• The History of Boast

    Prep Essentials  

    Nantucket doesn't let you sleep in. At least not in Siasconset. The Sun rises at a quarter past five over the eastern bluff the sleepy village teeters on (one house has already tumbled down the eroding cliff with a handful more sure to follow). Let there be no mistake, I'm of the ilk that enjoys Nantucket by way of work, not exclusively by way of play. But such are most of my travels. I'm hardly interested in jetting off anywhere unless it involves a business write-off.

    I pop into Murray's Toggery Shop, the birthplace of Nantucket Reds, to pass some time before my buddy Jon Terbell and I begin building out his summer pop-up shop, One Orange. It's what one would expect from a small town sportswear clothier. But after I wander into the back room (where there is everything you could ever imagine in Nantucket Red) I notice a small stash of Boast piqué polos hanging in the corner. While certainly a fan of the brand, their fit left a little to be desired since I last pulled on the "Japanese Maple Leaf" a couple years ago. Rumor had it Boast revisited their polo's fit* recently and I secretly hoped it to be true. The arm holes are higher, the body sits closer to the torso while the tennis tail hits at just the right part of your backside. I happily left with one in Carolina Blue. Back in play, as they say.

    Never heard of Boast? Enjoy this animated abridged history of the irreverent squash inspired sportswear company to get up to speed.

    *It would seem as if Boast embraced vanity sizing as where I was once a medium, I now wear their small (I'm 5'11", 175lbs)

    May 8, 2013 | Permalink (3) View/Leave Comments

    T2 left a comment on 5/16/2013 at 10:18 PM:

    You learn something everyday.  Thanks Fred.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 5/16/2013 at 9:33 PM:

    @T2—For what it’s worth, the very name “Boast” is taken from a squash shot played to the front wall via a side wall or the back wall.


    T2 left a comment on 5/16/2013 at 8:03 PM:

    While the Yale squash team and other squash players might have wore Boast, Bill St. John is an avid tennis player.  Taking into account that Rene Lacoste designed this type of shirt, I would say that it is a tennis inspired company.  I know that this is a minor point; however, it seems more correct.  It’s nice to see some coverage for a fairly under the radar company.


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  • The Needlepoint Belt

    Style | Culture | Prep Essentials  

    According to the 80s-penned Official Preppy Handbook, the needlepoint belt is a “must accessory for the collegiate B.M.O.C. (big man on campus)" and typically a gift from women of a certain sort and class...women committed to memorializing young love by stitching a needlepoint belt for their beau. Ironically, it eventually garnered notoriety as the breakup belt. By the time the belt was finished, someone in the relationship had often decided to move on.

    While preppy fashion has gradually evolved over the last 30 years, the casual and jaunty nature of needlepoint belts has not. It's the preppy catholicon for holding up ill-fitting khakis, shorts, and summer suit trousers.

    Victoria Stulgis started needlepointing at age 12 when she and her mom wandered into the Nantucket clothing/needlepoint boutique, Erica Wilson. By 15, she became much more avid. After a day at the stables, she and her equestrian friends would slumber party at each other's homes and needlepoint in front of the TV. "It was rather unconventional, I think," Stulgis recalls.

    "I started working on [my boyfriend] Jack's belt when I was 17. Back then I was rather quick at needlepointing and it only took 3-6 months (I think there was a time when I was needlepointing during history class)."

    When she was finished with the crossed oars design in Georgetown colors (and still in the relationship) Stulgis sent the canvas to a leather shop just outside Lexington, KY, which she had stumbled across while competing at the US National Pony Finals in 2004. They do a top notch job with the stitching and use superior quality leather, as they cater to the equestrian set down in Kentucky. Good thing too, since her boyfriend Jack has been throwing it around his waist almost daily for the past six years.

    Can’t get your auntie, mum, or lovely lady to labor for months over this functional status statement? No worries. You can simply pick one up from Tucker Blair or Smathers & Branson; however, my favorite is one I came across from Rugby several years ago (beautiful repeating gold skull & bones on navy ground, wool thread, and better quality leather than the former). Most ring in under $200. Of course, the most valuable needlepoint belts are those made by moms or girlfriends like Stulgis.

    Sep 6, 2012 | Permalink (2) View/Leave Comments

    PSP left a comment on 1/30/2014 at 10:27 PM:

    My wife made a U Penn one that incorporated my initials as a Christmas gift.


    Rowboats left a comment on 10/30/2012 at 8:35 PM:

    M’s Canvashouse out of Lexington KY sells the best most extensive variety I have ever seen (and online!). You can also send it back to them to do leathering.  My boyfriend has multiple.


