Celebrating the Preppy Lifestyle and it's sensibilities


What is a classic American home without products firmly made in America?  Well......not very classic American.  Even though we are a melting pot here, for the Preppy it's all American and if you're lucky to get a hand me down from old grandad or grandma, antique American is the creme de la creme. 
Now what's more American than the antique clocks that we grew up loving?  Enter Chelsea Clocks from the Chelsea Clock Company.

The Chelsea Clock Company, founded in 1897, is one of the oldest, largest, and few remaining American clock manufacturing companies in existence. For over a century, Chelsea's clockmakers have been designing and handcrafting distinguished, high quality clocks for customers in the corporate, consumer, government and marine markets. Today, the company continues to build and repair clocks at its original corporate headquarters in Chelsea, Massachusetts.
Long regarded as one of America's highest quality products, Chelsea Clocks are found in the White House, on US Naval Ships, and in homes and offices around the world.

Antique Chelsea

Nautical Chelsea

One of America’s earliest and most successful clock makers was Simon Willard, renowned for his banjo and other fine clocks with movements of cast brass and exquisite mahogany cabinetry. In 1842, Edward Howard, who apprenticed under Willard’s nephew Andrew, founded the E. Howard Clock Company. In turn, Howard taught a promising and inventive apprentice named Joseph Eastman, who later founded the Eastman Clock Company. At one point, Eastman adapted the movement from a large Waltham watch to a small clock, thereby enabling it to operate—unlike a pendulum clock—in any position. Eastman’s entrepreneurial efforts, however, ended in bankruptcy shortly after building a new factory just north of Boston in Chelsea, Massachusetts.
For a brief time thereafter, a small group of businessmen operated the facility as the Boston Clock Company of Maine. On July 23, 1897, Charles Pearson, a native Bostonian, acquired the property and, within days, began operating it as the Chelsea Clock Company. The site has been home to the company ever since.
Chelsea’s board of directors elected Whipple Potter the company’s first president and Pearson, a man of considerably less management experience, its treasurer. In buying the company, Pearson saw strong market potential for premium quality timepieces and was soon captivated by the idea of producing the world’s finest clock.  When buying the property, Pearson also acquired its tools and machinery—much of the latter jury-rigged and badly worn. He immediately set about expanding Chelsea’s workforce and investing in major plant and equipment improvements. Early production centered on pendulum models and brass plated, non-striking marine clocks. Pendulum clocks, with their fine mahogany cabinets, often took months to produce. The company produced its marine clocks entirely in-house, so these created revenue far more quickly.
Under Pearson’s guidance, Chelsea made numerous product design improvements, many of which it patented. These included the design for a ship’s bell clock having a fully encased chime and striking mechanism, patented in 1900. By 1903, the company also produced clocks for automobiles, soon counting Rolls Royce, Packard, and Studebaker among its customers. It wasn’t until 1906, however, that the company earned its first profit. The United States Navy was by then ordering Chelsea’s marine clocks in increasing quantities, leading other military branches to follow their lead. In 1907 and 1908, the U.S. Treasury Department ordered more than 100 clocks for its offices throughout the country. This motivated Pearson to establish the Boston Clock Company, essentially a separate brand for clocks and related instruments—including an artillery time fuse—the company manufactured to meet government standards.
From 1906 until the late 1920s, Chelsea’s business grew profitably under Pearson’s guidance. In 1928, however, he died following a brief illness. He wanted William Neagle, who he had hired 26 years earlier, to have first option on buying the company, which Neagle soon did.

Pendulum Chelsea

Neagle was quick to replace less popular models with new ones, including the Forecaster, Fulton, and Georgian. Shortly after he assumed ownership, however, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression set in. Through drastic inventory and cost reductions Neagle managed to keep Chelsea afloat. When World War II arrived, Chelsea’s role as a government supplier helped offset declining consumer sales. Neagle retired in 1945, selling the company to longtime employees George King and Walter Mutz.
In postwar 1946, the United States Air Force created its Strategic Air Command (SAC) and equipped each if its bombers and nuclear missile silos with Chelsea clocks. Meanwhile, Mutz noted a growing demand for electric clocks and, in 1947, introduced Chelsea’s Model VE. He also introduced consumer versions of its popular military clocks, the Type “A” (12 hour) and Type “B” (24 hour). Mutz and King eventually discontinued several models, including the Athena, Fulton, and Magellan, while adding others, among them Bookends, Comet, and Corvette. James Leone, Chelsea’s director of engineering, also introduced several improvements to the company’s Ship’s Bell model, including the addition of a stop strike lever. The redesigned movement, called the Model 4L, remains largely the same to this day.

