Sunday, November 29, 2009
The Christmas Season provides us with numerous opportunities to sport plaid trousers, sportcoats, and wear boisterous holiday sweaters (more to come on this topic). One does not have to be festive to be a WASP, but these are some appropriate plaid items that I selected to demonstrate what one should wear if you choose to do so. However, if you wear a plaid jacket, keep the trousers and the tie simple. The same for wearing plaid trousers......keep the jacket, shirt and tie(optional) simple. More to come!
Photo Credits: J Press
Photo Credit: Ask Andy Trad Forum
Photo Credit: Orvis
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Photo Credit: My Photo - My Dog :)
Well, I survived Black Friday, and I am posting again for Sunday but this is to make up for the missed Saturday post. I truly am exhausted, but Mrs. Richard and I have completed our shopping ventures. Truly, Christmas is my favorite time of the year, and I will be doing posts on many Christmas related items during the next few weeks. So till then, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and be safe while out shopping and traveling.
PS - If anybody is thinking of buying ol Richard a gift......J Press has this exact Brownwatch Plaid blazer and I would like it. A 40 or 41 R will work :)
Photo Credit: Ask Andy Trad Forum
Sunday, November 22, 2009
As much as I like to dine out, I sometimes enjoy a quiet evening at home (don't worry, this is not another story about how I get the girl). This evening my wife and I decided to prepare dinner for her 82 year old grandpa. I find men of his generation fascinating, and their wealth of knowledge and experience is abundant. His stories about politics, clothing, and growing up are so captivating. He reminisced about shopping at the gentleman's store where he grew up, and he repeatedly pointed out that nobody makes a good suit anymore. "Everything is mass produced," he exclaimed. I comforted him by assuring him that I would take him to buy a quality suit. He replied, "A guy has to look good you know, even at 82." As we moved from the sitting room to the dining room, we all sat down to a beautiful table prepared by my wife. I am wearing a linen and silk blend fair isle sweater, cream wool trouser, candy stripe oxford, and canvas spectator shoes. I sorely wanted a picture of my wife and her grandfather, but they were skeptical about being on the internet. He constantly reminded me that it would destroy the world :) Regardless, he was wearing a red plaid shirt, brown corduroy blazer, olive chinos, and brown wing-tips (all from Brooks Brothers).
Dinner was fabulous, and the conversation continued. We all enjoyed the lamb chops, green salad, baked potatos, and rolls. We finished the meal with peach ice cream and peach cobler. After dinner, her grandpa wanted to sit on the deck and have a smoke. "Come smoke with me, Richard", he said. "It will clear your lungs and mind." :) It had become quiet brisk outside, so I ventured into my closet and grabbed my camel hair blazer and tweed cap. I usually don't wear a hat, but he brought his, and he told me I needed to get mine. "You must never let your head get cold!" he exclaimed. I did not argue! As he fired up his pipe, I began to puff on my Macanudo Maduro. The conversation continued, and he continued to school me about great suits and occasionally tobacco. He encouraged me to smoke a pipe. "You will love it," he said. I explained to him that I did have a pipe, but I seldom use it. As the evening came to a close, I realized how much I could learn from this man. I thoroughly enjoyed my quiet evening at home!
A Look From Behind
Friday, November 20, 2009
Yes, I know it is almost winter time in the United States, and personally I hate spring (allergies) and summer. But, there are some items that a WASP may want to consider purchasing for summer weddings, resort wear, and possibly for casual Friday. And yes, before I begin, the basic kit can get you through year around and these items are not a necessity, but indeed WASPy.
Suits: Warm weather provides an opportunity to purchase seersucker, linen, pincord, and cotton suits. Never ever purchase a cotton/polyester poplin suit because it will not keep you cool. The unnatural fiber known as polyester does not breath, and you will be much better off with a 100% cotton suit. Both Press and Brooks sell the poly variety, but they both offer a 100% cotton version as well. Sure, the poly variety will not wrinkle as badly, but you are trying to be a WASP. We don't care so much about wrinkles as long as they are not excessive. A good daily steam after wearing will be all you need to solve this issue.
Sport Coats: Madras is the perfect casual sport coat, but it is not for the faint of heart. You will definitely receive comments, and never mix two plaid items, ex. coat and trouser. Keep the tie and shirt simple when wearing this bold pattern jacket.
Shoes: White Bucks are essential for summer and they look great with seersucker suits, and chinos with your navy blazer. This shoe was actually worn year around on Ivy League campuses, but somewhere along the line in became a crime to wear them after Labor Day. I am considering breaking the rule this winter, but that is your decision to make.
