• Paradigm Shift

    Dress Code | Prep Essentials  

    Photographed in New York, NY

    Noteworthy: Cynthia Rowley shift dress. Women have looked brilliant in shift dresses for decades—Jackie O. did and so does my friend Susan (as she laughs off any nerves).

    Jul 15, 2011 | Permalink (11) View/Leave Comments

    Ksamson left a comment on 7/24/2011 at 8:22 AM:

    Actually, she is wearing a sheath not a shift dress.  Shift dresses hang straighter with only a suggestion of a waist, sheath dresses are fitted.


    John left a comment on 7/20/2011 at 4:32 PM:

    Shifts and wedge heels…two of the fashion gods’ greatest gifts to mankind. :)


    KGC left a comment on 7/16/2011 at 9:27 PM:

    Everything about this outfit is amazing. I love the dress and I love the wedges. I also agree with Laguna Beach Fogey about how real she looks too. Love it.


    Maurice left a comment on 7/16/2011 at 10:22 AM:

    She’s so hot!  Love the outfit.  Perfect for around NYC in the summer.


    Laguna Beach Fogey left a comment on 7/15/2011 at 6:10 PM:

    Such a beautiful dress colour. I love her hair—and curves! Goodness…

    Well done, FEC.


    Tariro left a comment on 7/15/2011 at 2:04 PM:

    I absolutely love her shoes! She seems to have an amazing sense of style.


    dam left a comment on 7/15/2011 at 1:07 PM:

    10!


    cam left a comment on 7/15/2011 at 12:21 PM:

    I’m guessing this women is too beautiful to cover her face. What a cruel trick you’ve played on us ;)


    allie left a comment on 7/15/2011 at 12:02 PM:

    It’s nice to see the classic styling of the dress and bag paired with the more trendy wedges.


    Angel left a comment on 7/15/2011 at 11:19 AM:

    Susan indeed looks brilliant in that dress, that color is fantastic, I have it in one of my BB button ups. I’ve also been noticing a lot of nude colored strapy wedges like that a lot lately, I’m guess they are the shoe of the season.

    Angels Point of View - Street Fashion Photography


    d. nubbins left a comment on 7/15/2011 at 11:18 AM:

    She looks perfect! Great shot!


    image

  • Sneaking Around

    Top Drawer | Style | Dress Code | Prep Essentials  

    Image via Justin Chung for Tretorn

    Noteworthy: Saint James tee, painter's khaki (with cuff), alligator watch strap, Tretorn Nylites. Nylites are the canvas sneaker the 80s prep-set grew up in. Introduced in 1967, the Swedish sneaker was regarded as the first luxury sport shoe. Today, its classic silhouette is still as relevant as it was 40 years ago.

    Jul 12, 2011 | Permalink (47) View/Leave Comments

    Russell left a comment on 6/26/2012 at 3:58 PM:

    Are those Bill’s Khakis?


    NPHAF left a comment on 7/23/2011 at 4:47 PM:

    It’s funny how I can’t seem to find the Nylites in the stores, though I am from Sweden. My search will continue…


    ifyouwantsomethingdone left a comment on 7/19/2011 at 4:03 AM:

    i wear my paint clothes out all the time, and get it confused as desighner. i love the idea of art tranfer from medium to medium. Nice pairings between accessories and the overall attitude. :D


    cam left a comment on 7/15/2011 at 12:26 PM:

    @Joe….rugby.com


    Emily left a comment on 7/15/2011 at 9:48 AM:

    Great picture! I love the stripes on the shirt! The facial expression is also priceless.

    -Emily (urbanadventurer.com/blog)


    txsailorboy left a comment on 7/15/2011 at 12:16 AM:

    To Daniel FEC would never tell you this, but in a high school of about 1000 students, one year he won 1st and 2nd place in the annual art show.  “Jeans” from his grandpa who was a bronze sculptor and his great grandpa (circa 1880) who was a photographer in the early 1900’s.  It;s quite a treat to watch the development.


    Joe left a comment on 7/14/2011 at 7:18 PM:

    Where’s a good place to find a nice pair of slim-fitting khakis?


    Glenn Elliott left a comment on 7/14/2011 at 1:14 PM:

    Great look Fred, especially that you created the pants.  Not a huge fan of off the shelf painters I was conflicted between Tretorns and Spring Court this Spring and went with the SC’s.  I thought I was satisfied but those Tretorn’s look good.


    J left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 7:51 PM:

    Ah! my sweetie has “painter’s khakis” but they got that way by painting! your take is one part prep and one part Clash (as created by the delish Paul Simonon). FUN!!


    Sam Dunning left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 5:57 PM:

    It’s a good look.


    PJOM left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 3:07 PM:

    Everything about this (especially the chinos) is outstanding Fred.  Don’t entertain the thought of anything less!


