There are so many blogs these days about preppy style that I thought I'd make my comment to them all in a post. It's the early 1960s. We were the best dressed in our school, I dare say, and everyone knew it. This is my friend Mark Hopkins and me at 16 on Commonwealth Avenue, in Boston. Mark is wearing black and white saddle shoes from the Andover Shop in Harvard Square while I'm head to foot in Brooks Brothers boys' department: rep stripe tie, blue and white stripe shirt, gray flannel trousers and Weejuns (unseen).
More Brooks Brothers at my prep school graduation: the blue blazer, the rep stripe tie, the white Oxford button-down collar shirt. The preppy look was something we thought about, but not too much. And what's more, it was a gentleman's agreement among us all that you never, ever talked about it. Once you talked about it it became false—if you had the style, it was there in spite of you.
Years later, the sixties were still doing their thing and we maturing preppies were part of it. The hair was longer but the style was entrenched. The Brooks blazer, frayed at the elbows, still has a life, the pink corduroy pants meant flare. This is me on my first trip to Mardid in 1970. I thought I'd show it because Gil and I are off to Madrid on Wednesday and I haven't been there since I met up with two girlfriends from Boston studying abroad all those years ago.
This was me a month or so before I left for Europe in 1970, a product of a time and place.
And in 1974 in Boston when I was a young Mad Man in the advertising business. All the attire is still Brooks.
In 2010, after nearly 30 years of living in Italy, the old boy has his DNA written across his face but the style he favors is European by now. The suit is bespoke, a must in Europe, the shoes are Cleverly of London, the tie is Missoni, the shirt has a spread cut-away collar and the cuffs are French—all Italian, and yet it's still me.
A billiard table green woolen jacket from Lucciano Gallacci, that too bespoke, as are the trousers, a custom made shirt from Franco Montanelli, Lucca, shoes by George Cleverly, London, a pocket square of natural indigo dyed silk, and yes, a rep striped tie (I must say I rarely wear them anymore as they have no significance to me and my world, pretty and dignified as they are. I suppose you could say, I've grown up.) There you have it, enough said!