What rhymes with Nantucket?
Photobucket, of course.
The March issue of GQ gets us ready for spring with a photo shoot shot on Nantucket entitled “The New New England Thing.” The photo above is the choicest, and here are highlights from the copy:
We’ve seen a lot of crazy, tweaked-out preppy style over the past few years. But now the all-American look is going back to where it all began: subtler colors, sensible combinations, and go-to patterns like madras plaid.
You may have noticed that a lot of zealously stylin’ men out there have fetishized the Waspy look so hard that they’ve transformed it in to a character, even a caricature. It’s like, did you have to wear the raspberry pants, the polka-dot bow tie, and the skull slippers? If that sounds like you, it’s time to dial it back. That doesn’t mean forsaking tried-and-true New England garb… but it does mean wearing madras with something that’ll quiet it down. The goal here is to nod to New England, not look like a total WASP wannabe.
Sounds like GQ is declaring the end of GTH-obsessed neo-prep, which we mused on back in November with contributing writer Daniel Greenwood’s piece”The Uncertain Future of Neo-Prep.”
As for preppy’s past, yesterday A Suitable Wardrobe ran a lengthy essay on prep under the pity title “On Prep.” Check it out here. — CC
As yet another storm hits the East Coast, the Ivy Style staff — Chens, Zach, Chief Sharp and King Richard The Forty-Fourth — share the favorite overcoats that have been getting such a workout this winter.
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When it comes to fabrics, The Ivy League Look conjures up thoughts of tweed, flannel and oxford cloth for hearty basics, while for accents one might think of wool challis for neckties or Irish linen for pocket squares.
But any comprehensive list including such obscurities as “crash linen” would have to include velvet, which has played a small role in the history of the look. I don’t mean smoking jackets or crested slippers, but of the little strip of fabric that sits atop the collar of an overcoat.
Since moving to New York, I’ve weathered the winters in a navy duffel coat and camel polo coat. This year I added a third, a charcoal coat with three-button front, hacking and ticket pockets, and black velvet collar. Not quite a Chesterfield, nor Crombie or covert coat, but something similar, the coat is not too far from the one pictured above in this 1955 ad from Cornell Daily Sun. (Continue)
Zachary DeLuca was one of Ivy Style’s first contributors, and he recently rejoined us in the more formal role of assistant editor, where he’ll be writing regularly, helping plan content, and fixing typos (though how good he’ll be at that, when he can’t even remember to button his own collar, remains to be seen).
Zach was recently given the Keikari.com questionnaire (you can’t exactly call it an interview, since an interview involves asking different people different questions). Check it out and get to know the man who’ll have to captain the ship if I get hit by an errant golf ball, possibly my own. — CC
Collectors of vintage shoes and fans of mid-century advertising will no doubt recognize Nettleton as a preeminent brand from the heyday and early purveyor of the loafer, a term which it trademarked in 1937. Looking to capitalize on its history, Nettleton has undergone a relaunch and introduced its Heritage Line of Goodyear-welted shoes in traditional styles.
The story of the company reads like a heritage brand narrative par excellence. The once-prominent maker, relegated to obscurity by corporate acquisition and diminished production standards, has been reacquired by the founding family with a renewed commitment to craftsmanship.
The price, however, leaves us wondering exactly where in the marketplace Nettleton will find its niche. At $795 for calfskin and a stratospheric $1,500 for shell cordovan — which the brand’s website lists as an “exotic” leather — Nettleton is more poised to compete with the likes of Alfred Sargent and Edward Green than with traditional American stalwarts Alden or Allen Edmonds.
The Heritage Line is comprised of eight models, but the Barrington, a traditional tassel loafer pictured above, and the Bentley, a split-toe Venetian loafer, stand out as the most heyday-inspired styles.
Nettleton has provided this promotional video that claims each shoe possesses “the slow, prideful touch of the artisan,” but fails to state precisely in which country said artisan works:
After contacting Nettleton, Ivy Style was told that the shoes are handmade in Belgium, using leathers tanned in France and soles produced in Germany. A pan-European effort, but at a price point that rivals the finest makers in Northampton. The brand certainly has the history to support a heritage rebranding, but Nettleton’s “Shoes of Worth” beg the question, “Yes, but how much?” — ZACHARY DELUCA
The other day I was browsing the men’s grooming aisle at the drugstore when something caught my eye. Among the Williams Shaving Soap and rancid Clubman after-shave, something was not the same: Brylcreem had changed its packaging.
The update apparently happened last summer. Of course, if you follow the hair cream’s instructions and only employ “a little dab,” one tube will last for so long you’ll fail to notice this kind of earth-shattering news for the denizens of Tradsville.
Considering that the formula is the same, the makeover (combover?) is a clever one. The old Brylcreem packaging made the item look perennial, perhaps a tad iconic, but certainly old-fashioned. But the new Brylcreem packaging — with the founding date of 1928 and the line “brilliantly classic” — has a heritage effect. Previously the tubes looked a bit embarassed sitting on the shelves year after year. Now they look proud of the fact.
If you’re a younger guy who’s never tried Brylcreem, Joe College here from 1965 (or rather, the girl) should inspire you:
And here’s a popular post from our archives, in which septuagenarian Bill Stephenson looks back on the Ivy heyday in “Collegiate Grooming Showdown: Vitalis vs. Brylcreem.” — CC
In another example of the high cost of manufacturing in the US, Hardwick has filed for bankruptcy after a federal pension protection agencey ordered the Tennesee-based comapny to replenish its underfunded retirement plan.
Founded in 1880, Hardwick is the oldest privately held clothing manufacturer in America. Ivy Style has discussed the company as the maker of Crittenden Rawlings’ recent updated Ivy sportcoats, and we featured a gallery of vintage Hardwick ads about a year and a half ago. — CC