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    #46
    Learn something new everyday. "“Mid-Atlantic Solution” – http://www.lucianobarbera.it/eng/pantalone.html "

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      #47
      Originally posted by Duvel View Post
      This is kind of interesting: http://oxfordclothbuttondown.com/201...-preppy-chart/

      I seem to be all over these categories, not strictly one or the other, although maybe mostly somewhere between ivy and trad.
      Interesting article and chart. If we are keeping score I fell into the preppy category hands down.

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        #48
        I like some aspects of prep/trad/Ivy style, and incorporate them into my own style as they are useful to me.

        I don't like the underlying class aspect to prep style. Prep denotes prep school and Ivy League education, and connotes a very specific kind of establishment wealth and social standing. If you have to read about prep style blogs to develop a sense of prep style, and you didn't just grow up with this stuff in your closet, I'd hate to break it to you, but you will never truly be "preppy" as far as the blue-blood, WASP-y, yacht club crowd is concerned. That's just a fact of life. Prep is as much a social caste as a style.

        On the other hand, one of the things I do like about prep style is its sense of grounded-ness. Class tensions aside, I tend to appreciate any style that has developed over time to meet the unique needs of a particular geography or climate, the way prep clothing seemingly has. (At least, the more functional elements of prep style, like fisherman's sweaters, boat shoes, rain slickers, etc.)

        I read through a bunch of that Muffy Aldrich blog and I'm not sure what to make of it. On the one hand, the blog holds itself out as a prep bible that is very clearly grounded in this one woman's very particular, New England-oriented sense of style. The author and commenters hold themselves out as speaking with authority on what constitutes "preppy," and their authority evidently derives from the fact they grew up in the area, are sailors, went to prep schools, etc.

        On the other hand, the author (and some commenters) frequently suggest "prep" is simply synonymous with "quality." The blog is guilty of its fair share of coopting of styles whose origins and primary markets have little or nothing to do with prep style. For example, the heavy use of Barbour garments (which are just about as distinctly English as a garment can get) and a particular post called, "Which is preppier, Patagonia or The North Face?" (The true answer is neither - both were founded in California in the the '60s-'70s and targeted primarily toward serious mountaineers. The fact that self-described "preps" have subsequently adopted that distinctly West Coast, hippie granola style into its own repertoire does not make it preppy, anymore than cowboy boots would be preppy if preps happened to wear them.)

        I don't think you can have it both ways - you can't say "preppy" means a very specific thing, relating to prep schools and sailing and the Ivy League and the New England Coast, and then turn around and say that "preppy" really just means whatever you want it to mean ("quality") in order to incorporate the non-preppy garments you like to wear.
        Ben

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          #49
          Originally posted by Duvel View Post
          This is kind of interesting: http://oxfordclothbuttondown.com/201...-preppy-chart/

          I seem to be all over these categories, not strictly one or the other, although maybe mostly somewhere between ivy and trad.
          I'm mostly Ivy League with a tiny bit of the other 2 sprinkled in.

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            #50
            [MENTION=2341]LesserBlackDog[/MENTION], as usual, very well said. Thank you.

            I concur with all that you say there. You've touched on a lot that I'm also ambivalent about. Believe me, I know my Midwestern roots would betray me if I ever dared to try to fit in with the true WASP blue-bloods. At the same time, I have this embarrassing fantasy of belonging to that set. Ah, the wealth, the yachts, the clothes, the thin WASPy females in their white shorts... .

            And yes, it is this sort of grounded-ness that is much of the appeal to me. Much of it (not all, as you point out) stands on tradition. One can wear certain so-called Ivy or prep items and basically wear things that haven't changed in decades. I like that.

            At the same time, I get what you're saying ab out the co-opting of styles and the problematic definition of preppy, etc. I think much of what Muffy defines in her blog is a bit arbitrary. In addition to the Patagonia item, she's limited chino colors to only certain colors, and she is very strict about what she considers the true prep retailers and the like.

            All in all, though, quite a lot of fun to explore, think about, and adapt to one's own style.

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              #51
              I also wonder if Muffy (or whoever) isn't too heavy-handed in policing her comments. I left a (very mildly and politely) critical comment on her most recent post. (Something to the effect that the cotton sweater she was advertising didn't seem like the most practical choice for sailing.) I noticed a handful of comments were reviewed and approved after I submitted my comment, but my comment was not among them. It will be interesting to see if my comment shows up at all.

              That isn't really here or there in terms of preppy style, but I feel a refusal to allow mildly critical comments on products you're shilling indicates the post is more of a compensated advertorial than an honest review and recommendation. That would tend to compromise the author's credibility, especially when that credibility is premised in part on her self-proclaimed "authenticity."
              Ben

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                #52
                I had that happen once to me on Muffy's site. I think I was questioning her criticism of J. Crew OCBDs or something silly like that. At the same time, I recently added a recommendation for J. Crew polos in her polo discussion, and it did get added.

