• Sorel Caribous


    Spend a significant amount of time in New England and you’re likely to experience a run in with Old Man Winter. Not the fleeting visit we oddly experienced this year, but the kind of winter that settles in for a season bringing with it snow, biting wind chills, and a white Christmas. It’s a snow boot kind of winter. Sorel Caribous are made for just that occasion. Founded in Kitchener, Ontario by Kaufman Rubber Co. in 1962, Sorel’s Caribou boot boasts a handcrafted, waterproof vulcanized rubber shell, seam-sealed waterproof leather upper, and a 9mm ThermoPlus™ felt inner boot. They’re for women too. Amanda Brooks has been romping around her Adirondacks home in them for over 30 years. While my preference is for Caribous made in Canada (prior to 2000), they are difficult to find. I picked up my latest pair from Kith in New York, Ronnie Fieg’s boutique concept shop. Here’s to hoping for a longer visit from the Old Man next December.

    Sorel Caribou in Tobacco, $130-$150

    Mar 16, 2012 | Permalink (7) View/Leave Comments

    Cole Morgan left a comment on 3/27/2012 at 8:21 PM:

    awwwwwwww billy

    DSRG left a comment on 3/22/2012 at 7:39 AM:

    Growing up in Buffalo, NY (only a few blocks away from the great store O’Connell’s), my father and grandfather always had Sorel boots.  I just got my own pair of Caribou boots this winter…in time for the warmest winter I’ve ever experienced.  They are great boots, but I agree with previous commenters that they are HEAVY.

    M left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 3:21 PM:

    its 82 in rye beach today- i’m trying to get some spring summer vibes, i love the sorels but we off that for now!!  Please do some transition to warm weather posts!!!

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 1:53 PM:

    @Alfred—Exercise the etiquette to actually leave a legitimate email address and I’ll be happy to clear up any of your confusion.

    Alfred left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 1:43 PM:

    [Moderated due to excessive rudeness]

    Carson left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 12:40 PM:

    I had this exact pair this winter, but exchanged them for Bean Boots with Gortex.  I think this Sorel design is too heavy, and a little bit more casual than Bean Boots.  I agree, to each his own!

    MGM left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 8:46 AM:

    Yes, this is a classic snow boot.  Everyone I know has a pair, sort of like the Sperry boat shoe.  The difference is this: I ONLY wear them in heavy snow, while some of my other friends wear them all winter, even when there is no snow.  But to each his own.  There is no doubt about it—it is a classic boot that everyone should own (again, assuming you live in an area that experiences heavy snow in the winter).


  • Turk’s Head Sailor Bracelets


    by Moses Y. Bension

    Kiel James Patrick was born and raised in Rhode Island and so are his bracelets. When Unabashedly Prep last ran into him back in January, he was in Palm Beach hung over and trying not to show it in a photo for Town & Country. Before that, he and F.E. Castleberry and friends took J. McLaughlin’s new sailboat out for a spin in Newport. So Kiel’s been busy.

    He’s also been redesigning his Turk’s head knot bracelets, and the new spring line is available in an all-new array of preppy colors. The colors, like the “Narragansett Lifeguard Chairs” shade of red and “Collin Banister Wharf” in nautical white and navy with a touch of fiery sunset orange, are named after Kiel’s memories of, as he put it, “life experiences, people I’ve met, books I’ve read, adventures I’ve ventured.”

    Kiel James Patrick Turk's Head Sailor Bracelets, $40

    The hand-braided twisted cotton bracelets are still crafted from the same locally sourced custom-made nautical cord as they have been since their inception in 2009. A new detail this time around is the solid brass anchor enclosure instead of the usual button fastener of seasons past. The anchors on the Ocean State’s flag and license plates were his inspiration: “Newport’s nautical Old New England charm offered me an array of décor and style I simply admired.”

    He’s also stuck to a marketing strategy of word-of-mouth and social networking power, and it’s worked. Kiel James Patrick is expanding; they just moved their studio into a new factory in Pawtucket. He’ll pop in every so often to pull a needle and thread through a bracelet in progress, and it’s entirely possible the bracelet you order is one he sewed himself. It’s all part of his dedication to the local community. He’s even been known after a few drinks at the watering hole to take the bracelet off his wrist and bequeath it to a lucky patron.

    Check out kieljamespatrick.com for the complete collection of bracelets, belts, and ties.

    Mar 13, 2012 | Permalink (17) View/Leave Comments

    Carlos left a comment on 3/30/2012 at 12:11 PM:

    I purchased a couple of them two weeks ago and e-mailed a suggestion and a complaint. A message form his customer service was sent to me, and two days later at 1am Mr.Patrick himself e-mailed me expressing his thanks for supporting his company.
    E-mailing your customers and tackling their concerns at 1am is a going above and beyond.
    Many thanks Mr. Patrick.

