Sunday, August 31, 2008
I recently received a copy of The Official Filthy Rich Handbook in the mail, and I was asked to review its contents on my blog. At first I was uncertain if the book could live up to the iconic reputation of The Official Preppy Handbook, and I must say I was not disappointed.
The book focuses on today's modern elite, and of course today's rich are a diverse group. Every single personality in the world of the rich and famous is identified, and all their hobbies, vacations spots, etc. are featured. Like the OPH, it is written tongue and cheek, but like the OPH it also has merit. Of course, my favorite portions of the book are the sections focusing on the old money WASPs and their habitat.
I suggest everyone pick up a copy of The Official Filthy Rich Handbook because I am sure bloggers will one day reference it just as they do The Official Preppy Handbook. In the future, when you see the acronym OFRH, you will know what it is referring to. Happy reading!
Friday, August 29, 2008
Politics can be a touchy subject, but it is undoubtedly a part of the WASP lifestyle. Furthermore, regardless of what you think about John McCain, he can definitely pick some fine looking women to be around him. I was in awe of his beautiful wife, and now with Governor Palin on the ticket, he is without argument the man! I supported him before his vice presidential choice, but now he definitely has the best looking ticket.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
As soon as I post this photo, I know there will be a half dozen people who will hate these shoes. However, I really enjoy slippers, and I am particularly fond of these motif slippers from Ralph Lauren. I usually prefer initials on my slippers, but I think these would be great in a country setting.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
It has been a long week, and I have not been able to post daily as I had hoped. Regardless, I intend to keep the blog going strong, and I will try to get back to my regular routine very soon. I don't have an exciting story to tell today, and I am too tired to reminisce about the past. So I guess I will just tell you what I am wearing on this rainy day:
Coppley MTM Blazer with Brass Buttons
Brooks Brothers Luxury Dress Shirt
Brooks Brothers Cream Flannel Trousers
Old School Cole Haan Saddle Shoes
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Dressing up a casual plaid shirt is a good way to be dressed up, but not too dressed up for certain occasions. In the photo, I am wearing a Ralph Lauren linen plaid shirt, Brooks Brothers polka dot bow tie, light weight cream flannels, and Zelli crocodile loafers.
Today was a good day for the dressed up casual look because I had no clue where I was meeting my friend for lunch. He was very indecisive, and he wanted to meet elsewhere and then decide. Such indecisiveness left me not knowing how to dress for the occasion, so I decided to wear a sport shirt and bow tie. My dress ended up being appropriate, and perhaps I was over dressed compared to other patrons. The food was fair, but the conversation was intense. My dear friend was in distress because he had just found out that he has two brothers he knew nothing about. Apparently, his father was a little rambunctious in his early days of marriage, and he fathered two other children by two different women other than his wife. I tried to console him, but what do you say to a story like that?
