bylines here. For now, however, I’ll have to settle for a leather strap to go with it. Brooks Brothers offers a buckle for $250 — the going


Battle of the Wits: What Does A Preppy Smell Like?

Tommy Hilfiger recently released a new fragrance called Eau de Prep. I took a whiff of it at the Fifth Avenue flagship recently, and you can definitely detect a trace of tonic water. But it got me thinking, what does a preppy really smell like? Old money and even older sneakers? Salt water and peanut


Riding The Crest: Morris of Stockholm

When it comes to piling on the faux-heraldic crests, nobody does it like Morris. The Swedish brand’s Anglo-prep fantasy ensembles include the above example, which pairs a crested hoodie with a crested necktie and crested cardigan. (You probably also noticed the striped belt echoed by a striped watchband.) Perhaps all those crests should include as


It’s a Cinch: Buckle-Back Trousers at J. Press

Over two years ago I wrote an open letter to American retailers suggesting they put a buckle on the back of chinos, a craze among students circa 1956. With the PITA trend in full swing, I even asked readers to speculate what brand might be first to freshen up a pair of quotidian khakis with


High Note: New York City Opera’s George Steel

Men who work in the arts generally aren’t known for sartorial conservatism. That’s why this photo of George Steel, general manager and artistic director of New York City Opera, caught my eye in a recent issue of the New York Times. Kinda reminds me of George Will. — CC Photo by Chester Higgins, Jr. for


Princeton’s Plan To Discourage Exclusivity

In “This Side of Paradise,” F. Scott Fitzgerald called Princeton “lazy and aristocratic.” How times have changed. In the age of meritocracy, sloth is hardly a helpful quality in gaining admission to the elite university. And anything “aristocratic” would have to be an individual eccentricity as the school is seeking to discourage “exclusivity” by banning


Ralph Lauren’s Edwalton Double-Buckle Loafer

All the sartorial spread-collar/Drakes ties guys are mad for double monk-strap shoes. What’s the preppy version of a slip-on with excess hardware? How about Ralph Lauren’s new penny loafer with double buckles. Dubbed the Edwalton, it’s made in the US and will set you back $495. — CC


New Collabs, Narrow Ties For J. Press Fall 2011

Today J. Press unveiled fall items on its website, which include new collaborations with DS Dundee and Will, a leathergoods company from Oregon. Regarding Dundee, “They are making the decent Ivy-chic goods with the young fits,” a spokesman from Onward Kashiyama, J. Press’ parent company, told Ivy Style. J. Press has also amped up its


Classic Specs’ P3-Styled Beaumont Sunglasses

Brooklyn-based Classic Specs makes a cool pair of preppy shades for anyone looking for the classic P3 shape at the more affordable price point of $89. The Beaumont model (shown above in maple) comes in several color choices for frames as well as lenses, including prescription. — CC


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Brooks Brothers Fall 2011 Promo Videos

Last week Brooks Brothers released its Fall 2011 promotional videos on YouTube. The youth-oriented clips continue the “Back To Campus” and “Back To Town” themes. Above is the latter video, which, minus a two-second intro and outro, clocks in at 90 seconds. According to my calculations — and I may have blinked — there are


Joint Venture: The Elbow Is The New Ankle

Several years ago the fashion forward began using the sockless ankle as a style focal point. Later the wrist — adorned with “man bracelets” — became another prime location for enhanced personal expression. But now, according to new fall items released on the Rugby website, the hot anatomical joint is the elbow. Four out of


Menswear Market Week Recap

Not much of a recap, as last week I only went to two of the smaller shows. Designer Forum, which I’ve covered here several times before, suffered a breakaway faction that met in suites at the Park Lane Hotel. Here are a few of the things I saw at both shows, and stay tuned for


Back In Action: Brooks Brothers Revives Third Collar Button

This spring/summer season I noticed a plethora of back buttons on the collars of sport shirts at 346 Madison Avenue. It’s one of those small details from the Ivy heyday that it’s easy to laugh off as a trivial furbelow, until you see how immediately noticeable it is. Like everything in menswear, the third collar


Spring Finale: Exploring Chic Ivy

They say you don’t get a proper spring in New York, and that certainly seemed the case this year. A stubborn winter was followed by an interlude of gray skies, wind and rain with just a handful of sunny mild days, and now we’re projecting 91 for Memorial Day. So while it’s madras and seersucker


Tradition, Right-Side Up and Upside Down

Put This On‘s latest video profiles two opposing clothing brands: J. Press, the epitome of tradition, and Thom Browne, the antithesis of it (at least on the surface). The Press segment includes an interview with Jay Walter, who spent 25 years at Brooks Brothers before heading up the made-to-measure department at the New York J.



Découvrez l’Univers Preppy: Tommy in Paris

The grounds of the Centre Pompidou, the modern art museum in Paris, is an unlikely place to find a display of preppy clothing and accessories. But that’s where Tommy Hilfiger recently chose to set up shop for Prep World, a new collection in collaboration with “Preppy Handbook” author Lisa Birnbach. Or rather it’s where he



Rags To Riches: The $1,200 Madras Sportcoat

The sophistication and sticker shock you’ve come to expect from Ralph Lauren. Gorgeous styling, punitive tariff. Madras is an inexpensive fabric. So is seersucker. Oh look, there’s a $1,200 seersucker jacket too. They used to say only a rich man can afford to wear cheap summertime fabrics. Indeed. Here’s RL’s mid-level madras jacket at $500,