    GLG left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 12:56 PM:

    @FEC Sounds great.  I think I might try a similar idea, but instead of painting the pants themselves, just wear them while painting for a while - I need some practice with oils anyways.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 12:51 PM:

    @GLG—Indeed they can. Oil paint doesn’t wash out. Turn pants inside out and wash in cold water. Hang dry.


    GLG left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 12:48 PM:

    This is a killer shot Fred - it lacks all of the boring conservative elements of prep fashion and replaces them with a right-brain creative zaniness.  Just one question though - can these pants survive the wash?


    David ( from England ) left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 11:33 AM:

    Hi Josh,
    Yes I like the style and have done for years, and funny enough my daughter has it in her “jeans” too and has been working at Ralph Lauren recently.


    Josh (Preposity.com) left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 10:41 AM:

    Great to see some classic European brands featured, both St James of France and Tretorn of Sweden. lovely.

    I have painted in Oils since art school and have an old pair of trousers shirt for painting in, I can’t say they’re in quite such an artful state though.

    Hi David (From England), I’m also from England, nice to see some English preps around.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 10:02 AM:

    @DAM—I wear them on the weekends with a polo, this Saint James tee, a blazer, an oxford…with whatever.  These are not for everyone…these are not safe if you dress to be invisible, unnoticeable, or seek to deflect attention from yourself.  Me, on the other hand, I like to make people look and then think about themselves.  This is an expression of who I am as a creative.  Not that it matters to me, but I get compliments in these…plenty.


    DAM left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 9:48 AM:

    I get the look and the idea of building a character for the sake of this shoot. And can appreciate the overall styling.

    But tell me, where and how would you wear this pants outside of this unique situation?


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 8:27 AM:

    @GD—Purcells and Nylites are both certainly viable canvas sneaker options (both of which I wear) but I lace up my Nylites more often because they aren’t on American pop culture’s radar as much.


    AEV left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 8:13 AM:

    @GD - Original Stan Smiths.


    GD left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 8:08 AM:

    Jack Purcell’s OR Tretorns? That is the question.


    David ( from England ) left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 8:05 AM:

    Thank you for the feed back Fred, I wonder how many other people from the UK follow your blog ? It would be fun to see some photos of your apartment when you get round to it. Cheers.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 4:11 AM:

    @Peter—The paint is oil.

    @David (from England)—I am a fashion creative with a heavy emphasis on photography and writing as of late. I live in an apartment in Dallas/Ft. Worth built in 1920.  It’s interior is a reflection not only of the content making up Unabashedly Prep but more importantly, my personal style. As always, it’s a work in progress.  Maybe eventually I will photograph it.


    Peter left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 3:43 AM:

    Great pic. What kind of paint did you use?


    David ( from England ) left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 2:29 AM:

    Hiya Fred, a couple of things I would like to ask if I may, As I am newish to your blog I don’t know what you do for a living but would be intersted to know and secondly as a great people watcher when I see people that dress well I often wonder where they live and what their houses/apartments look like have you ever posted any pictures of your home ? It would be fun to see what style you have. Thanks


    Christian Bourasseau left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 1:22 AM:

    Awesome picture Fred. You are Style!


    Laguna Beach Fogey left a comment on 7/13/2011 at 12:16 AM:

    FEC: “I’m thinking like a fashion designer her…thinking aspirationally…creating a character…ultimately, having fun with it.”

    Exactly. And that’s why you’re going to make it and outlast the others who lack your vision. Well done, ol’ chap.

    http://admiralcod.blogspot.com/


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 11:19 PM:

    @Sleeve Length—Let’s be clear: J.Crew doesn’t have a version of the St. James tee, they simply stock them. That being said, it is long sleeved; although, the sleeve still falls shy of your wrist though…by design.


    Sleeve Length left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 11:15 PM:

    Is the J Crew version of the St. James tee 3/4th sleeve or full length sleeve?


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 11:09 PM:

    @Bing G.—The belt is from Polo and the khakis are Gant by Michael Bastian.


    Bing G. left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 11:00 PM:

    Great look all around - where did you pick up the belt from? And the khakis are fantastic.


    Hunter left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 10:44 PM:

    @Mr. Castleberry, thanks a lot and I agree love the Tretorns I have had a pair for a long time and they need replacing but they have lost that glaring white they started out, and I am not looking forward to wearing another pair in.


    Hunter left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 7:53 PM:

    FEC or anyone who owns one,  how is the fit on the Saint James tee?  I saw an earlier comment about the size but didn’t see a response.  Just trying to get an idea on what size to order, used to have one but don’t remember the sizing.


    Defying the Current left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 7:10 PM:

    Oh Mr. Castleberry…fantastic shot!!!!

