• Social Primer 2013 Campaign


    "I'm going back to Charleston, where there is still a little grace and civility in the world."    —Rhett Butler

    It is a civilized place, Charleston. History drapes every window, tradition lingers in every pew. This "Holy City" is precious yet resilient enough to survive great fires, civil wars, and the occasional seasonal flood. Of course, you get all of this in the unofficial bicycle tour K. Cooper Ray gives upon your arrival. Whether it’s your first time or 17th time, it makes no difference. He wears his Charleston pride on his navy blazer sleeve.

    Last month, I flew down for a long weekend with Cooper and company to create lifestyle imagery for his neckwear and formal wear collections. We shot in what might be the most beautiful living room I’ve had the pleasure of being in. The light was inspiring (these two images are the only ones I can show currently). I have always respected K. Cooper Ray for using real kids in the marketing of his Social Primer brand. While not a particularly new approach, it works for him because these are the kids that are in his life—be it next door neighbors, sons of friends, or his barista. It's just Cooper pulling back the curtain on his frat house, albeit a civilized one.

    Aug 7, 2013 | Permalink (15) View/Leave Comments

    Michael left a comment on 8/27/2013 at 11:20 AM:

    @Clara….J Crew has had separates available for years.  Good article recently in A Continuous Lean

    Dan left a comment on 8/26/2013 at 6:49 PM:

    What is the purpose of the sash? For the life of me, I cannot think of a use other than masquerading as an ambassador or head of state.

    K. Cooper Ray of Social Primer left a comment on 8/23/2013 at 10:26 AM:

    Thank you F.E. for such a nice write up and shooting our fall campaign. You are also a valuable voice in explaining our brand worth! I guess that comes as result of our collaborations over the last couple of seasons. To address the availability issue let me remind your readers that SP the apparel company is a mere year old. Our previous collaboration with Brooks Brothers over three years was a separate entity. With any new, and privately funded, venture there are more than a few issues to work out.

    As for our price on ties, the quality speaks for itself. What you don’t see in photographs us the subtle iridescence of color is the silk. Customers tell us often “pictures don’t do the ties justice!” As for the SP Smoking Collection of tuxedo separates, this was a presentation to show the range of the brand. We are working on production now and will have shop in shop capsules with select retailers for the holiday season. All to say, we are a brand new company making up the rules as we go.

    Thank you for your interest, your patronage and indeed your curiosity.

    Cordially, KCR

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/22/2013 at 9:41 PM:

    @PSP—I picked that one up from Brooks Brithers in red ;)

    psp left a comment on 8/22/2013 at 9:10 PM:

    I just purchased the Social Primer Tailgating Blazer from B2, great and fun. Just in time for football season.  The lining reminds me of the Red Fox Inn in Middleburg Va.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/22/2013 at 2:32 PM:

    @Tim—Social Primer ties are made in New York City of the best English silk. Yes, you can buy a repp tie almost anywhere, but it will not have a contrasting knot as Social Primer’s do. Social Primer does not compete on the lowest common denominator of price. The quality of his product is quite high. If you care about “made in the USA,” he makes them in the USA. If you don’t care about where your goods are made, then China makes a product at a lower price range. It’s also about tie width. Ray makes his at a slim 2.5”—you’re not going to find a repp at Ralph Lauren that slim.

    @James—It’s August…exercise a little patience ;) His website is about to undergo a makeover.

    James left a comment on 8/22/2013 at 2:32 PM:

    @F.E.—Thanks. ‘Tuxedo separates’ suggests pants and jackets but they don’t appear to be selling those. They also don’t appear to be selling slippers….I guess I must be missing something….

    Tim left a comment on 8/22/2013 at 2:23 PM:

    Have any readers of this blog spent $125 plus shipping in a SP long tie? What makes them worth that price point? I can buy a silk repp tie almost anywhere—blue label Ralph Lauren included—for less than that, no?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/22/2013 at 2:20 PM:

    @James—Tuxedo separates, ties, bow ties, cummerbunds, velvet Prince Albert Slippers, and sashes.

    James left a comment on 8/22/2013 at 2:12 PM:

    I’m confused. Is social primer selling tux jackets and pants? Shoes? Gowns? What in this pic is being sold by social primer?

    Clara left a comment on 8/22/2013 at 1:59 PM:

    Tuxedo separates. What an idea!

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/22/2013 at 9:52 AM:

    @Clara—In addition to his neckwear collections, Social Primer is debuting its Smoking Collection (tuxedo and tuxedo separates).

    Clara left a comment on 8/22/2013 at 9:21 AM:

    What are they selling, exactly? Gowns and tuxedos?

    Kate left a comment on 8/22/2013 at 8:51 AM:

    So. Good. I love how the two images show both sides of the SP guy: the rowdy, fun side and the spiffed up, polished, refined side.

    I cannot wait to see the rest of the images!!

    Victor Stonem left a comment on 8/22/2013 at 8:25 AM:

    I love it!