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  • A Jacket for Life

    Prep Essentials  

    When it comes to coats, there is Barbour…and there is everything else. From the moment the olive waxed cotton hugs your frame and the corduroy collar kisses the nape of your neck, an enigmatic bond is formed not unheard of to span three decades. A recent documentary, A Jacket for Life, showcases the 30-year love affairs several Barbour owners have with their jackets—revealing why those relationships last longer than many marriages.

    It also pulls back the curtain of a customer service center where beat-to-hell, but still stylish coats are emitted for repairs. Each garment is meticulously repaired by one Barbour machinist who does all the work needed to restore the coat to its former glory. Don't get too attached though, you'll likely be sharing it once you have teenagers.

    Jul 31, 2012 | Permalink (12) View/Leave Comments

    Gunnar left a comment on 1/15/2013 at 3:12 AM:

    Just bought a brand new Barbour Beaufort for 133 pounds.. Best buy of my life!


    Grace left a comment on 8/10/2012 at 2:25 PM:

    Ironic timing since I’m currently saving my teenage minimum wages and allowance for one! They’re just so perfect, though.


    Jan left a comment on 8/10/2012 at 8:05 AM:

    Lovely for us to read your comments and know you like our film.  Read our diary about the film-making process if you want to find out more http://jancawood.wordpress.com/


    PSP left a comment on 8/10/2012 at 12:25 AM:

    Hi ZRA,
    I would recommend the Beaufort.  It is not too long.  I have had mine since 1990.  Barbour makes a removable zip in liner which I would recommend.  It makes the coat suitable for both winter and fall.


    Joe left a comment on 8/9/2012 at 10:53 AM:

    I have a 20 year old Beaufort that is a Ducks Unlimited editon, priceless…Best investment ever in clothing, all 4 of mine are good to go.  Best repair service in the civlized world.


    ZRA left a comment on 8/9/2012 at 10:32 AM:

    FE-
    Which model would you recommend for gentlemen? I can’t seem to decide which one I’d like the most, and I’m interested in your opinion.

    Best,
    ZRA


    Kristen Sayan left a comment on 8/9/2012 at 10:24 AM:

    I got my first Barbour when I was 18 and it was used as intended-for riding and foxhunting in foul weather. Now, more than 20 years later, I have added a new Barbour for “fashion,” though my old one accompanies me to the barn on rainy mornings.  For riders, the arms are the first thing to wear out. I have had full arm patches put on mine.


    Tobias left a comment on 8/9/2012 at 8:31 AM:

    My 20 + yr old Bedale is in the “shop” being re-waxed as we speak.


    Josh left a comment on 8/9/2012 at 8:20 AM:

    I grew up with Barbour jackets. At school, they were not considered cool, but I still love the smell of a damp Barbour hanging up, drying out.
    They really are a great brand, and not worth going with any imitation.
    They are also guaranteed for life. When the wax starts to wear out, you can just send it back to them and they’ll rewax it. Now that’s customer service

    Preposity.com


    NJGlenn left a comment on 8/9/2012 at 8:14 AM:

    Excellent! I got my first Barbour back in 95’ (Border, needed the length for commuting to NYC in a suit). Now that this one is nicely broken in, I just picked up a NWOT Beufort on ebay for a fraction of what I paid new 17 years ago.


    Glenn left a comment on 8/9/2012 at 8:05 AM:

    Brilliant video! I’ve owned a Barbour since the early 80s it so true about the Barbour Jacket! Worth the investment!


    Kionon left a comment on 8/9/2012 at 2:05 AM:

    The essence of prep is clothing that works and clothing that lasts. Barbour does both.


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  • The Home Bar

    Culture | Prep Essentials  

    There is a saying, “If you’re lucky enough to live close to the water, then you’re lucky enough.” Consider yourself lucky enough when you find yourself in Lyford Cay—the gated community in the Bahamas considered one of the world’s richest and most exclusive neighborhoods. When members aren’t quenching their thirst with the club’s signature Rum Dum*—a mix of Light Bacardi Rum, lemon juice, simple syrup, water, raw egg white, and dark rum—they’re pouring their own favorites. Every Lyford Cay house boasts the one key ingredient to entertaining—the home bar. Whether atop a liquor tray or hidden neatly behind folding doors, it’s always discreet. Preppies don’t advertise their affinity for it but it’s always within arms reach.

    Pytchley Lodge home bar

    I’m here on a job for Quadrille, the WASPy fabric company which happens to cover the walls, windows, and pillows of every other Lyford Cay home. After settling into a pale pink cottage by the name of Pytchley Lodge (WASPs name their homes, don’t ya know), I pull back the doors to the charming bar and mix up my favorite warm weather drink, a Southside. It’s refreshing but don’t take my word for it. Mix it up for yourself.

