• In the Red

    Dress Code  

    Photographed in New York, NY

    Noteworthy: brightly colored duffel coat and reversible scarf. When you travel as much as I do, the reversible scarf becomes more and more appealing. I have found very few outfits this red tartan/grey herringbone combination doesn't work with.

    • Gloverall duffel coat
    • Ralph Lauren reversible herringbone/tartan wool scarf
    oxford cloth button down
    • Gant Nordic ski sweater
    • Ralph Lauren sterling silver engine turn buckle and leather strap
    • Rugby raw selvedge denim
    marled socks
    Bass Weejuns

    Jan 17, 2012 | Permalink (23) View/Leave Comments

    Miguel Ramalhao left a comment on 1/26/2012 at 4:48 PM:

    I’de never seen a red Gloverall… Nice!!!!

    M. Arthur left a comment on 1/26/2012 at 12:16 AM:

    F.E. You were at the head of the line when they were handing out a good full head of hair!  Seems you are not parting it in this photo.  My vote, dump the part, go with the full Gekko look.  It works for you as does the red coat.

    Katherine left a comment on 1/25/2012 at 6:23 PM:


    Weston left a comment on 1/25/2012 at 4:27 PM:

    The burnishing on those loafers is awesome—I’m assuming those are a different pair than the ones you linked to. Where can I find those brown Weejuns? Great looking shoes.

    MGM left a comment on 1/24/2012 at 11:12 PM:

    FEC should come to Missouri and photograph me

    Brad left a comment on 1/24/2012 at 9:53 PM:

    Just spitballing here, but that’d actually be a pretty dope series of photos - “The Odd Couple.” You know - something like a campaign along the lines of “Meet the Hilfigers,” but with you and KJP, or even FEC himself. Seeing somebody who’s a bit more buttoned-up juxtaposed with somebody a bit more “braceleted-up” - each, however, still sharing the same basic foundation of style. I’d enjoy it! You’re all so photogenic too ;)

    AEV left a comment on 1/24/2012 at 8:07 PM:

    @Brad - Fair enough. Somewhat to my surprise, our correspondence thus far has uncovered a fair amount of agreement and a number of commonalities. While colored bracelets will never be my thing, I’ve always admired KJP’s enterprising spirit, marketing savvy, and success.

    Brad left a comment on 1/24/2012 at 7:52 PM:

    @AEV - I was just thinking how fun and interesting it would be to listen to a conversation between the two of you. (I hope that doesn’t sound as pathetic as it reads.) And, please take this in the spirit in which it’s intended, I’ve imagined the encounter would play out a bit like an episode of the “The Odd Couple.”

    AEV left a comment on 1/24/2012 at 7:11 PM:

    @Brad - I have not met KJP, though we’ve corresponded and I’m hopeful we’ll meet in person some time soon. Why?

    Brad left a comment on 1/24/2012 at 6:48 PM:

    Has AEV ever met KJP?

    LSM left a comment on 1/24/2012 at 4:35 PM:

    I need to get a good quality leather band for my old seiko 5, what are some stores/ sites that you might recommend?

    trip left a comment on 1/24/2012 at 1:36 PM:

    Looks like the last Dress Code post featuring someone other than FEC was December 12th…

    Luke left a comment on 1/23/2012 at 2:26 PM:

    Are those the 75th edition Weejuns? They look different then the ones the link brings up.

    Big Jon left a comment on 1/23/2012 at 12:51 PM:

    This is a cool picture. What are you listening to or is it just a prop?

    RismoMax left a comment on 1/23/2012 at 12:24 PM:

    The style blogger has nearly an identical jacket, scroll down to 1/19: http://sbdaily.thestyleblogger.com/

    Paul left a comment on 1/23/2012 at 11:38 AM:

    This is a fantastic photo. The red of the coat is brilliant against that wall. You look cold, though. Being from Boston, I’d love to see what you would do when, like we often do, hats become necessary accessories.

    aggiek left a comment on 1/23/2012 at 11:22 AM:

    Great outfit, especially the coat and scarf.

