• Wardrobe XIII

    Style | Dress Code  

    Last weekend, a group of friends and I packed up the car (last minute) and headed south to Firefly music festival despite the wet forecast. My vintage Mighty Mac was one of the few things I grabbed while running out the door. Originally based out of Gloucester, Massachusetts, Mighty-Mac was a popular sportswear brand up until the late '80s, known for making stylish and functional clothing for boating. Despite closing up shop around 1989-1990, 35 summers of Japan recently acquired the rights to the name and are now recreating the same jackets that were made decades ago in its original quality. I picked up my late 80s model gently used and then had it tailored in all the right spots. Notwithstanding the rain, The Killers did put on the best show I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing and I stayed plenty dry.

    1. FujiFilm X-Pro1 rangefinder camera
    2. Mighty Mac of Gloucester jacket
    3. Ralph Lauren whale embroidered chino short
    4. vintage Omega Seamaster wristwatch with Rugby nylon watch band

    Aug 7, 2012 | Permalink (8) View/Leave Comments

    PSP left a comment on 9/6/2012 at 10:00 PM:

    Great pick on the Might Mac jacket.  Do you know where I can find one?

    Kingston left a comment on 8/29/2012 at 7:52 PM:

    The Gold, Silver and Bronze of Prep: Stylin’ - Prep & Maiden http://www.prepandmaiden.com/articles-1/stylin/

    PSP left a comment on 8/22/2012 at 9:21 PM:

    FEC I purchased the blue and white J Press band really liked it for Summer.  FYI for fans of the Vintage Seamaster there are currently a few up for auction on Liveauctioneers.

    mike left a comment on 8/18/2012 at 4:16 PM:

    Is it possible that you might model the Mighty-Mac for a future post. I’d love to see what it looks like.

    S/Amatourist left a comment on 8/15/2012 at 5:00 PM:

    like the watchband. just got one - almost identical - from J Press in DC earlier this summer. ran into the speaker of the Texas House while there. love it when time and place just come together. i was wondering… how do you shoot your gear? light box? i’ve struggled like hell with mine… everything washes out on white bg, though i think i’ll give colored paper a shot. ~SAM

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/15/2012 at 4:17 PM:

    @Tom—There wasn’t exactly a tropical storm during Firefly, so yes, my jacket kept me dry.

    @Desmond K—I was in my leather boat shoes all weekend.

    Tom left a comment on 8/15/2012 at 8:08 AM:

    A 25 year old cotton pullover jacket was waterproof?

    Desmond K left a comment on 8/15/2012 at 7:54 AM:

    Eternally jealous of u. The killers have been one of my favorites for a while. Out of curiosity, what kind of footwear did u pack in preparation for the rainy weather?

    Chinos & Cheesecake


  • Tickled Pink

    Style | Dress Code  

    Sara Kerens, a budding fashion photographer and friend of mine, recently shot a few frames of me for her blog series "People I Know." It's quickly becoming a collection of friends in her life doing what she finds to be interesting things. I am honored to be photographed by her and hope that through this interview, you might stumble upon a thing or two about me you didn’t know before.

    Photographed in New York, NY by Sara Kerens

    What inspired you to start Unabashedly Prep?

    I was thumbing through a Teen Vogue issue (January 2009) and stopped at an article about a teen shoe blogger. Straight strawberry blonde hair framed these youthful milky-skinned cheek bones—she'd just been awarded the opportunity to design a capsule shoe collection for Urban Outfitters. She was only 17 and publishing her wildly popular style blog out of my backyard (Dallas). All I could think was, "Why am I not doing this?"  It was inspiring. Seventeen seconds later I was brainstorming what would later become Unabashedly Prep.

    What men's brands and styles have influenced your own taste?

    While most Americans possessed, at the very least, an ambient awareness of Polo by Ralph Lauren in the early 90s, I wasn't wearing it. I loved the sensibility but the fit wasn't what I wanted. There was this baggy thing going on at the time—all the kids were practically drowning in their clothes. What did fit was Abercrombie & Fitch. I remember meticulously pouring over the first ever A&F Quarterly and seeing a pair of slim denim with a slight taper that actually fit properly. I thought, "That's it. That looks great." I grabbed my mom, flipped on the charm (hey, somebody had to pay for the Shetland sweaters, chinos, and oxfords I was feverishly circling in the catalogue), and we were off to the nearest A&F shop 40 miles away. The next day at school classmates stared at me like I was sleepwalking the halls naked. I couldn't care less because it didn't feel juvenile...it felt cool. I was 15 at the time.