    I believe you may have started something. I’m bringing out my dusty fabric paints, unused since the early 90’s and taking to make khakis. I’m certain to be the only one in all of D.C. with this look. The “navy suits” will love me! Thank you!!

    -J. Flores


    Laguna Beach Fogey left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 5:44 PM:

    Lookin’ good, sailor!


    Joey Dee left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 5:24 PM:

    Whats lacking from this post is a vespa and a roman holiday! Great inspiration, love the fact that you painted the pants yourself, not sure I could pull it off, but is inspiring. If this shot was black and white, i would be hard to pinpoint a timeperiod .


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 5:12 PM:

    @Daniel—Art (of all media, including oil) has had a significant place throughout my childhood.


    Daniel left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 5:09 PM:

    Do you paint? (Other than on your pants)


    bimmer left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 3:05 PM:

    Cool shot Fred.


    Kory left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 2:34 PM:

    How is the fit for the Saint James? Thinking of ordering one for myself.


    Paul left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 1:25 PM:

    One of your best shots ever. Love the Tretorns. The painted pants remind me of some of the excellent hand “paint-splattered” t-shirts by Rogues Gallery.


    Andy M. left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 12:54 PM:

    Great photo.  I initially doubted the “prep-ness” of the painter’s khaki but I like the Warhol tie-in. 

    I may need to pick up a Saint James tee soon.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 12:21 PM:

    @AEV—Further explanation will be provided later in the week but in short, this is an aspirational look inspired by the likes of Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and Pablo Picasso.  Pollock spent summers in East Hampton painting in a converted barn—this is what I imagined a pair of his chinos looking like at the end of a summer. The bandana, well, that’s to wipe the summer sweat from your forehead, of course.


    AEV left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 12:14 PM:

    Interesting shot for sure. What are “painter’s khakis”? Will you please explain the red bandana in your rear pocket?


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 11:47 AM:

    @alyriclifestyle—Thank you. I painted the khakis myself.


    Tito left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 11:46 AM:

    This is a cool shot!
    I was skeptical about getting pair of Tretorns, but know you convince me…


    alyriclifestyle left a comment on 7/12/2011 at 11:42 AM:

    Great pic. Can never go wrong with a Saint James tee. Are you responsible for enhancing the khaki?


    image

  • Go-To-Hell Ankles

    Top Drawer | Style | Prep Essentials  

    As gentlemen, we adhere to a basic uniform. And why shouldn't we? Our adolescence is inundated with uniformed institutions: prep school, team sports, part time jobs, church.  It's only a matter of time before we push against those very foundations erected to mold us into men.  While some act out in the face of authority figures, on fellow classmates, or by skipping class altogether, others opt for a more passive aggressive rebellion—that of the sartorial kind.  They toy with the details of the very uniform itself, such as the frivolous sock—ditching them entirely.

    Function should illuminate form. The longevity of the men's uniform hinges on this very principle.  Losing your socks isn't as much a betrayal of this precept as one might think.  Come the cool of autumn, it's your ankles that actually keep you cool amid the umpteen layers of wool, cotton, and cashmere preppies run around in.  On a commission last fall to photograph Alan Flusser, he mused I was the best dressed photographer he had ever met. "You should wear some socks though," he admonished.  I listened.  After all, the man wrote the book on style...several of them actually.  I ducked into Brooks Brothers that very day and walked out in a pair.  My implicit compliance lasted all of one day.

    With pants, socks come off as deliberately thoughtful.  And while colorful, offbeat socks non-verbally communicate its wearer doesn’t take himself too seriously, they should never be confused for a go-to-hell disposition.  Just as there is no go-to-hell shirt, so too for the sock.  Bare ankles firmly whisper, "I don’t give a damn."  And that statement is all the more punctuated with pants that look like you outgrew them last year.

    "Socks, wear them only to weddings...and then, well only if it’s your own.”

    —Rand, Making the Grade (1984)

    There’s a nonchalance about it—a passive rebellion to the uniform you’ve graduated to for the office, weddings, black tie affairs, Sunday best, et al.  The more formal the occasion the more blatant the indifference.  Ankles are the go-to-hell sock.

    *previously written for of Rogues & Gentlemen.

    Jun 7, 2011 | Permalink (61) View/Leave Comments

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 10/23/2013 at 4:59 PM:

    @Alex—If you love the E28s, then owning one will be a labor of love. Because you will labor. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend one as a daily driver because they are now classic cars (at least 25 years old) and might cause more heartbreak than desired. But should you decide to go forward, find one in the best shape with as few miles as possible (given your budget). Allow the previous owner to have incurred as much of the maintenance and repair costs as possible. Secondly, you’re going to want to set aside at least $250/mo in a savings account for repairs and maintenance you will incur once you’re behind the wheel. If you do this, your Bimmer will be reliable…until another original part breaks. If you set aside the $3,000+ a year, it’s fun to keep up with. If you don’t, it’s going to betray you when you need it most. Good luck :)


    Alex left a comment on 10/22/2013 at 8:50 PM:

    I’m not really sure if this is an appropriate place to ask (and an extremely old post), but F.E., could you, or anyone with experience with old BMW’s for that matter, outline to me the advantages and disadvantages of driving a vintage Bimmer? Are they reliable, safe, etc.? I am looking for a first car, and boy do I love the old 5 series.


