• The ACK Pack


    It's been a good summer. The inaugural internship program has been a lot of work as we've been toiling away on content for Unabashedly Prep, photo shoots, and the launch of the e-commerce shop. We feel pretty good about it so far. I've got a good group of kids from NYU, SUNY, Georgia Tech, and a couple Ivies writing, curating content, assisting on photo shoots—they'll certainly be missed as August quietly slips out the back.

    But before that happens, we moved the office up to Nantucket for the week. Mackenzie has been a gracious host to what has become a welcome respite from the Manhattan heat wave of 2013 (it's perfect here now—highs of 75). A little work, a little play, a little work, and it goes on. The two ebb and flow into each other throughout the day. It's an idyllic balance. Katie, Alex, Jocelyn, and Aliana all meet the island for the first time. They may be falling in love. Tucker is chained to the city for a FBI background check in order to get his Spanish visa to study abroad in the fall. No one feels sorry for him. He’s going to Spain...for a year. Alright, enough work, we're off to sail.

    Jul 8, 2013 | Permalink (5) View/Leave Comments

    Joey Dee left a comment on 8/8/2013 at 11:56 PM:

    Can’t wait for your ecommerce shop. Always a pleasure to escale for a minute, and read U P

    M Martinez left a comment on 8/5/2013 at 8:31 PM:

    Will you be accepting applications for summer internships next year?

    Dana Dickenson left a comment on 8/4/2013 at 8:58 AM:

    Lifelong, hopeless prep! Love your site”

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/3/2013 at 5:18 PM:

    @JDT—Taking applications starting Monday. Email résumés to fred@fecastleberry.com.

    JDT left a comment on 8/3/2013 at 4:48 PM:

    When will you be taking applications for summer 2014 internships?


  • The Shoemaker and the Tailor


    Run Productions, a video production company based in the heart of London, created a series of visual portraits of Clarks crafts-men and paralleled them with similar crafts such as tailoring, bookbinding, and a surfboard maker. This portrait in their Art of Craft series weaves the stories of a Clarks shoemaker with a Henry Poole & Co. tailor. The skill, hard labor, and love that goes into their crafts is unrivaled by few. Clarks' desert boot is a menswear classic—I wear a couple pair in chocolate and tan suede. English shoemakers since 1825, they are still family-owned to this day. That in and of itself is a testament to the commitment and art of a craft.

    Jun 28, 2013 | Permalink (2) View/Leave Comments

    George Robinson left a comment on 7/10/2013 at 9:00 PM:

    I’m sorry for posting twice, but “you never are your very best, you’re always heading toward it.” Man, if this doesn’t hit you, go sell insurance.

    George Robinson left a comment on 7/10/2013 at 8:57 PM:

    Stunningly compelling. Stunningly compelling. I wish I could say something else, but I can’t.


  • While They Sleep


    It's this thing that parents do...watching their children sleep. It's like an out of body experience, hovering above an unconscious version of yourself. Everything becomes clear—your purpose, your existence, your wonder of angelic beings, because this is what they must do...hover...wait...watch. The only sound the gentle exhale of two collapsing lungs.

    Sometimes I'll bring my ear down to his chest. Within that soft shell swells an ocean, waves beating the shore like a distant drum. It's ataractic. Out of that tranquility surfaces a hope bottled up in these little ones. A hope they'll do more than I have or ever will. A hope they make a path with fewer mistakes. A hope they will just be...better. Maybe we watch them sleep at night so that we can.

    Jun 17, 2013 | Permalink (8) View/Leave Comments

    Katherine left a comment on 7/9/2013 at 10:36 AM:

    how lovely.

    Sonia left a comment on 7/9/2013 at 12:11 AM:

    Lovely sentiment. Well said. Thank you for a beautiful post!

    M Arthur left a comment on 7/8/2013 at 8:35 PM:

    Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum…..

    PSP left a comment on 7/8/2013 at 6:49 PM:

    Yeah, I am with you dad.  I frequently come home from work at 1 am and give my girls a quick hug.  They never wake up.
    Also close your eyes and listen to them in the pool during the summer.  Nothing better.

    alicia left a comment on 7/8/2013 at 6:19 PM:

    very sweet.  the only thing sweeter is when you have all your kids in the same room asleep.  my boys used to share a room until they were 11&13; - sneaking into their room while they slept in side by side twins is something i will cherish forever.  now-a-days they get really ticked off if i get a shot of them asleep.  they are 14&16;, but i don’t care!  i still do it!