  • Icons of Style: Jane Birkin


    In her closet: Trench coats, pea coat, washed denim, button down shirts, silk pocket squares, turtlenecks

    Iconic look: Fur coat, tights

    Key accessories: wicker basket

    Thing you can't imitate: Her namesake bag origin story

    Birkin was sitting next to Jean-Louis Dumas, Chief Executive of Hermès, on a flight from Paris to London. After the contents of her wicker bag had spilled into the aisle, Birkin explained how it was difficult for her to find a leather weekend bag she liked. Soon after, the Birkin bag was born. She has admitted to only owning one of the coveted totes which is customized with stickers and badges to disguise it from being so obviously 'a bloody Birkin bag.'

    Aug 5, 2013 | Permalink (4) View/Leave Comments

    Aloïs Parisienne left a comment on 2/3/2014 at 4:09 AM:

    Such a beautiful woman.
    Wrote an article about her look as well.
    Take a glimpse!
    Bises de Paris,

    Chens left a comment on 8/21/2013 at 4:08 PM:

    After being frumpy throughout the film, Birkin has a fun transformation scene into glamor-puss at the end of “Evil Under The Sun,” a great movie for ‘30s style.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/21/2013 at 10:31 AM:

    @Chens—Off the trad reservation, absolutely. But young Mick took alot of cues from preppy sportswear staples.

    Chens left a comment on 8/21/2013 at 10:23 AM:

    Stylish for sure, but methinks she and Jagger are way off the reservation.


  • Back to School Giveaway


    Summer is winding down. School is starting up. My interns are not happy about it. Frankly, I’m not happy about it. But there’s always a silver lining. Country Club Prep (currently advertising on Unabashedly Prep) and Boast are going to send one of you back to class with a new wardrobe. What does that entail exactly? A $1,000 Country Club Prep gift card and a complete fall wardrobe from Boast (no, that’s not a typo).

    Whether it was brushing up on literary classics, mushroom hunting, or meetings with the FBI in attempts to secure visas to study abroad in Spain, the summer interns did it in Boast*. You could look just as good in your adventures this fall. Simply enter the giveaway with a photo on Instagram of how you play (tag it with #BoastYourPrep). I’ll choose the winning photograph on September 3rd. Now get back to relishing the last traces of summer...

    *courtesy of Boast

    Jul 29, 2013 | Permalink (5) View/Leave Comments

    Alexander left a comment on 10/17/2013 at 1:48 PM:

    The top shot makes my think of Holden Caufield calling through his black book while jaunting around NYC.


    Josh C. left a comment on 8/28/2013 at 10:42 AM:

    That Wes Anderson influence.

    Orgastic Future left a comment on 8/26/2013 at 1:46 AM:

    This has a total Wes Anderson feel to it. I like it!

    Andrew left a comment on 8/21/2013 at 6:00 PM:

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! Can a person enter more than once?

    Ama left a comment on 8/20/2013 at 1:22 PM:

    I can’t wait to enter!


  • Icons of Style: Mick Jagger


    In his closet: Rugby jerseys, striped regatta blazer, shetland sweaters, repp stripe ties, wool sportcoats

    Iconic look: Button down shirt, sweater/sportcoat

    Key accessories: Sterling silver ID bracelet, dress watch

    Thing you can't imitate: His moves

    Jul 24, 2013 | Permalink (0) View/Leave Comments

    Kick off the comments by using the stationery below to pen your thoughts.


  • Sleepy Jones


    Sit back.
    Stare at the ceiling.
    Stay a while.

    This is the manifesto Andy Spade and long time collaborators Anthony Sperduti and Chad Buri seek to spread with their not-quite-ready-to-wear loungewear label, Sleepy Jones. Inspired by the artists, musicians, designers, and writers that came before them, the guys believe in the virtues of tinkering and pondering...and the perfect uniform in which to do that. Picasso churned out masterpieces in little more than shorts and a robe. Gershwin composed at his piano in his pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers. Hockney simply wore his pajamas out. They wore what was comfortable. And it worked out pretty well for them.

    Mackenzie and I spent last week on Nantucket practically living in our Sleepy Jones. The women’s shirts are cut in a roomier boyfriend silhouette complete with piping and a chest pocket—very cute. The men’s shirts not only look more like button-up shirts (gone are huge pajama shirt buttons) but fit like them. I had a tailor remove the break from my Sol Pajama Pants* (of course) and then proceeded to read, dream, and drink in them. In fact, I’m in my Henry Shirt* (an affordable $96, on sale) right now writing this. The entire American-made collection is turned out in preppy stripes, essential solids, and Liberty of London prints. We’re fans.

    The best part is that one of you will get to kick your pants off and let your mind wander, courtesy of Sleepy Jones. Simply enter the giveaway below and the lucky winner will be drawn this Friday. Then take the weekend to pick out your perfect uniform to sit back and stare at the ceiling.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    *courtesy of Sleepy Jones

    Jul 22, 2013 | Permalink (2) View/Leave Comments

    James left a comment on 2/7/2014 at 2:12 PM:

    I just sleep in my khakis.

    Dan left a comment on 8/12/2013 at 7:55 PM:

    These should absolutely come in repp stripe silk. I wanna look like a tie in my oxford cloth sheets!


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