Velvet Touch: RFK + Slippers

Our last post featured JFK in velvet slippers on Christmas. Today we have his brother Bobby going slipshot on Halloween.

Both seemed to like tossing them on around the house while dressed relatively casually, as opposed to taking the shoe super-serious and donning it with black tie, ascot, or smoking jacket.

I still don’t have a pair, but when I do, I promise to tread lightly. — CC

26 Comments on "Velvet Touch: RFK + Slippers"

  1. I suppose this is the sort of thing you do when you are a Kennedy. Personally, I can’t get behind it.

  2. I would love a pair too!

  3. Ne Plus Ultra | December 26, 2016 at 10:30 am |

    A slip of the pen:
    “slipshot” for “slipshod”

  4. Pun on “slipper” and “shod.”

    Unconcious, though…

  5. Pani can wear a blackwatch duffel coat in public, but not velvet slippers with athletic socks around the house?

    To each his own.

  6. Sure, if you want to look like you’re imitating a Kennedy.

  7. A Trad Confused | December 26, 2016 at 11:45 am |

    Gentlemen have been wearing velvet slippers long before the Kennedy Clan…

  8. True, but this manner of wearing them seems a bit unique.

  9. Everything in the Ivy/preppy genre is “imitating a Kennedy,” who were “imitating” those who had come before, or who were around them.

  10. I think there is a lot of truth to that, but the question remains where trad/ivy ends as a genre and where it begins as a culture. I was giving some thought to this recently. I wonder where you personally fall on this issue, Christian. Is your interest in Ivy a purely academic pursuit, as a historian would, for example, or do you count yourself among a particular group of people who have inherited said culture? Doesn’t make a difference either way, just curious.

  11. How the Ivy League Look is a reflection of the tastes and values of the Protestant Establishment in America I think is the most fascinating part about this topic, mostly because it is based on social history that is ephemeral and largely based on anecdote.

    It’s not an either/or: clothes are culture, and culture is clothing.

    The crested slipper with athletic socks strikes me as a superlative illustration of patrician dress, American style.

    First off, middle class men don’t have velvet slippers; certainly not ones made in England, for example, with their monogram.

    Second, wearing them in a way against their intention is a very sporty, collegiate thing to do. It comes from the same spirit as crazy GTH pants worn with otherwise “correct” buttondown, blazer and necktie, or wearing a pink buttondown with black tie, as that’s the sort of thing an irreverent rich preppy kid — and those around him, like Paul Winston — would do.

    I’ve been planning on essay called “I Miss Rugby,” the RL brand, because it would show a lot of outfits with these juxtapositions, like a chesterfield coat worn over sweatpants and camp moccasins. Of course that’s a fashion fantasy approach, because we’re talking about RL. But there was a great nod to preppy spirit in that.

    Around the Upper East Side you’ll see older guys on the weekend walking around with their expensive but old polo coats and their Alden bit loafers with a baseball cap and khakis.

    As for me, all this is both: I’m fascinated by the cutural history and enjoy digging up photos and anecdotes, and of course this genre is the primary influence on my own approach to dressing.

  12. That’s an interesting idea, and one I share. I just think that there is a danger in it as well. Not in a literal sense, of course, but just in the sense that it is easy to fall into farce. That is not to say that I think this is what you are doing. Far from it. But like some of the vintage enthusiasts out there, the clothes can begin to look like costume. It seems to me that seeing a Kennedy in athletic socks and velvet slippers should be a point of departure, not the final destination. One can take that attitude, if not that look, and live it rather than imitate it. I think G. Bruce Boyer has commented on this idea.

  13. No lover of RFK but I see nothing affected otherwise peculiar about the slippers. First its a holiday and a visit to one’s closet ought not require absolute coordination. Second at this time in history people didn’t possess as many things- even the affluent. My father possessed only wool slacks, no shorts and a pair of khakis he called yard pants. In the the case of RFK, a fellow who likely had clothes scattered among several family homes the alternative may have been tennis shoes or laced loafers. Velvet slippers are perfect for at home events and I think it’s just fine.

  14. wianno85, excellent point about people, even the affluent, not possessing many things in the mid 60s. But today even the less fortunate own many things. Again, I wonder about the line between imitation and farce. Not at all farcical for a Kennedy to do it, but perhaps so for anyone today. This is not to say that we can’t enjoy vintage things today. I myself do so frequently. But I do hope that when I do, it doesn’t veer into costume. That is not for me to judge, however.

  15. Oh, I don’t know, you sound pretty judicial so far.

    But I agree: let us abstain from judgment until we actually see a picture on the Internet of someone farcically donning a costume in imitation of a Kennedy and then shame him for it.

    But in the meantime, we can busy ourselves by shaming the idea of it.

  16. I meant that it isn’t for me to judge how people perceive what I wear. I’m sure I can count on all of you to shame me for that. 😉

  17. Here’s costume master FE Castleberry in monogrammed slippers out on the street. Scroll down to “Old World Casual.” Oddly enough, I think that’s one of his better, less affected outfits:

  18. Jock the gay jew Jock | December 26, 2016 at 7:56 pm |

    @Pani M
    “I suppose this is the sort of thing you do when you are a Kennedy.”
    “Sure, if you want to look like you’re imitating a Kennedy.”
    “It seems to me that seeing a Kennedy in athletic socks and velvet slippers should be a point of departure, not the final destination. “
    “Not at all farcical for a Kennedy to do it, but perhaps so for anyone today.”

    So, what? Are you just against Catholics infiltrating the WASP bastion or are you one of the cuck-cucks of the alt-right, ready to smear anyone not WASP?

  19. Wonder if RFK was wearing JFK’s slippers? They look the same as the pair in the JFK post.

  20. Alan Flusser comes to mind whenever Prince Albert slippers and casual clothes are mentioned in the same sentence. I saw a photo of him wearing sweatpants with velvet slippers strolling down the street. Another time I saw an interview he gave about the movie “Wall Street” while he was wearing a striped jacket and torn jeans. Mr Flusser is a very natural, confident fashion aficionado and I would love to hear an interview with he and CC. Mr.Flusser’s sense of style is years ahead of the curve.

  21. While they Kennedys may not be wearing smoking slippers with full smoking garb (jacket, ascot and all), they are using them appropriately in a casual house-slipper way. So in a way, they’re wearing them correctly, or at least more correct than those who wear smoking slippers out of the house. Personally, I don’t think that wearing smoking slippers outside one’s home is a faux pas because they have a sturdy leather sole and look handsome with sport coats. Correctly worn or not, rules were made to be broken especially fashion rules.

  22. @M Arthur I looked at JFK’s slippers again and they seem different, to me. RFK’s seem to have a fox’s head on them whereas JFK’s look like crests. I had wanted a pair with crowns on them, or my initials, but RFK’s fox slippers are appropriate for me as my college’s mascot is the fox. Christmas is just a year away!

  23. Front Porch Life | December 29, 2016 at 1:51 pm |

    I need a pair of these, they look better with a sport coat than my LL Bean moccasin slippers!

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