A college student and Ivy Style reader recently submitted this article on TV pundit Tucker Carlson. Mr. Carlson was kind enough to respond to the young man’s email asking about his clothes. And it’s no surprise he’s a trad dresser: Carlson grew up affluent and has quite the preppy education. He even married the headmaster’s daughter.
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In today’s political climate, characterized by supercharged rhetoric and an unwillingness to listen to others, it is a rare delight when two or more people who on political beliefs could not be more different can civilly discuss and appreciate something as seemingly trivial as a prominent figure’s sartorial choices.
And one can find no better representative in adhering to the rules of traditional American clothing than Tucker Carlson, who hosts an evening news show on Fox. The trained eye of an Ivy style fan can immediately recognize several staples, from his 3-roll-2 sack suits to his vibrant rep and club ties. Searching for images, one finds Carlson in tweed sport coats and LL Bean’s distinctive Norwegian sweater, alongside other outfits featuring Barbour Beauforts and needlepoint belts.
In a world of fast fashion and dismal clothing choices by some of our top public figures, it is comforting to find an adherent to classic style in such a prominent media position.
Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a shock to learn Carlson was privately educated at the prestigious St. George’s School in Middletown, Rhode Island, a school mentioned in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first novel, “This Side of Paradise,” as being “prosperous and well-dressed.” After graduating from the super-preppy Trinity College with a BA in History, Carlson launched a career in print journalism before joining CNN as its youngest anchor ever, where he was appointed co-host of “Crossfire.” Longtime viewers of the show may remember young Carlson’s prolific use of bow ties, a practice that died out after he transferred to MSNBC in 2006.
“If you wear a bow tie, it’s like wearing a middle finger around your neck: you’re just inviting scorn and ridicule,” Carlson once said. “The number of people screaming the F-word at me… it wore me down after a while, so I gave in and became conventional.”
Since his days at CNN and MSNBC, Carlson has climbed the ranks at Fox News to host the coveted 9 PM time slot. Nevertheless, Mr. Carlson took the time to comment on his sartorial choices. “The key to my fashion sense is not having any,” Carlson told Ivy Style via email. “I hate shopping so much that I just buy exactly what I’ve always bought since high school. Fewer decisions to make that way.
“I get my shirts from a place called Mercer & Sons,” he continued. “They’re made in the USA and not too expensive. Best shirts I’ve ever had. In fact, for the past 20 years they’re the only shirts I’ve had: they last forever. David Mercer is an absolutely terrific guy.”
Though you may disagree with Tucker Carlson’s political views, aficionados of classic style will have to admit he does dress damn well. — GARRETT BOYD