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I was photographed for the latest issue of Free & Easy, which has a big feature on Allen Edmonds. They shot my Kenwood and Walden loafers, and I posed for the camera in my neighborhood. The shooter liked the American flag on the house across the street, and with that penchant for formulas characteristic of the Japanese, I was asked to hold a bag. They’d already shot my satchel, so I suggested my new golf “Sunday bag,” the one I use when I just need a half-dozen clubs. It’s a deadstock Wilson I found on eBay for a song, apparently made in Scotland and probably dating from the ’60s. I tried to look like I was waiting to be picked up for some golf practice, but the result doesn’t exact smack of verismilitude.

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Mixed with the AE loafers is the “preppy chic” concept I’ve been toying with lately, wearing my off-white canvas five-pockets from Stafford Prep, a black polo from J. Crew, black rope belt from Kiel James Patrick, and Ray-Ban Clubmasters. Most of my new summer gear is in the same vein, including (pictured at the top of this post), Sebago Docksides in midnight blue.

Continuing with the footwear, at a recent Paul Stuart shindig, custom department manager Mark Rykken was wearing a DB suit and monogrammed velvet loafers from Edward Green. As we chatted, he told me a story about Ralph Lauren in the early ’70s, when the designer had just become hot. There was a party at a major retailer and everyone came super decked out, as if to impress him with their retro-inspired boulevardier regalia. Ralph, however, opted for understatement in charcoal flannel single-breasted suit, plain white shirt, and blue satin tie. And to further add an air of calculated nonchalance, wore black velvet monogrammed slippers.

That’s a bit much for me (ditto precious Belgian Shoes, which Rykken’s assistant was wearing at the time), but inspired by the outfit I got the idea of searching for black suede tassel loafers, which I ended up finding from Shipton & Heneage:

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I grew to like the idea so much I even scooped up some black suede Weejuns for sockless loafing, dyeing the heels and edges black:

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  I found several things this season at Lands’ End, including the Drifter v-neck in gray (see bottom photo), and these swim trunks in a “neat” pattern, because I love the idea of swimming in a pocket square:

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There’ll be more on poolside prep in the next post. But summer isn’t all fun in the sun, so from Kamakura here’s a solid navy tie made of English twill:

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Which pairs easily with this white linen pocket square with navy trim, and an inexpensive Timex on a grey crocodile band:

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And finally, the preppy chic concept embodied in my sport watch, which now has a watch band in black and kelly green:

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There were plenty of purges to counterbalance the new stuff, since I’ve always been motivated more by refining than acquiring. Have a stylish summer while you still can. We’ll be melting from humidity soon enough. — CC