GQ: The Great Preppy Style Comeback Has Begun

According to GQ, a preppy style comeback has begun. Apparently fashionistos have gotten tired of workwear and streetwear.

In a post from earlier this week, the mag writes:

Brendon Babenzien’s Noah—the New York brand that unites streetwear heads, skate rats, and glossy prepsters under one roof—just unveiled its latest seasonal collection. While the brand has never shied from its preppy sensibility, the fall drop leans into that style with newfound vigor. The forthcoming collection is less graphics-driven than seasons past and full of the kind of northeast-influenced gear you’d expect to see at an Ivy League mixer. Similarly, tweaked-Ivy Japanese label Beams Plus has always riffed on classic preppy looks, and its latest collection doubles down with tweed blazers, checked oxford shirts, and trimmed cardigans. Both collections carry ’60s vibes but also make reference to the early 2000s—the last time the polished look of prep dominated menswear.

We’ll see how this comeback develops. Judging by the photos above, perhaps the apt analogy is a kind of image file that gets lower resolution each time it’s copied. — CC

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25 Comments on "GQ: The Great Preppy Style Comeback Has Begun"

  1. The guy on the right looks like he is trying to spot Mrs Robinson. Pants hemmed way too high, pants not trousers, coat opened to the hips. Will he find her? Nope, not looking. And forget his wallet at home as well? Not a chance, who would think such a thing?

  2. Someone at GQ actually thinks this is Preppy?

    Don’t even know what it means (and it’s not pinks and greens).

  3. Mitchell S. | August 23, 2018 at 8:54 pm |

    GQ stands for Garbage and Quackery. They are the most flaky, fickle menswear rag in print today. One month it’s all about “Dad Style,” the next month it’s “Dress like a Rapper.” It’s no secret that they promote their advertisers (like Cartier) and sponsors the most. They have zero integrity and no street cred at all. The only reason I’ll read one is to look at the ads and smell the scent strips. Poorly written drivel for fashion victims with deep pockets and no common sense. I’m so glad I finally cancelled my subscription before I was brainwashed by their greedy, clueless, fickle editors. UGGGGHHHHH!

  4. What’s coming back are fuller pants. Pleats will also make a showing.

  5. john carlos | August 23, 2018 at 10:10 pm |

    Pleats? Do we have to do this again?

  6. “Human rights”

    “The duty of youth is to challenge corruption “

    “In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a universal act”

    I find the clothes to be somewhat interesting and inspired, but the proto-woke sentiment the whole package is wrapped in feels cringeworthy in the extreme.

  7. Person From Porlock | August 23, 2018 at 11:28 pm |

    You’re right. I wish I never went to that website. Can I get a do-over?

  8. Stereotypical GQ: for those prices, you could get some good clothes instead.

  9. There’s a world of difference between “Noah” and “Beams Plus”. Some of the “Beams Plus” items are downright attractive.

  10. Minimalist Trad | August 24, 2018 at 2:33 am |

    Agree with Labrador.
    The Beams Plus outfits leave a lot to be desired, but some individual items look quite good.

  11. I am probably brainwashed already but I think that if young people started to dress like the kids in those photos, it would be a huge leap for mankind.

    I would still be pretty mad if I found a boy standing on a piano, though. How can it be considered “cooler” to stand on a piano than to use it to make music?

  12. Evan Everhart | August 24, 2018 at 4:29 am |

    Take a look at the article on “Hunkering”, specifically the “Hoagie (Carmichael) Hunker”. ’nuff said.

    GQ’s trite, traif, and trifling nonsense has been acknowldged by all over the intellectual age of 15, but these clothes do seem to be leaning in the right direction, and as stated above some of what is shown is certainly better than grown men in black or luridly colored slim cut jogger (see men’s harem) pants with vrey suede Tod’s loafers and man T-shirt dresses with zippers up the back and sides with possibly a “graphic” on the chest and a sideways baseball cap with stickers and pyramid studs of gold to match their “bling”. If you see any of the above, welcome to Beverly Hills (shudder)…….

    That said, I am glad evertime that some gauche “designer” decides to riff on our visual oeuvre as it can only serve (even in some very small way) to refill both our proverbial shelves and hopefully our ranks, as simplicity of style, quality, and high-brow taste are intellectual and philosophical investments of diminishing returns in our day and age.

  13. Old School Tie | August 24, 2018 at 5:22 am |

    If GQ is reporting it then I am very surprised that Lena Dunham and Rose McGowan were not the models for the shoot…

  14. Why does it matter? As long as there are a few merchants and a decent secondary market sellling”the right stuff”we can go on with our fantasy life. Are we so needly that we need affirmation beyond the realm of Ivy Style?

  15. Im surprised that people don’t think the image on the right is pretty good. Roll the pants down a bit and you’re good to go.

  16. MacMcConnell | August 24, 2018 at 1:02 pm |

    The jackets are for short people.