    Sid IV left a comment on 5/21/2013 at 8:57 AM:

    Dig your site, its a nice refeshing break in my day to browse a little.  With socks for workdays, I am more function over form, although I lean heavy on yellow and light blue.


    Brooks left a comment on 6/4/2012 at 4:47 PM:

    T-shirts, socks and shoelaces are for children and sports.


    Duckboot left a comment on 5/13/2012 at 8:01 AM:

    Cruising old blog posts on a lazy weekend morning ... After I graduated I spent 2 years on the Carolina coast, driving my 86 528e with dogs, bikes, and surfboards. I miss those days.


    Scott left a comment on 4/2/2012 at 1:54 PM:

    Socks?  WTF for?  I live in Boca and dont wear socks to Court - Judges never flinch.


    Phillip left a comment on 3/24/2012 at 11:59 AM:

    I wholeheartedly agree. My sock drawer is full of argyles and stripes but living in Cali, they rarely see the light of day. I love being a preppy rebel!


    Josh left a comment on 10/1/2011 at 4:34 PM:

    Where are your pants from? Im looking for a good green pair.


    chris left a comment on 7/16/2011 at 8:19 PM:

    Loose the socks gain some style, and let the ankles breath.


    Markus DeVall left a comment on 7/8/2011 at 11:51 PM:

    Have you ever considered making “Outfit of the Day” an addition to your blog? I’m sure your readers will enjoy seeing what outfits you wear for occasions. My other question is have you ever visited Austin, TX and what do you think of the style there?

    P.S. Using the letter to submit comments is incredibly innovative.


    Poser left a comment on 7/5/2011 at 11:33 AM:

    First time commenter, long time reader ;)

    I simply hate socks.  I am inspired by your words sir.  Now I have a reason to ditch them :)


    Pat left a comment on 6/16/2011 at 2:54 PM:

    Awesome post Fred, might be my favorite on this blog.  Great car too, I’m also a BMW enthusiast.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/11/2011 at 10:20 AM:

    @Miguel Ramalhão—Yes, this is my ‘87 Bimmer. I really enjoy it.

    @Laguna Beach Fogey—Yes, you can quote me.

    @Tito—I don’t typically sweat much throughout the day unless I’m working out.  In the case of stains on my shirts, I pre-treat them before washing them (ie ring around the collar).

    @AEV—In this particular case, Alden over Gucci because I found the Aldens near new for a good price.


    Miguel Ramalhão left a comment on 6/11/2011 at 10:00 AM:

    Is this your bemmer??? Uau!!!!! Beautiful!!!! I love these 80’s BMW’s… I’m thinking about buying a 635csi…


    bprescott left a comment on 6/9/2011 at 7:02 PM:

    RE: uniforms….what prep school did you attend, F.E.?


    MarkJ left a comment on 6/9/2011 at 8:56 AM:

    I like the look.


    Laguna Beach Fogey left a comment on 6/8/2011 at 8:30 PM:

    Awesome! Love everything about this pic.

    I rarely wear socks outside of the office. In fact I’m wearing a pair of Crockett & Jones chisel-toed beechnut penny loafers as I dictate this.

    “Ankles are the go-to-hell sock.” ~ FEC

    Can I quote you?

    http://admiralcod.blogspot.com/


    PERCY STEINHART left a comment on 6/8/2011 at 5:28 PM:

    WE DONT WEAR SOCKS…NEVER DID…only in the dead of winter….


    Tad Allagash left a comment on 6/8/2011 at 5:18 PM:

    @AEV - completely agree, Gucci loafers have a higher vamp and look much nicer. Easy to spot the Alden or Cole Haan knockoffs from 10 paces. Trads will tell you Italian shoes aren’t as well made but that’s bs in my experience.


    D Kinlaw left a comment on 6/8/2011 at 3:02 PM:

    My thought process is very simple…65 degrees and above the ankles will be out. in South Carolina thats 2/3 of the year.


    C. Wolf left a comment on 6/8/2011 at 12:07 PM:

    Fantastic article.  I agree whole heartedly.  Socks are too often over rated and this is a great look that can make a statement as bold or subtle as desired by the wearer.

    My father, a life-long prep and president of his company, often sported the sockless look in the professional world.  Not only was he was complimented on his style, but because the rest of his attire was always well tailored and pressed, he never looked out of place or too informal at a business meeting or conference.