Photos are from Paul Stuart and J Press
Thursday, November 19, 2009
As far as dress goes, one can stop with the basic kit and you will forever look like you fit in the WASP establishment. But, if you are like me and you are a clothes horse, there are some things one will need to expand your wardrobe. Some (this is not a complete list) of these items will include:
Sport Coats: A Blackwatch Plaid is a nice alternative to the Navy Blazer for the fall/winter months. In addition, you might want to purchase a bold plaid jacket. Certainly, I would not recommend these purchases before buying all the pieces of the basic kit.
Suits: Not much to add her other than a tweed suit. Tweed is a WASP staple, and a nice tweed suit is certainly WASP.
Trousers: Corduroy trousers in khaki, olive, red, etc. are a WASPy pant, and I recommend a pair of blackwatch trousers for more informal occasions. As much as I desire a tartan suit, don't pair the blackwatch trousers with the blackwatch sport coat.
Shoes: Some were frustrated with my dislike of black shoes, and that is ok. Black shoes are certainly WASP, but I prefer a more relaxed tone. I hate black with navy, and I think brown adds life to charcoal. Thus, other than formal occasions I do not need black shoes. But for other shoe additions, consider a bit loafer, saddle shoes, and Belgian Loafers. The saddle shoes can we worn with sport coats and informal suits like tweed. The bit loafers can be worn with suits and sport coats. In addition, Belgians can be worn with either as well. These last two suggestions may upset some, but remember, a WASP is about relaxing and wearing casual pieces with formal ones.
Photos From: J Press, Alden, Belgian Loafers
When I started WASP 101, I intended to help those who wanted to live the WASP lifestyle to do so, and to give an opportunity for those currently living it a chance to converse. Certainly, I think I have demonstrated some aspects of the WASP life, but I have failed to truly help those who want to begin living the lifestyle. Sure, I wasn't born in an east coast manor, but I learned to love what I identified as being WASP/Ivy League style and I adopted the look. In addition, there is much more to being a WASP than just wearing the clothes, but without your kit, you are lost from the beginning. So, today I want to focus on the bare essentials one needs to begin looking like an Ivy Leaguer from the days of old this fall/winter. More posts will come, but again, these are the basics. And all photos are courtesey of Alden and J Press.
Suits - ( Navy Suit with possibly a subtle stripe, Gray Flannel Suit) In addition, to truly be old school, J Press is the best place to start to find a natural shouldered 3/2 roll sack suit. This is the WASP/Ivy League look, and this fit is also preferred for sport coats as well. Very few people are truly pure today, but most of your wardrobe should be this fit.
Navy Blazer - Again 3/2 Sack is preferred and brass buttons make it classic.
Tweed Sportcoat - In Gray or Brown and a herringbone weave is nice.
Trousers - Gray Flannels and Khaki Trousers with a flat front and a 1 3/4 inch cuff.
Dress Shirts - Oxford Cloth Button Down Collars in Blue and White and Candy Stripes can get you by, but a straight collar is nice as well for suits, but technically not required. In addition, grab a graph check or tattersal shirt to go along with the collection.
Neckwear - Ties in regimental stripes and foulard prints (Bow Ties in these prints are recommended but not required).
Sweater - Everbody needs a casual shaggy dog sweater that can be worn with or without a blazer.
Belts - Brown Belt, and a casual cloth variety for your chinos.
Shoes - Alden Penny Loafers for your gray flannels and chinos, and Tassel Loafers for your suits. I prefer brown, and see no need of black shoes.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Photo Credit: Lilly Pulitzer
Lilly Pulitzer is certainly an institution when it comes to WASP style. Personally, I consider the brand a women's institution, but a select few WASP men have experimented with the trousers and neck ties. To be honest, I would not wear one of Lilly's flower prints, but I did recently purchase a pair of bright yellow cords which are at the tailor's shop being finished. Perhaps, the best picture I have ever seen of an individual sporting Lilly Pants is at the Trad Blog's opening post with TinTin sporting a vintage pair. Check it out, it is inspirational and possibly encouraging.
Photo Credit: The Preppy Journal
Monday, November 16, 2009
To pleat or not to pleat, that is the question. For me, I say not to pleat but I do own some double forward pleated trousers. However, at least 98% of my wardrobe is flat front trousers with a 1 3/4 inch cuff (occasionally a 2 inch cuff). But, unlike some of the trad community, I don't think a pair of pleated trousers classifies someone as not being preppy/WASPy/Trad, etc. And furthermore, to say that no Ivy League students in good standing wore pleated trousers is silly. Sure, J Press, Chipp and others only sold flat front trousers, but some students did wear pleated pants. Now, as I said earlier, I favor the flat front trouser but pleats are OK!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
After a tough week of dealing with the so called "trads", I am ready for a break. But rather than take time off, I am going to sit back and stare and these preppy beauties from Gossip Girl. Yes, I know the boys are in a few photos, and it is by default. I don't care what the boys are wearing, I only care to look at the likes of Blair and Georgina. So, sit back and relax for a day, and enjoy these grade "A" beauties.