    TJH left a comment on 1/22/2012 at 8:39 PM:

    Oh and it looks much colder in this one, stay warm!

    TJH left a comment on 1/22/2012 at 8:38 PM:

    One of my favourite posts you’ve ever done. The scarf and the coat go together perfectly and everything is just spot on.

    Hallock left a comment on 1/22/2012 at 8:38 PM:

    What do you usually use in your hair?

    Michael left a comment on 1/22/2012 at 8:27 PM:

    One of my top five favorite posts of yours—ironically it is in company with your other photo in NYC with the red Gloverall. Love the camp socks from JCrew this season, the brand has stepped up their game immensely.

    HarrisonK left a comment on 1/22/2012 at 7:55 PM:

    Very nice as usual.  Everything looks great together.  NYC was very cold the day that picture was taken.  May I ask why you chose penny loafers over something else that may have kept you’re feet warmer?

    Nate left a comment on 1/22/2012 at 7:54 PM:

    Never considered it, but I might give the loafers + camp socks a go tomorrow…


  • Power Cord

    Dress Code  

    Photographed in New York, NY

    Noteworthy: throw a down parka over your jacket and tie when the temperature dips below 30 degrees. Just be sure to keep your parka longer than your sport coat. Although there are quite a few textures and patterns going on, it works since they vary in size and color/contrast. Lastly, if you're looking to sport fun socks, look to anchor them down to the secondary colors in your tie.

    tortoise shell Ray-Ban Wayfarers
    • Penfield parka (similar)
    • Rugby wool herringbone blazer (similar)
    • Rugby corduroy trouser (similar) and striped sock
    Thomas Pink spread collar bengal stripe shirt
    • Ralph Lauren wool tartan tie
    • J.Press brass engine turn buckle and belt
    Allen Edmonds long wingtip shoe

    Jan 16, 2012 | Permalink (25) View/Leave Comments

    CHC left a comment on 1/30/2012 at 2:21 PM:

    Castelberry, what is your policy about cuffing your pants? Is there any specific reason why you didn’t have these cuffed? Do you cuff 100% of your khakis and only some of your cords or is it either/or for both?

    David left a comment on 1/25/2012 at 11:58 AM:

    Great post but I was just wondering if it is easy to get cords tailored. I have two pairs that I’d like to get tapered and shortened. Is it possible or do the wales cause problems? Thanks in advance

    Julia left a comment on 1/25/2012 at 8:10 AM:

    Hey =)
    Please support my blog and follow!


    msinc left a comment on 1/23/2012 at 1:08 PM:

    There was something subliminal that made me love this coat immediately when I saw it which I chalked up to color, quality of the photograph, etc. Then, over the weekend I watched The Empire Strikes Back with my two young sons (first time for them - glorious). As soon as Han Solo, my boyhood hero appeared on screen dressed for the bitter cold of the planet Hoth it instantly dawned on me.

    Fredrik Holst left a comment on 1/22/2012 at 7:22 AM:

    Great stuff!

    Visit my blog for an insight in a swedish law students life!

    Kionon left a comment on 1/21/2012 at 5:39 AM:

    @FEC and Alex S. Thank you, I have a similar tie. It’s quite old, the tartan is MacArthur, so just the yellow highlight. It has no brand except to say it is made in Scotland.

    Thank you, FEC, for your unique style. It’s you, and that’s all that really matters, because it is your sandbox. Your rules.

    cam left a comment on 1/21/2012 at 1:38 AM:

    fred, would you consider your style classic or peacocking?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/20/2012 at 9:50 PM:

    @SL—A Barbour would certainly work but wouldn’t have the same affect because of the tweed and corduroy I’m already wearing. The pairing comes off as predictable with a Barbour because of tweed’s association with hunting and corduroy’s implementation on many of Barbour’s collars. It wouldn’t feel as fresh.

