Known for her silk Hermes head scarves and dark, round sunglasses, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis nonchalantly embodies her fashion icon status wearing a prep staple interpreted in leather. Even incognito, Jackie retains her elegance and grace.
Image via Alain Dejean
"Given their English provenance and their unisex, sturdy appeal, preppies claim the trench as our own." —Lisa Birnbach, True Prep
When I visited with Kiel James Patrick back in April, he handed over a braided rope belt prototype for a first look. His eponymous nautical accessories brand has since rolled out an entire line in an array of color-ways ranging from solids to multi-color renditions. These belts, like his bracelets, are made entirely in Rhode Island; an achievement Patrick continues to pride himself on. I like the solid color sailing belts best. Their versatility and classic colors make cinching them up into autumn seamless. For the kids in the northeast, to confine their sailing belts to the summer would be a travesty. Any excuse to be near the ocean, or simply be reminded of being near the ocean (or any body of water for that matter), is blithely welcomed if not encouraged. At just under $90, the “handmade in New England” cachet is well worth the price of admission. Order 4” up from your waist size to ensure a perfect fit (i.e. as a 32” waist, a 36” belt is a perfect fit in both the club buckle and d-ring style).
Kiel James Patrick has teamed up with Unabashedly Prep to accoutre one lucky lady and gentleman in a signature sailing belt of your choice. To enter, visit KielJamesPatrick.com and scribble in the comments below the belt name and size you want by September 17, 2010. For everyone else, enjoy 10% off when you use promotional code “unabashedlyprep” at checkout.
Photographed in Atlanta, GA
Noteworthy: Vintage Dexter beef roll penny loafers, white embroidered short (in the south, white is often worn below the waist in disregard of the Memorial/Labor Day window). If you find yourself stopping into Ralph Lauren (Atlanta), be sure to ask for Karlin. She will take good care of you.
While browsing The Cary Collection last month, I discovered a most curious book in Cary’s voluminous inventory. Simple in appearance, bound in black Moroccan leather with four names stamped in silver leaf across the cover. It is a yearbook of sorts—Thomas William Ludlow Ashley’s Skull and Bones yearbook to be exact. Founded in 1832, the secret society at Yale university in New Haven, Connecticut is infamous for tapping campus leaders and other notable figures for its membership. The family names on the secret society’s roster read like an elite party list—Lord, Whitney, Taft, Jay, Bundy, Rockefeller, Goodyear, Kellogg, Pillsbury, Vanderbilt, Bush and so on. Though Ashley went on to enjoy a longstanding political career in Washington, it is another politician’s membership that shrouds this yearbook with bated breath—a one George Herbert Walker Bush.
Bush men have been Yale men and Bonesmen for generations. Prescott Bush (’17), George H. W. Bush (’48), and George W. Bush (’68) are joined by a proud line stretching from great uncle George Herbert Walker Jr. to uncle Jonathan Bush to cousins George Herbert Walker III and Ray Walker. Upon initiation, Bonesmen are appointed secret names by which fellow members will forever know them. The club often pulls from literature, religion and myth for aliases such as “Thor”, “Baal”, “Hamlet” and “Odin”. “Long Devil” is reserved for the tallest member; “Boaz” for the varsity football captain. George H. W. Bush was given the moniker “Magog.”
George Herbert Walker Bush, aka "Magog"
Thomas William Ludlow Ashley
As for the number 322 that peppers the book and the society’s stationary, it embodies mythical overtones. One legend has it that 322 stands for “founded in ’32, 2nd corps”, referring to the first Corps in an unknown German university. Others suggest that 322 refers to the death of Demosthenes and that documents in the society hall have purportedly been found dated to “Anno-Demostheni”.
George H. W. Bush's Skull and Bones peer group from 1948. Bush is just to the left of the clock.
Ashley’s annuary found it’s way into Cary’s hands through a channel of rare book dealers and Yale alum. Upon graduation from Yale in 1948, he went on to serve thirteen terms in Congress as a U.S. representative of Ohio (D) from 1955 to 1981. Several years ago Ashley’s son contacted Cary about his father’s yearbook, not in an attempt to recover it but more so out of curiosity. Lud Ashley (as he was commonly known) had retired to Leland, Michigan until his recent death this past June. As for his yearbook, it lives on in his memory and is currently available for purchase from The Cary Collection.