When my sister and I were kids, our parents encouraged an appreciation of the great American musicals. They enrolled us in dance classes, and when “The Sound Of Music” would air on TV, it was one of the rare times when they would let us stay up late with school the next day. They also had the a copy of the soundtrack of the 1965 film on vinyl, which came out regularly.
As that music and story played such a large role in my childhood, imagine my shock when decades later I receive a random email from the great-grandson of Georg and Maria Von Trapp.
That’s right: great-grandson Nathaniel Peters wrote to introduce himself as a longtime Ivy Style reader who had recently gotten married. Peters and his wife Barbara Jane Sloan will be the lead story in tomorrow’s edition of the New York Times wedding pages, and he thought I would appreciate the story behind what he chose to wear. The Ivy League Look, after all, provides clothing for every occasion.
First, here’s the Times with a little background on Nathaniel:
Growing up on Martha’s Vineyard, Mr. Peters was bookish and interested in existential questions and distinctive clothing from an early age. “He’s the kind of person who wants to wear bright orange shoelaces in his very fancy dress shoes,” said Clare Rose, a friend. “He’s often seen in a bow tie or some kind of hat.”
Ms. Rose added, “He knows what he likes, and nothing he likes is run of the mill.”
By the fall of 2013, he was a graduate student in theology at Boston College, fluent in Latin, fond of three-piece suits and living in a house on the edge of campus that was full of people studying religion and philosophy.
When it came to courtship, here were some of the couple’s favorite things:
During that year, they created several traditions together. “Sunday nights were ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Downton Abbey’ or, when those were not on, Shakespeare,” he said. They formed a group that gathered regularly at his kitchen table to sing in harmony, and he taught her how to cross-country ski on the trails outside the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt.
…Not long after, she recalled, he asked her: “Remember our conversation about being two pilgrims along the way? Well, I would like to make a slight amendment. I’d like to take you down to the Public Garden and have a picnic and read from P.G. Wodehouse.”
Now here’s Nathaniel on what he wore:
My wedding was coming up a few months away and I wanted to find a morning coat. I had purchased a waistcoat and morning trousers from Charles Tyrwhitt. I’ve gotten some good shirts from them, and they were the most affordable and easiest option I had found. For the coat, I headed to Keezer’s, a venerable Boston establishment that has specialized in used men’s formalwear for over 100 years. Since the bride was in Milwaukee, her maid of honor accompanied me to offer advice. As I was trying on different contemporary morning coats, a salesman suggested that he might have another option for me.
He returned with a vintage Chipp morning coat, trousers, and waistcoat. The coat was a little long, but with some minor adjustments, the whole outfit looked perfect. The coat has all the small details I could have wanted, my favorite being a small thread behind the buttonhole to hold the boutonniere, and a gorgeous cutaway. Since our wedding was not the most formal affair, I decided to forgo a detachable collar and wear a tie in lavender, the color for the day.
Everything looked good until the week of the wedding. I picked it up from the dry cleaner’s, only to find the small mother-of-pearl buttons on the front destroyed. The only place I thought could make a last-minute repair was The Andover Shop. Two days later, Charlie, Larry and their staff saved the day with new buttons. The wedding went off perfectly, and I was grateful to be able celebrate in traditional morning dress.
Congrats to Nathaniel and Jane, and let his smashing outfit serve as an example of proper wedding attire to millennial fogeys everywhere. — CC