Nautical Chelsea

In 1970, Mutz and King sold Chelsea Clock to Automation Industries, where Chelsea became part of the marine division. Soon thereafter, Chelsea’s management noted the growing popularity of less expensive European movements, leading it to introduce a line of mid-priced clocks with German-made Hermle movements. To distinguish them from its premium clocks, Chelsea introduced its Boston Ship’s Strike brand. In 1972, just two years after acquiring Chelsea Clock, Automation sold it to Bunker Ramo Corporation who, among many things, was the nation’s largest producer of automotive clocks. In 1975, Chelsea began marketing its Ship’s Bell and house strike (12-hour chime) movements with pendulum escapements in the popular banjo style. That same year, it also designed and introduced its first tide clock.
Bunker Ramo sold Chelsea in 1978 to Richard Leavitt, a native Bostonian, avid sailor, and former corporate auditor. Leavitt soon realized Chelsea could no longer rely largely on its government, marine, and Ship’s Bell sales, so he revitalized its jewelry house line, introducing ten new clock models in 1981. He also resumed efforts to reserve the Chelsea brand name for the company’s premium timepieces, and use the Boston brand for mid-line products—a practice he abandoned ten years later. By 1984, quartz and digital timekeeping technology were well established, leading Chelsea to introduce its Chronoquartz clock, named for its chronometer-like accuracy.

Naval Chelsea

In 2005, after leading Chelsea Clock for more than 25 years, Leavitt, sold the company to JK Nicholas, an investor in Boston Scientific a business consultant, entrepreneur, and longtime collector of Chelsea clocks. Today, the company continues to produce its famed Ship’s Bell clocks and a variety of other models—all crafted, hand assembled, and serviced at the same factory where the company was founded more than a century ago.
Throughout its stormy history, the company’s unflagging commitment to high quality has enabled it to endure and, in the process, brought much notoriety. Many U.S. presidents and government dignitaries have owned, given, and received Chelsea clocks. They ride aboard many of world’s finest yachts to ports large and small throughout the world. Early Chelsea clocks have become cherished antiques, highly valued by museums and private collectors alike. Chelsea Clock's continuing uncompromising attention to quality has resulted in the company’s more recent reputation as “The Last Great American Clock Company.

Chelsea Clocks are really very exquisite timepieces to own.  I will admit that they are a bit pricey but well worth it to have this bit of Americana to enjoy for years to come.

Posted By O.C. Cavanaugh Jr.


This May Be the Best Buyer's Market in a Generation — And Now Is the Time to Act

Chrissy and Joe Theriault of Fairfield, Conn. weren't going to let the sour economy stop them from buying a new boat. In fact, it was the downturn that delivered them an amazing deal "” a whopping 39 percent discount on a 23-foot Chaparral.
An unprecedented achievement in bargaining? Actually, no.
If you're in the market to buy a boat and you have the means, now may be the absolute best time to ink a deal – possibly the best buyer's market in a generation. With sales knocked flat by the economy and many dealers flush with inventory that is expensive to maintain, serious buyers can expect both a substantial price break "” often as much as 30 percent "” and a handful of perks if they are willing to put their money down.
"These are unprecedented times," says James Baker vice president of sales at Seattle Boat Company. "By far, astronomically, this is the best time to buy a boat." Baker says the selection, inventory and incentives are some of the best he's ever seen. "A lot of times, incentives are candy-coated," he said. "Not now."

Chrissy and Joe Theriault used the economy to their advantage to swing a deep discount on the purchase of their 23-foot Chaparral.
"Every deal is going to be aggressive," agrees Rob Soucy, president of Port Harbor Marine in South Portland, Maine. "When people come into the showroom, we do what we can to sell a boat. It's a great time to be a consumer."
To better understand today's buying market and how to get the best deal, Mad Mariner reporters interviewed dealers and buyers, examined sales and talked to industry experts. The result is the latest installment of our Economic Blowdown series, occasional stories that examine the economy's impact on the marine industry in general and on boaters in particular.
There are few places where that impact is more apparent than in the showroom. Dealers across the country are anxious to make sales and willing, they say, to work with customers to help get them into the right boat at the right price. While you shouldn't walk in the showroom expecting the 50 percent off "red line special," you can expect to negotiate for a fair price and plenty of added value, including the possibility of free service and tune-ups, dockage, watertoys and more.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association estimates that boat sales have declined roughly 35 percent this year and about 25 percent last year, a decline that's primed to take a significant bite out of the $37.5 billion recreational boating industry. This dramatic sales drop-off has the consumer uniquely positioned to take advantage of never-before-seen deals on boats this year.
Joe Lewis, owner of Mt. Dora Boating Center in Mt. Dora, Fla., says it's not unreasonable for consumers to expect price reductions of 25 to 30 percent off the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). "That's not beyond the scope of reality at all," he says. In fact, Lewis recently sold a 2008 Four Winns 22FS, which has an MSRP of $64,429, for just $47,000.

