In Praise of Manly Trad

While mostly stuck at home, let us remember more active times with this tribute to “manly trad” courtesy of Japanese clothier Kent and a little inspiration from Steve McQueen. Always remember that trad is man’s clothes, and that nothing compliments a three-piece sack suit, buttondown oxford and rep tie like a Ferrari Berlinetta Lusso.

Running with the bulls in a pink buttondown? Swimming with sharks in madras trunks? Leave a comment and tell us your ideal of manly trad. I’ll be heading out this afternoon to meditate and lift rocks along the cliffs. — CC

17 Comments on "In Praise of Manly Trad"

  1. Running into a burning building in Bill’s Khakis ala Chris Eigeman in Barcelona?

  2. Honestly, this is a difficult question, Christian. We have such negative views of manliness these days in the media, that it can be hard for us younger folks to really grasp a positive example…

    As a Texas Ex, I have always been fond of this photo of Walter Chronkite, though:

    It really speaks to difference I’ve begun to explore on college campuses, and the connection between lack of appropriate style and the lack of professionalism among current American students.

  3. Congratulations and thank you for the many great posts.

  4. Congratulations! Your blog is very enjoyable.


  5. I think Kent is some sort of subsidiary of Vans.

  6. Andrew Eastman | August 1, 2011 at 9:39 pm |

    Manly trad? How about Teddy Roosevelt’s African safari:

  7. Kent was the “grown-up” brand from VAN, appearing in the mid-1960s. There is still a Kent shop in Aoyama today that sells all the VAN license stuff as well as all sorts of trad classics. I got a order-made blue-and-white candy stripe shirt there but the pattern didn’t respond well to being stretched out to my height.

  8. My Manly Trad moment was swing dancing with my wife wearing a Brooks Brothers seersucker suit in white bucks at a friend’s wedding in Chicago. The looks I got that day were priceless.

  9. Skeet shooting in a tweed sport coat, white oxford shirt and khakis while surrounded by yahoos in camo gear. I was the butt of jokes at first, until I hit every clay but two. Yahoo’s comments changed from my unusual attire to discussions about my Beretta over under.


  10. EVAN EVERHART | August 23, 2018 at 5:49 pm |

    My idea of manly trad would have to be Ernest Hemingway. Couldn’t possibly get more traditional or American than him, at least as far as how he chose to live his life and project his persona, sans suicide.

    As far as tradliest wearables; Harris tweed 8 panel cap (brown HBT), Black Watch OCBD with rear collar button and buttoned pocket flap, beefy khakis, Allen Edmonds split toe lace up bluchers in tan, dark socks, green corduroy jacket (pockets loaded with ammo), natural Shetland sweater, and maybe an olive green silk knit tie, and my carriage gun and 1873 Colt .45 for fun shooting/finding dinner.

    P.S. You should definitely re-run this little piece as a fun contest or as a gonzo-bizarro contest. With your current readership, this would definitely be much more widely appreciated.

  11. EVAN EVERHART | August 23, 2018 at 5:51 pm |

    Scratch the above; though it may be close: Teddy Roosevelt! Nothing more American imaginable than him, or manly, and certainly Ridiculously Trad! Heck, even his military uniform that he wore riding up San Juan Hill was from the Brothers Brooks!

  12. Historically, in bad economic times — and we are looking forward, economically, to two years or so of really bad sledding, and five to twenty years of very high taxes to pay back the money borrowed at the national level — women dress “practical” to show men THEY, the women, are not spendthrifts, while men dress rather formally, if in perhaps tattered clothing. I have a picture of my 23 year old grandfather standing in front of the barn on the farm he just bought — no electricity, no running water, horses to plow the fields, nearest village two miles away. Yet Gramps was wearing a suit and tie. Actually, the suit fit rather well, so if it were ordered from Sears (six to eight weeks for delivery), someone with a sewing machine and some skills fixed it to a young farmer’s frame. In the near to mid term future, old tweed sport coats and a bit worn button-down shirts will probably be rather stylish. Perhaps as well, a twenty-five year old sports car.

  13. Tractatus Historico-Nostalgicus | May 3, 2020 at 8:01 pm |

    Admiral Ernest J. King, USNA 1901, had his uniforms made by Brooks Brothers, and a non-regulation pocket square below his ribbons, so EJK was Trad-attired as he planned and ordered the annihilation of Japanese naval and air power in the Central Pacific, certainly a manly task. Juan Trippe, Hill School, Yale ’21, another guy who usually dressed well, founder of Pan American World Airways, aviation pioneer, bare-knuckled business brawler, man who brought air travel to the people, all done while well and Trad-attired. Simon Ramo was a tasteful dresser, rocket scientist, founder of TRW, one of the men who took the first American ICBM from a blackboard sketch to first launch in months, securing nuclear deterrence and putting American on track to win the Cold War; trad clothes, manly achievements. And we may add Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Groton, Harvard, Columbia Law, in his naval officer’s boatcloak, standard and unaltered, from the Naval Clothing Depot, Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York City, Trad as simple, yet striking when worn in an unexpected way in an unexpected place, and manly as only presiding over the total destruction of two of America’s greatest enemies can be. Back when men were men, they also dressed well, generally.

  14. My late maternal grandfather. A quiet, tall blond boy from Central North Carolina who attended Chapel Hill. He was an exec with a large building materials corporation based in Manhattan during the last 15 years of his working life. Charcoal gray or navy sack suits with split-toe oxfords, white shirts, and repp stripe ties unfailingly Monday through Friday and Sunday mornings for church. The same for dinners out on Saturday evenings, or holidays and special occasions at home. Oh yeah. He also jumped out of planes into occupied France during WWII and somehow made it home again.

  15. George H W Bush
    Manly Trad, we are not worthy!

  16. Aivii Riigu | May 4, 2020 at 12:40 am |

    Japanese trad magazines and manufacturers of trad clothing in Japan have an idiosyncratic use of English vocabulary. This leads one to wonder what Kent meant by “manly”.

  17. Not that this is spectacular, but it is manly nonetheless:

    Growing up, the men in my neighborhood mowing their lawns with push mowers, while wearing dress shirts with rolled up sleeves, gabardine pants, and their oldest dress shoes.

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