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Smoking has long been a part of civilizations throughout history, and even though it is demonized by a segment of our government and society today, it remains a fascination to me. I am in no way a chronic smoker, and I hate cigarettes. However, I do enjoy a great cigar about once a month, and I have recently added a pipe to the mix. I find that there is nothing more relaxing than sitting on my deck outside with a good book, a fire blazing (it is around 50 degrees at night now), and a ritual smoke with a pipe. I describe pipe smoking as a ritual because it takes a lot of skill to smoke a pipe. The energy required to keep a pipe burning can be frustrating to some, but to others it is a calming ritual and I am one of those individuals that enjoys the effort.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Shaving is a ritual that most all men practice. Most men grab the electric razor and quickly cleanse their face of fur as they scurry to the workplace. However, I always take time to enjoy a wet shave. I start by preparing my shaving soap in the dish, and by heating up a towel to scalding hot temperatures. After cleansing my face with the towel, I apply a thin layer of lotion for extra skin protection. Next, I apply the shaving soap with my Kent brush, and the application is followed by an old fashion straight razor shave. After the shave, I rinse my face with cold water, and I apply a moisture cream. I know it takes a little extra time to enjoy a wet shave, but it is worth it. Plus, if you don't like the thought of a straight razor, use your normal razor.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
When I think of shawl collar sweaters, I think of old men in their leather chairs smoking a pipe. However, one does not have to be old or smoke a pipe to wear a shawl collar sweater. Whether your shawl collar is a pullover, or a cardigan (my favorite), it can be a great additon to your wardrobe. The shawl collar can be worn with jeans, chinos, flannel, and corduroy trousers. In addition, a shawl collar cardigan is also a good substitute for a sport coat at the office on Friday, or at home for casual entertaining. I encourage you to pick one up today!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I have enjoyed looking at the new Rugby site very much, and even though its target audience is the 25 and under crowd, they have some great items. In the past, the Rugby site was more of a promotional site for younger kids, but now you can order items online. The site offers some great photos, and some nice ties, sweaters and accessories. I don't care so much for the heavy logos on some items, but that style obviously appeals to the younger crowd. Overall, I hope to the see the brand grow and beat the socks off the competition. I assume Ralph created this brand to compete with the likes of Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle. As far as pure style goes, he already has these teenie bop fashions beat, and hopefully he can put Abercrombie to rest. It is shameful that a company that was once so important to the WASP culture has become a trashy company that sells no style whatsoever. Rugby, you get a thumbs up from me.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The ladies on the AMC show Mad Men absolutely give me visual pleasure, but especially this voluptous redhead who seems to know her way around the office. The show is just a great show in general, but lovely ladies like the one pictured make the show worth watching.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I recently came across a British company that offers made-to-measure tweed jackets. The jackets on display for the website are gorgeous, and looking at them makes me crave cold weather. I have not ordered from this company, but some of the fabrics are tempting me. The photos I selected to share are great jackets for those who love plaids and patterned tweed jackets. However, the Youtube video is an example of how not to look wearing a patterned coat, but the spoof is funny!
Monday, August 11, 2008
I apologize for posting late today, but I didn't feel well last night. I had some thai food that didn't seem to agree with my stomach. Regardless, I found this interesting interview on Youtube, and I thought I would post it. It is about an hour long, but is very interesting if you like Ralph Lauren.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Attempting to discuss C.Z. Guest's role in spreading the WASP culture throughout the United States and perhaps the world is a daunting task. In fact, it is such a task, I realize I will not give her the credit she deserves. The cover of Time magazine above is a perfect picture to display the life she led, and the things she surrounded herself with. She was known as a fashion icon, but her style was clearly centered around the WASP establishment. She was easy on the eyes in her youth, and she was a dog lover. But again, I am not the person to write her biography, but I do want to recognize her for the icon she is on my site. Hats off to C.Z. Guest.
