Preps Abroad: A Texas Trad In Japan

It’s always interesting to read interviews with the personalities of Tradsville, as it tends to reveal a surprisingly diverse lot — young and old, hip and square, slim fit and baggy, and of course liberal and conservative — all of whom share a common affinity for natural shoulders and oxford cloth.

This week an interesting one appeared on the web with Kevin Callahan, who runs a blog called Kyoto Maiko and who is an occasional commenter here at Ivy Style.

Callahan is a Texas native who lives in Japan where he flies the Americana flag, as you can see by this photo.

Head over to Curating Style for the interview. — CC

29 Comments on "Preps Abroad: A Texas Trad In Japan"

  1. Marvelous post, but one addenda. How about making the bow tie knot maybe 1/3 smaller for real authentic?

  2. Old Trad | May 6, 2012 at 8:20 pm |

    Why the decidedly unpreppy eyeglass frames?

  3. Old Trad, I have answered you on Curating Style and on Kyoto Maiko… But for everyone else:

    The problem is, I have a TINY head. Like smallest youth size head. Which means I can only wear children’s or sometimes (and only sometimes) women’s frames. I also must, must, must be able to try on frames in person, walk around in them, have them adjusted by a salesperson as I go… This seriously limits my eyewear choices… And I actually like these glasses. I’ve had the same frame, or nearly the same frame for a number of years now.

    Squeeze… If you are who I think you are, that is high praise indeed from someone who would know. To be honest, I’ve been experimenting with different ways to tie knots. This knot is actually a new one for me, and far different than the one on the other bow tie I tend to wear a lot… that one being a J. PRESS I picked up at Osaka’s Hankyuu Men’s store, which has a J. PRESS section. ^__~

    CC… Uhm. Wow. Totally humbled. Having been a huge fan of Ivy Style for years now, to be featured here is truly an honor. Thank you.

  4. Good to see another UT follower ’round here.

  5. You know your belt’s the wrong size when……

  6. Crimson, much appreciated.

    AEV, try having my 26″ and see how easy it is for you to find… anything that fits. if the major brands made more boys ribbon belts, I’d probably be good.

  7. Congrats on the coverage, Kionon/Kevin!

    I have the same problem as you—being small—but not to the same degree. One thing I discovered is that I can’t wear bow ties wider than 2″. Sadly, this eliminates Brooks Brothers and J. Press, but there are still nice bows out there to be had in narrower widths (not to mention custom made; Giuseppe at An Affordable Wardrobe has blogged about that).

  8. Kevin
    Enjoyed your site, thanks. Your belts look fine, but if you prefer a “better” fit any good shoe repair or alteration shop can shorten them on the buckle side, cheaply. I once had a fetish for wool and cotton surcingle belts, had about fifty. I would buy them at sales, there were always huge sizes for $4.50, spend $4 to re-size. It got out of hand.

    Your bow tie look great, you pull it off well.

  9. Kevin – I very much enjoyed the piece on you! Cecil Lyon over at Leather Man Ltd. can make any size belt you want. He has been making my son’s belts since he was a little over a year old. Every year or so we would just make them a little longer, although funnily, keeping the same motifs.

  10. spudnik99 | May 7, 2012 at 10:02 am |

    Kevin – I reccomend you check out Kobe-base Nackymade eyewear, If you swap the shirt and tie for a striped rugby shirt, I’d swear you were my first college roomate circa 1980.

  11. Johnny Reb | May 7, 2012 at 7:42 pm |

    Apparently Ivy Style deletes dissenting comments like Richard…

    Kionon, do you go to UT? Were you wearing a burnt orange jacket to the UT-OU game last year?

  12. I never saw the dissenting comment, but I know I typically don’t censor. What CC does on his own site is his business.

