Poor Richard

Richard Yates was one of those guys who adopted the Ivy look early in life and never let go of it. Whether due to good taste, lack of imagination, or being too impecunious to afford new clothes, Yates’ perennial style was recently described by Dan Wakefield (author of “New York in the Fifties”) as follows:

Yates never lusted for riches, and I can’t imagine him wearing anything other than his daily uniform of Brooks Brothers navy blue blazer, button-down blue shirt with rep tie, and gray flannel trousers. Whether I saw him in New York in the ’50s or Boston in the ’80s he was always dressed the same.

Now, like so many other writers, Yates is finding posthumous success, thanks in part to the new film adaptation of his novel “Revolutionary Road.”

Those who use “The Official Preppy Handbook” as their literary canon as well as sartorial breviary will already be familiar with his novel “A Good School,” which is on the OPH’s recommended reading list.

For those unfamiliar with Yates’ work, here are some places to start:

Wakefield’s article on Yates, from The Boston Globe. Yates at Amazon. “Revolutionary Road” reviews at Rotten Tomatoes. — CC

3 Comments on "Poor Richard"

  1. When I saw your post title, I thought, oh great…..another WASP 101 commentary (not that you have done one before……I am referring to Ask Andy). Anyway, I am enjoying your site, and I think you do a great deal of research before posting. Very nice !

  2. Last year I never wore anything to the university other than a navy blue blazer, button-down blue shirt with repp tie, and gray flannel trousers.
    I can assure you that that meant that I was far better dressed than the vast majority of my professorial colleagues

  3. Laguna Beach Trad | December 31, 2008 at 12:36 am |

    What a welcome surprise! Thanks for this CC. Yates is a totally under-appreciated writer.

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