"Most of the leading [boat] manufacturers publish suggested list prices," he explains. "Many have sections on their websites where buyers can price out boats with the engine and options they want. All one has to do is compare these prices to those dealers are advertising to know the discounts are deep and now is a great time to get a great deal on a new boat."
"If you have someone who's bought a boat before, they understand the current deals," says Soucy. "If you're talking to a newbie off the street, they often don't realize what a great deal they're getting." Port Harbor sold a 2008, 28-foot Sea Ray not too long ago for nearly 50 percent off the $154,000 MSRP, largely due to aggressive dealer pricing on Port Harbor's part and a big rebate from Sea Ray, the manufacturer.
Current NADA book value for a 2008, 28-foot Sea Ray indicate an average retail value between $90,800 and $107,000, Soucy points out, which means at 50 percent off stickers price these buyers wound up with a real steal. "[The buyers] have no idea what a great deal they got," Soucy says.
Indeed, dealers and manufacturers alike are becoming very aggressive on the sales front, he explains. "We no longer have the luxury of four or five people coming into the dealership, interested in one boat, Soucy says. We have to figure this may be the only person we have on that boat for a long time. So if it makes any sense whatsoever, we do the deal."
Consumers can't expect the phenomenal deals to continue indefinitely, says John Sima, owner of Sima Marine in Eastlake, Ohio. "Manufacturers are only building boats ordered and sold to retail customers right now; they're not building for stock," he explains. "If a surge in sales happens, even a 20-percent increase, existing inventory will be gone in 60 to 90 days. Once the boats out there are gone, they're gone; and once they are, these deals aren't going to be around, either."
"These are unprecedented times," says James Baker, pictured left, vice president of sales at Seattle Boat Company.: SEATTLE BOAT COMPANY

SEATTLE BOAT COMPANY"These are unprecedented times," says James Baker, pictured left, vice president of sales at Seattle Boat Company.
If you're in the market to buy, there are many ways to negotiate added value to the deal aside from price reductions. To entice potential customers, Lewis says extended service programs offered by manufacturers, membership in boating groups like BoatU.S. and Sea Tow, and storage options such as marina slips and dry stack are all on the table for consumers.
There's definitely wiggle room when it comes to service and storage, says Baker. Even if he has to toss in a couple extras to make the sale, a dealer can see future business with this customer," he explains.
Baker says Seattle Boat Company sweetened some of its deals by including off-season storage as part of the package, or threw in routine winterization. For example, he says, if a customer buys a boat in September (the Washington boating season typically ends in October and re-opens again in May), the dealership will offer to store the boat free of charge.
Another way to find a good deal: close immediately, says Baker. "There are all kinds of crazy deals right now," he explains. "One of the customers' most powerful strengths is to close the transaction now."
Seattle Boat Company owns its own fuel dock. Fuel prices went through the roof in 2008, topping $5 a gallon,. To encourange people to buy last year, the dealership offered customers fuel for $2.99 a gallon through Labor Day.
"We look at situations on a case-by-case basis," Lewis says. "If something catches a customers' fancy in the showroom or they're scared about the cost of their first service visit, then yes – I have seen the "˜buying' switch flipped by including these things in the sale."
Sima says he's done deals where the dealership threw in dockage and next year's winter storage at half price – a value-added package worth about $4,000. He's also consented to include a summer's worth of service, including oil and fluid changes and tune-ups, to make a sale.
Port Harbor Marine, in South Portland, Maine, where company officials say "every deal is going to be aggressive.": PORT HARBOR MARINE

 The Seattle Boat Company, like other dealers nationwide, is offering incentives to move their inventory.
PORT HARBOR MARINEPort Harbor Marine, in South Portland, Maine, where company officials say "every deal is going to be aggressive."
Long-time boaters and savvy buyers, the Theriaults used the recession to their advantage on the showroom floor. In the end they bought their Chaparral, which they say retailed for $79,000, for just $48,000 cash. Cash was a big factor in the overall purchase savings, they say.
"They took $5,000 off the price just because we said we'd pay cash," Chrissy Theriault says. "If you agree to pay cash, dealers will lower their price." The New Milford, Conn., dealership also threw in a "safety package" with the deal, which included basic life-saving equipment and four life jackets.
Another tactic the Theriaults used to save money was to buy their boat at the end of the season, just when new models were set to debut. "We did get a good deal that way," she explains. "We were also able to negotiate a better price that included the motor we wanted."
The Theriaults agreed to purchase a model that was on display earlier in the year at the New York National Boat Show, shaving additional dollars off the final purchase price. "They gave us a discount because the boat had a few blemishes from being at the show," Theriault says. The dealership agreed to fix a few cracks in the gelcoat, and the family wound up with a new boat for a fraction of the retail price.
"I love my boat; I would live on it if I could," Theriault says.

The good news on boat sales is actually two-fold: If you're legitimately in the market to buy, not only are there deals out there waiting to be uncovered, but if you think you'll need to finance all or part of the purchase, there is, indeed, money out there to borrow at reasonable rates for those who have cash and strong credit.
"Credit is the lifeblood of boat sales, but it's not why boat sales are down," explains Jim Coburn, president of the National Marine Bankers Association (NMBA). "Boat buyers can find financing."
While some big banks exited the recreational lending market as the economy spiraled, including Key Bank, GE and Wachovia, there are plenty of others – SunTrust, BB&T, Bank of America and Bank of the West, to name a few – that are still writing consumer boat loans. Sima says he's even seen an uptick in credit-union lending among his customers, and that might be an idea for someone in the market to buy.

MOUNT DORA BOATING CENTERJoe Lewis, owner of Mt. Dora Boating Center in Mt. Dora, Fla., says it's not unreasonable for consumers to expect price reductions of 25 to 30 percent off MSRP.
"The capacity is still there," Coburn asserts.  But just because there's money out there doesn't mean it's as "free" as it has been in recent memory. "The number-one thing I'd tell anybody that's bought a boat in the last five years that's considering it now is to expect your banking experience to be considerably different," says Sima. "Today, you need 20 to 40 percent of true equity bound into the financial deal. That number used to be five percent. It's a drastic change.  "Credit-score qualifications have also changed significantly.
"Anything below 680 is dead," says Sima. "Even if a customer is slightly above, the interest rate is going to be huge, and they'll need a huge down payment."
Coburn agrees credit guidelines have stiffened. He says underwriting guidelines are reverting back to what they were 15 or 20 years ago, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
"Boat loans were a little easier to get than they should have been," says Coburn. "Banks never should have lent to someone with a credit score below 640. The easy-money days are gone. Lending to consumers with credit scores in the 500s and 600s is too much risk."
As a general rule (keeping in mind numbers do vary depending on several factors), Coburn recommends consumers interested in financing a boat must meet the following criteria: maintain a credit score north of 700; show a debt-to-income ratio of no more than 30 to 40 percent (45 percent and above used to be considered okay but is no longer acceptable); expect to make a down payment of 15 to 20 percent on larger boats (26 to 35 feet) and 25 percent on small boats (up to 25 feet) and megayachts (80 feet and above).
Assuming a potential buyer meets these criteria, he should expect an interest rate starting around 5.99 percent. He should also anticipate 15- to 20-year terms on the loan, which Coburn says hasn't really changed even in the current economy.
Sima recommends interested boat buyers talk to a financial institution first before starting to shop. He says banks and lending entities are looking for five times the paperwork they once were from his customers, including things like utility bills. To make the process go more smoothly, Sima suggests compiling a list of everything you need and giving it to lenders up front.
"It used to be okay for the information to dribble in, but now, if you have it ready in hand, it increases your chances of getting the loan," he says.
"Banks aren't just going to take anybody's word for it any more when it comes to income and liquidity," Coburn reiterates. "You'll need to show proper documentation, W-2s, tax returns."
Coburn recommends interested buyers write out a balance sheet to calculate incoming and outgoing expenses, and then use that information to decide if now is a good time to make a big purchase. "If a family wants to bring boating into their lifestyle, they need to figure out their expenses and basically pre-qualify themselves," he explains.