    In a shaker, muddle a few mint leaves (don’t pulverize them). Then add ice, two shots of gin, three-quarters of an ounce of simple syrup, three-quarters of an ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice, and a few drops of Angostura bitters. Shake hard for a good ten seconds and strain into a glass, either up or on the rocks.

    *Since Lyford Cay Club bartender Wilfred Sands concocted it in 1971, it’s been a mainstay ever since.

    Jan 18, 2012 | Permalink (11) View/Leave Comments

    MS left a comment on 1/30/2012 at 12:52 PM:

    You forgot the cucumber, FEC! Not a Southside without ‘em.


    emjkmj left a comment on 1/28/2012 at 5:32 PM:

    I need to do this in my office!


    Amatourist left a comment on 1/28/2012 at 2:13 PM:

    you know the staff call it Lifeless Cay, and in some respects I can see why. but for house parties and the Little Club she tends to shutter down pretty early.  last time I was there, New Year 2009 I think, saw the sunrise on Captain’s Beach with rum in hand. so, you know, not always lifeless.


    JNN left a comment on 1/28/2012 at 1:58 PM:

    @cam @todd Jack is indeed not bourbon and place has nothing to do with it as you say. However, the “label” restriction is not true.

    http://www.garrisonbros.com/
    Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey


    Stockton AndrewsII left a comment on 1/27/2012 at 6:05 PM:

    Very nicely done! I like the miniature figures in white tunics on the center shelf. Never drink alone!


    The preppies left a comment on 1/27/2012 at 3:59 AM:

    For some american fashion, visit my blog


    http://thepreppies.wordpress.com/


    cam left a comment on 1/26/2012 at 11:54 PM:

    @tad - indeed bourbon can be made anywhere in the US as long as it follows the formula. that being said, only bourbon made in kentucky can use the word “bourbon” on the label. if you ask anyone from kentucky, which I so happen to be, it isn’t bourbon if it isn’t from kentucky


    Tad Allagash left a comment on 1/26/2012 at 10:45 PM:

    Nice bar, love all the mini portraits, like the ghosts of cocktails past.  @Bridey - Indeed Jack Daniels is not a bourbon, but being from Tennessee has nothing to do with it.


    Laguna Beach Fogey left a comment on 1/26/2012 at 10:20 PM:

    Well said. There are loads of Preps hiding out in the Bahamas—some of them Loyalist descendants—drinking Gin and hunting sharks and grouper. Divine.


    Bridey left a comment on 1/26/2012 at 5:30 PM:

    Great pic, but I hope there’s a good bourbon hiding back there. Jack Daniels, of course, is from TN and does not count.


    y. l. hollander left a comment on 1/26/2012 at 5:07 PM:

    Loving the fact that the proprietor opts for call brand liquors and mixers. No need for fever-tree quinine or superduperpremium hooch—- just a good, solid drink.

    Cheers!


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  • Andy Warhol’s Letterhead

    Culture | Prep Essentials  

    Stationery, in some form or fashion, can be found stashed away in a preppy’s desk at any given moment. It’s an essential habit. Penning proper correspondence, whether it be thank you notes, a memo, or a handwritten letter to a long time pal is practically a second language by adolescence. Even thought it seems like we slap our monograms on everything, we don’t. Traditionally, there are only certain items that should be monogrammed—stationery being one of them. Andy Warhol’s (an aforementioned personal style icon) undated stationery gives typography center stage in soothing tones of blue and green. It also communicated quite effectively who he was as an individual before he would ever scrawl his first word.

    Image via Letterheady

    Jan 10, 2012 | Permalink (6) View/Leave Comments

    StacyfrPgh left a comment on 1/14/2012 at 5:27 PM:

    I just gave my 20-something children new stationary for the holidays. I encouraged my 21 yo son to take some with him to Italy for the semester. One never knows when the need to correspond by handwriting can come up!


    Andrea left a comment on 1/14/2012 at 5:08 PM:

    Have a look at this eye-catching exhibit, F.E. Art inspired by old nautical/battle flags via Free People’s blog. To me, it’s remarkable how a subject so inherently preppy can become un-preppy and almost trite when it’s put under a microscope like this…  http://blog.freepeople.com/2012/01/give-ship/


    Laguna Beach Fogey left a comment on 1/14/2012 at 12:48 PM:

    I’m as much a Warhol fan as the next chap, but this looks like the handwriting of a deranged 8-year old child.

    http://admiralcod.blogspot.com/


    CHC left a comment on 1/13/2012 at 8:51 PM:

    so the type or writing would go over the design or under it? over it right?


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/13/2012 at 4:39 PM:

    @Andrea—I noticed the very same. That’s probably part of the quirk to Warhol though.


    Andrea left a comment on 1/13/2012 at 4:02 PM:

    He spelled “Murray Hill” incorrectly…ha wonder if he noticed/cared!


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