    Sophie left a comment on 3/20/2012 at 11:45 AM:

    Not a huge fan, but my son wanted one. They are well made. What I was most impressed by though was the packaging which was thoughtfully designed and attractive - helps make the item a super gift.

    Alfred left a comment on 3/16/2012 at 5:41 PM:

    Rugby also sold very similar ones last year, made by Scosha:

    WMM left a comment on 3/16/2012 at 12:20 PM:

    @G and MC —Miansai anchor closings.

    Barbara left a comment on 3/15/2012 at 6:24 PM:

    They are perfect.

    G. McCarthy left a comment on 3/14/2012 at 1:45 PM:

    I haven’t seen a Miansai bracelet with an anchor fastener… That’s news to me.

    MC left a comment on 3/13/2012 at 6:35 PM:

    Good to see this business doing so well and keeping it American. Keep up the good work KJP.

    cam left a comment on 3/13/2012 at 6:16 PM:

    @wj - you may want to check who authored the article ;)

    Kiel James Patrick left a comment on 3/13/2012 at 4:00 PM:

    I appreciate the appreciation.  Fred, thanks for the fantastic photography, this picture is excellent. 

    @WWM—Does Miansai use an Anchor?  I have only seen hooks.  I’ve only discovered Miansai recently this year.  Regardless we’ve been making our Anchor bracelets since Summer ‘10. Here’s Hannah and Vickers sporting the original 8 knot Triton bracelets fastened with Marine novelty Anchors back in Summer ‘10.

    Patsy, you are correct these are not the turks head knot. While I love the simplicity and novelty of the original Turks Head I looked to offer a solution to taking it on and off.

    In any case…back to work for me.  We’re looking to expand beyond bracelets this next year and have a ton of machinery to move into our new factory.  If any craftsmen, tailors, or seamstresses read this and need work please get in touch!


    wj left a comment on 3/13/2012 at 1:07 PM:

    Why the third person? Are you a professional athlete now?

    Patsy left a comment on 3/13/2012 at 12:40 PM:

    These are lovely! But they are not turk’s heads - turk’s heads are closed loop braids.

    WMM left a comment on 3/13/2012 at 12:12 PM:

    You positive that his anchor inspiration isn’t from a terribly-coincedental fastener from the Miansai bracelet lines?

    khordkutta left a comment on 3/13/2012 at 11:47 AM:

    Gentleman, purchase one for your lady friend/wife, if its not your style,believe me she will appreciate it, mine did.

    Amanda C. Bee left a comment on 3/13/2012 at 8:57 AM:

    His bracelets and Vicker’s headbands are so well made, excellent gift giving options.



    Rake left a comment on 3/13/2012 at 8:31 AM:

    While the bracelets are not for me, you have to admire KJP’s entrepreneurship. Well done!

    NJGlenn left a comment on 3/13/2012 at 8:24 AM:

    Thanks FEC-I’ve been considereing one of the new Turk’s Head Bracelets but was wondering if the anchor is uncomfortable or obtrusive.  Now I know you guys are BFF’s but what do you think?

    Laguna Beach Fogey left a comment on 3/13/2012 at 8:09 AM:

    I probably wouldn’t wear such a bracelet (mine are more surfing oriented), but I do admire his dedication to local commerce. Are you local? KJP certainly is!


  • Estate of Grace

    Style | Culture  

    by Moses Y. Bension

    A few years ago, women on the streets of Manhattan were spotted wearing medallion-adorned ballet flats produced out of an Upper East Side apartment by Penn alumna and New York socialite Tory Burch. The “Reva” exploded and has since become a prep essential, proving we’re not a stuffy group incapable of welcoming newcomers into closets full of J. Press, L.L. Bean, and Lilly Pulitzer.

    Vogue’s new March issue takes a tour of Burch’s newly acquired twenty-five-room neo-Georgian Southampton estate, originally built in 1929 by Beaux-Arts firm Hiss & Weekes (responsible for oh so many residences in the Berkshires and Gold Coast). With the help of designers Daniel Romualdez and Penn classmate Eve Hood, Burch filled every square foot of intimidating formal space, including the ballroom, with pieces they found at estate sales and her already-existing collection of antique furniture. Without sacrificing the house’s original integrity, treasures like the Parisian wallpaper, old English furniture, and Indian cotton prints embrace each other, giving the house a warm cozy inviting feel. Outside, Burch had the pool pavilion and formal garden restored to its former glory with the pool house’s dining room set for lunch or afternoon tea. It doesn’t get much more prep than that.

