Whale Of A Tale: The Preppiest Office In America


Yesterday I had a long discussion with a writer from Put This On about the waxing and waning of Ivy and prep over the decades. One of the topics was how watered-down the term “preppy” has become in the mainstream media.

Emphasis on water.

Yesterday Bloomberg.com put up a video segment on what it called “the preppiest office in America,” namely, the new Stamford, CT headquarters of Vineyard Vines.

Apparently preppy is now synonymous with nautical. I posted the video clip at Masculine Interiors, despite the lack of a swordfish mounted on the wall. — CC

26 Comments on "Whale Of A Tale: The Preppiest Office In America"

  1. Yes and according to the buffoons over at KJP, preppy is exclusively synonymous (which you misspelled above fyi) with nautical.

  2. Christian | May 7, 2015 at 12:10 pm |

    Spelling fixed. Thanks.

    Buffoons? So mean! At least call them successful ones!

  3. Indeed they are successful and I give that to them. The definition fits nonetheless.

  4. A.E.W. Mason | May 7, 2015 at 2:59 pm |

    Congratulations to them on their success. And I mean that sincerely. I guess they’re doing something very right. Nevertheless–and it must be my age–it all looks so ridiculous to me.

  5. Love ’em or hate ’em. Preppy or nautical. You gotta admit: Veronica Vaughn is one piece of ace, I know from experience dude. If you know what I mean.

  6. Who would you rather see succeed two guys like Shep and Ian, or 99% of other clothing designers? At least their clothing which is becoming more popular amongst the main stream versus clothing brands from the 90s and early 2000s…
    I happily own some VV ties, button downs, and a pair of flip flops. Great casual wear, and frankly as BB continues to move toward trendy I prefer them, J. McLaughlin, Peter Millar, or Murray’s toggery in many senses. (That hurt to say.)

    -Disclaimer- I agree they’re almost completely nautical, which is not “preppy.” I think most of their overly bright clothing looks like a college fraternities. VV in many cases is over priced (then again so is everything these days.)
    Also don’t get how you compare a company that distributes through BB to a company that has in essence taken over the lifestyle market? @Herb.

  7. Merrister | May 7, 2015 at 11:42 pm |


    Since when is there a difference between “fraternity style” and “preppy”?

  8. Christian | May 7, 2015 at 11:46 pm |

    Cargo shorts?

  9. People who bash cargo shorts typically don’t have a couple of young kids. When you do, those otherwise-hideous pockets suddenly become very useful, and practicality should trump any other concern, including fashion or style.

    And since pretty much everyone that I went to prep school with ended up joining a fraternity, it doesn’t surprise me that there’s a considerable overlap between fraternity style and preppy.

  10. redhouse | May 8, 2015 at 3:22 am |

    People who bash cargo shorts, but think that it’s acceptable for an adult to wear red trousers have an odd concept of “hideous”.

  11. And exactly what’s wrong with red trousers?

  12. redhouse | May 8, 2015 at 8:04 am |


    I’m sure that some other old timers who follow this blog can answer that question far more eloquently than I can.

  13. Gotta sell a lot of sh*tty $75 ties to 8th graders to fit out your office space like that. Still, it looks like a pretty great place to go everyday.

  14. Two follow-up comments:

    First – @lm: you clearly know from whence you speak – with young kids (mine are 7 & 5), you’re resigning yourself to most elements of style (apologies to Strunk & White) in both your home and wardrobe being put on hold … if not, along with your home, being destroyed. “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

    Second – my mother bought me a pair of Reds at Murray’s last year; they fit in the waist; they’re the right length (I had my tailor cuff them); but they are so big and balloon-like in the seat and thigh, you could fit two of me in there. What gives? They truly look ridiculous; but I can’t figure out exactly how to instruct my tailor. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  15. lm – I have a couple of young kids (5 and 2). That’s no excuse to wear cargo shorts. In fact, there is never an excuse to wear cargo shorts.

  16. J.I.Rodale | May 8, 2015 at 9:44 am |

    Unless I’m terribly mistaken it’s the length of the cargo shorts, and those absurd dangling strings that turn many people off. If the length is right, and the strings aren’t there, they are just shorts with big pockets. Not terribly objectionable in my book.

  17. Eliot Spencer IV | May 8, 2015 at 11:25 am |

    Fraternities in the South have a tradition of collecting pledge’s cargo shorts and burning them. My question is always: “What are you going to do with all of those pockets?!?!?”

  18. Roy R. Platt | May 8, 2015 at 11:29 am |

    I have half a dozen Vineyard Vines belts, and I think that the belts have the best buckles of any belts that I have ever worn. Something about the design of the buckles makes them feel very smooth as I fasten the belt.

  19. Mr. AEV is chums with Shep and Ian. Look for him on their yacht. He’s going to love this.

  20. “People who bash cargo shorts typically don’t have a couple of young kids. When you do, those otherwise-hideous pockets suddenly become very useful, and practicality should trump any other concern, including fashion or style.”

    You are just lazy. I have a newborn and have yet to wear anything as banal and truly archie-rific as cargo shorts. There are plenty of sensible options for carrying capacity that do not require debasing yourself to the lowest common denominator…

    My brother tried the same chump-speak excuse when he had his kids as well.

  21. Christian | May 8, 2015 at 12:11 pm |

    Love “Archie-rific.” Hope I interpreted you correctly:


  22. Cargo shorts (and pants) seem like they would be OK for camping or hiking. I admit I had a few pairs when my children were smaller, but then I figured out ways to carry what I needed without them (a summer-weight jacket, or two breast pockets on a casual shirt, do the trick).

    I have a VV belt, and I got my son a VV tie with sharks. I’m happy for their success, and wish them much more, but for the most part, it’s not my style.

  23. First, let me say that I find E’s use of ‘banal’ to to describe to us his feelings about short pants (of any kind) hilariously, ironically banal in and of itself.

    Second, if you have an infant, I can’t really take your musings on fatherhood seriously, chief. Call me when you’re up against offspring who can walk, talk and create true havoc.

  24. @Paul,

    Nice try. The Curl Bro “chief” kinda ruins the perception you were trying to create. Correcting a troll post, tsk tsk tsk. Hook line and sinker. “Third”, if you want to people to actually believe you are a decent father, stop chest thumping. Kids are a handful at any age. Nothing like self admission of failure. Creating havoc? I can only imagine what other parenting failures occupy your time.

  25. @E: you’re clearly more well-versed in the interwebs than I – I’ve re-read your post several times, and still can’t piece together your lingo to figure out what it is you’re trying to say. Except for this: I don’t care whether or not anyone believes I’m a decent father (except my wife), but parenting a 3yo is definitively, objectively more work than caring for an infant. You’ll learn in time, Grasshopper. (that’s an old David Carradine ‘Kung Fu’ reference, as I’m sensing a generational difference here).

  26. On a topic related to the original post, I just got a catalogue (not sure why) for Bird Dog Bay, a company offering ties, boxers, socks, belts, and other accessories in colors, patterns, and prices reminiscent of Vineyard Vines. So those who like Vineyard Vines but want something different might give them a try.

    Full disclosure: I have no connection to Bird Dog Bay, not even as a customer, current or future.

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