    Jen left a comment on 7/8/2013 at 1:04 PM:

    Awww, I love your sweet momma’s comment above. Children truly are a gift. They grow quickly. Enjoy those breaths.

    Matt left a comment on 7/8/2013 at 11:03 AM:

    AWESOME post, Fred.

    mom left a comment on 7/8/2013 at 10:48 AM:

    This is exactly how I feel towards you, my son who I love so much!


  • New England Shirt Company Factory


    Bob Kidder believes in American manufacturing. So much so that when it came time to put his money where his mouth is, he actually bought a shirt factory—the famed former Alden Street Shelburne Shirt factory to be exact. Although the 200 year-old mill has been caught in the crossfire of multiple custody battles, it has remained in continuous operation for the last 75 years. Kidder, no stranger to menswear with stints at high-end brands like Hart Schaffner Marx, bought it in 2009 when its future was anything but certain. Now he, along with a group of skilled, dedicated craftspeople using vintage sewing machines, nurture a healthy private label business under the appellation New England Shirt Company. “It’s all single needle shirting,” says Kidder. “A slightly modern version of classic American style—it’s not fussy.”

    In addition to their own label, Kidder and company manufacture for upwards of 150 men’s labels and click n’ mortar shops in the U.S., Jack Robie being one of them. I had the pleasure of designing two popovers for Jack Robie this summer—a blue oxford cloth and red bengal stripe poplin. I trekked up to Fall River, Massachusetts last spring to put the final brushstrokes on them. Both turned out beautifully and can be had at the One Orange pop-up shop on Nantucket as well as at JackRobie.com.

    Jun 5, 2013 | Permalink (12) View/Leave Comments

    Brooks Borthers left a comment on 10/14/2013 at 10:32 AM:

    I afarted mommy

    Alex left a comment on 6/18/2013 at 5:44 PM:

    Wharf makes has their shirts made here if I am not mistaken, and they are very nice. I have not found a better Oxford considering the brands mentioned above.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/15/2013 at 1:12 PM:

    @Cam—I’d be surprised if J.Press York St. or Gant were making shirts in the USA at this point.

    Timothy left a comment on 6/15/2013 at 10:53 AM:

    @F.E. & CL—My comment re: Gitman Bros. shirts was just one part of my more general statements. That said, Gitman, like most makers these days, produces a range of fits….from slim to Big and Tall - so, I’m sure with a little trial and error (which is required with any maker), the desired fit can be found.

    cam left a comment on 6/14/2013 at 6:39 PM:

    fwiw, j press york st and gant have some ocbds on sale currently for under $100. although i couldn’t find any information on these being made in america. do you happen to know mr. castleberry?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/14/2013 at 6:27 PM:

    @Cam—Good find!

    cam left a comment on 6/14/2013 at 6:08 PM:

    mr. castleberry, they are on their web-site for purchase http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Classic-All-Cotton-Regular-Fit-Oxford-Dress-Shirt/E482,default,pd.html?dwvar_E482_Color=BLUE&contentpos=11&cgid;=

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/14/2013 at 3:05 PM:

    @Cam—I’d need to see proof of this claim.

    @Timothy—Gitman Brothers shirts can be purchased from SierraTradingPost.com as you have shared. I would argue that spending over $100 on a Made in America shirt is not always “needlessly overpaying.” There is a point of view in design. Some resonate with some more than others. Not once did you mention how Gitman Brothers shirts fit—and that’s an important factor for a young gentleman like C.L. Young.

    cam left a comment on 6/14/2013 at 2:33 PM:

    @CL Young - i’m not sure what you would consider “well under” the $100 mark but i do believe brooks brothers offers an ocbd for around $70 or $80 that is made in america.