    @AEV—It is those preferences and beliefs (which you are entitled to) that form and define your style…and it is pairings like this here that form and define mine. I don’t think it would be a stretch to say what I’m doing requires a little more imagination than what you would typically prefer.

    SL left a comment on 1/20/2012 at 7:07 PM:

    I really like how this looks together. Would love to see a similar combination with a black parka and for the fall, pairing this to a Barbour jacket may also arrange nicely.

    AEV left a comment on 1/20/2012 at 12:37 PM:

    I like and appreciate the individual elements, but believe a formal shirt, tie, shoes, and blazer require pressed pants. I also think they’re best paired with a more formal/appropriate topcoat, not a parka.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/20/2012 at 11:12 AM:

    @HarrisonK—I agree with everything you have to say. I can assure you my cords embody your preferences. Consider that the wind was blowing from my back and the fact that I have my hand in my pocket and am not standing flat footed. All these things affect how the trouser lies. This photo is not a “fit” photo you would find on an commerce website in order to help you decide whether or not you like the fit of the garment you are considering buying…this is taken on the street without being styled for all those preferences you mentioned below.

    HarrisonK left a comment on 1/20/2012 at 11:02 AM:

    I’m no expert but I think if you are going to wear your pants with a shorter hem, they should be slightly more tapered at the bottom.  The bigger leg opening makes it look like the pants are “flaring” out at the bottom.  It also looks like they are shorter in the back then the front.

    Laguna Beach Fogey left a comment on 1/20/2012 at 10:43 AM:

    Outstanding combo. Well done.

    Alex S. left a comment on 1/20/2012 at 7:05 AM:

    Nice, this blog is always an inspiration!

    @Kionon—The Tartan is Malcolm Modern.

    Miguel Ramalhao left a comment on 1/19/2012 at 8:27 PM:

    Uau.. love the color of those cords.. to bad that in europe we can only get RL Rugby in London.. I’ve got to go there some time soon!... Great pics.. Cheers..

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/19/2012 at 7:33 PM:

    @Kionon—It’s a blackwatch base with a red, yellow, and light blue stripe overlay; a variation of a Malcolm Modern.

    Kionon left a comment on 1/19/2012 at 7:27 PM:

    FEC, can you tell us the tartan type on the tie?

    Scott left a comment on 1/19/2012 at 7:05 PM:

    I would have chosen a simple color such as marine blue, dark grey. Not in all cases, but I would have done it here.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/19/2012 at 7:04 PM:

    @Tad Allagash—The patch is actually French in nature: Rhone Alpes. A little souvenir/reminder of from my travels in that region.

    Tad Allagash left a comment on 1/19/2012 at 6:56 PM:

    That’s a nice military patch on the chest of that parka.

    TJH left a comment on 1/19/2012 at 6:45 PM:

    I read that it was in New York and realised! British winters look AND feel miserable. I do enjoy swishing around in a big coat though.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/19/2012 at 6:38 PM:

    @TJH—Sunny doesn’t mean warm by any stretch of the imagination. It’s 27 degrees in this photo. Unfortunately, no amount of sun can bring comfort in those temperatures. Stay warm out there.

    TJH left a comment on 1/19/2012 at 6:31 PM:

    Love the look, especially the tweed and cord. It does look quite sunny and hot in the picture though which makes you look overdressed. Totally not your fault though, keep up the good work.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/19/2012 at 6:15 PM:

    @Epi—Thank you. I did not get them for free when I promoted them a while back. Allen Edmonds asked if they could gift them to me, I accepted (as I wear and own other pairs of Allen Edmonds), and then I chose to write about them. The difference can appear subtle, but it’s there.

    Epi left a comment on 1/19/2012 at 6:11 PM:

    Nice Allen Edmonds. Did you get them for free when you promoted them a while back?


