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There were whispers of a limited gift edition of Lisa Birnbach's original preppy bible. Part satire, part reference guide, The Official Preppy Handbook, when published in 1980 became an instant cult classic. Given the book was published over 30 years ago, I have never actually seen a hardback copy (the few hardback gift editions went quickly). The secondary market proved not much better. After watching eBay for a couple of years for kicks, only a handful of hardback copies popped up cuffed with asking prices of $200+...until last month. Indian madras print slipcover, a linen hardback cover, and a fill-in-chart family tree make up this “completely outstanding gift edition.” While the demand has cooled in the wake of True Prep, landing a copy (for $50, no less) still made for a fun story over drinks with Birnbach last week.
Nothing tops "being there" when Vampire Weekend took to the Roseland for their sold out hometown show in New York recently. A live filming of the show directed by Steve Buscemi comes in a close second though.
Bill Blass said it was a matter of instinct.
Richard Eberhart claimed it was the perfection of a point of view.
But Edna Chase declared you can’t buy it.
They were musing about style. And while style is what you have and not what you buy, it remains elusive to most men. This sartorial pandemic can partially be attributed to most men’s lack of style icons—individuals or characters (past and present) you are drawn to. Personal style starts there though...icons. Amanda Brooks sums it up perfectly when she observes, “Style does not come to you unless you pay attention to it.” It is something one develops through a constant looking process. That looking process will be in vain though if you’re closet is full of clothes your mom or ex-girlfriend picked out for you. Icons of Men’s Style can help you with that. The thorough encyclopedia examines the most important menswear staples (the duffle coat, the polo shirt, the penny loafer, the diving watch, etc), their provenance and history, the stories of their design, the brands that started it all, and how the iconic pieces shaped the way men dress today. Now you can know, and knowing is half the battle.
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