Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Christmas shopping

I know it's only December 8th, WAY too early for any man to start thinking about Christmas gifts...so why am I ???

Not sure really, maybe all the talk from the Muffy wife talking about kids gifts or all those 24/7 Christmas radio stations...whatever, I am starting to think....No good answers yet, but the 24th is far enough away so no worries..

Question: What are people hoping for this year? (this will help everyone with ideas)...

Posted by Tod

Monday, November 30, 2009

Whisky Map

posted by Tod

Monday, August 17, 2009

Funny blog

Looking for more fun blogs, Got this one via Twitter. Still not sure if this Twitter thing is for me, I update a bunch then get busy with real life not this Preppy Persona. Of course I follow as many fun people as possible, but I can't keep up with all the posts.

Most of them are great, I learned about new sailing regattas as well as fashion conversations. Guess I will stick with it as best as I can. It is a little information overload...

Anyway, back to looking for fun blogs when I can add them too.

Suggestions? I will post them here and twitter too if I can.

By "Tod"

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What are preppies, Article

Good Article from the Boston Globe:

Let me school you about preppies

By Sam Allis, Globe Staff July 16, 2009

So the Bravo cable channel has given us “NYC Prep,’’ the ludicrous reality show about spoiled rich kids, most of whom attend Upper East Side private schools. Excuse me while I examine my cuticles.

The show has nothing to do with preppies. Real preppies would have nothing to do with it. They’d be laughed out of New Canaan at the mere thought of participating in it. Their parents would disown them.

The kids in the show are nouveaux riche airheads who talk endlessly about shopping. Think Valley Girls and Boys moved east. What they have none of is class.

Worse, this Bravo mess (which airs Tuesdays at 9) misses the essence of preppy culture. The name “preppy,’’ lest we forget, comes from prep schools. And prep schools are, in the cultural sense I’m talking about, boarding schools - not country day or Upper East Side privates. It was on boarding school campuses that true preppies were spawned. The petri dish in which the culture was created and perpetuated was the prep school dormitory.

It is there that one was introduced at a young age to a “Lord of the Flies’’ insular existence that defies description. Essential friendships were forged and enemies made in prep school dormitories. It is where you were introduced to hall hockey and a particular strain of sarcasm.
Preppies are timeless. Wait long enough, and they’re in vogue again. They have never changed. Everyone else has. This speaks to a sense of security on their part rather than a lack of imagination. They never went through their Dolce & Gabbana phase.

Preppies gave America the sport coat - an advance on par with the wheel - and pioneered the blue blazer. They gave us khakis - and they really are pronounced like “car keys’’ in Southie - along with polo jerseys, the two-button suit, button-down collars, the list goes on. To dismiss this as preppy is to miss the point. We’re talking classic, conservative men’s clothes.

When the Gap started push ing khakis over a decade ago, I’d see billboards with the coolest of the cool - Miles Davis - in khakis. Jazz legends like Davis and Chet Baker, I have on good authority, wore preppy clothes. They didn’t buy them because they were preppy - they had never heard of the word - but they liked the understatement of the clothes after the loud outfits in jazz that had preceded them.

I write about preppies from the remove of decades after my own boarding school experience, which I thoroughly enjoyed. But prep school culture has changed dramatically since then. The robust multiculturalism on today’s boarding school campuses, fueled by institutional wealth unavailable in public schools, has replaced the negativity that used to dominate prep school culture.

Today, there is an ethos to do good, here and abroad, among the good boarding schools that was nonexistent in the old days. You’re more likely to see kids from Ghana and India at the big affluent places like Andover and Exeter than flaxen-haired lacrosse players from Locust Valley.
Whatever allure in preppies there may be now is anchored in the past. It speaks to an old world of exclusion and exclusivity, of final clubs and blackballs, of pumps with black tie and the Social Register. (Whatever happened to the Social Register anyway?)

There is a wistfulness to this whole preppy thing that reminds me of Jay Gatsby, Fitzgerald’s great fake who stared into the night at the green light at Daisy Buchanan’s dock across the bay, aching for the woman.

The reigning king of preppy wistfulness remains Ralph Lauren, born Ralph Lifshitz in the Bronx, who has created the ultimate illusionary preppy world. His efforts are nothing if not about a yearning for a past he never knew. His ads relentlessly portray a life of white flannel, wooden tennis racquets, and elegant old cars.

His threads are beautiful, in contrast to parvenus like Vineyard Vines, an upstart that makes clothes for men and women that are parodies of preppiness. J.Crew still answers the bell because it sells smart preppy knockoffs.

