Greetings, gentlemen, and hope that wherever you are your spring has sprung. We’re long overdue with a catchup on all the news in Tradsville. We’ll start with something rather salacious and really quite incredulous. We’ve known that Alden has done phenomenally well over the past decade, indeed apparently well enough to misplace $30 million. Former executive Richard Hajjar has plead guilty to embezzlement and using the funds for decidedly non-trad expenditures. The Associated Press reports:
Hajjar, of Duxbury, embezzled the money from 2011 until he was fired in 2019, by writing checks to himself from company bank accounts and transferring funds from company accounts to his personal accounts and to another person.
He used some of the money to buy jewelry, including a $158,000 diamond ring, a New York City condominium, and private flights to the Caribbean, according to court documents.
He faced the tax charge because he failed to report the proceeds of his embezzlement as income on his tax returns, thereby failing to pay approximately $5 million in taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, prosecutors said.
The Middleborough-based Alden Shoe Co., which makes high-end dress shoes and other footwear, was founded in 1884, according to its website.
Moving on, a clothing company called Manors Golf says in a press release it’s drawing inspiration from the Ivy League Look. Funny, I’m pretty sure I’ve played golf in bit loafers before — on the Brooks simulator.
Speaking of loafers, The Wall Street Journal weighs in on whether or not you should wear socks with loafers, something every preppy — plus those who’ve seen “Making The Grade” — already knows.
When donning shorts, the pro-sock camp claims, naked ankles aren’t an issue—but to project sophistication while wearing full trousers, socks are a must. Ridicule rained down on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort when he opted for bare ankles during his 2018 trial. More appealing role models like James Dean, JFK and Steve McQueen, on the other hand, all suavely sported the socks-and-loafers look.
Also from the WSJ, people are dressing up again — sort of.
Perhaps they will try a bit harder thanks to Brooks Brothers. Not because of the Fila collaboration, of course, but the vintage one with Sean Crowley. Ivy Style contributor Eric Twardzik reports on it for Robb Report. Those of you who brag about hoarding Brooks merchandise will soon become the envy of all as vintage supplies dry up. Writes Twardzik:
Crowley has been collecting vintage Brooks Brothers for 25 years and begin his career working for the legendary Bobby Garnett of Bobby’s from Boston. Despite the brand’s longevity, Crowley says that vintage Brooks Brothers is surprisingly difficult to source. “My theory is that because it’s so evergreen, men wore their Brooks stuff just until it disintegrated. They just wore it until it didn’t exist anymore.”
A recent surge of interest in vintage clothing has only compounded the problem. “There’s absolutely no question that it’s gotten harder to find,” Crowley says. “In the last few years, it’s really changed. Once upon a time, you could just go to any thrift store and walk out with an armful of great old Brooks ties…now it’s just not the case anymore.”
Die, Workwear has a lengthy write-up on The Armoury’s spring suits, including ones from Tailor Caid. The post contains a photo of what looks to be Ivy Style’s former Millennial Fogey columnist though it’s difficult to tell with the unfortunate face diaper. I’m rather proud of having gone 400 days of pandemic without one of those things touching me once.
Pride can often serve a useful purpose, such as during times when things turn upside-down and the devil’s vices suddenly become saintly virtues. So in closing, a bit of personal news. I’ve always thought of myself as a columnist by temperament, and the first thing I published back in 1994 was an op-ed. But besides the past 17 years of blogging, I’ve never had a regular print column, and figured if I ever did it would be as a curmudgeonly humor columnist spewing bons-mots at the follies of the day. But as of yesterday it finally happened, and I never would have guessed it’s as a metaphysician. The “Spirit” column, as it’s been dubbed, starts out biweekly in The Bohemian and Pacific Sun, two alt-weeklies covering Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties. The pilot piece can be found here by scrolling to page 19.
Take in the spring sunshine, gentlemen, and breathe in the spirit. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD