Last month we paid a style tribute to George HW Bush. But since then the preppiest prez has made news a couple more times, so we’ll give him an encore with a focus on one of his trademark style quirks.

No, we don’t mean his socks.

True, it was his hosiery that got mentioned in the media this week when President Obama toasted Bush for his charity work. Bush, who’s lately been known for his wacky socks, came bearing a sock gift for Obama. (President Clinton, you’ll recall, had a cat named Socks that roamed the White House, but no penchant for colorful hosiery.)

And previously, on the Fourth of July, GQ paid homage to Bush with a slideshow that included a couple of photos we hadn’t seen before. These photos included Bush’s preppy penchant before he turned to socks, namely striped watchbands.

Nylon watchbands evidently have their origins in the military, but when and how did they become associated with prepdom? If you have any insight, please leave a comment and share.

Striped watchbands were already a preppy classic/cliché by 1979, when the “Are You A Preppie?” poster was made:


Today they continue to show up in Tradsville on the wrists of preppy bloggers….


… and forum personalities…


…not to mention Ralph Lauren ad campaigns:


They’re also perennially available at J. Press. But considering they’re now coming standard issue from startup brands such as Daniel Wellington…


And have been a staple at J. Crew for a number of years:


Are they played out? Time for a vote: