Celebrating the Preppy Lifestyle and it's sensibilities


Yes we're just about entering the summer months and it's time to update our looks men. Although it's nice to know that as classic men, our look never goes out of style; when the weather turns a bit warmer, we could all use this time to turn up the heat on our wardrobe to look our very best.

What can be said about the above ensemble? Nothing, it is properly worn for spring or summer. It's basic and in my opinion very manly.
Let's take a look at shirts.

No summer wardrobe in my opinion can be complete without iconic polo. As for myself, nothing beats a Ralph Lauren or Vineyard Vines Polo. The quality is exceptional. In fact with Vineyard Vines I've noticed that after each washing, the polo never shrinks and stays true to form. In terms of versatility, Ralph has it. There are just too many Polo's, styles and colors with him. You could choose regular pony, big pony, big pony with flag or even monogrammed. And in terms of colors and flavors, let's face it the guy is like the Starbucks of the polo world.

Let's face it, Polo's are nice but for God's sake please limit it to just one. Or else you end up looking like an idiot, enter this bozo!!!

In my opinion one can't enjoy spring/summer without a trusted gingham shirt. J Crew has a few nice ones.


LL Bean also has the Easy Care Old Port Gingham in three colors; Arctic Blue, Fiery Red and Leaf Green.

Another good bet for summer is of course linen.  Jos. A. Banks has a nice Irish linen shirt and Ralph Lauren has a particular pair of linen pants that I fancy.  They're the Preston Pants.

You know when I think of summer, visions of beach life, sailing, lazy days and that all time classic wear......the Nantucket Reds.  The fabric was started after the forties and was originally an adapted form of the uniforms worn by the New York Yacht Club.  The reds have a unique way of fading from a red to the so-called salmon color, but in my opinion the color is more pink.  Over the years many designers have tried to duplicate the reds but you can only get them at Murray's Toggery in Nantucket amongst a few other locations.  They are truly classics.

All photos of Nantucket Reds courtesy of Murray's Toggery Shop.
Here is a cool little video on the history of the Nantucket Reds.

What could be more preppy than that all time colorful material, which can only be found in our beloved madras.  Madras can be made into almost anything.  Jackets, hats, belts, pants, you name it.  I personally love it in shorts.  Like these Jos. A. Banks models.  In fact I have this exact pair of blue.  Trust me, these shorts scream summer and they're soooooo soft and cool.  After a few washes and you'll question how you ever got on in life without them.

Nantucket Brand also has some in blue.

Another one of my favorite items for madras is a bow tie.  You can find this one on over at

It used to be that one would find seersucker only in the southern part of the USA.  Not true anymore.  This versatile fabric like many other summer fabrics originated in India.  Once a fabric of the working class in the summer months.  It was prized for it's cooling properties.  I feel it's a classic that needs to be in every man's closet.  Just be careful how you were it.  Or you'll look like Matlock or Pee Wee Herman.  It's best to stick to an understated approach to wearing this fabric and remember it's summer and you should be relaxed in it.
You could wear it as pants like this Polo example, or as a suit as in the J Crew model.  It's not etched in stone but the proper footwear would be a white buck oxford.  A good example of this would be Johnston and Murphy.

Who's to say that you have to limit it to bucks.  I sometimes pair it up with driving moccasins.  LL Bean's Grand Lake Mocs work very well.  As do flip flops like these Vineyard Vines Whale Flip Flops or the Sailor Flips. 

Speaking of footwear,  these are three examples of must haves this year.  To me they are very versatile and add just a little spin on pants and suits.  Let's say for example a nice cotton twill suit like this one from LL Bean's Signature line.

You could pair up the Jack Purcell tennis shoe at 

Or an updated version of the bit loafer with this Calvin Klein suede bit loafer.

Or your already broken in pair of original topsider boat shoes  Hell treat yourself and get another pair why don't ya?

Now in no special order, here are some accessories that are must haves for summer 2010.

LL Beans embroidered anchor chinos.

Ralph Lauren's grosgrain belt.

Motif belts at  These are all handmade and the best there are.

A pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers

And to tie it all together, a nice nylon watch band like the ones over on  I've many watch bands from this company that's located in Grand Central Station, NY.  They have so many colors to choose, and go with any outfit, all year long.

And finally, at  We have the canvas strap tote.  Yes I know, I know but real men do carry totes........OK?

Well guys, that's all for now.  I hope I've given you a few ideas to maximize your wardrobe.  Clothing can be fun.  And now that it's summer, we can use this time play around and just enjoy our vacations knowing that we'll be looking good.  You can find these products either in this post or the links section.
See you soon..........

- Posted by O. Cavanaugh Jr.

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