• Tickled Pink

    Style | Dress Code  

    Sara Kerens, a budding fashion photographer and friend of mine, recently shot a few frames of me for her blog series "People I Know." It's quickly becoming a collection of friends in her life doing what she finds to be interesting things. I am honored to be photographed by her and hope that through this interview, you might stumble upon a thing or two about me you didn’t know before.

    Photographed in New York, NY by Sara Kerens

    What inspired you to start Unabashedly Prep?

    I was thumbing through a Teen Vogue issue (January 2009) and stopped at an article about a teen shoe blogger. Straight strawberry blonde hair framed these youthful milky-skinned cheek bones—she'd just been awarded the opportunity to design a capsule shoe collection for Urban Outfitters. She was only 17 and publishing her wildly popular style blog out of my backyard (Dallas). All I could think was, "Why am I not doing this?"  It was inspiring. Seventeen seconds later I was brainstorming what would later become Unabashedly Prep.

    What men's brands and styles have influenced your own taste?

    While most Americans possessed, at the very least, an ambient awareness of Polo by Ralph Lauren in the early 90s, I wasn't wearing it. I loved the sensibility but the fit wasn't what I wanted. There was this baggy thing going on at the time—all the kids were practically drowning in their clothes. What did fit was Abercrombie & Fitch. I remember meticulously pouring over the first ever A&F Quarterly and seeing a pair of slim denim with a slight taper that actually fit properly. I thought, "That's it. That looks great." I grabbed my mom, flipped on the charm (hey, somebody had to pay for the Shetland sweaters, chinos, and oxfords I was feverishly circling in the catalogue), and we were off to the nearest A&F shop 40 miles away. The next day at school classmates stared at me like I was sleepwalking the halls naked. I couldn't care less because it didn't feel juvenile...it felt cool. I was 15 at the time.

    Eventually, Abercrombie & Fitch mutated into the sex-peddling, logo-flinging jeans and T-shirt monstrosity you see today—a brittle shell of its former nouveau-prep glory. They lost me when they quit designing sport coats, sweater vests, and ties. When Ralph Lauren introduced Rugby in 2004, a line with the silhouettes and sensibilities of a younger guy, I started pulling their new takes on old classics into my wardrobe.

    Three years later, I met Sid Mashburn when I interviewed him for Unabashedly Prep. It was then that I began to appreciate the beauty of a "uniform." There is an ease about a great jean, an English bench-made shoe, a dress shirt, tie, and blazer that still looks put together.

    Check out the rest of her interview with me accompanied by additional images over at her blog.

    • Randolph Engineering aviator sunglasses
    Ralph Lauren cashmere cable knit sweater
    Rugby white denim
    • vintage Omega Seamaster wrist watch
    • Smart Turnout nylon watch strap
    • brown Alden snaffle bit loafers (not pictured)

    Jun 12, 2012 | Permalink (6) Total Comments

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/9/2012 at 1:32 AM:

    @Alice—No worries at all. Glad to hear that you’re enjoying the site. For the record, I was subscribing to Teen Vogue at the time because Bruce Weber was shooting for them, often. His work still serves as a huge inspiration for me.

    Alice left a comment on 8/9/2012 at 1:15 AM:

    Oh shoot!

    I forgot two quick things in my super long comment.

    1. I love your comment box! It’s so cute and a nice throwback to the days of paper and pens. Those were the good ol’ days.

    2. Sorry for commenting on such an old post! It may seem a little creepy so my apologies!

    The Ace of Hearts

    Alice left a comment on 8/9/2012 at 1:13 AM:

    Hello hello F.E. (if I may call you that)!

    I came across your blog a while back and absolutely loved the idea of it!
    However, today is my first time commenting so I was trying to find something special to share my insight on.
    I originally was planning on commenting on your newest post (about Barbour coats) but I somehow landed on this page.

    First, oooh I know who you’re talking about! Jane from Sea of Shoes! I love that she’s from Dallas since that’s where I grew up. It’s pretty cool that you’re from near there too! :)
    Wait…you’re a 27 year old man reading Teen Vogue? Okay. I’m not judging! It’s a free country and everyone does strange stuff!
    Oh Abercrombie&Fitch;...what happened?
    My older brother used to work at A&F and I remembered loving the clothes there. Then, as I got older, I realized that all they did was sell sex. Tight shirts, short skirts, A. Fitch written on anything. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve owned anything from there in a while. It feels nice being able to say that.

    Anyways, before I ramble on and on anymore, I just want to say that your blog is awesome! Even though it isn’t really like the other blogs that I currently read, it’s very inspirational and full of lots of pretty clothes and pretty people.

    Awesome sweater here by the way! It’s such a happy color and so vibrant!

    Have a lovely day! :)

    The Ace of Hearts

    P.S. This is totally random but I feel like you would get along really well with my older brother. He seems to have the same taste as you (and a bajillion other people in the world I suppose).

    PSP left a comment on 7/17/2012 at 6:03 PM:

    FEC, you should consider posting the back of the Omega Seamaster, very cool.  Also if you need to remove scratches from the crystal headlight restorer works pretty well.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 7/10/2012 at 1:09 PM:

    @Thomas—As a photographer, Bruce Weber is one of my chief photographic influences and often shoots for Teen Vogue. That’s why I had a subscription…for the tears.

    Thomas left a comment on 7/10/2012 at 11:08 AM:

    What is a 27 year old man doing reading Teen Vogue?