    Timothy left a comment on 6/14/2013 at 2:17 PM:

    @CL - yes, made in the USA shirts can certainly be had for less than many retailers sell them for. Even among New England Shirt Co. shirts there is a wide price range. Fred/Jack Robie charge around $135 for theirs, while L.L. Bean charges $105 for theirs. I’ve bought a couple solid NESCo. oxfords for $90 from Portland Dry Goods in Maine. Gitman Bros. made in the USA oxfords can be had for under $60 at places like sierratradingpost.com. And so on. Part of it is marketing and profit taking, part of it is a lack of education from the consumer’s standpoint. Folks need to shop around and resist the trumped up romance of needlessly overpaying simply because of the made in the usa tagline…

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/14/2013 at 12:23 PM:

    @C.L. Young—You raise a good question. A “Made in America” shirt can certainly be produced for well under $100…it’s being done now! Of course, by “produced” I mean manufactured. Now, can a “Made in America” shirt retail for under $100? Possibly. That business would have to sell a high volume of shirts (hundreds a month) from an online shop (in order to minimize overhead and fixed costs). Even then, the quality of the shirt could suffer by using cheaper cloth, cheaper buttons, fewer details, etc. By then, who would actually care that it was made in America…the shirt itself wouldn’t be something you’d be proud to wear (and I certainly wouldn’t be proud to make it).

    C.L. Young left a comment on 6/13/2013 at 6:29 PM:

    This is a great feature! Although I embrace “American-made”, it doesn’t always embrace my pocket book in a more affordable way. But in saying this, I realize that products typically run the gamut of econo, standard, and top of the line. These shirts are excellently made (I can tell).
    Frankly, it would be nice if one can have excellent quality of workmanship and materials in something mundane as a button-down without spending the amount that a custom-made shirt might cost.
    I understand the dynamics of factoring in cost of labor, materials, workmanship, etc. but can an “American-made” shirt be produced for well under the $100 mark?


  • Published in Quest, June 2013


    Quest magazine, New York’s last magazine devoted to “Society,” just published a feature on the rowing blazers book my colleague Jack Carlson and I have been working on for the last two years. These are the first photographs from the project to see the light of day. The on-location shoots in New England, Netherlands, and England have yielded some of my favorite portraiture work to date. Look for the coffee table book in 2014.

    May 27, 2013 | Permalink (17) View/Leave Comments

    Hunter left a comment on 10/18/2013 at 10:21 AM:

    I love that you visited Kent School to get a photo of Kyle in his KSBC outfit. But he isnt the only Kent alum in the spread, Emerson Curry rowed for KSBC as well.  Well done all around.

    Danger left a comment on 6/14/2013 at 10:47 AM:

    @ f.e. castleberry - what’s the title of the book, so that i can keep a look out?

    RP left a comment on 6/11/2013 at 9:38 AM:

    The photos look wonderful. Will have to make sure to pick up a hard-copy of the issue before its taken off newsstands in the city.

    Chens left a comment on 6/10/2013 at 10:21 AM:

    Ah yes, I should’ve known.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/8/2013 at 8:14 AM:

    @Chens—The question begs to be asked, whose check?

    Chens left a comment on 6/8/2013 at 8:05 AM:

    Hope the check clears.

    KGC left a comment on 6/7/2013 at 5:10 PM:

    As a rower and lover of fashion I love how the two mix so well. Amazing photos !

    Victoria left a comment on 6/7/2013 at 4:26 PM:

    The feature looks great! Can’t wait for 2014

    Eric W. left a comment on 6/7/2013 at 4:24 PM:

    Amazing book! Can’t wait to order 10 copies.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/7/2013 at 4:23 PM:

    @Al—Thank you. I did style every rower I photographed in their own clothes—from pinning blazers to tying ties to popping collars to nipping and tucking.

    Al left a comment on 6/7/2013 at 4:12 PM:


    Great photos! It looks like you’ve put some serious work into them. Just out of curiosity, did you style the rowers’ outfits as well, or just photograph them in their own choices of attire?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/7/2013 at 1:37 PM:

    @BG—I was at Dartmouth for this shoot about 2 years ago. Emerson Curry did row for Dartmouth before graduating in 2008. Since then, he’s been coaching Dartmouth crew.

    @Makaga—It’s possible there will be a book tour. If so, NYC is on the list.

    @Fred—We’re still currently talking to several publishing houses.

    M Arthur left a comment on 6/6/2013 at 9:51 PM:

    The kilts shot is the best!

    BG left a comment on 6/6/2013 at 3:58 PM:

    Looks like you were up at Dartmouth - when did that happen? Is that a Dartmouth rower?

    Joseph left a comment on 6/6/2013 at 3:20 PM:

    Congrats on this feature in Quest and you upcoming coffee table book - very exciting!

    Makaga left a comment on 6/6/2013 at 11:44 AM:

    Very stoked to see this book.  Will you have a book signing in NYC when it comes out?

    Fred left a comment on 6/6/2013 at 11:28 AM:

    interesting. who’s publishing the book?


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