    This is a look that I have totally embraced and absolutely love.  So save the socks for the ski slope and the stable.  On all other occasions, say hello to ankles!


    RCN left a comment on 6/8/2011 at 10:49 AM:

    Great blog FEC… My father would never win any father of the year awards, but one thing I liked he never work socks and I always loved the look so I’ve always done it. I’m still amazed even living in the south how uncommon it is to go sockless. I think style and certain tastes are all individualistic, sure there are influences which I think we should all embrace, but at the end of the day it’s what makes you feel good and in your eyes look good. One question, can you recommend a loafer sock? I’ve tried several brands and haven’t liked any of them. I’m often on my feet for long periods of time in very warm climates and I’d like to find a good loafer sock to have when needed.


    Christian Bourasseau left a comment on 6/8/2011 at 8:53 AM:

    Lovely look. I like every detail in this picture :)


    Brohammas left a comment on 6/8/2011 at 8:52 AM:

    While I regularly forego socks, its a look I like, I find it interestingthat no socks with pants says I don’t care what you think, quite often socks worn with shorts says , I don’t have a clue.
    Such messages sent by such subtle things.


    Harvey Lindsay left a comment on 6/8/2011 at 4:34 AM:

    http://harveylindsay7.blogspot.com/


    Lara left a comment on 6/8/2011 at 3:42 AM:

    Is it just my imagination or are you likening the wearing of socks to the process of conformity within cognitive psychology? I’m impressed.


    Justin left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 11:18 PM:

    This is sort of off topic, but Making the Grade was shot at my college.  It was called Southwestern College back then, but now it’s called Rhodes.  Half my classes are in the building they used for the dorms.


    Ryan S left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 9:57 PM:

    Brilliantly written Mr. FE Castleberry.  Agreed.  Agreed.  Agreed.  I rather enjoy my notoriety among my peers as the sockless man.  The green “show me the money” pants are a fav in my wardrobe as well, especially with some ankle.  I’ll toast to that!


    Tito left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 8:29 PM:

    Hi Fred, I’ve noticed on a comment that you don’t wear undershirts, I’ve tried that technique a few times and doesn’t feel right though.
    Not only that but the perspiration messed up a few of my woven do to deodorant and sweat. so I was wandering how do you take care of it without getting your woven stained?


    Zach left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 8:21 PM:

    I find sockless for me only works for my plimsols, loafers and sometimes, chukkas. I just could never pull it off with my captoes or wingtips. Just too much sweating, and discomfort. Must be my Irish feet.


    Kenneth left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 7:54 PM:

    A few weeks back, a VP at my company noticed I had no socks with a suit and he said to everyone in the room, “Now there is a guy that can do business and party!” An accurate description I thought.

    I’ve gone sockless for years (except for weddings and job interviews) I’ve done it mainly out of laziness, or maybe I grew up as a southern prep and did it subconsciously? Who knows. Coming off of the tennis courts growing up the last thing you wanted on were socks. I think the laziness of it supports the go-to-hell aesthetic.

    @FEC Cheers for a great article I read it a few days Of Rogues & Gentlemen


    SSI left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 7:35 PM:

    Bit loafers are definitely not prep justified anymore in my opinion.  Over saturation will kill take anything out of that classification.  Tassels on the other hand ...


    AEV left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 7:06 PM:

    Great warm weather look Fred. Why Aldens and not Guccis? I always thought the Aldens were oddly low cut (and struck me as copying the Guccis…for essentially the same price).


    KGC left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 6:35 PM:

    Love the look. I personally despise wearing socks with Sperrys, even if it’s 30 degrees in the morning and I’m at rowing practice. My teammates always ask if my feet are cold.


    Pink Socks left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 6:30 PM:

    I go sockless with certain shoes (drivers, decks, sneakers) even in winter. Then again I am in Australia (but it does get cold here in Melbourne). The right shoes always work sockless.

    www.linenforsummertweedforwinter.tumblr.com


    Richard Ross left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 4:57 PM:

    My only burrial instruction is that I be burried sockless.


    CC left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 3:15 PM:

    Fred, what’s your take on rolling your pants as opposed to having them hemmed above the ankle?  I find that rolling them gives them more versatility, i.e. you can let them down if you so choose.


    Jon left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 3:04 PM:

    Coastal southerners love to rock the no-sock.  Especially with loafers and boat shoes of course.  I’m slowly trying to expand to oxfords.


    G.S.O left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 1:20 PM:

    Chilly spring in London making my ankles cold !


    Niles left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 1:09 PM:

    the nonchalant and “I don’t give a damn” attitude is really about the whole package though…ditching the socks is part of it. driving an old luxury car could be another…..however, it could be said that an obsession with tailoring goes against this attitude a little.


