Trad classics you just don't like?

Reuben

Honors Member
Eliminating the ironic/hipster bowtie looks you mentioned, IME, bowties go one of two ways: old guard/academic or southern frat bro. .

My two favorites!

You guys against the bow tie are no fun. I need more bow ties, man. Especially the repp stripe, 2" wide, diamond tip kind. It strikes the right balance between traditional and just rakish enough.

Even better are the great 2.5" Turnbull & Asset jumbo butterflies. Nice, thin knot and a bit ole soft bow.


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cincydavid

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I have a dozen pairs of dressy tassel loafers, love 'em. I tried bit loafers, never found any that were comfy...I'm a big boy and need substantial shoes and dainty loafers just don't cut it. Can't stand bowties on myself, as long as it's not pre-tied, I have no issue with bowties on other people. I also don't particularly like longwing gunboats...I wear big clunky PTBs frequently but rarely break out the longwings. I am puzzled by the too-short pants some people wear, my mom would have called those "floods" when I was a kid. I associate the too-short trousers with some of the slim 1960s era suits...just not my thing.
 

mhj

Senior Member
I'm not younger but working in a hospital and having a beard I'm afraid I'd be mistaken for a neurologist if I wore a bow tie. :smile:


As a young(er) person and owner of many bow ties, I agree that this is often the outcome seen today. However, they key to making a bow look good is getting all of the other details right.

For example: Self-tied repp or foulard bow, traditionally cut solid or uni striped ocbd with long button down collar, properly tailored full-ish pants/blazer, and decent leather soled shoes looks nice.

But a fake looking bow, tight checked shirt with tiny collar, too short jacket pulling at the button, and "skinny" trousers = dorky/hipster/etc.
 

oakhill

Starting Member
I don't really like bow ties either. The one I just can't get into, however, is cuffed trousers. I think they can look good on others, but I am never sure about them when I put them on mysef.
 

plupy

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
As far as I'm concerned you could load all of Vineyard Vines's product onto a barge and dump it into Edgartown Harbor and the world would be a better place. J Crew's fakery is tolerable, barely; VV's, no.

Everything else I like or at least appreciate, if not for me, then for the right owner.
 

Tilton

Elite Member
As far as I'm concerned you could load all of Vineyard Vines's product onto a barge and dump it into Edgartown Harbor and the world would be a better place. J Crew's fakery is tolerable, barely; VV's, no.

Everything else I like or at least appreciate, if not for me, then for the right owner.

What exactly is Vineyard Vines faking? If it is the Easter Egg NE Prep look, I am pretty sure they're not only nailing it, but they own the market. IME, their build quality far surpasses J Crew's, but J Crew is also not the same stuff.
 

Tempest

Honors Member
What exactly is Vineyard Vines faking? If it is the Easter Egg NE Prep look, I am pretty sure they're not only nailing it, but they own the market.
Isn't "nailing" an existing look (Vineyard Vines, founded 1998) exactly what is meant by faking it? Have they improved on anything, added their own spin? It's a pastiche brand.
 
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plupy

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
The fakery lies in its image -- a sportiness, quirkiness, élan and esprit that to me seems unearned, overpriced, overwrought and facile. This is partly attributable to my age and curmudgeonly nature. I remember when only certain kinds of people, usually very bold and/or artistic, would wear bright preppy clothes (never me, btw, so I am not blowing my own horn). One even had to look hard to find the clothes -- at obscure places like Murray's, Lili Pulitzer, Mark Fore & Strike, et al. So when one wore those clothes it meant something pretty special. To see the look now mass-produced and worn by any joe-schmoe with a hundred dollar bill -- AND YET MARKETED AS BEING DISTINCT/SPECIAL/DISTINCTIVE -- makes me a little sad. Maybe I'm comparable to a retired Marine Corps officer bemoaning teenagers in camo pants.