While it's nice to get a great deal, some dealers caution potential buyers to be sure that price isn't the only thing they're thinking about when shopping for a new boat.
"Nine out of 10 times you'll be giving up the most important aspects of the product because you're so focused on price," warns Rob Youker, owner of The Sportsman in San Benito, Texas. In the end, Youker says, "You'll have to spend a lot later when you have to change boats. Then, you really didn't save anything."
Youker recommends making a list of the five most important aspects of a boat you're not willing to deviate from and don't waiver. "You'll be happier and it will cost a lot less if you do the right thing the first time."
After all, he says," People don't want the cheapest price; they want the best value."
It's also important for potential buyers to be honest and up front with their dealers, Sima adds. "Be realistic about what you want to buy," he explains. "Unless you're legitimately ready to buy, don't start shopping price."
"We try not to make it about price," Youker says. Remember, he says, "This isn't war; it should be a kick to get a new boat."

Article by Lindsey Johnson, a freelance writer specializing in the recreational boating industry. Her work has appeared in several trade and consumer publications over the last nine years, including Boating Industry, Soundings Trade Only, Soundings and Boating Life magazines. She also has worked for the NMMA.



 Cape Cod's Finest

Right, I don't know about you but sometimes one just can't wait until the summer months for a little vacation.  Why not treat you or your family to a venture to Cape Cod's finest small inn,  The Captain's House Inn,

This Bed and Breakfast established in 1839 started out as the grand home of Captain Harding, a well-known sea captain from Chatham, his wife Lydia, and their nine children. Many of the rooms are named after his daughters (Eliza Jane, Mariah, Hope and Hannah Rebekah) and some of the ships he and his son, Joseph, captained (Whirlwind, Wild Hunter and Northern Light).
The Harding family was well known in Chatham and Cape Cod. There are several roads, buildings, and the largest beach in Chatham, named after him.

Second Owners
In 1915, Mariah, the youngest daughter, sold the home to Daniel Manson, a shipping magnate from Salem, MA. Manson used the Captain's House as a summer residence and in 1928 moved the "bowroof" cape on to the estate. The Cape, now known as the
Captain's Cottage was Manson's retreat, where he entertained many of his cronies with bourbon and poker. Daniel's son Joe founded Chatham Ford on Main Street in the 1930s.
The Manson family sold the estate that included a 20-acre farm and several cranberry bogs to the Palmer family in the early 1950s. Mr. Palmer, who was a dentist, subdivided the property and much of the estate was converted into single-family dwellings along Palmer and Manamock Drives.

Boarding House & Inn
The Runyon family purchased the remainder of the estate comprising 2 acres in 1972 and opened a boarding house in the main building catering to families in the summer months.

In 1983, the Eakins purchased the property and turned it into an inn with 8 bedrooms. During their 10-year tenure they converted the barn and stables into the 5-unit Carriage House and the Captain's Cottage into 3 units. The tool shed became a dormitory for young girls from England and the continent who worked as wait staff, front office, and housekeeping. During this period the Eakins greatly improved the property to the point that in 1986 the Inn was awarded AAA Four-Diamond status.

Recent History
Dave McMaster, a retired Navy Commander and ex-corporate CEO and Jan, his English wife, assumed “Keeper of the Inn” responsibilities in 1993. They added the luxurious “Stables” building in 1997 and equipped all of the rooms with fireplaces and TV/VCR combinations and seven of the rooms with whirlpools. The McMasters continued to improve the inn, maintaining its AAA Four-Diamond status throughout their thirteen-year tenure.

Jill & James Meyer bought the Captain’s House Inn in 2006 after a two-year stint at the Carriage House Inn, just next door. James’ education in hospitality administration coupled with Jill’s degree in entrepreneurial studies and marketing as well as their prior inn keeping experiences have equipped them to maintain the high standards guests have come to expect when staying at the Captain’s House Inn.

As you can see by the photos this is a wonderful place to stay.  It has the warmth and charm that you'll never get in a cold hotel. 

Among the Captain's House Inn's many amenities is the English Afternoon Tea. They offer a Cream Tea or an English Afternoon Tea which can be served in the dining room, on the patio or in the privacy of your own room. Their complimentary Cream Tea consists of scones, cookies and delectable cakes.
Tea on the Patio ?

Tea In Bed ?

Do yourself a favor and join Jill and James Meyer at Cape Cod's Finest Small Inn. or call 1(800)315-0728.

2008 Editor's Pick Destination Insider Best of Cape Cod
2007 —
Captains House Inn selected as a recommended property by Bed and
2007 —
Captains House Inn named a great bed and breakfast for afternoon tea by I Love Inns.
AAA announced that The Captain's House Inn, a Cape Cod bed and breakfast, was honored with a Four Diamond award for the 20th consecutive year. rates Captain's House Inn #1 of 11 Inns and B&Bs in Chatham.
2005Cape Cod Travel Guide awards Captain's House Inn the “Best Inn on Lower Cape” award for the sixth consecutive year.
2004Yankee Magazine selected the Captain's House Inn as one of their 2004 "Editors Picks."

September, 2008 The Wall Street Journal - Off the Beaten Track.

August 2008, Travel and Leisure - The Best of Cape Cod. "We found that the inn actually delivers on the hype. From its attractive setting to well-appointed rooms to welcoming staff, the inn leaves nothing to chance in ensuring guests' comfort."— Ellen AlbaneseBoston Globe.

As recommended in An Explorers Guide by Kim Grant
"The Captain's House Inn is the consummate romantic getaway. It makes you dream of coming back."
Jill Rigby, Travel Editor, Toronto Sun

"Regarded consistently by respected lodging reviewers as the Cape's best-run hostelry, the inn owes its high standing to proprietors Dave and Jan McMaster, who continue to bestow loving attention on the gorgeous two-and-a-half acre grounds and vintage buildings." — Bill Gleeson, author of Weekends for Two in New England and 50 Romantic Getaways

"For my money, Chatham's most perfectly charming inn." — Lisa Legarde, Frommer's New England

"The Captain's House Inn is one of the best run inns in all of New England" — Christina Tree and Kimberly Grant, Best Places to Stay in New England

 ". . .the best places to stay here (Cape Cod) is the landmark Captain's House." — Michelle Richmond, Going Places, Middletown Press, May 2001

Posted By O. C. Cavanaugh


You know, for some reason I become melancholic this time of year.  Whenever I'm down I usually pick up something for myself.  It's never anything major.  Just a little pick me up.  I don't know how I found myself in the J Press Shop but I was mysteriously drawn to the ribbon belt display.  Have I mentioned before that I love ribbon belts.  You can never have enough.  Anyway I picked up this navy and sky blue belt and a smile came upon my face.  I knew this was it!! 

The folks over at J Press are always very helpful and it really is a wonderful place to shop, regardless of what some people might think.

Couldn't Wait to get it home

I love wrapping paper

There she is....

Ahhhhh the finished product

If you're a ribbon belt fanatic such as myself and aren't near a J Press, then check  These belts are very well made and might I add, they're made in America.


2011 Best Of the Cape & Islands Ballot

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If there was ever a garment that epitomizes Preppy it would be the Blazer, particularly the Blue Blazer.
Make no mistake about it, all Preppies have at least one in their wardrobe.

The blazer itself is generally distinguised from a sports jacket as a more formal garment and tailored from solid color fabrics. Blazers are often made with naval-style metal buttons, reflecting their historic boating club association, but this is not a defining feature.

Let's face it. We here in America owe much of our classic threads to our brethren across Ye Old Pond; and the blazer is no exception. The sartorial term blazer originated with the red 'blazers' of the Lady Margaret Boat Club (1825), the rowing club of St. John's College, Cambridge. The Lady Margaret club jackets were termed blazers because of the bright red cloth; the term survived the original red coat.

The blazer is the most common jacket in England. Blazers are worn as part of school uniform by many schools across the Commonwealth, and in a wide range of colours is still daily wear for most uniformed pupils in Britain and Australia.
These are blazers in the traditional sense, single breasted often of bright colours or with piping. This style is also worn by some boat clubs, such as those in Cambridge or Oxford, with the piped version only on special occasions such as a boat club dinner. In this case, the piping is in college colours, and college buttons are worn.
This is the style that was adopted by many American Institutions, without the piping of course.
Blazers, once commonly worn playing or attending traditional 'gentlemen's sports', persist in only some games now, such as occasional use by tennis players, or cricket, where in professional matches, such as international test matches, it is considered customary for the captain to wear a blazer with the team's logo or national coat of arms on the breast pocket, at least during the coin toss at the beginning of the match.

The Cambridge Half Blue Blazer

Two sporting events where blazers signify victory are the Congressional Cup Regatta at the Long Beach Yacht Club, and the Masters Golf tournament, held in Augusta, Georgia.
The former event awards a crimson blazer to the winner of several flights of match race sailing of the highest international caliber, while the latter awards a green blazer to the top masters golfer in the USA.

My own Ralph Lauren Blue Blazer

Why is the blazer so important to the Prep? It is simple, the blazer IS tradition. It is dignified. It is the garment of our grandparents, parents, offsprings and friends. In that sense the blazer is very much our honor.