    Thad left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 1:08 PM:

    Do you keep shoe trees in your topsiders (serious question) ?


    Luis Alcaraz left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 12:31 PM:

    Fred, you look very cool I am wearing the same outfit plust the socks for work today. Sock or sockless is a nice look and I think we should give a little resect to certain occasion I dont want that you finish like Mark Zuckerberg wearing sandals everywhere.

    Regards!


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 11:52 AM:

    @Alfonso—I personally do not wear undershirts…ever.  They shift, add bulk, come untucked…and they peek out every now and then.  If you choose to wear one, just make sure it’s never seen.  If that means a deep v-neck, A-line, etc, so be it.  My stance, for the record, is to ditch the undershirt, especially with a polo.


    Alfonso left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 11:44 AM:

    Fred, thanks for a great piece, and you look wonderful, as always. The picture brings up an unrelated question—do you ever allow a T-shirt to show from under your polo or button-down shirt? I’ve seen this done and can’t decide what I think about it.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 11:24 AM:

    @Paul—I’m 5’11” and I wear a 29.5” inseam.  You will not be able to get away with a 30” inseam and avoid a break.  Before you buy your next pair of pants, take that money to the tailor.  It’s about $14 a pair to take them up.


    Angel left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 11:24 AM:

    I don’t mind showing my ankles in the warmer months but once winter comes I pull out my socks, mostly solid colors that are bright. Though I wouldn’t consider myself a prep so I guess I don’t mind breaking the bare ankle rule that you promote.

    Angels Point of View - Street Fashion Photography


    Paul left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 11:21 AM:

    ...One other question. I’m a shorter man, 5’-7”, and I typically wear a 30” inseam…and even that produces a break. Any suggestions as to how to get that “just slightly too short” look to work without having all my pants hemmed?


    tlfactor left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 10:29 AM:

    FEC, are these the Rugby chino pants from this year?  I like the color.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 10:22 AM:

    @Cam—I’m not sure where you are from but wherever I go (and I travel quite a bit) I am typically one of the only guys not wearing socks.  You may read about it in men’s fashion magazines or see it on style blogs…but the reality is that most men still don’t do it.


    cam left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 10:11 AM:

    i go sockless a lot myself but i disagree that wearing socks is deliberately thoughtful…in fact going SOCKLESS would be what is deliberately thoughtful…and more and more so over done by all that it actually is no longer a go-to-hell look


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 9:47 AM:

    @Stet—These horsebit loafers are Aldens.

    @Tommy V.—The quote from Making the Grade is tongue-in-cheek.  Determine your own level of appropriateness in social situations.  This article isn’t just about going sockless in the summer…but spring and fall.  That’s where it shapes my sense of style.

    @Cameron—I keep shoe trees in my shoes when I’m not wearing them in order to maintain their shape and absorb the moisture from my feet.  In the case that I’ll be doing alot of walking, I’ll utilize a low profile loafer sock.


    Stet left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 9:35 AM:

    What brand of shoes are those?  They accomplish the sockless look quite well…


    christian left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 9:33 AM:

    I’m not wearing any socks to my own wedding this fall :)


    Dennis left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 9:30 AM:

    loved this article, i refuse to wear socks outside of work and the ski slope.


    Kionon left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 9:10 AM:

    Read this on the Brooks Brothers site. And agree completely!


    Glenn Elliott left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 8:43 AM:

    “Like”


    CC left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 8:28 AM:

    Fred - great piece.  I love it.  Thank you.  The only socks I like are the Boston Red Sox.


    bucephalus left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 7:52 AM:

    There’s nothing wrong with the sockless look if that’s what you like and as long as you’re not in a formal situation.


    Tommy V. left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 7:48 AM:

    Just to be clear, Fred: the only occasion you wouldn’t want to be telling those around you, “go to hell” would be your own wedding?

    I’m all for going sockless in summertime while in a casual setting but there are many other situations that call for sobriety in uniform out of respect for others. Rebelling against convention by flashing my hairy ankles is just not appropriate in any and all social/professional settings.


    Cameron left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 7:33 AM:

    What have you found to be the best shoe and foot care regimen since you go sockless?


    Paul left a comment on 6/7/2011 at 7:30 AM:

    I feel like every men’s fashion magazine spread/advertisement/catalogue that I pick up shows bare ankles..with everything from shorts to suits and lace ups.


