• US Open Tennis Championships 2011

    Style | Dress Code | Sports  

    The 130th US Open is upon us. More than 600 professional tennis players from around the world will descend upon New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium over the next few days (hurricane permitting)—the winners take home a cool 1.8 million in cash. Novak Djokovic is the overwhelming favorite. At 57-2 on the year, he is the force to be reckoned with.

    I’m pulling for Mardy Fish. What?—I’m patriotic.

    Sporting events have a dogged reputation for being sartorially handicapped until Ralph Lauren decides to outfit them (i.e. Wimbledon, the Olympics, PGA Tour). The US Open is Lauren’s most recent proselyte. Since I’ll be at The Harriman Cup polo match during the final, I’m pulling on my lucky cable-knit cricket vest in hopes Fish goes deep. And the go-to-hell blazer? I plan on taking ‘best outfit’ at the match this year. Yes, it’s louder than Sharapova’s primal screams, but, that’s the point.

    Noteworthy: patchwork madras blazer, cordovan tassel loafer, cotton/linen square by Pochette Square, Polo Tennis cotton-cashmere cricket vest.

    Aug 25, 2011 | Permalink (37) Total Comments

    Michelle S left a comment on 12/17/2012 at 5:58 PM:

    Tim.  I NEVER watch polo.  I am too busy catching up with everyone under the sponsors pavilion.  Polo is much less boring when you bring friends and tailgate.  Start simple and soon, you too will have your own engraved flask and a story about the time James and Beckett were over served and ended up behind the barn.

    paolo left a comment on 4/12/2012 at 7:03 AM:

    what is the make of the patchwork madras blazer?

    fashionstyle left a comment on 9/21/2011 at 9:55 PM:

    the designs are very beautiful, very stylish.

    Jon left a comment on 9/1/2011 at 11:34 PM:

    The writing in this post is strikingly adroit.  Kudos!

    Nic left a comment on 8/31/2011 at 9:14 AM:

    @Desmond - Quite correct.

    @FEC Regarding the outfit, I do not take issue with any single piece contained therein. What I do take issue with in my initial comment was the “trying to hard” impression given off by pairing the cricket jumper and madras blazer together. But to each their own.

    Chens left a comment on 8/30/2011 at 6:30 PM:

    Tom Wolfe is the one who coined the term “go to hell” to describe the clothes of Boston WASPs gathering on Martha’s Vineyard. While it’s impossible to know precisely what he was thinking when he coined that phrase, knowing his literary style I think that basically what he was trying to convey is “garish.”

    As the phrase caught on in the digital menswear realm, it’s meaning has gotten murkier, causing people to think that flamboyant items are worn as an arrogant effront to others.

    The attitude behind go-to-hell clothing isn’t one of telling others who belong to some sort of “social norm” to go to hell (i.e. “screw you”). The clothes were originally worn by WASP tribe members among their own kind in social settings (golf course, country club, school dance); they were not something a guy wore alone to distinguish himself from the masses.

    Fred is right to wear such an outfit at a festive occasion such as a polo match. But the idea of donning patch madras to “push back against social norms” is nuts, according to the context of go-to-hell clothes Wolfe originally described.

    No group of people is more conformist than WASPs and preppies, no matter what they’re wearing.

    Hannah left a comment on 8/30/2011 at 2:06 PM:

    Love your madras blazer! I just bought a madras skirt, and I wish I could wear it every day. You can see how I styled it here: chillairandperfume.blogspot.com

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/30/2011 at 12:22 PM:

    @IgnaciO—You’re understanding of “go-to-hell” is incorrect. It’s correct meaning is in fact what you stated yourself below. “I am wearing this patchwork madras blazer because I like it—if you don’t, go-to-hell.” The attitude is about not caring what others think when pushing back against a social norm.

    tony left a comment on 8/30/2011 at 10:16 AM:

    The outfit fits the situation. It looks fine. What’s worse, this outfit or someone dressing like their match is next, wristbands and all?

    IgnaciO left a comment on 8/30/2011 at 9:44 AM:

    I despise the whole “go to hell” label because it infers that I am wearing something to tell someone to go to hell. I am wearing those red cords or bright blazer because I love the colors, not because I am trying to make a statement.

    AEV left a comment on 8/29/2011 at 10:05 PM:

    @FEC - As you just spelled out, you, many times, dress to be different - and, you spend a lot of time considering how to put your outfits together. You continued, if others wore this sort of look, you wouldn’t….because, it would no longer be different or garner as much attention.

    If that’s how you prefer to dress, so be it. But, it certainly proves @cam’s point.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/29/2011 at 9:37 PM:

    @Cam—Thank you for your sentiment.  I will take a moment to explain myself.  I am always myself.  I put forth a considerable amount of effort in the decisions I make in regards to what I walk out the door in.  Sporting go-to-hell looks isn’t for everyone.  If it was, I’d be sporting something else.  It is in my nature to be different.  Some days I dress to garner attention…some days I dress to be invisible—it depends on my mood.  Any affectedness you perceive is likely a figment of your imagination.

    And for what it’s worth, I never said I was going to “try” and win the Best Outfit award at The Harriman Cup. I said I “plan” to.