  17. I’ve become convinced that, if I took a BB catalog from 1964, slapped another brand’s logo on it, and modernized the prices and descriptions, the community here would tear it to shreds. Don’t get me wrong, Beams is no 1960’s Brooks, however, the idea that a modern retailer could ever please the Ivy crowd is absurd. So why try? J.Press has now found itself among the many targets of trads and Ivy guys since manufacturing a handful of coats with less than natural shoulders. It appears that only McConnels is left for the orthodox. So the Ivy community is getting exactly what it deserves – ONE single “right” store, with all other options fading away as they branch even slightly out of the trad niche. If there is anyone to blame for the downfall of this great style, it is the very people who purport to keep it alive.

  18. The Beams+ collection I enjoy, particularly the triple-patch cord suit. Have to wonder if it’s going to be offered in a length that will work outside of Japan.

  19. I agree with the sentiments above about Beams+. The outfits on their website’s front page make the models look like fools, but if you click the link to the individual items, many of them are decent-looking. Some, of course are quite silly. The pleated trousers are horrid. The overalls are absurd. The “military-style overpants” are preposterous.

  20. The essence of Trad was not that it showed an entitled college boy spending what turns out to be the last of Grandpa’s money.

    A lot of “Ivy League” clothing advertising was aimed grocery baggers at Pathmark trying to look rich and entitled. Ralph was particularly egregious in such an advertising approach. Ford’s Edsel advertising was aimed squarely at, and said so, “Junior Executives”. Ralph’s “entitlement symbols for grocery baggers” lost appeal to the market, and Ralph’s sales and market value is off by 60% in the last few years. You can’t make a Rolls-Royce by spray painting RR on the hood of a Plymouth. Imitation anything always misses the nuances.

    Imitation Trad clothing is no different. Take Grandpa’s tweed coat and place it along side an imitation “Trad” coat in a store today, and even Grandpa’s old eyes can tell the difference from across the street. Indeed, the boy-toy wannabe on the right in the first picture wouldn’t be let in the Yale or Harvard Clubs.

    Years ago, Pontiac/Saturn made a spectacular looking piece of junk sports car. When Pont/Sat folded, no other car mfg picked up the model. If the essence is not there — clothing or cars — the soul goes missing. When in the Marine Corps, I heard many times of the “boot” who put Sgt stripes on his uniform, along with a Major’s oak leaf, and called himself a Sgt Major.

    Brands trying — for this season — to look “Trad” are a authentic as a gold watch turning green on the wrist. In the world of motorcycles, no one asks “What do you ride?” They only ask “What do you own?” I’d love to find five yards of 1920’s Harris tweed, and same era buttons. I know a tailor who could make an Era sport coat. FCF — Fast Cheap Fashion — in lady’s clothing has folded, but not before rising to a many billion dollar market in a VERY short period of time. FCF lacked a soul.

    All imitations lack a soul. Trad clothing is about understatement, except for Rowing Jackets one day a year and Club Jackets at THE Club. Imitators don’t understand that. Ever see a hammer-mechanic refer to a Crescent Wrench as an “adjustable” wrench? The essence of Trad was Olde New England money, the kind who doesn’t know two dimes and a nickel make a quarter, but DOES know the year of your Bentley. The only way to get that look is to have the clothing made for you. ALL newer clothing uses different dyes and pigments, the nuance often subtle.

  21. Mitchell S. | August 24, 2018 at 4:40 pm |

    John: Fact check, Ralph’s sales and market value is NOT off by 60% in the last few years. For the past three years Ralph Lauren stock has been steadily rising and setting new highs.

    • Correction. Ralph’s stock was down 60% from 2015 to 2017. It has recovered some in 2018. The jury is still out whether its “restructuring” will have long term effects or not.

  22. Plusqueparfait | August 25, 2018 at 1:47 am |

    If one already has a sufficient number of OCBD shirts, polos, tweed jackets, navy blazers, gray flannel pants, khakis, etc., it really wouldn’t matter if all these retailers/manufacturers disappeared overnight.

  23. Vern Trotter | August 25, 2018 at 9:34 am |

    Yes, some old buzzards like yours truly give away more clothes than I can count once or twice a year. Right now I am waiting on a young fella to come and pick up approx 100 Brooks OCBD shirts pre- 2000 made but with frayed collars and cuffs. The size of an upper West Side apartment mandates.

  24. Charlottesville | August 28, 2018 at 12:00 pm |

    @Plusqueparfait – “If one already has a sufficient number of OCBD shirts, polos, tweed jackets, navy blazers, gray flannel pants, khakis, etc., it really wouldn’t matter if all these retailers/manufacturers disappeared overnight.”

    That is more or less my position regarding my own closet, but I can’t quite agree entirely. I may be all set personally, but if there are no examples of traditional dress and no decent clothing sources for today’s college-age and young professional men, then we will be consigned to look at an endless parade of fashion victims who ape what they see in GQ or at Pitti Uomo, or slobs in cargo shorts and gym clothes. In the first case, they may have interest in clothing, but no real style, and in the second case, they seem to lack even basic awareness. While I don’t foresee anything like a return to an authentic Brooks/Press/Chipp 1960 heyday, I hope that this current unpleasantness passes and something approximating a traditional style returns. Well, I can dream, can’t I?

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