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  • Saint James Sweater

    Style | Prep Essentials  

    “Hotchkiss and Yale man Gerald Murphy—artist, F. Scott Fitzgerald muse, and heir to Mark Cross—first discovered the jaunty appeal of the striped sailor top. Summering in Cap d’Antibes in 1923, he wore his Marseilles market find so well that soon such fellow beachcombers as Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel were sporting them, too. Then came devoted Americaphile the Duke of Windsor, who wore his even during his brief reign as king of England while yachting with soon-to-be-twice-divorced girlfriend Wallis in 1937. After World War Two, the striped top went through its rebellious phase, worn by the likes of Jean Seberg, Andy Warhol, and Joan Baez before settling down as favored prep unisex garment during the 1970s. Its next incarnation, embodying fashion with a capital F, came courtesy of Jean Paul Gualtier. With its navy-on-cream stripes, the iconic Breton fisherman’s sweater is as significant a part of the French clothing vocabulary as the beret.”

    —Caroline Rennolds Milbank, True Prep

    Saint James has been spinning some of the world’s finest knits out of their Normandy, France based factory since 1889, but they are best known for their authentic Breton stripe sweaters. Though they are offered in wool (best suited for the fall/winter), opt for cotton come summer; they are more akin to heavy weight knit tees and are perfect layered or alone.

    Jun 2, 2011 | Permalink (12) View/Leave Comments

    Rodellee left a comment on 7/26/2011 at 9:31 AM:

    Love this sweater, love the stripes. Classic, everyone should have one.


    john lexington left a comment on 6/3/2011 at 11:55 AM:

    love this!


    Kimberly Richardson left a comment on 6/3/2011 at 9:13 AM:

    Love the look!


    robdarko left a comment on 6/3/2011 at 8:52 AM:

    So Fla weather, this time of year, would make it impossible to wear a summer sweater.  So… is there an alternative, F.E.C.?


    DJ Joe Dubb left a comment on 6/3/2011 at 5:36 AM:

    One more piece to add to my list of “things to buy for my wife”. Awesome pic by the way.


    Kat left a comment on 6/3/2011 at 12:17 AM:

    A.  The sweater is perfect.  B. This shot might be my favorite I’ve seen on this site.  I love it.


    Straw Boater left a comment on 6/2/2011 at 11:47 PM:

    Nice touch with the Randolph Engineering aviators.  It looks great on girls, I wish more would wear them.


    Christian Bourasseau left a comment on 6/2/2011 at 11:43 PM:

    Great shot!


    Brad left a comment on 6/2/2011 at 6:16 PM:

    Nice pic!


    Brian left a comment on 6/2/2011 at 5:54 PM:

    I am wearing that sweater right now!  Fabulous!


    Paul Mitchell left a comment on 6/2/2011 at 2:52 PM:

    I own this sweater and it is great! Pretty girl, pretty beach, it all seems pretty perfect to me.


    Glenn Elliott left a comment on 6/2/2011 at 2:49 PM:

    Yes!


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  • Benchmade Tassel Loafers

    Top Drawer | Prep Essentials  

    If you’ve ever met me, you wouldn’t take me for a guy who spends $800 on shoes. And you'd be right.  I drive a 25 year-old Bimmer, wear a $35 watch, and avoid ATM fees like synthetic fabrics.  Frugal?  You could say that.

    There is this pomp and circumstance about a benchmade tassel loafer that distinctly says, "I care."  Perhaps it's the ornamented aura they induce when you slip them on; or the Goodyear-welted construction and double leather sole; or the full calfskin lining for comfort and longevity (because let’s face it, I’ll rarely be wearing socks).  Maybe it's the fact that they're crafted with Chicago's Horween cordovan (arguably the best cordovan in the world today); or that they're kept on a shoe form far longer than today’s standard; or it could easily be the over 200 separate operations spanning eight weeks.

    Though the tassel silhouette’s emergence in the 1950s gave way to gradual acceptance by the East-coast prep culture, Crockett & Jones has been crafting shoes in Northampton since 1879. Now in its fifth generation, it remains a family business that also makes shoes, like these, for the likes of Ralph Lauren. These loafers just feel well made. Their grade is a thing of beauty. I'll typically walk a mile in another man's shoes in lieu of buying new; however, I fell in with these at a deal I just couldn’t walk away from.

    May 31, 2011 | Permalink (20) View/Leave Comments

    Jonas left a comment on 1/27/2013 at 5:12 PM:

    What is the 35$ watch you mention?


    Christopher Campbell left a comment on 6/23/2011 at 1:33 PM:

    Which White Buck Shoes do you recommend?
    Christopher


    Laguna Beach Fogey left a comment on 6/1/2011 at 11:21 AM:

    @BJP - Seconds, irregulars, and sales from ShoeMart.com.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/1/2011 at 9:46 AM:

    @DAM—Alan Flusser once told me to wear socks...and though that didn’t stick, him tipping me off to splaying my tassels did.  I can’t wear them with the same conformity that those lawyers do, now can I? ;)

    @AEV—Thanks for sharing that NYT piece below.  That’s readership added value and beneficial too all for a laugh as well as a re-visitation to history.