    Eventually, Abercrombie & Fitch mutated into the sex-peddling, logo-flinging jeans and T-shirt monstrosity you see today—a brittle shell of its former nouveau-prep glory. They lost me when they quit designing sport coats, sweater vests, and ties. When Ralph Lauren introduced Rugby in 2004, a line with the silhouettes and sensibilities of a younger guy, I started pulling their new takes on old classics into my wardrobe.

    Three years later, I met Sid Mashburn when I interviewed him for Unabashedly Prep. It was then that I began to appreciate the beauty of a "uniform." There is an ease about a great jean, an English bench-made shoe, a dress shirt, tie, and blazer that still looks put together.

    Check out the rest of her interview with me accompanied by additional images over at her blog.

    • Randolph Engineering aviator sunglasses
    Ralph Lauren cashmere cable knit sweater
    Rugby white denim
    • vintage Omega Seamaster wrist watch
    • Smart Turnout nylon watch strap
    • brown Alden snaffle bit loafers (not pictured)

    Jun 12, 2012 | Permalink (6) View/Leave Comments

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/9/2012 at 12:32 AM:

    @Alice—No worries at all. Glad to hear that you’re enjoying the site. For the record, I was subscribing to Teen Vogue at the time because Bruce Weber was shooting for them, often. His work still serves as a huge inspiration for me.

    Alice left a comment on 8/9/2012 at 12:15 AM:

    Oh shoot!

    I forgot two quick things in my super long comment.

    1. I love your comment box! It’s so cute and a nice throwback to the days of paper and pens. Those were the good ol’ days.

    2. Sorry for commenting on such an old post! It may seem a little creepy so my apologies!

    The Ace of Hearts

    Alice left a comment on 8/9/2012 at 12:13 AM:

    Hello hello F.E. (if I may call you that)!

    I came across your blog a while back and absolutely loved the idea of it!
    However, today is my first time commenting so I was trying to find something special to share my insight on.
    I originally was planning on commenting on your newest post (about Barbour coats) but I somehow landed on this page.

    First, oooh I know who you’re talking about! Jane from Sea of Shoes! I love that she’s from Dallas since that’s where I grew up. It’s pretty cool that you’re from near there too! :)
    Wait…you’re a 27 year old man reading Teen Vogue? Okay. I’m not judging! It’s a free country and everyone does strange stuff!
    Oh Abercrombie&Fitch;...what happened?
    My older brother used to work at A&F and I remembered loving the clothes there. Then, as I got older, I realized that all they did was sell sex. Tight shirts, short skirts, A. Fitch written on anything. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve owned anything from there in a while. It feels nice being able to say that.

    Anyways, before I ramble on and on anymore, I just want to say that your blog is awesome! Even though it isn’t really like the other blogs that I currently read, it’s very inspirational and full of lots of pretty clothes and pretty people.

    Awesome sweater here by the way! It’s such a happy color and so vibrant!

    Have a lovely day! :)

    The Ace of Hearts

    P.S. This is totally random but I feel like you would get along really well with my older brother. He seems to have the same taste as you (and a bajillion other people in the world I suppose).

    PSP left a comment on 7/17/2012 at 5:03 PM:

    FEC, you should consider posting the back of the Omega Seamaster, very cool.  Also if you need to remove scratches from the crystal headlight restorer works pretty well.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 7/10/2012 at 12:09 PM:

    @Thomas—As a photographer, Bruce Weber is one of my chief photographic influences and often shoots for Teen Vogue. That’s why I had a subscription…for the tears.

    Thomas left a comment on 7/10/2012 at 10:08 AM:

    What is a 27 year old man doing reading Teen Vogue?


  • Grace Pearson


    I love hearing from you ladies and gentlemen. Whether it's an impromptu introduction on the street, an encouraging comment, or in this particular case, a personal email...I appreciate it all. Cue Grace Pearson, pictured here in her favorite bespoke French navy suit. She wrote me to simply say "thank you." In a recent interview with the New Zealand Herald, Pearson rattles off style icons such as Jackie Kennedy, cites Unabashedly Prep as her principal style inspiration, and discloses that she makes her own bow ties. And if you can believe it gentlemen, it actually gets better.