    Bumby left a comment on 8/29/2011 at 6:55 PM:

    Love the Jacket!!! it is a winner.

    cam left a comment on 8/29/2011 at 4:19 PM:

    @fec..i really like the outfit. why, however, would you put together a look to “try” and take the best outfit award? i think that’s where some see the affectedness of this. you should just be yourself and see what happens. all the best!

    Joey Dee left a comment on 8/29/2011 at 12:47 PM:

    I agree. FEC does things only he can get away with, and that is why we read, at least that’s why I read. That face is priceless!  I love that belt too.

    StacyfrPgh left a comment on 8/29/2011 at 11:37 AM:

    My daughter had the pleasure of attending the qualifying matches last week since a family friend was trying for the main draw. She reported that too many people looked as if they just got off the court and went right to Flushing Meadows. Her outfit was a white sun hat, gingham shirt and Bermuda shorts. In case you were wondering, our friend made it into the main draw!

    Caroline Fontenot left a comment on 8/29/2011 at 10:39 AM:

    This is why I love this blog.

    Glenn left a comment on 8/29/2011 at 10:38 AM:

    Fred less is more! Have fun at the Polo match!

    Preston left a comment on 8/29/2011 at 12:10 AM:

    Your swagger is, if I may, literally off-the-charts. Nice work.

    John left a comment on 8/28/2011 at 11:46 PM:

    I think Nic is taking it way too serious. Nic, the point is, not to be too serious. FE, as someone who attends polo matches, I agree with your comment, bring more booze and women.

    tim left a comment on 8/28/2011 at 10:42 PM:

    @ F.E.

    too shay

    Andrew left a comment on 8/28/2011 at 8:01 PM:

    I personally loved your ensemble.  If I may ask, which frames are you wearing? Thanks in advance!

    Trailer Trad left a comment on 8/28/2011 at 7:36 PM:

    Hardcore prep and proud of it! Probably your best self portrait. GO FISH!

    MGM left a comment on 8/28/2011 at 4:22 PM:

    This is a great outfit, although I am not crazy about the tie and the shirt.  I don’t think the blue tie “pops” in the right way, and I think the look would be improved with a solid colored shirt.  But the jacket, the sweater, the belt, the shorts, and the shoes all work wonderfully together.

    Richard Ross left a comment on 8/27/2011 at 7:18 PM:

    I believe the unbearable heat many of us are experiencing is because you sent us all to hell with this outfit.

    I dig the frames.

    khordkutta left a comment on 8/27/2011 at 5:04 PM:

    Ahhh, I like how the pocket square is almost camo’d in the jacket.  Didnt catch it until I enlarged the pic.

    Julien left a comment on 8/27/2011 at 4:07 PM:

    Comme le dit Christian : “Bravo Fred” !

    Joy left a comment on 8/27/2011 at 3:10 PM:

    LOL at Daniel’s comment. What if the hurricane hits?

    Daniel left a comment on 8/27/2011 at 2:13 PM:

    LOL that sneer! What happened to having fun with the clothes? Why leave all the smiling to KJP?

    Christian Bourasseau left a comment on 8/27/2011 at 11:46 AM:

    EPIC! This picture shows what preppy is! Bravo Fred!

    Pedro left a comment on 8/27/2011 at 11:34 AM:

    Don´t get out Nadal too soon, he as Jimmy Connors is the type of warrior makes the US open the grand slam of sweat and blood

    Desmond K left a comment on 8/27/2011 at 11:28 AM:

    @Tim- U was probably at a “low goal” match which can move along a little slower since the players are average.  However, the “high goal” matches produce non stop run and gun action. U should try checking out one of those.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/27/2011 at 10:54 AM:

    @Paul—I don’t know if you have to shave your legs if you start wearing tassel loafers. I’ve never practiced that.

    @Nic—“Far too much going on” is what I’m banking on to grab the Best Outfit nod at the Cup. These social events are about having fun with clothes and each other all while enjoying the display of sport.  Two of the precepts of prep style are layering and outlandish colors/patterns. The former being no more evident in the Northeast while the latter in resort towns like Palm Beach.

    A patchwork madras blazer can come off a bit loud (an inherent trait of such a garment) if you don’t give the eye anything else to digest. Pair it with just solid color pieces and your eye is in shock—potentially disgust because it has no where else to go after ingesting the stark contrast; however, lead the eye from the large madras pattern to a another pattern of a different scale and color and the eye has somewhere to transition to while maintaining interest. Madras to chevron stripe to cable knit to club pattern to striped shirt to striped belt to solid short etc. I kept the waist down grounded in navy and brown. The accusation of “far too much going on” would certainly ring clearer had this anchor not been provided. 

    @Tim—Only two chukkas? Bring more women and booze to the tailgate.

    Paul left a comment on 8/27/2011 at 10:40 AM:

    Do I have to start shaving my legs if I start wearing those shoes?

    Nic left a comment on 8/27/2011 at 9:22 AM:

    I feel there is far too much going on. While some of the outfits on here I like, this screams trying too hard which is decidedly not preppy in the least.

    tim left a comment on 8/27/2011 at 7:37 AM:

    dope shoes! can’t beat the tassel loafers.  But seriously..who watches polo.  I could only handle two chukkas and I was out because it was SO boring.

    Braddock left a comment on 8/27/2011 at 7:25 AM:

    wow, i love it! in my opinion this is your best outfit EVER!