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Guernseys are great jumpers that embody classic, nautical and preppy. Originally worn by men it is now a unisex item, much like the Irish Aran Sweaters.

Guernsey (or gansey) sweaters have a long history. They date back to the sixteenth century, when Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne of England. The New World of the Americas was being opened up and the courageous fishermen of Guernsey began to develop fisheries off the coast of Labrador, Canada. To pursue this perilous occupation, the fishermen needed warm and windproof clothing. The skilled knitters of Guernsey developed their now-famous Guernsey Sweater. At the time of the Napoleonic Wars, Admiral Lord Nelson ordered that the Guernsey be adopted as part of the uniform of the Royal Navy, and it was worn at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Many members of England’s Royal Family have owned a Guernsey sweater.

Guernsey Characteristics
Guernsey sweaters have certain characteristics that define them. These hardwearing work clothes typically fit close to the body, accentuate the shoulders, and elongate the waist. Their reinforced gussets are diamond shaped, and the sweaters are traditionally knit from the top down as that allows for easier repairs on the arms and elbows. Guernseys are steeped in tradition, and are knitted only from pure, new, tightly-wound British oiled wool or American cotton. True Guernsey fashion calls for the use of 5-ply inky, blue-black wool. The colors are further dyed using dyes from plants to create indigo, brown, grey, purple, gray-blue, or cream, un-dyed fleece products. The idea is to imitate the fishermen's natural working environment of the sea and sky. Some Guernsey Sweaters are plainly knitted, but others incorporate sea-related patterns, with cable or motif designs. These differ from knitter to knitter, and area to area. A Guernsey is designed for longevity, with identical patterns on the front and back of the sweater. This means the jumper can be worn both ways if excessive wear occurs, such as on the elbows. The average knitted adult Guernsey is knitted on US size 1 (2.25mm) needles, and is done to a gauge of 32 stitches by 36 rows or 4 inches. It weighs approximately one kilogram or a little over two pounds. They are seamless, having been knitted "in the round", using four or five double-ended steel wires or pins.

Poor Man's Wealth
Design Guernseys often have what is known as a “poor man’s wealth” pattern. This pattern is called as such because its makers knit several rows of purl stitches within it that are quite difficult to count. This technique produces a garment that appears to have many more stitches than it actually does.

Two photos of my guernsey. You can see the diamond pattern underarm, used for ease of motion.

You can purchase from across the pond a traditional Guernsey in fine British Wool at www.woolovers.comThey are also having a sale at the moment.

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Do you have children preparing to attend an Ivy League School that would like to see what classes are like? Perhaps you've always wanted to audit a class on a particular subject outside of your major.
Well here's your chance. There is currently a growing trend throughout major universities including the Ivy league for offering free introductory courses and lectures.
Today the focus will be Yale University's Open Courses.

About Yale University

Yale was established in 1701.
Among its impressive achievements, Yale’s roots can be traced back to the 1640s when colonial clergymen led an effort to establish a college in New Haven to preserve the tradition
of European liberal education in the New World. Now one of only eight Ivy League schools, Yale is home to a world-class medical center comprising more than a dozen institutions. This includes the School of Medicine (chartered in 1810), which has been educating leaders, caring for patients, and investigating the scientific basis of health and disease for nearly 200 years. Yale University is one of only eight prestigious Ivy League schools, considered “a tradition, a company of scholars, a society of friends.” Yale is a large research university with a wide array of schools, programs, departments, centers, museums, and affiliated organizations. The faculty of Yale University is as impressive as
the institution itself. At Yale, 91% of all full-time teaching faculty have doctoral degrees, first professional degrees, and or appropriate degrees in their fields. You can be sure you
will be learning from some of the best of the best when you attend Yale University, either on campus, or via Yale University online courses.

Yale University Online Courses

Yale University just recently started offering a free online video lecture series, which they call the “Open Yale Courses.” The purpose of the Yale University online courses is to provide
“free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Online Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.” Yale University online courses offer a unique opportunity as the free video lectures are taught by professors and scholars of distinction.

Here is what Yale says:

Open Yale Courses reflects the values of a liberal arts education. Yale's philosophy of teaching and learning begins with the aim of training a broadly based, highly disciplined intellect without specifying in advance how that intellect will be used. This approach goes beyond the acquisition of facts and concepts to cultivate skills and habits of rigorous, independent thought: the ability to analyze, to ask the next question, and to begin the search for an answer. We hope the lectures and other course materials on this site will be a resource for critical thinking, creative imagination, and intellectual exploration. All lectures were recorded in the Yale College classroom and are available in video, audio, and text transcript format. Registration is not required and no course credit is available.

