One last time before letting go of summer, prep boys head off for a season-ender at the nearest resort down south. Cocktails. Raising glasses to a toast of enduring the cruel 2012 heat.
Top: Givenchy Paradise-print cotton jersey t-shirt
Middle: Aubin and Wills Berridge straight-leg cotton twill shorts, Oliver Spencer Country suede brogues
Bottom: Illesteva Leonard round-frame acetate sunglasses, Ami suede belt, Want Les Essentiels de la Vie Hartsfield leather-trimmed canvas tote bag
A blank canvas
Every prep boy is living in a transition wardrobe nowadays. To and fro the city, suburbs, the beach, and the highlands. The best way to get by with ease and comfort is to carry essentials in lightweight bags and luggage. Yes, canvas. Not only does it travel so well, but is versatile. Dress it up. Dress it down. Fail-proof.
Top: Filson small duffle bag
Middle: Superior Labor tote bag, Woolrich leather and canvas backpack
Bottom: TENT by Esther Porter reused tent canvas bag, Marni coated tote bag
Shoe of the Week: Good Friday Prep Style
Nothing can be holier (ehem) than these Baroque-inspired slippers. These remind me of Hellenistic carpets from Istanbul… or even the vestments of the Pope.
Look spiffy with a pair of dark jeans or white pants or pastel Bermuda shorts. Top it off with a trilby hat and tortoiseshell wayfarers.
Photo: Stubbs and Wooton Slippers
Every preppy boy is reminded of childhood memories by picnic trips. Pack up your bags and put on your summer suede brogues. Time to head off to the highlands. Don’t forget the cruiser bike! :-)
Top: Oliver Spencer brogues for Mr. Porter
Middle: Mismo canvas bags, Archival Clothing roll-top backpacks
Bottom: Thom Browne Dita sunglasses, Vanmoof M2-02 bike
Choosing ‘em right. Packing light.
Off to a short vacay in a villa somewhere down south? Essentials in the bag.
Top: Filson cotton-twill messenger bag
2nd Row: Etro trilby hat, Ripple Buttero shoes
3rd Row: Kitsune striped cotton t-shirt, Billy Reid Woody straight-leg linen shorts, Hodinkee watch straps
Bottom: Comme des Garcons embossed leather billfold wallet, Ralph Lauren tumbled leather wash bag, Jack Spade x Selima Optique sunglasses
Out under the Sun.
Sometimes it’s all about having that alone time in the country club, planning a weekend getaway from the city… with a glass of freshly squeezed OJ.
Top: Gant Rugger Madras-check cotton blazer
Middle: Michael Bastian x Randolph sunglasses, Red Wing 9158 handsewn mocassins
Bottom: Etro striped cotton polo shirt, Red Ear cotton-twill shorts, Maison Martin Margiela slit leather bracelet
Roses are red.
It’s always something private. A prep boy doesn’t carry around a bouquet of roses for it reminds him of the childish disillusionment from his first love. Rather, a warm smile - with the rosy sunset as its back drop, welcomes a once-stranger to his heart. And what follows next is a laid-back dinner at one of his favorite spots: the bay.
Top: Mr. Hare August suede bucks
2nd Row: Beams Plus New Casco Bay bomber jacket, Etro Arles contrast-trim striped shirt
3rd Row: Marni cotton shorts, Anderson’s woven waxed linen belt
Bottom: Bill Amberg Hunter full grain leather backpack, Yves Saint Laurent square frame metal sunglasses, Miansai utility rope and anchor bracelet
Vintage Ivy Chic.
I remember Nick Wooster saying on one of his interviews for Project NY the dilemma of our generation young gents. We all dismiss and sneer at classic ivy and Wall Street as “foolish, old, and retro”. But that’s the task of our generation’s talented menswear designers: to draw the inspiration from the old, take it in.. and erase the inspiration. Just how Alber Elbaz simply put it after Lanvin’s Mens Show in Paris Fashion Week, “Don’t forget where you’re coming from; but look forward.”
photos of the classic Men’s Club Magazine by Japan’s Eight Hundred Ships from www.selectism.com, featuring Ivy Chic.
Call them your grandfather’s shoes. But just like the fad of boat shoes, soon the youngsters will call them the covet kicks. Especially now that these ornate handsome sliders are available in low to mid-range prices. But for us gentlemen, we should be discerning enough and pick out finer things. Tricker’s has been the gentleman’s shoe of choice since 1829. And it continuously updates its offerings to the male shoe-aholics. You can never say no to these.
Not a Boring Gentleman.