    Photographed by Babiche Martens for New Zealand Herald

    The young kiwi works in a man's world—that of made-to-measure tailoring. Pearson is cutting her teeth at the contemporary Auckland tailoring house Crane Brothers, who not only cut suiting for men, but women as well. If Pearson was the last woman to ever fold inspiration gleaned from Unabashedly Prep into her personal style, I could stop blogging a happy man. And the admiration is mutual. In fact, she's the newest addition to the Dream Girl file.

    Read the rest of the interview as she goes into the finer details of her personal style and the nagging premonition she's the only preppy girl in the entire country.

    Jun 5, 2012 | Permalink (13) View/Leave Comments

    Dora left a comment on 7/20/2012 at 8:38 PM:

    i’m curious to know what your wife says about your “dream girls” pinboard. they are all babes!

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 7/19/2012 at 10:35 AM:

    @Elizabeth—I’m imaging a classic leather closed toe heel in walnut.

    Elizabeth left a comment on 7/16/2012 at 3:12 PM:

    She looks spectacular! I wonder what sort of shoes she was wearing with this?

    Leslie left a comment on 7/16/2012 at 12:50 PM:

    Love your blog, but I wonder why I have received this and many other posts three times in the last week?

    emjkmj left a comment on 7/13/2012 at 4:38 PM:

    @ Trailer Trad, if that’s reason #425, I’d like to see #1-10!  p.s.  great name BTW.

    Trailer Trad left a comment on 7/13/2012 at 12:30 PM:

    New Zealand is great, Reason #425.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 7/12/2012 at 6:23 PM:

    @Andrew—Did you not read the first paragraph? :) Miss Pearson is the one who passed this along to me.

    Andrew left a comment on 7/12/2012 at 4:56 PM:

    Assuming the New Zealand Herald isn’t a daily read of yours, did you find this because tit popped up on your google alert for UnabashedlyPrep.com? Either way, an amazing and gorgeous girl. Sigh…

    Saturdays left a comment on 7/12/2012 at 1:53 PM:

    She is definitely an interesting person. And that interview was fantastic, I’ll have to watch Valentino: The Last Emperor to better understand what drives her.

    Y.L. Hollander left a comment on 7/12/2012 at 8:19 AM:

    It’s as if Annie Hall and Gordon Gekko had a love child.

    A terribly bright, engaging and gorgeous love child.

    Desmond Kinlaw left a comment on 7/12/2012 at 8:17 AM:

    She is just fascinating. Her look is classic. She looks like a woman who can command respect and attention. I think that’s very important and honestly one of the most attractive traits one can posses.

    Chinos & Cheesecake

    Robert left a comment on 7/12/2012 at 6:56 AM:

    Stunning…I wish my tailor looked like her.

    David left a comment on 7/11/2012 at 11:27 PM:

    Good to see a New Zealander here.


  • Wardrobe XI

    Style | Dress Code  

    1. Sid Mashburn pink/white university stripe oxford cloth button down
    2. Ralph Lauren linen dots pocket square
    3. Norman Hilton navy hopsack blazer
    4. Ralph Lauren silk knit tie
    5. Stubbs & Wootton Prince Albert velvet slippers
    6. Rugby grosgrain ribbon belt
    7. Rugby needlepoint wallet
    8. RRL low straight washed denim

    May 24, 2012 | Permalink (29) View/Leave Comments

    Joey Dee left a comment on 7/6/2012 at 3:29 PM:

    Those slippers are too unbelievably cool, hats off to you and undividual style!

    sa left a comment on 6/19/2012 at 4:33 AM:

    the fashion for the ray ban optical sunglasses ,i think you would be like it!

    xm0541 left a comment on 6/19/2012 at 4:32 AM:

    The fashion of the louis vuitton belts .You can see it for here

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/16/2012 at 7:02 AM:

    @Vern Trotter—I believe Polo made a knit tie with traditional tie tipping at one point. I would try shopping vintage clothing dealers or eBay.

    Vern Trotter left a comment on 6/15/2012 at 1:51 PM:

    Knit ties with square bottoms are everywhere. Do you know anyone that sells a point or V bottom?

    Vern Trotter

    Andrew left a comment on 6/12/2012 at 5:49 PM:

    Fred, thanks for this post. This is a killer outfit and I bet it looks awesome when worn with some swagger. Keep up the awesome work!