Last night, I saw Brideshead Revisited and I was taken by this movie as it may be the most beautiful film I have ever seen. However, I cannot compare the movie to the 1981 series because Amazon has yet to deliver my DVD I ordered. It took me a while to be comfortable with the homosexuality of Sebastian and his friends, but without his sexuality the movie would have been somewhat pointless. It was basically the boys kissing and touching that I was not comfortable with (I am not used to seeing that), but the movie did not go overboard with such scenes. The home and clothing was magnificent, and the country tweeds were by far my favorite attire worn by the cast. My favorite character was Sebastian's father, and I loved the scenes in Venice when the youngsters went to visit. Other than the ancestral home Brideshead, I thought the scenes at Oxford were breathtaking, and I loved the attire of the students. I have never seen regatta wear look so good, and if I recall correctly, someone said the teddy bear was not part of this film. That statement is not correct, and the teddy bear is in at least three or four scenes. Perhaps, the bear was more prominent in the original, but it did make this film. I realize this will not be a box office smash hit, but I give it four stars and it is the best film I have seen in a while.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
A Fraternal Order At Hampden & Sydney
credit: Hampden & Sydney
When we think about the glory days of Ivy League Style, we all see the pristine images featured below and this is what today's purists WASPs, preppies, and trads aspire to emulate or preserve. However, some that still define themselves as preps or WASPs today carry on elements of the traditional past, but they have allowed some interesting new variables in the mix. Personally, I credit today's fraternal orders for helping to resurrect the popularity of the bow tie again, but they have initiated new items into their world and labeled the style as prep. The photo above of Hampden & Sydney boys (OPH says this is the preppiest school on the planet) displays many items that are centered around tradition: repp ties, blazers, oxford cloth button downs, etc. However, I can't help but notice their footwear, and the ill fitting baggy chinos on some of the boys. Immediately, I notice the flip flops, sneakers, and work boots rather than the blazers and ties. Unfortunately, this style is not just found at H&S, it is found on many campuses today. Then I look at the photo below at the Princeton boys, and I see perfection but I can't help but ponder how people described their dress in their day. Did people view their dress as appropriate, or as a status symbol. Regardless, I can only hope that colleges across the United States and elsewhere find a copy of old Ivy League yearbook and take notes.
Credit: The Trad, Princeton Yearbook
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
A couple of days ago, my wife mentioned the story about how we came together, and I thought it would be a good time to share. Of course some will see this as a bragging session, but it is not my concern what some may think. It all began in the summer of 2002, and at that time I was still working at my first job before I started my business. My wife was hired that summer, and I can remember seeing her for the first time, but I also remember seeing the engagement ring on her finger. Regardless, I went up to her and introduced myself, and she was very pleasant. That night, I tormented myself thinking about the possibilities of pursuing her regardless of her relationship status. I had been through stealing an engaged girl away before, and I just didn't know if I was up for it again.
Coppley MTM Suit, RL Tie, BB Tab Collar Shirt, Pheasant/Paisley Square
Finally, I talked myself out of pursuing her, and I decided the best course of action would be to ignore her, and I did. I learned later that this ignoring period drove her crazy and made me even more appealing to her. The ignoring session lasted for about two weeks, and then I had another sleepless night debating what I should do. After some serious thinking, I decided that I would give myself to Christmas, and if I couldn't steal her away by then, I would give up. At this point it is late August/early September, and I began an onslaught of crafty flirting and mild advances toward her. Immediately, I saw that I was making up ground, but I still didn't feel confident until the day I saw her crying in her office. I walked in to check on her, and I noticed the ring was gone! I celebrated to myself, and I asked her what was going on. She explained that she had broken up with her man (douchebag), and she felt bad for breaking his heart. Immediately, being the gentleman I am ;) I asked her to accompany me to the gym for a workout and run. I told her that I would be her shoulder to cry on, and I would listen to her problems. She agreed and from that point things advanced, and we were dating two weeks later. As the relationship advanced, she confessed that she left her man (douchebag) because of my advances and pursuit. However, some of you may be wandering what happened to her ex......well, he is probably posting over at Ask Andy Trad Forum.....Sorry, I couldn't resist guys....just having a little fun with you!
Monday, August 4, 2008
After a grueling battle, one has to get out and find a little relaxation. For me, that relaxation will come in the form of smashing tennis balls, and no, I am not using the wooden racket behind my leg. Hopefully, we (WASP 101 & Ask Andy Trad Forum) have settled our differences and they will not insist on another showdown. In the meantime, I am going to get back to doing what I do best......being Richard! And my friends, that is a full time job in itself. Have a good one (including the guys at Andy) :)
Sunday, August 3, 2008
It appears that a forum by the name of Ask Andy Trad Forum takes a keen interest in WASP 101 and its readers. WASP 101 was the topic of one of their threads in April if I am not mistaken, and once again, we are the subject of one of their recent threads. What do they say about me and the blog (WASP 101)? In their first round, they argued about whether I was for real or pulling everyone's leg, criticized my clothing, argued whether I was truly WASP or "trad", cried because I received hits on my site, questioned how a WASP could want to date a Jew (Natalie Portman), and basically criticized everything I did because it wasn't really "trad". I laughed and found it all amusing, and personally I could care less.