    Be sure and check out the pictures of the ballroom in March Vogue’s full spread.

    Mar 8, 2012 | Permalink (12) View/Leave Comments

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 5:40 PM:

    @Matthew—I’m just sharing the article.

    Matthew left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 5:23 PM:

    @FEC Sorry, I’m a little unclear- did you shoot this or just sharing the article?

    Chad left a comment on 3/13/2012 at 12:02 PM:

    I’ve always felt that someone should start a blog on “preppy” architecture and interior design. This only reaffirms my thoughts that it would make for great reading and beautiful visuals. Magnificent as always Castleberry and co.

    Vanessa @ Project Zen left a comment on 3/9/2012 at 8:44 PM:

    It looks SO picturesque.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/9/2012 at 7:18 PM:

    @AEV—Moses Bension is an Unabashedly Prep contributor.

    Tad Allagash left a comment on 3/8/2012 at 8:27 PM:

    Lovely house, it’s unique in that one doesn’t see a lot of red brick/Georgian style architecture in Southampton….more of a Locust Valley look.

    AEV left a comment on 3/8/2012 at 2:37 PM:

    Who is Moses Bension?

    Makaga left a comment on 3/8/2012 at 2:25 PM:

    Thanks for letting us know about this photospread; great images.

    james left a comment on 3/8/2012 at 10:56 AM:

    Nice post. I’m a huge Tory fan… her clothes are great too.

    DBCC left a comment on 3/8/2012 at 10:30 AM:

    Great work, Fred.  My wife’s a huge Tory Burch fan…just bought her a another pair for Christmas.  Again, great read.

    Desmond K left a comment on 3/8/2012 at 8:31 AM:

    That garden is incredible…

    Laguna Beach Fogey left a comment on 3/8/2012 at 8:14 AM:

    Surely this represents the American woman’s dream: beautiful house, exquisite interiors, formal garden, cute kids…and no man.


  • House of Shields

    Style | Culture  

    by Moses Y. Bension

    Architectural Digest’s new March issue takes an exclusive look inside Brooke Shields’ newly finished Greenwich Village townhouse designed by David Flint Wood. Wood borrowed elements from the very prep house he shares with model India Hicks in the Bahamas and from her father, the late great English designer David Hicks. The collection of portraits in the Shields family room (pretty prep), the four poster Anglo-Indian tester bed (classic prep), and the Shields’ Georgian-style kitchen chairs upholstered in Hermès orange leather (modern prep) are classic Hicks demonstrations of his elegant and polished style.

    It’s not all about Wood and Hicks though, and Shields incorporates a trove of remnants from the Upper East Side townhouse she shared with her mother as a child. Brooke’s words “richly textured” and “layered and resonant” don’t refer to the physical appearances so much as the experiences of her young daughters that imbue the house with a history truly making the place theirs. Shields reminisces about growing up “surrounded by clutter,” but she plans to raise her children in a home filled with a different sort of clutter: the sort made of memories.

    For a more detailed look at the jewel of modern prep that is the Shields’ townhouse, read more in March’s issue of Architectural Digest.

    Mar 2, 2012 | Permalink (8) View/Leave Comments

    Arnim left a comment on 3/4/2012 at 1:52 PM:

    I don’t know if I could live with so much grey, but it’s a beautiful home.  Thanks for posting this!

    Tito left a comment on 3/3/2012 at 7:42 AM:

    Wow I’ll die a happy men in a place like that!

    Kate left a comment on 3/2/2012 at 7:20 PM:

    Lovely decor.

    M Arthur left a comment on 3/2/2012 at 5:06 PM:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Brook on a JFK flight from LAX-JFK during her C Klein Jeans days.  She was a polite and approachable young lady.  Her continued success and good taste does not surprise me.  Bravo, good health to enjoy such a beautiful home Brook!

    Miss Margarita left a comment on 3/2/2012 at 2:53 PM:

    just perfect!

    Andy M. left a comment on 3/2/2012 at 12:42 PM:

    Perfect mix of modern and traditional.  I want to live here.

    Teddy left a comment on 3/2/2012 at 12:07 PM:

    We need more of this.

    Makaga left a comment on 3/2/2012 at 11:36 AM:

    Thanks for the headsup on this article.  Some great images and inspiration.