The preppy look, it should be noted, is global. When I lived in Italy during the ’80s, I bought a pair of Timberlands in the great city of Bologna, home of the oldest university in Europe. In Italy and France, rich kids wore alligator jerseys with collars up and striped Brooks Brothers button-downs. Ditto for the well-heeled in Latin America.

The choice of preppy clothes among the young and rich abroad had nothing to do with the past. It was simply a matter of style. Remember, it was in France that the alligator jersey (Chemise Lacoste) was born. Countless American kids today want them simply because they look good, oblivious to any larger meaning.

“NYC Prep,’’ ludicrous and dispiriting, has zero to do with the true preppy culture, which means old preppy culture. Love it or hate it, the real thing is pretty much sepia-toned by now. Every once in awhile, marketers will try to sell patch madras or seersucker again. What they’re selling is the past. No one drinks gin and bitters anymore, but who cares?

Sam Allis can be reached at: allis@globe.com

Posted by Tod

Monday, July 20, 2009

Don't do this at home...OUCH!

I just saw this post on another blog called Preppy Pettit...here is the picture but check her blog out ...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Love Cigars.....BUT

Full disclosure Preppy Guy loves cigars. I and my mates have one once and a while on the golf course, or I'll grab a nice one on the back deck. Even love taking one along for those long walks in the woods (with a flask of course)! But today reminded me of something I wanted to write about for a long time.

I was walking to the office this morning early, most of the street was deserted and there he was- a guy hanging outside smoking a cigar. As we have all gotten used to seeing the cigarette smokers all huddled in their groups grabbing a quick "fix" before the run back to the corporate world, but a cigar?

Cigars to me are a relaxing thing, never hurried. I and most men I know use the cigar as major down time, even sometimes the only downtime in this crazy world. So why would you turn something like that into a "ciggy break"? Most good cigars take 20 mins or more to smoke, could this guy really stand on the corner in NYC for that long? And how relaxing is watching taxis speed past you as people bump you on their way to work? A little jack-hammering with your cigar sir?

A whole other thing, a cigar in the early morning ? Your mouth will fee like an ashtray the whole day!

What say you?


Monday, July 06, 2009


Anyone else on twitter? I've heard so much about it so I am trying it out...I think blogs are much better as you can delve into more topics (more than 180 characters) as well as add pictures etc.

However I think many people are doing both...Are you on?

Follow me


And help me along this


Monday, June 29, 2009


Has this rainy weather driven anyone else mad? What is a beach? or a pool or a nice walk in the park? I've been putting off a sailing trip with the kids and friends for weeks..

Also I think I have lost more umbrellas than I even own....

Mr. Sun . please come back


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Preppy Fashion in today's NY Times