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                  #53
                  Muffy has her list of preppy stores. This is mine. I've done this as an exercise to remind me that there's more out there than J. Crew. For a few years now, I've relied almost solely on J. Crew for shirts, pants, jackets, sweaters, and so on. I've lately become disillusioned with the company as they're becoming not only increasingly trendy (the recent men's catalog is horrid) but also increasingly expensive (even with sales). I'll still shop there for some basics that they do well, but I'm done with their secret wash shirts, for sure.

                  I have found some great stuff at these sites already. I've gotten some very decent OCBDs from Lands' End, a bunch of outdoors gear from LL Bean, and a surcingle belt from OConnells. I have a long wish list of stuff at the other places.

                  Prices at some of these places, e.g., OConnells and J. Press, might make shopping a bit infrequent. But it will be a case of picking up that one great thing now and then that I'll really appreciate and that will endure in style and quality.

                  J. Crew -- Chinos, t-shirts, polos, some sweaters (especially lambswool crewnecks).
                  LL Bean -- Utilitarian outerwear (parks, rain jackets, etc.), boots, some shirts, some sweaters (dig that Norwegian)
                  Lands' End -- Basic OCBDs. Reasonably good-looking suits and blazers for little money.
                  Orvis -- Good looking rugged stuff, like Submariner crewneck and turtleneck sweaters. Good source for Barbour jackets. Some of the shirts look good, too. And I dig their shotgun shell belt.
                  Best Gear -- Nice place of Barbour tattersall shirts and Barbour jackets.
                  OConnells -- This place is da bomb! A bit pricey but nice. Everything from shirts of all kinds to belts to Baracutas. (Best prices on Baracutas I've seen.)
                  J. Press -- Even pricier than OConnells, but again, good stuff, especially the shirts.
                  Brooks Brothers -- Shirts, blazers, and suits.

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                    #54
                    If you are gonna mention preppy, one must mention Ralph Lauren/ Polo.

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                      #55
                      Yes, I agree. I'm just not sure exactly what I would shop for there. I do have an RLP rugby shirt that I love. What else is good there? Shirts, I would imagine?

                      Some of their stuff, I have to say, though, sometimes looks a little garish to me.

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                        #56
                        Originally posted by Duvel View Post
                        I have found some great stuff at these sites already. I've gotten some very decent OCBDs from Lands' End, a bunch of outdoors gear from LL Bean, and a surcingle belt from OConnells. I have a long wish list of stuff at the other places.

                        Prices at some of these places, e.g., OConnells and J. Press, might make shopping a bit infrequent. But it will be a case of picking up that one great thing now and then that I'll really appreciate and that will endure in style and quality.

                        J. Crew -- Chinos, t-shirts, polos, some sweaters (especially lambswool crewnecks).
                        LL Bean -- Utilitarian outerwear (parks, rain jackets, etc.), boots, some shirts, some sweaters (dig that Norwegian)
                        Lands' End -- Basic OCBDs. Reasonably good-looking suits and blazers for little money.
                        Orvis -- Good looking rugged stuff, like Submariner crewneck and turtleneck sweaters. Good source for Barbour jackets. Some of the shirts look good, too. And I dig their shotgun shell belt.
                        Best Gear -- Nice place of Barbour tattersall shirts and Barbour jackets.
                        OConnells -- This place is da bomb! A bit pricey but nice. Everything from shirts of all kinds to belts to Baracutas. (Best prices on Baracutas I've seen.)
                        J. Press -- Even pricier than OConnells, but again, good stuff, especially the shirts.
                        Brooks Brothers -- Shirts, blazers, and suits.
                        Thanks for this list. I might have to take a look at some of these places. My personal style is a bit "Mid-Atlantic," to borrow the phrase used earlier, and I'm looking for a lightweight, non-insulated Barbour jacket.

                        Regards,
                        Vic
                        "It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life." - Jean-Luc Picard

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                          #57
                          Adding a discovery: Wool Overs in the UK. Great, classic sweaters at great prices.

                          Word of advice on J. Crew's regular fit chinos: You might want to size down an inch in the waist, if you tend toward slim. I found that my 34s were cinching up in the back with a belt, and that without a belt, after sitting in them for about 30 minutes, they'd stretched just enough to be slipping off my waist. I'm returning for 33s.

                          I also noticed that the inseam was longer than I'm used to, even though I ordered my usual inseam size. I think with the smaller waist size, however, that problem might be taken care of.

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                            #58
                            Those are great prices for wool sweaters. At $40 a pop (if you order 2 or more fishermen sweaters), they aren't much more expensive than a cotton sweatshirt. The colors are surprisingly not-awful as well. I quite like the charcoal, oatmeal, and French navy.
                            Ben

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                              #59
                              Yes. There is the overseas shipping to add on, but even those rates don't look bad.

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                                #60
                                Originally posted by Duvel View Post
                                Adding a discovery: Wool Overs in the UK. Great, classic sweaters at great prices.
                                Wow, thanks for this. Looks promising.

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