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/12/2012 at 7:00 AM:

    @Tim—Please check out the previous Wardrobe X post to understand the “why” behind these collages.

    Tim left a comment on 6/11/2012 at 5:59 PM:

    I generally like these pieces - and appreciate elements of FEC’s style - but am confused. If it’s not ‘about the brands’, then why are half these pics close ups of corporate logos as opposed to shots of these clothes being worn uniquely?

    Richard Ross left a comment on 6/11/2012 at 11:20 AM:

    Steeze through the roof.

    Chase left a comment on 6/9/2012 at 1:03 PM:

    I do believe that is the first time Paris Hilton has ever been referenced on this site.

    Ryan left a comment on 6/7/2012 at 8:40 PM:

    Haha, yeah it goes something like, “When people hate you, it means you’ve made it.” I’m sure there’s someone who makes the point more elegantly than Paris Hilton…

    MS left a comment on 6/7/2012 at 11:24 AM:

    Only two things in this life we can depend on: death, and people being cruel on the internet. Godpeed.

    Angel left a comment on 6/7/2012 at 10:11 AM:

    Cool stuff F.E., I got a tie just like that but at a thrift store. Its a bit short for me though. I’ll have to find someone with a smaller neck and a bit shorter who can get some use out of it.

    Angel’s Point of View

    K.T.K left a comment on 6/7/2012 at 8:38 AM:

    I really appreciate your style and posts. You have excellent, timeless taste that, in my opinion, more people should embody. To be honest, I’m tired of seeing pajama pants in the airport. Your style is Americana inspired and practical- what more could you ask for? Keep up the good work.

    MGM left a comment on 6/7/2012 at 6:04 AM:

    This post just oozes with creativity and personal style.  And as Mr. Castleberry has already mentioned, we are all here only because we want to see his latest posts.  So, let’s keep things friendly here!

    Saturdays left a comment on 6/7/2012 at 12:25 AM:

    Two thoughts here Fred:

    First, great post I love your style and I am glad you are with RL. I think like you, and eventually I want to work at RL as well because of my sheer love for their products, lifestyle and image. I trust your judgement and really appreciate your thoughts and input that go into these blog posts.

    Secondly, I was wondering if you knew what happened to the young and hip Norman Hilton we sawa year ago. It seems they matured a bit and sort of disappointed me. The shoot you did a long while back was absolutely breath taking and I still regret not buying a sport coat from them back then, with the throat latch and all.

    Suggestion: I would love to see the progress and method of your work at RL (if that is allowed)

    Also my real email is used for this when I comment.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/6/2012 at 10:40 PM:

    @Ryan—Thank you sir. I actually don’t know what Hilton says about haters. Please indulge me.

    Ryan left a comment on 6/6/2012 at 7:21 PM:

    As always, your style is original and awesome, Fred! You know what Paris Hilton says about haters…

    emjkmj left a comment on 6/6/2012 at 3:49 PM:

    I am grateful to those bloggers who take the time to put themselves out there.  Blogs cost me nothing and provide free information and entertainment.  Thank you.

    Matt M. - The Cleanest Corner. left a comment on 6/6/2012 at 3:18 PM:

    Much love and respect to one of the most well-put-together gents out there, Fred Castleberry. He’s made a career off of his vision and penchant for a certain niche. As you said yourself, Fred, it’s not about what you wear, but how you wear it. I incorporate a lot of Ralph Lauren into my wardrobe and even have some of the same pieces as you, but I wear them completely different than you do. Not many can “pull off” the outfit reflected in the photos above, and not a single person at all can carry his/herself the same as you while wearing it. Keep inspiring, keep striving, and never take negativity on comment threads too serious. As the great Dr. Seuss once said, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

    Antares F left a comment on 6/6/2012 at 3:17 PM:

    That looks to be a Brooks Brothers button on the blazer, even though it’s listed as a Norman Hilton. I can’t imagine you would have switched buttons from one brand to another.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/6/2012 at 12:30 PM:

    @GHY—I work with classically trained, experienced product designers. I never shared that I was in concept marketing…nor would I be interested in a position as such. Go read my “About” section…it’s all right there.