June 17, 2009
Dress Codes
The All-American Back From Japan
AS you have surely noticed, all- American preppy style has come back for another goround. There is madras everything, button-downs everywhere. Nantucket reds — washed-out pink pants — are the new khakis; Sperry Top-Siders are more common on roof decks than top decks; and the Polo pony and the Lacoste crocodile are now but two of the critters in a zoo of polo shirt insignia.
Lately the trend has taken on a new dimension, via the Internet, with a resurgence of interest in once obscure American brands. Alongside the familiar L. L. Bean duck boots, Brooks Brothers shirts and Ray-Ban Wayfarers, there are Filson duffel bags, Gokey boots, Alden dress shoes, Gitman oxford shirts, Quoddy Trail moccasins, Wm. J. Mills canvas totes — to name but a few. Moribund brands like Southwick and Woolrich are being revived with new designs. And the old-school look has been furthered by popular American fashion labels — small houses like Thom Browne, Band of Outsiders and Benjamin Bixby along with megabrands like J. Crew and Ralph Lauren.
As fashion moments go, this is as all-American as it gets, right?
Actually, no. What makes today’s prepidemic so fascinating is how it is, surprisingly enough, so Japanese. The look has its roots in the United States, to be sure. But the spirit, rigor and execution of today’s prep moment is as Japanese as Sony. One need only flip through the intriguing Japanese book “Take Ivy,” a collection of photographs taken in 1965 by Teruyoshi Hayashida on Eastern college campuses, to get the drift.
“Take Ivy” has always been extremely rare in the United States, a treasure of fashion insiders that can fetch more than $1,000 on eBay and in vintage-book stores. But scanned images from the book have been turning up online in recent months. Ricocheting around the network of sartorially obsessed Web sites and blogs (like acontinuouslean.com and thetrad .blogspot.com), it has aroused renewed interest for its apparent prescience of preppy style. (In the United States, the word preppy came into popular use only in 1970, thanks to the best-selling book and top-grossing movie “Love Story”; and the full flowering of preppy style would not arrive until 1980 with the best-selling “Official Preppy Handbook.”)
But “Take Ivy” was not prescient; it was totally timely, having been commissioned by Kensuke Ishizu, who was the founder of Van Jacket, an Ivy Leagueobsessed clothing line that was a sensation among Japanese teenagers and young men in the early 1960s. Mr. Ishizu was a kind of Ralph Lauren avant la lettre.
“You could have called it a Van look,” recalled Daiki Suzuki, the designer and founder of Engineered Garments (channeling vintage workwear) and the designer of the revamped Woolrich Woolen Mills line (channeling 1950s New England). He remembers “Take Ivy” from his childhood in Japan and how the Ivy look, as it is generally called there, became basic in the ’70s and ’80s, as the craze for American things like Levi’s and Red Wing boots accelerated. In 1989, Mr. Suzuki moved to the United States to work for a large Japanese store scouting for new American designers and obscure brands to import, like White’s Boots from Washington, Russell Moccasin from Wisconsin and Duluth Pack backpacks from Minnesota.
“It’s funny — this authentic Americana, people in the States didn’t care about it at all,” Mr. Suzuki said. “But I would take it back, and everybody would say, ‘Wow, this is really great, what is this?’ Now it’s different. People here like it now.”
HE would know. In 1999, once the Internet began eroding the specialness of his small “Made in the USA” finds, he founded Engineered Garments with the idea of updating vintage American pieces for modern tastes, and for five years he sold the line only in Japan. In the last couple of years Americans have come around, and now the line is a hot seller at Barneys New York.
As curious as this American-export style of business sounds, it is not unusual. Post Overalls, a Japanese- owned line based (and made) in America since 1993, started selling here only this spring. J. Press, the venerable Ivy League clothier founded in New Haven in 1902 and bought by the Japanese fashion giant Kashiyama in 1986, has four modest stores in this country — in Cambridge, Mass.; New Haven; New York; and Washington — but sells roughly six times as much as American made J. Press merchandise in Japan at department stores like Isetan.
The Japanese penchant for Americana is not merely a story of economics; it is a matter of style. It has not been unusual for Japanese men to wear the Ivy look in head-to-toe extremes once unthinkable here — say, a blazer, tie, plaid shorts and knee socks. But given the zeal for American designers like Thom Browne and Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders, who tinker with old-fashioned Americana (and whose lines are made in the United States and are very popular in Japan), extremism is finally becoming fashionable here. A column in this month’s GQ by a to-the-boatshoe- born Cape Codder even inveighs against the trend, labeling it a case of arrivistes going overboard. But whose Ivy look has the more valid claim?
Mr. Suzuki remembers the first time he met Mr. Browne, when they were both starting their lines. “He was wearing a gray suit, button-down shirt, tie, cashmere cardigan and wingtips,” he recalled. “I remember thinking, ‘I’ve never seen an American dress in such Japanese style.’” Mr. Browne is flattered. “It’s amazing,” he said. “The Japanese get the whole perfect American thing better than Americans. They understand that it’s an identifiable style around the world, this American look. We think we appreciate it, but we really don’t, not like they do.”
But that’s changing. Not long ago, men scoffed at dress shorts, let alone wore them to work. Now, they are a summer norm, along with seersucker suits, ribbon belts and horn-rimmed glasses. While some men still prefer it low-key — plain boat shoes, a faded Lacoste shirt with jeans or a khaki suit with a madras tie — even full-on Japanese prep — blue blazer, button-down, bermudas, loafers — can look good if you have the attitude to carry it off.
As fascinating and confusing as this cross-pollination is, the story of ostensible outsiders borrowing from and bettering the holy tartan has an august history. Brooks Brothers, the country’s oldest operating men’s clothier, and the venerable Ray-Ban brand are owned by the Italian Del Vecchio family. Erich Segal, the author of “Love Story,” and Lisa Birnbach, who put together “The Official Preppy Handbook,” are Jewish, as is Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders (who this week won the Council of Fashion Designers of America award for men’s wear, in a tie) and, of course, the look’s most famous exponent, Ralph Lauren. And, by the way, those two most prep fabrics, gingham and seersucker, came to the United States, via Britain, from India.
André Benjamin, a k a André 3000, the designer of the bright Ivy-inspired Benjamin Bixby line (perhaps the only celebrity line with a truly fresh viewpoint), grew up in Atlanta amid the preppy boom of the ’80s and early ’90s. He remembers how schoolmates spent their money on clothes and cars, wearing two or three polo shirts at a time and fetishizing prepmobiles like the Volkswagen Cabriolet.
“I can’t speak for how it’s been taken up in Asian community,” he said, “but in the black community, you’re always striving to rise above. Most black kids don’t even go to college, and you just hope you can will yourself to get there.
“Like a lot of things, the myth is greater than the actual thing. The WASPy lifestyle, with the parents and traditions, it looks great, but appreciating it from the outside brings a whole different perspective. Ralph didn’t come from it, either. It’s all about having your own twist.”
To Mr. Benjamin, the most appealing part of the old prep look was not its WASPiness but its suggestion of an easy, well-dressed freedom from anxiety, the same entitled naïveté of Oliver Barrett IV, the WASPy Romeo of “Love Story.”
“This golden age of Ivy League style we’re talking about — the blue blazers, the chinos, the sweatshirts, the tweed jackets — what I like is that it’s a look without looking like you thought about it. It looks like you care, but you don’t care.”
Of course, as one of the world’s best and most colorfully dressed men, Mr. Benjamin cares deeply, and it shows in his clothes, as it does in all the new prep gear. And so what if it does? It may not be true of love, but as any boarding-school student can tell you, preppy means never having to say you’re sorry.