Recently, the Ask Andy crew is back at it again, and they have taken their whining and griping to a new level. They exclaim how repulsive and disgusting I am, and they continue to point out how I am not a gentleman. They found my recent post about my conquest to pursue a college love disgusting, and I am just inhumane for doing such. They continue to criticize my clothing, viciously poke fun, and they show up at WASP 101 as anonymous commenters to leave vile and crude remarks. A couple of them were almost in tears because they thought I had stolen their photos from their thread. Obviously, they don't read blogs and see that people use other's photos often, and they always credit the source. I credit everything possible, and I credited the forum for their photos, but I guess they don't think it is stealing to post my pictures and writings for their dissimulation. I really don't mind if they use my photos and commentary, but they shouldn't have double standards.
This is what I have to say to most of the readers at Ask Andy Trad Forum (not all--there are a few good chaps). If you hate my blog so much, quit reading it! I don't seek your approval, and I never will. Contrary to the beliefs of many Ask Andy posters, I do not post on your forum, and I would never subject myself to associating with the likes of most of you. You guys find me vile, but have you listened to yourselves talk? Never have I criticized someone's blog or their work, but you guys want to rip everybody apart if they are not part of your little club. You guys exemplify ultimate snobbery, and it is cowardly how you do your bad-mouthing on your little thread and post as anonymous readers on WASP 101. My stories are tame at best, and I have never been sexually explicit in any way. I personally think most of you are jealous of my youth, success, and maybe even my wardrobe. You hate that you don't have the guts to have a blog like mine, and you hate stories of my youthful girl-chasing pursuits because you were the guys who always feared talking to girls. I am the guy you always hated because I got the girl, and most of you are probably still living with your parents dreaming of that perfect girl that doesn't exist.
In conclusion, I will give a short list to describe each site, and I encourage the readers of WASP 101 to check out the comments at Ask Andy Trad Forum. Again, I don't care what these guys say about me, but I do care about the implications their comments give toward my readers. So' I say let us critique them and show them how it is done like true ladies and gentlemen. I am sure many of them (anonymous trad commenters) will have plenty to say, so let's not let them take over our blog for a day. Let's show them who's boss!
Richard's Quick Critique of The Two Sites:
1. A site dedicated to celebrating and exploring classic WASP style, but a sight that welcomes everyone and believes anyone can be a WASP.
2. A site that demonstrates items from my personal collection, and the photos are often accompanied by a story from my day or my crazy past. The stories are never sexually explicit, and fall somewhere between PG and PG-13.
3. A site that celebrates beautiful women.
4. A site that offers style advice, but doesn't obsess with trying to determine if someone is WASPy or not! Some people are trying the lifestyle out, and it would be a shame to run them off because they lack a cuff on their trouser or have darts in their jacket.
Ask Andy Trad Forum
1. A site with a large group of men who talk about things they believe are "trad" or "not trad". Some of them seem nice enough, but many are obnoxious, and they do a lot of whining. They consider themselves to be gentlemen, but they often tear down individuals piece by piece to make themselves feel superior in some way. They are obviously compensating for a lack of something.
2. A site that is not accepting to outsiders, and they are consumed with the definition of "trad". Elitism if you will! Personally, I don't think they understand much more than a blazer, khakis, and a repp tie. There is more to being "trad" than that.
3. A site that celebrates some really poorly dressed men, like Howard Dean. How in this world can anybody think Howard Dean is stylish?
4. A site that is clearly obsessed with WASP 101 and its author Richard. They are clearly jealous, and they whine constantly about his exploits. They obviously desire to be like him but can't.
That's my assessment, what is yours WASP 101 Readers?