The common notion of a gentleman includes having a stable day job, wining and dining every other night with friends and colleagues, reading the daily digest for current affairs, talking in length about business, and keeping everything low-key. With the society changing, the evolution of the man is but inevitable. But that doesn’t mean that the stereotypical definition (as mentioned earlier) dissolves in the highly volatile milieu. A modern gentleman does know the amount of effort exerted to make fine furniture, and even bespoke suits. He also reads the idiosyncratic accounts of bloggers with an open mind. And most of all, knows how color can freshen up his tired face (or a prying audience).
Top: Maison Martin Margiela waxed suede and leather boots
2nd Row: Engineered Garments chore coat, Versus Tokyo - Flaph by Teruki Tatsui pattern-blocked shirt
3rd Row: Canali straight-leg cotton and linen-blend trousers, Hassos bags, Barbisio hat (from Pitti Uomo 2012)
Power Play to Color Play.
Splashing some color to a grey-scale jet-set wardrobe goes a long way. Nothing can be as excitingly palpable as gentleman in his playful prep swag.
Top: Creative Recreation Tucco shoes for Barneys, Acne Galway mint sweater
2nd row: llesteva Lenox detachable front square frame sunglasses, Filson wheeled carry-on travel case
3rd row: Moleskine travel tags, Barrett-Alley braided bracelet
Bottom: Rag & Bone fedora with grosgrain ribbon, Smythson “Work hard, play hard” leather notebook, Southern Field stud wallet
iWant: Weekly Wish List for Christmas 2011.
Way back, when I was working with a relatively larger team, I enjoyed going through others’ wish lists. They are quite representative of people’s personalities, priorities, and aspirations. Some are very utilitarian, who’d want to receive pens, shirts, wallets, or mugs. Some are like Japanese prep school boys, who’d go for anything stylish, hip and chic. Some are geeks, who prefer books, collectibles, video games, or copies of records. I’ve always asked for what a geek, utilitarian Japanese prep school boy would ask for. This time it’s something for an iPad 2.
Top: A.P.C x Incase, Autum straight-jacket, Globe-trotter
Bottom: Long Live Alfred leather envelope, Thom Browne
Sense and Sensibility.
A preppy once showed his boy of fancy this book, which the latter dismissed as sappy. He disliked reading literature. To him this genre is a waste of his time. Now he finds himself through looking at trends, shopping, traveling (for its coolness sake), and dating another guy of the same hollow superficial style.
It took a while for preppy boy to realize the importance of discernment on similar things. For liking and fancying someone comes easily, and being in a relationship with someone needs a lot of work. Romance comes and goes just like a trend, but the palpable goodness of understanding and commitment is a classic.
Top: Moschino velvet blazer
2nd Row: Ralph Lauren Purple Label Bengal stripe aston shirt, Marni heavy corduroy pants, Gaziano & Girling Rothschild wingtip shoes
3rd Row: Ralph Lauren pre-aged leather satchel, Paul Smith contrast spotted socks, Drake’s paisley print silk pocket square
Bottom: Cutler and Gross tortoiseshell acetate sunglasses, Rainer Marie Rilke’s Letters to A Young Poet, Luis Morais string and white gold bracelet
Out of Place.
As you lance through the country club crowd, your eyes begin to notice new faces. Is there an open house? Visitors? Their eyes scrutinize each detail of your herringbone cardigan down to your chukka boots, long before they gaze upon your boyish face. But you’re only one of the hundreds of prep boys that frequent the place… Hence, these new faces look like giddy high school jocks. They are just waiting for the right time to utter an uncouth remark. But then again, there are a hundred of prep boys in the club house.
Each preppy’s bred to be a gentleman. This club has no room for big boys.
Top: GRP knit cardigan
2nd Row: Muji shirts, 5 CM casual shorts
3rd Row: Cleverley chukka boots, Property of… work bag
Bottom: Brooks Brothers country club baseball cap, Missoni for Target scarf and socks, Ettika double silver barrel bead bracelet
Prep boys used to ditch the jocks’ booze nights to maintain the 4.0. Now, they still do to maintain the iCovet subscription. And after all the deadlines, nobody parties hard (and wildly) as these men in boys clothes. Moves like Jagger, y’all.
Top: Ally Capellino Richard satchel, Thom Browne iPad case
2nd Row:Barrett Alley leather envelope, Moleskine pocket sketchbook
3rd Row:Cross Beverly ballpoint pen, Muji Hex double-ended pens
Bottom: Muji natural leather pen case, Muji travel kit, Le Belinois umbrella