NYC Prep on Bravo

Has anyone seen this latest Bravo TV "reality" show? Looks so stupid, although the "Real Housewives of..." sometimes makes me laugh so much. I always thought the Real Housewives of Fairfield County would be funny---truth the TV people want the loud obnoxious families not classic preppy types. Would it really be funny?

Anyway, I have not seen this new show just wondering if it is funny....


Preppy Summer...if it ever stops raining

I can't believe it as it seems that it has been raining for weeks, and the next week more of the same...Is anyone else sick of this?

The only upside is seeing all those wellies. The only think J Crew is selling a lot of...

Off to the wet US Open...


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Spring in the Air

Newest collection of seersucker shorts/pants just hit the email from VV...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

St. Patricks sale at VV

Click to see bigger image

Monday, March 02, 2009

Tie a Tie Video

A nice video someone sent me...good for those young men looking for help....

Walking etiquette

Please when you are walking under scaffolding in the city bring down those umbrellas. OMG if I almost lose an eye again as people squeeze down the street under these protective scaffolds I may scream..

Am I alone in this??

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


The hat etiquette question has come up a few times...please look back to the original post


one new question came in today:

What do ladies do when they wear a mans hat? I wear a fedora, and often my hair looks atrocious underneath it. Since it's not a cap am I permitted to wear it inside or at the table?

Any thought? I have mine, but interested in others first....


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Fat Tuesday

Enjoy the day!!!!


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Love Snow

So I was walking in the city yesterday, after hearing about how awful it was outside. Well I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder...It was so nice to see snow covered cars, streets and sideways. The city actually seemed quiet and peaceful ; we all know better!!

let's get outside and act like kids, play in the snow and have a snowball fight.

posted by Tod

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Is Vineyard Vines in Trouble???

Ok, I'm not starting rumours or even hoping something bad is happening. I'm even wearing a VV tie today!!

However, if you are like me and on Vineyard Vines email dist. list you have noticed the sale after sale after sale; up to 60%+ off . Today even buy 2 ties get 1 free...

Are they in the same trouble as other retailers. I'm sure yes. Are they at the end of the rope (belt), don't know...
Everyone is cutting back and it may be the VV was not ready for the slowdown...Hope knot (pun intended).

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Taste Test

I assume most of you out there remember the big move by Coke to make "new Coke". How the country rebelled and then the company came back with "Coke Classic".

Well I was on a flight the other day an took a Coke as the beverage. It tasted different, better. Then I looked at the can, from the UK and it had sugar in it...not the high fructose corn syrup in the US Coke.

It reminded me of a trip a few years back to Europe when I figured out the greatest bait and switch in US history. Coke promised to give back the original Coke, but they gave us a different one with high fructose bah, bah, bah...not even mention that the new additive may be bad for you too...

I don't drink soda often, but I really enjoyed the good ol' sugar drink...

Guess I need to go to Europe more...

posted by Tod

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Back to the grind

So we are done with the family Christmas trips and time to get the 2009 going..We took our tree and all Christmas decorations down this weekend...

Serious question to many, is your Christmas stuff still up? And if it is, when do you really think it will be down?

You don't want to be one of those people with a dried out wreath on your door, or an inflatable Santa still on the front lawn.