    I attended UT during undergraduate from 2003 to 2006. I was not at the UT-OU game, although I wanted to go. I looked into tickets, but they were simply too expensive. I usually watch the games over the internet while in Japan. I had student tickets (LASP, longhorn all sports passes) during the 2005-2006 game and went to every single home game. Now that I am an Associate Life Member of the Texas Exes, tickets should be easier to procure… but I’m unlikely to fly back from Japan just to catch a game… If a game coincides with a visit back… I’ll probably go.

  13. Antoine Stumpf | May 8, 2012 at 5:55 am |

    Sorry, but the bow tie looks like a propeller and the khakis look like they were borrowed from a bigger older brother . . .

  14. A good tailor can certainly shorten a cotton ribbon belt (and, even, take care of those pants). I dig the look, but it’s marred by almost nothing fitting correctly. I have a 28 waist myself…..my tailor, and a good custom shop or two, are my saviors.

  15. Gentlemen, I have can’t fathom how one can judge the fit of those khakis in the photo, especially considering the way he has his hands in his pockets. I doubt this was a professional fashion photo shoot, Kevin just seems to be at an outdoor event. I may be wrong, as some parts of the country “high water” pants are the ivy norm.

  16. Antoine, the bow tie isn’t too big. I’m too small. I address the khakis below.

    Mac is correct, this was just a picture taken at an outdoor event. Moreover, it was actually taken by someone further up a hill than me. The proportions are all off. For one thing, I am “all legs” and not even remotely “barrel-chested,” yet I appear to have significantly shorter legs and a wider chest in this picture. It’s perspective. In addition, with my hands in my pockets, the khakis were pulled up even further than normal… The khakis are definitely the proper fit, in fact, they’re the best pair I’ve ever owned… and I only paid $12 for them! Wish I had been smart enough to have purchased multiple pairs.

    This a bad picture to try to figure out my dimensions or whether something I am wearing is an accurate fit.

  17. $12 Khakis! You are a bargain shopper who has earn my deep respect. All is forgiven for being a Democrat and Kappa Sig. Just some respectful kidding Kevin. From your site I can tell you did just “cookbook” your wardrobe, well done, shop on!

  18. Kevin, sorry… that comment should have read … did not “cookbook”.

  19. They were new and marked down. They’re a Japanese brand called Deco, and they take whatever I throw at them. My other pairs are from Ralph.

    Mac, although I usually go way out of my way to never mention my political affiliation on my own blog, nor on the comment section of any one else’s. I’m sure I’ve mentioned my views on unions because it directly has to do with the history of some of my wardrobe staples, and my views today on quality work. That being said, I am curious what “gave me away.” The views on unions or did you see something in a photo I didn’t remember to remove or crop out? I wish to avoid partisan bickering.

    And if I understand “cookbook” in this context, this is one of the things I think is a big problem with both the prep/ivy/trad blogosphere (what some around these parts call “iGents”) and also the Japanese take on ivy/prep. There is an attempt to put together specific looks according to “recipes,” rather than wardrobes being built over years and years in a much more natural way. This is my main complaint about Japanese hobbies in general, actually… lots of details, but lacking in authentic nonchalance.

  20. Kevin, the political give away was I actually read you total blog, the selection of photos and a few comments. No problem though, old pros can be friends and still sometimes be excited in the heat of battle. (smile)

    Yes, you do understand my drift on “cookbook”

  21. Dickey Greenleaf | May 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm |

    Callahan’s style is definately Prep, Trad, awesomely done.

  22. That post specifically, or HTJ? I am an occasional commenter on HTJ.

  23. Mikimaus | May 8, 2012 at 9:34 pm |

    Kionon:

    HTJ’s amazingly readable translations

  24. Mikimaus, I actually didn’t realise that HTJ spoke Japanese. A pleasant surprise.

  25. Anonymoose

    This is old news, everyone knows Japan’s resistance to Ivy style went to extremes in the late 30s and early 40s.

  26. MAC

    Nipponese resistance to chinos and OCBD shirts did indeed go to extremes.

  27. Camelot

    I know, my father was shot down over Manila attempting to drop a payload of Chipp rep striped watch bands and club ties with jockstrap motifs.

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