  • F.E. Castleberry for Del Toro


    I have this thing for plaids—tartans specifically—that more closely borderlines an obsession, if I’m being completely honest. Blankets, pillows, and wingback chairs throughout my apartment are all plastered in the Scottish pattern. So when my friends at Del Toro approached me to design a Prince Albert slipper with them, I instinctively turned to the hardy autumnal cloth. Rendered in a variant black watch wool tartan, lined in soft calfskin, and hand crafted in Italy, this slipper easily pairs with everything from gray flannel trousers to your favorite pair of threadbare denim.

    F.E. Castleberry for Del Toro tartan Prince Albert slipper ($325)

    Although my affinity for plaids couldn’t be more timely as bolts of it streamed down the New York runways of Ralph Lauren, Thom Browne, and Marc Jacobs earlier this month, tartan is timeless. Del Toro worked really hard to make this Prince Albert slipper available months before fall is knocking at our doors. But don’t wait too long as only 25 pairs were commissioned.

    Feb 28, 2012 | Permalink (40) View/Leave Comments

    Fameni left a comment on 3/11/2014 at 8:39 PM:

    I’m a big fan of Slipper Shoes and I really love the ones you designed for Del Toro. I’m launching my own brand of slippers and currently looking for an italian firm that can manufacture them. Was thinking that you may have some ideas. Thank you in advance.

    Best regards,


    MPKlein left a comment on 6/18/2012 at 1:20 AM:

    Did the prices balloon again?

    matthew chevallard left a comment on 4/2/2012 at 9:21 AM:

    one last size 10 left…

    john castleberry left a comment on 3/17/2012 at 1:54 PM:

    Are there any size 10 left?

    Colton J. left a comment on 3/5/2012 at 10:05 PM:

    On a lighter note… I just got my pair in the mail today and they are absolutely gorgeous. Definitely the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn. I love the blog by the way. Keep up the great work

    matthew chevallard left a comment on 3/5/2012 at 12:08 PM:

    I completely agree that Spain and Italy are very comparable in quality. Italy however has much stronger cache and therefore has higher standards of quality. It was very important on a branding front to achieve this. We also moved production because I am Italian and it has always been a dream to produce in my birth country. The Italians have also been incredibly helpful in developing new styles and this is the biggest disparity between Spain and Italy. Italy is more of traditional hotbed for shoe design and production vs. Spain. Regardless, snap these up while you still can. All the best.

    Matt from Del Toro

    bucephalus left a comment on 3/2/2012 at 6:22 PM:

    @Castleberry—Italy does not necessarily have the better craftsmen in shoe-making and leather-working than Spain. I am willing to believe, however, that the Del Toro people were able to upgrade the quality of their product more economically in Italy than in Spain.  Ralph Lauren once manufactured its Purple Label suits in England, but eventually moved it to Italy.  This was not because English craftsmanship is inferior to Italian; but because Italian firms are able to deliver faster, at a bigger scale, at a comparable artisanal quality, than English firms.

    On the other hand I’m also pretty cynical about the clothing industry so I’m equally willing to believe the switch was made simply because “made in Italy” has more cachet in US markets, and can command a higher price, than “made in Spain”.

    Castleberry, my second guess would be that you’re half East Asian, but you don’t have a typically Eurasian face.

    AWKeller left a comment on 3/2/2012 at 5:23 PM:

    They look lovely, FEC.  Well done. 

    As for all the talk of birth certificates, can’t that stay at tacky places that bear the Trump name?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/2/2012 at 5:16 PM:

    @bucephalus—I can assure you Del Toro didn’t move their production to Italy simply for the cache. Is it hard to believe Italy might be home to better craftsmen?

    Also…I’m not half Hispanic.

    bucephalus left a comment on 3/2/2012 at 11:53 AM:

    What exactly was wrong with producing in Spain ?  Was it just the cachet of “made in Italy” ?

    And Castleberry doesn’t look Turkish or Iranian at all !  I always assumed he’s half Hispanic.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/1/2012 at 7:13 PM:

    @Barbara—I trust your husband will wear them in good health. He has a hell of a wife in you.

    Barbara left a comment on 3/1/2012 at 6:48 PM:

    These will be on my husband’s feet soon. They are perfect, Fred. Congrats!

    AEV left a comment on 3/1/2012 at 4:03 PM:

    @Weston and Matt - For what it’s worth, I agree with @cam 100% re: socks and formal attire.

    cam left a comment on 3/1/2012 at 1:34 PM:

    @Weston—Traditionally, formal situations call for socks (exception would be a summer wedding IMO).

    Victor left a comment on 3/1/2012 at 1:33 PM:

    @Weston—I believe the sockless look with a tuxedo is overly brash for all circumstances.