  • The Hobbit

    Music & Books  

    J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit: or There and Back Again is considered by many the “original and still best fantasy every written.” Many in the UK and US are already familiar. The fairy story has been instrumental in stretching young readers’ literary minds for digestion of the works of Dickens and Shakespeare. With the highly anticipated film adaptation due out this December (in two parts no less—Middle Earth fans rejoice!), I’m currently revisiting the fantasy novel with my sons so they know “it’s a dangerous business, going out your front door.”

    Shortly after the first edition printing in 1937, The Hobbit's publisher, Stanley Unwin, asked Tolkien for a sequel. Tolkien responded with drafts for The Silmarillion, but the editors rejected them, believing that the public wanted "more about hobbits". Tolkien subsequently began work on 'The New Hobbit', which would eventually become The Lord of the Rings, a course that would not only change the context of the original story, but also lead to substantial changes to the character of Gollum.

    Pick up a used hardback copy from Amazon and experience the journey there, and back again, as Tolkien originally intended.

    Jan 13, 2012 | Permalink (15) View/Leave Comments

    Elizabeth V. left a comment on 2/13/2012 at 2:09 PM:

    See, this is one reason why yours is one of my two favorite preppy blogs (the other being The Daily Prep). It isn’t just about the clothes, it’s about having a life.

    Hailie Durrett left a comment on 1/24/2012 at 6:15 PM:

    I am so happy you posted this! I am reading Tolkien’s bio by Humphrey Carpenter right now and will soon be starting on The Silmarillion as I am taking a Tolkien class this semester.

    Laguna Beach Fogey left a comment on 1/20/2012 at 10:45 AM:

    Wow! I’m really happy to see this on your site. Tolkien, as you know, is one of my favourite authors. A true Fogey, rough Tweed-style. Very nice.

    GLG left a comment on 1/19/2012 at 11:01 AM:

    What I enjoy most about the Hobbit is that it is a book tailor made not just for children, but for the child within all of us.  The Lord of the Rings is a vastly different work in both tone and length, because Tolkien was aiming it at his original audience, who had since grown up, instead of the original demographic. Amazingly Tolkien considered the work to be a single novel - the whole “trilogy” angle was developed to work around paper shortages, the same problem that prevented T.H. White’s Once and Future King from being compiled in a complete state till after the war. My favorite anecdote about the tonal differences revolves around Tolkien’s attempted rewrite of “The Hobbit” to bring it more in line with the Lord of the Rings, which had overtaken it in popularity.  Tolkien sent one chapter to a friend who advised him to stop at once as the darker tone squashed the soul of the original.  Sadly, I believe Peter Jackson may need to learn this lesson, as judging by the trailer for the film and the fact the rather tightly paced story is being stretched out over two films, it seems to be going for the angle of that rewrite - needlessly dark.  Of course, I try to keep a very open mind with film adaptations, and my fond memories of the original work could never be perverted by any movie, but I can’t help but wonder what this adaptation could have been, especially for children unfamiliar with the Hobbit rather than the rabid fans of the Lord of the Rings films.

    Miguel Ramalhao left a comment on 1/19/2012 at 8:46 AM:

    This will be the next book on my night stand.. I’m just finishing On the Road (again!)... And I’m ready for more adventure… not the same kind but nevertheless Adventure.

    H.K. Rahman left a comment on 1/18/2012 at 11:32 PM:

    @bucephalus - since you asked, I believe Hobbits were the first purveyors of the “Go-To-Hell-Ankles” look.

    A left a comment on 1/18/2012 at 1:16 AM:

    I love hearing about you and your boys.

    You once posted a pic of my son in a madras blazer.( http://bit.ly/whwipX )

    Scary how fast they grow up.
    http://bit.ly/x2HWwN :)

    ian left a comment on 1/17/2012 at 10:01 PM:

    Peter Jackson did an incredible job adapting TLOTR’s trilogy. I am hoping his adaptation of The Hobbit is as well done. I’ll have to reread it, as I recall it is significantly different in style as it is a children’s book so I’m interested in seeing the finished films. It’s wonderful that you are exposing your kids to it. I suggest The Wind in the Willow’s as well.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/17/2012 at 8:36 PM:

    @Kiel James Patrick—Most importantly, don’t forget your Longbottom Leaf; cram it down in your pipe real good.