    DAM left a comment on 6/1/2011 at 9:20 AM:

    Fred - what happened to your tassels? They look like the blown out end of a sawed off shot gun?


    AEV left a comment on 6/1/2011 at 9:05 AM:

    Great shoes Fred - glad to hear you picked them up at a discount as I never understood why some folks so willingly pay RL 30% more than they have to for items made by others and sold for less under the original label(s)...

    The below made me smile…mostly because of the utter hypocrisy…:

    The New York Times
    The Politicization of Tasseled Loafers
    By NEIL A. LEWIS
    November 03, 1993
     
    To say “tasseled loafer” in Washington is not just to describe a simple shoe, but to utter a political phrase, often part of an epithet.

    It is frequently connected to the word “lawyers,” as in those tasseled-loafered lawyers!, although no law degree is required to wear them. And despite its earlier image as the shoe of the postgraduate preppy, it is today a kind of everyman’s shoe, available in all price ranges.

    Nonetheless, the shoes have been deployed in recent years as metaphorical weapons in the nation’s political wars.

    When George Bush wanted to hurl a wounding barb during the last Presidential campaign, he complained that Bill Clinton was supported by “every lawyer that ever wore a tasseled loafer.”

    Mr. Bush may have had reason to believe the charge potent as he had himself once been the target of a tasseled-loafer insult. When he ran for President in 1980, he complained that Ronald Reagan had bested him in a debate in New Hampshire by using unfair tactics. One of Mr. Reagan’s aides retorted in a widely disseminated remark that those with Mr. Bush’s private-school pedigree were generic sore losers. “Those tasseled-loafer guys always cry foul when they lose,” the aide said.


    BJP left a comment on 6/1/2011 at 7:53 AM:

    @Laguna Beach Fogey Where are you scoring cheap Aldens?


    Joy left a comment on 6/1/2011 at 2:29 AM:

    I go to school there and haven’t even heard of it. What a shame and what have I been missing out on! Great rec and will try to seek it out.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 5/31/2011 at 6:11 PM:

    @NMR—Did you not read the entire piece? I did not pick these up at retail.

    @GLG—At the moment I don’t care to pass down a watch to my sons…because it honestly wouldn’t survive me more than likely.  Watches, for the most part, are precious and dainty…I tend to scratch the crystal often.  And there’s just something unpretentious about a Timex Easy Reader.


    Laguna Beach Fogey left a comment on 5/31/2011 at 5:44 PM:

    Excellent!!!

    As you know, FEC, tassel loafers are probably my favourite shoe, up there with brogues.

    A classic preppy shoe of California origins, tassel loafers tend to incite either scorn or fierce love.

    I’ve been wearing C&J for years, but am just as happy wearing cheap Alden and A&E tassel loafers.

    http://admiralcod.blogspot.com/


    Tad Allagash left a comment on 5/31/2011 at 5:11 PM:

    Great shoes.  Those are some serious frat wings on the tassels, especially for a new pair.


    NMR left a comment on 5/31/2011 at 5:04 PM:

    $800?  You didn’t pick them up during the sale?


    Kelly left a comment on 5/31/2011 at 4:57 PM:

    @F.E.C Are you familiar with the film Love Story? It has some of the best preppy wardrobe on film everrrrr. thought you might enjoy.

    check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GetvJltxPHI


    PDXPrep left a comment on 5/31/2011 at 4:27 PM:

    Great looking shoes. I just recently purchased my first pair of Crockett & Jones (British Field Boots) while in Hong Kong for Chinese New Year (Check out Tassel’s if you ever make it over http://www.tassels.com.hk/en/index.php). I am now in search of a deal for my second pair.

    Great site, been reading for a year and a half now.


    GLG left a comment on 5/31/2011 at 4:03 PM:

    @F.E.C.  I also wear a watch that cost under $100 from Orvis - not a “Walmart watch” by any means, but also not a priceless instrument.  Most men who purchase expensive watches look forward to giving them to their children one day - an old watch makes a better gift than an old pair of shoes.


    Christian Bourasseau left a comment on 5/31/2011 at 1:39 PM:

    Beautiful loafers.


    The Boss left a comment on 5/31/2011 at 1:38 PM:

    Crockett & Jones make exceptional footwear. Great purchase!


    BJP left a comment on 5/31/2011 at 1:36 PM:

    Absolutely perfect.


    alessandra nitti left a comment on 5/31/2011 at 1:13 PM:

    this blog is incredible!
    http://wonderfashionista.blogspot.com/


    Plain T-Shirt (Jace Lumley) left a comment on 5/31/2011 at 12:25 PM:

    Ironic, first time I saw a pair of these was 10 minutes earlier walking around downtown Pittsburgh, I thought “those are very nice shoes”, and here they are to reassure my decision.


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