At this time, the Yale University Online
Courses include the following:
Biomedical Engineering
Classics Ecology and Evolutionary Economics
English History
History of Art
Italian Language and Literature
Molecular, Cellular and Development
Music Philosophy
Political Science
Religious Studies

For information go to

Open Yale Courses is generously funded and supported by: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The Yale Center for Media and Instructional Innovation

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It has been said that any man or woman of true sophistication and good taste has at least one tweed garment in their wardrobe.
This fabric that was started with the working class has even been worn by blue bloods.  To me it is without a doubt the king of fabrics, especially during the cooler months and a traditional favorite amongst us preps.

Now in order to wear a garment well, one should have at the very least a rudimentary grasp of the garments history.

Tweed emerged among the small farmers and land labourers of the damp climate of Scotland and Ireland long before the English aristocracy eventually came upon it on their hunting trips, and brought it back to their London tailors. Originally it was very rough, thick and felted, hand woven according to local traditions in dull and earthy colours. It was a working man’s cloth, but ready to make a journey through the history and social
classes of the British Empire. According to legend, the name “tweed” is the result of a copying error, where a London cloth merchant misspelled the Scottish word tweel as tweed, confused by the river Tweed. More likely, the word is derived from the word tweeled (meaning twilled). The term tweed commonly refers to a variety of wool fabrics woven in a rough, multicoloured twill structure.
The rugged cloth's great wind and water resistant qualities still makes
it the standard wear in the British Isles for shooting, fly-fishing and other country sport activities.

During the early nineteenth century many estates in Scotland were sold
in by money-strapped Highland chiefs and landholders to English nobles attracted by the country north of the Border. In 1848 Prince Albert purchased the estate of Balmoral from the Farguharsons of
Inverey. Now every gentleman of the leisure class needed an estate
of his own, and if he could not afford to buy one, he rented one. Soon it became fashionable among the new owners or tenants to commission special tweeds for their estates. They wanted to take on the tradition of having their retainers clothed in an estate pattern but had no right to a tartan. In addition, they wanted functional hard wearing fabrics that would provide camouflage for the stalkers – and even the brightest of these patterns do blend in with the heathers and mountain scenery.

When Price Albert designed his Balmoral tweed around 1850, estate tweeds were all the rage. The diversity of patterns and colours found in tweed today is in fact much obliged to the estate tweed idea.
Once the tweed pattern was akin to the regimental tie or the school crest.

Today available for everyone, many patterns are still the same. According to Edward P. Harrison, in his renowned book Scottish Estate Tweeds from
1995, the first estate tweed is credited as the Glenfeshie. It was commissioned around 1835, for the ghillies and keepers of that estate. The basis for many of the checks was the simple black and white Shepherd check, in a dogtooth pattern. This was later adopted by one of the gun clubs in the U.S., and “gun club” has been its popular name since then. Another well known pattern is the Glen Urquhart check. Also a simple black and white mix, but in an intricate pattern. In the twenties Prince Edward of Wales brought it outside of the British isles, adding brown to the mix, and a subtle colour over-check. Today just called Glen check or Prince of Wales, the pattern is often used in lighter woollen flannels or worsted, perhaps even made of cashmere. 
Once a hard wearing tweed pattern for shooting and stalking, it is now more common for having an espresso at the piazza. Created in 1845 by mixing blue and yellow yarns, the marled green Lovat tweed still blends perfectly with the heather, bracken, bluebells and birches surrounding the Lovat estate. Lord Elcho took inspiration from the marled colouring of the Lovat to have the Elcho mixture created, a khaki cloth that became the first camouflage uniform for the London Scottish Regiment, and forerunner of others throughout the world. A bespoke estate tweed may still be the
exclusive uniform for both the employer and his employees of the windswept Scottish sweeps of moorland, scrub and heather. Thus, tweed may look a bit aristocratic to some, but its rustic heritage and its habit of covering all classes, makes it just as democratic as American denim. Tweed carries with it a certain kind of low-key sophistication. In pop culture, for example, we have all seen how tweed subtly but unmistakably underscores the cultured elegance of The Lord, The Gentleman, The College Professor and The New York Intellectual. It introduces his character before he says a word. Tweed is much more than a piece of cloth. It speaks of standards to live up to. And it is thus more than a statement: it is a promise.

Ladies Linhope berwick tweed jacket

Ladies Ptarmingan Tweed Coat

Now go out and wear your tweeds proud.

Posted By O. Cavanaugh