    GHY left a comment on 6/6/2012 at 12:26 PM:

    Don’t you typically need experience as a designer to be hired by RL as a product designer? I thought you told us all that your job was in concept marketing - no?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/6/2012 at 12:26 PM:

    @Ty Webb—Style is not about what brands one chooses to wear but instead about how one wears the pieces they choose to fold into their wardrobe. Do you think most people are wearing those zebra print Prince Alberts??? Wake up man. You cry that my personal style is 60% of the company from which I buy them from, but are your pieces any different? Does your oxford shirt look much different than mine? Does your ribbon belt look much different than mine? My guess is they look similar. The difference between you and me is in how we wear them. Many companies manufacture similar products to Ralph Lauren. Ralph Lauren just chooses to make them better (quality) in many cases.

    Ty Webb left a comment on 6/6/2012 at 12:11 PM:

    @FEC - I don’t doubt that you’re a fan of RL products. You prattle on about how this blog is a reflection of your personal style.  Well how can it be YOUR personal style if 60% of the items come from one manufacturer?

    Al left a comment on 6/6/2012 at 11:58 AM:

    Loving the Stubbs and Wootton slippers, are they vintage? Also, are those Brooks Brothers buttons on a Norman Hilton jacket?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/6/2012 at 11:50 AM:

    @Ty Webb—Ralph Lauren does not pay me to push their products. I am actually employed by them to design product. I wear the product because I like it. I talk about the product here because I like it. If you aren’t a fanatic about the company you work for, then what are you doing there?

    Ty Webb left a comment on 6/6/2012 at 11:38 AM:

    So let’s see, you’re paid by Ralph Lauren to push their products and 5 out of 8 of your selections are theirs.  Good effort indeed Fred.

    DBCC left a comment on 6/6/2012 at 10:18 AM:

    I LOVE 1-6, especially 2 and 5..  Great effort, Fred.


  • Wardrobe X

    Style | Dress Code  

    Since moving to New York a couple of months ago, imagine my disappointment of no longer enjoying the luxury of an in-home photography studio. Photographing layouts of complete outfits requires the kind of real estate typically reserved for a Manhattan bedroom—sans furniture. However, the cramped quarters compel you, and every other New Yorker, to get creative. While these vignettes are not designed to showcase an entire outfit for any given day, they capture the spirit of it through carefully considered details and accessories.

    1. vintage Omega Seamaster wrist watch w/Smart Turnout strap
    2. Allen Edmonds wingtips
    3. Ralph Lauren sterling silver engine turn buckle and leather strap
    4. Rugby university stripe oxford cloth button down shirt

    May 15, 2012 | Permalink (10) View/Leave Comments

    PSP left a comment on 6/23/2012 at 3:58 PM:

    I liked your Seamaster so much, I picked one up. Understated, amazing, and relatively inexpensive.  Prep with Sean Connery as Bond thrown in.  The LL Bean hamilton is also one my favorites since college.

    MagnaKart64 left a comment on 6/10/2012 at 5:03 PM:

    +1 on the Hamilton Khaki suggestion. I got one and love mine.

    JAH left a comment on 6/6/2012 at 8:51 AM:

    Well said, PSP.  My thoughts exactly.  You should also check out Seiko dive watches.  They are very affordable, keep decent time, and are indestructible.

    PSP left a comment on 6/5/2012 at 9:28 PM:

    Greeneggsandkus, Try a Hamilton Kacki or Vintage Omega Seamaster, about 100 sold last year at auction for aprox $300.  PSP

    Greeneggsandkush left a comment on 6/4/2012 at 9:35 PM:

    What is a good preepy watch at a modest price?

    PSP left a comment on 6/4/2012 at 7:49 PM:

    Also, hats off to Ralph Lauren and Rugby.  They are one of few retailers that ship to US Servicemen and Women in a combat zone.  They sent new a wallet in Iraq, in about a week.  Really brightened my day.

    PSP left a comment on 6/4/2012 at 7:45 PM:

    Superb watch.  Vintage is truly green. No packaging and lasts a lifetime.

    Makaga left a comment on 6/4/2012 at 8:21 AM:

    Welcome to NYC.  Hope to run into you sometime.

    Desmond K left a comment on 6/3/2012 at 8:51 PM:

    In love with the layout. Perfect color coordination with the background as well.


    Zachary left a comment on 6/3/2012 at 4:23 PM:

    Beautiful shots, Fred. It looks like you’re getting along fine in NYC. What did you use to make the collage? I like the grid layout.


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