    Kiel James Patrick left a comment on 1/17/2012 at 8:08 PM:

    I love you man.  Little Hobbit smile crept upon my face when I saw you posted this today.  Think I just may crack open my favorite Tolkien tale by the fire tonight.  Might even curl my hair and throw on an emerald green robe for the occasion.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/17/2012 at 2:39 PM:

    @QD—Yes, I have two sons.

    @Jon—Tough question. Tolkien is certainly one of my favorite authors. What I’m reading right now is Tom Wolfe’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities” and Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”.

    QD left a comment on 1/17/2012 at 2:24 PM:

    You have children?

    Jon left a comment on 1/17/2012 at 1:58 PM:

    Hi, Fred.  Who are your favorite authors?  What are your favorite books?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/17/2012 at 11:44 AM:

    @bucephalus—At what point do you relinquish what you “think” Unabashedly Prep is for I am showing you it is? Unabashedly Prep is (and always has been) me sharing my tastes with anyone who might appreciate it.

    bucephalus left a comment on 1/17/2012 at 9:52 AM:

    The Great Gatsby—that I can understand.  It will be a preppy-costumey film.  But The Hobbit ?


  • The Cashmere Scarf


    Baby, it's cold outside. The mercury is finally dropping in the Northeast after what has been an unusually warm December—and that means leaving the house in a scarf. Though I have a collection of university, cable-knits, and tartans in wool, lately, I've been wrapping up in my Thomas Pink houndstooth rendered in an incredibly soft cashmere wool* ($300). The fringe tassels maintain the luxuriousness of cashmere while removing a bit of the fussiness.

    Mr. Pink was an 18th century London tailor who designed the iconic hunting coat worn by Masters of Foxhounds, whippers-in, and huntsmen. The coat was made of scarlet cloth but was always referred to as a PINK, in honor of its originator. Meticulous attention to detail, exclusive fabric, and exquisite craftsmanship were the hallmarks of a PINK coat. Today, Thomas Pink carries on the name and tradition of Mr. Pink, crafting pieces like this houndstooth cashmere scarf which embody the British heritage of the iconic PINK coat.

    *courtesy of Thomas Pink

    Jan 12, 2012 | Permalink (7) View/Leave Comments

    Eric left a comment on 2/25/2012 at 1:47 PM:

    A friend of mine made an infinity scarf for me out of 2 yards of this identical houndstooth pattern in a super thick wool.  Classic, modern, and extremely practical for cold New England winters.

    Sartre left a comment on 1/18/2012 at 5:00 PM:

    Terrific looking scarf.

    Els left a comment on 1/16/2012 at 11:36 PM:

    Beggscotland.com for Anna

    CHC left a comment on 1/16/2012 at 8:33 PM:

    The price is crazy but I like the whole idea, houndstooth, soft cashmere, sounds good…

    Kionon left a comment on 1/16/2012 at 6:12 PM:

    FEC, I have a few scarves like this inherited from my dad. Unfortunately, they have no labels and… well, you may have noticed that it’s 70 outside here in DFW. Not a whole lot of use.

    Anna left a comment on 1/16/2012 at 5:10 PM:

    Ever heard of Begg of Scotland? I recently inherited one of their cashmere scarves from my grandfather and I haven’t been able to find a whole lot of info about the company.

    Alexander left a comment on 1/16/2012 at 5:07 PM:

    Great company- their shirts are impeccably made.


  • An Introduction


    Jan 11, 2012 | Permalink (2) View/Leave Comments

    Joey Des left a comment on 1/12/2012 at 10:40 PM:

    Mr Lauren is quite the success story, and an inspiration.

    A. M. Spence left a comment on 1/12/2012 at 8:46 PM:

    So true.

    Sidenote: What font is used for these little notes? I enjoy its use.


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