Point well taken about quality - and my kids love their VV clothes and look great in them, which I do appreciate. For me, however, it's never going to happen.
What exactly is Vineyard Vines faking? If it is the Easter Egg NE Prep look, I am pretty sure they're not only nailing it, but they own the market. IME, their build quality far surpasses J Crew's, but J Crew is also not the same stuff.
 

Tilton

Elite Member
The fakery lies in its image -- a sportiness, quirkiness, élan and esprit that to me seems unearned, overpriced, overwrought and facile. This is partly attributable to my age and curmudgeonly nature. I remember when only certain kinds of people, usually very bold and/or artistic, would wear bright preppy clothes (never me, btw, so I am not blowing my own horn). One even had to look hard to find the clothes -- at obscure places like Murray's, Lili Pulitzer, Mark Fore & Strike, et al. So when one wore those clothes it meant something pretty special. To see the look now mass-produced and worn by any joe-schmoe with a hundred dollar bill -- AND YET MARKETED AS BEING DISTINCT/SPECIAL/DISTINCTIVE -- makes me a little sad. Maybe I'm comparable to a retired Marine Corps officer bemoaning teenagers in camo pants.

Point well taken about quality - and my kids love their VV clothes and look great in them, which I do appreciate. For me, however, it's never going to happen.

Fair enough. I started buying VV at a time when it was much harder to get a hold of than Lily Pulitzer. Any store with a dealership had just a few colors of polos, 2-3 belt designs, and a smattering of ties while across the store in the women's section, Palm Beach had vomited a technicolor rainbow. Of course, that could be due to geographic location, too - LP had been a thing much longer than VV had and it was much closer to home, so to speak. When they were first putting ties out, their designs were very much Hermes-esque, whiffing of the 1980's prep scene and a hard item to find. Now, yes, they are (or Kohls/Belk knock-offs are) everywhere.
 
I have to second AV here. It also seems odd to wear an alligator belt when you never wear alligator shoes.

I'm borderline on the gator belts (like a coke habit, they may be God's way of telling you that you have too much money), but the idea of wearing a gator belt with gator shoes strikes me as far worse than either one separately.

Of course, I vaguely want brown lizard captoes, so clearly my taste is utterly blinkered when it comes to exotic skins, and I should be grateful that I do not have the wherewithal to turn desire into deed.
 

Tilton

Elite Member
I never understood the appeal of Hunter rain boots for men. The British pull them off well, but I just look like an astronaut.

Yeah don't wear them just to wear them. Buy a pair of overshoes, or rubber soled shoes, or bean mocs if you need something to wear in the rain. Wellington boots and good to own and they certainly have a purpose and that purpose is not to trot about town in a drizzle. If you're mucking stalls on a wet day or trudging through mud to feed your sheep, wear the wellies. Otherwise, leave 'em at home.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
I've thought a lot about this before posting. Other than white or a simple muted color (folded neatly with just a straight line peaking above the pocket), I tend not to really like pocket squares (and I really like white ones). To be sure, there are some great examples of strong colored PSs looking sharp and there are some great example of all the different puffing, popping and pointing of PSs that look great ("Dressing the Man" has some great ones), but those are the exceptions for me.

I find most of the time that colored PS and / or intricately folded ones are a distraction to my eye. And even on the men like Upr Crust and Stcolumba who know - really know - how to dress, I normally find the pocket square superfluous or distracting except when white (or muted) and folded simply. This is one of the few Trad items (along with bit loafers) that I don't like even on other people (whereas, there are many Trad items that I can't pull off that I, still, normally like when worn by others).
 

universitystripe

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Re: Vineyard Vines

I have had a hard time understanding the brand's appeal myself, but after reading several discussions on the subject I have to concede that they are indeed the "real deal" for modern preppies, far more than J. Crew. I own a Shep Shirt myself, and I must admit that it is of good quality. It is my go-to layering piece for Spring and Summer.

What is unfortunate, in my view, is that those who tend to wear a lot of Vineyard Vines have no love for the Trad classics such as Shetland sweaters or madras. So there is a divide there when I don't necessarily feel there should be. Since most VV customers are young, perhaps they will grow into a more Trad look with age.
 
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