    Weston left a comment on 3/1/2012 at 12:56 PM:

    Beautiful shoes!  A more general question about slipper etiquette, if one were to wear black velvet slipper in a formal situation, with a tuxedo, would it be suggested to wear them with or without socks?  I suspect I know how the perennially sockless FE will respond, I’m just wondering if the sockless look with a tuxedo is overly brash for some circumstances?  Thoughts?

    Matt left a comment on 2/29/2012 at 11:47 PM:

    Are there any set rules or protocols for the wearing (or not wearing) of socks with slippers like these? Thanks for comments/advice!

    khordkutta left a comment on 2/29/2012 at 1:41 PM:

    Nicely done FEC, nicely done.

    Joey Dee left a comment on 2/29/2012 at 10:25 AM:

    Great work as usual. I wouldn’t expect anything less.

    Sarah left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 10:24 PM:

    Loving the heated debate in the comment section.

    Anyhow, congratulations are in order the shoes look beyond amazing.

    MGM left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 9:21 PM:

    There are a few clothing items I plan on purchasing in my lifetime:

    (1) Tom Ford suit
    (2) fitted leather bomber jacket
    (3) velvet slippers

    matt left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 7:54 PM:

    I agree, we try to keep it as lean as possible and want to maintain a balance of offering the highest quality product at the most accessible price point possible. It is not an easy balance to find but I am pretty confident we are the most able to accomplish that

    Tad Allagash left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 7:36 PM:

    @matt - thanks for some transparency on the price increase and production methods….great looking shoes regardless

    AEV left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 7:17 PM:

    @Matt - That’s terrific and certainly sets your brand apart. While I’d only wear slippers inside or with a tuxedo, I can appreciate the focus on quality and the ambition behind your products.

    matt left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 7:12 PM:

    All of the materials and components come from the surrounding towns of our factory. We produce all our products by hand off the Adriatic Coast in Italy in the Marche’ region.

    AEV left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 7:04 PM:

    @Matt/Fred - Are the materials themselves Italian made….or, are the materials sourced elsewhere and put together in Italy?

    matt left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 6:53 PM:

    The reason why our prices have risen is because we have significantly improved our offering by producing in Italy and are using finer components in all regards. Moreover, we are now carried by retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Scoop NYC, Webster, American Rag, and more… And unfortunately retailers drive up your prices as you grow as a brand. Unfortunately it is all a nature of the business. Regardless, we are still extremely proud of our offerings considering we are well under $150 lower than a Stubbs shoe which inferior in construction and is made In Spain vs. our product Made in Italy.  Compared to Italian made slippers such as Tom Ford we are an 1/8 of there price, retailing at $1700 at the Webster in Miami. Please email info@deltoroshoes.com for any further questions and I will be glad to help.


    Tad Allagash left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 6:41 PM:

    @FEC - according to multiple sources, their original production was in Spain (same factory as Stubbs I think) and the price point was ~$150. I’m sure the newer models are higher quality, but twice as good?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 6:36 PM:

    @Tad Allagash—True, Del Toro’s prices have increased by about $100 but their production is in Italy now as opposed to China/Spain, when their price point was around $195/pair. You’re getting a better crafted slipper now.

    Tad Allagash left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 6:29 PM:

    These are gorgeous, great choice of pattern. I regret not buying a pair of Del Toros earlier since their prices have gone up about $100.

    Jess left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 5:58 PM:

    Wow, these are gorgeous. If they made a pair in women’s sizes I might just have to splurge…

    Ezra left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 5:47 PM:

    Really like the use of plaids here. Been following this site for a while now, really appreciate including VW in your monthly playlists.


    Trad Dad left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 4:55 PM:

    @ Al—First of all, who really cares?  Secondly, with the dramatic increase in mixed race marriages surnames have less and less correlation with racial backgrounds.

    @FEC—Congratulations, seems like an interesting project.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 4:50 PM:

    @Al—Would you like to see my birth certificate? It’s Frederick Egan Castleberry.

    Al left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 4:38 PM:

    Surely your real name cannot be F.E. Castleberry….you look to be of Turkish or Iranian descent to me.

    Miguel Ramalhao left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 3:49 PM:

    Niceeeee! I’m felling a Ramalhoni shoes & FE Castelberry colab in the works? Would u be game?

    Fredrik left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 3:01 PM:

    Where can I find that beautiful blanket, really want something like that.. Please help me.

    Great blog btw, been following in for a long time now..

    / Fredrik (Sweden)

    TS left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 2:43 PM:

    None for the ladies?

    Andy M. left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 1:49 PM:

    Love ‘em.  Great work Fred.

    krc left a comment on 2/28/2012 at 1:44 PM:

    absolutely gorgeous.


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