Preppy | A Continuous Lean.

The Enduring Appeal of Ostentatious Loafers.

Jul 15th, 2015 | Categories: Footwear, Preppy | by ACL Editors


The Gucci bit loafer, the Prince Albert slipper and the Belgian loafer. Three loafers that all share the dubious honor of being “rakish,” or “revolting,” depending on who you ask. Polarizing as they may be, this traddy triumvirate has remained a constant curiosity throughout the years, as each style is rediscovered in time by whatever wave happens to be cresting that year.

First it was the Gucci bit loafer, which was thrust back into the spotlight during the East Coast preppy revival of the mid-aughts. The bit loaf had first gained notoriety during the mid-twentieth century as a high society hoof that was so popular amongst A-listers and deep-pocketed socialites that they became part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection in 1962. Similarly to Ralph Lauren, another Madison Avenue icon, the horsebit story begins with a vision of polo. The story goes that in the wake of WWI, the Italian born Guccio Gucci was working at London’s Savoy Hotel where polo was a persistent topic of conversation between the rotating roster of English aristocrats that frequented the hotel. As Gucci listened to (er, eavesdropped on) these tales from the ground, polo came to represent a leisurely and luxurious lifestyle that was always just out of reach.

Francis Ford Coppola in bit loafers

Francis Ford Coppola in bit loafers

Dustin Hoffman wearing bit loafers in Kramer vs. Kramer

Dustin Hoffman wearing bit loafers in Kramer vs. Kramer

The Raccoon Coat | Have Some Fun Dammit!

Jan 6th, 2015 | Categories: History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Outerwear, Preppy | by Jake Gallagher


With all the rules and lists and “wear this, don’t wear that” articles that get lobbed our way, it’s easy to forget that clothing should never be taken too seriously. If what you’re wearing doesn’t make you smile, then you’re probably doing something wrong. Sometimes though, we all need to be reminded of this, and so in the spirit of fun, let’s give it up to the ol’ raccoon coat. As a staple of East Coast style that popped up during the roaring twenties, the raccoon coat is ostentatious, gaudy, and downright fun. Undergrads wore them on game day and blue bloods tossed them over their tuxes. The raccoon coat said, “I’m dressed better than and I know it.” Just look at these guys, they’re dressed ridiculous, and they’re loving it. As styles have changed, today that message reads more like, “I’m trying way too hard to be Jay Gatsby,” but at least we have these photos to remind us that if you’re having fun, you can pull off just about anything.


Having Some Fun (Shirts).

Aug 21st, 2014 | Categories: Americana, History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Preppy | by Jake Gallagher


“Those are some fun shirts.”

During a visit to one of his company’s shirt factories in the seventies Ash Wall, the vice president and great-great-great-grandson of Brooks Brothers founder Henry Sand Brooks, picked up a discarded “practice” sport shirt off the assembly line and tossed it on. As he did so, he uttered the above statement in reference to the ten or so different fabric scraps that had been haphazardly stitched together to form this button-up.

Behold The Slim J. Press Shaggy Dog.

Oct 21st, 2013 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Preppy | by Jake Gallagher

Shetland Jpress

Since the dawn of trad, Shetland sweaters have been the knit of choice for natty East Coasters and those that study their style. The only catch is that, like so many other classic Ivy pieces, Shetland sweaters traditionally fit about as well as a burlap sack. For all of us who have tried to pull off the “young John Updike” look only to come out looking like men in Shetland dresses, J. Press York Street’s trim Shaggy Dogs are the holy grail of updated American style.

Not all Shetlands are Shaggy Dogs, but all Shaggy Dogs are Shetlands, and that’s not the start to an IQ test question, just a crucial point of clarification. While a Shetland denotes any sweater produced on the Shetland Islands using that region’s distinct lightweight yet robust wool, Shaggy Dogs are a creation that is all J. Press’ own. As opposed to being shorn down for a more uniform texture, J. Press decided (and full disclosure, J. Press is a Paul + Williams client) to fluff out their knits creating a unique brushed look that certainly lives up to its unkempt monkier.

Elevated Sensibility: The Whit Stillman Interview.

Apr 6th, 2012 | Categories: David Coggins, Film, Preppy | by David Coggins

By now, Whit Stillman has achieved a unique cultural status, at once iconic and elusive. His films have such a specific, literate sensibility that devotees hoard favorite lines like beloved family recipes (‘I don’t think Ted is a fascist of the marrying kind,’ remains very dear). And though he’s oft-quoted, Stillman has been a stranger for too long—he’s been executing his own Maneuver X, Barcelona partisans might say. After a dozen years, he’s back. Damsels in Distress, his university picture starring Greta Gerwig, opens in New York and LA today.

We spoke this week in a Madison Avenue hotel suite where Bloomberg News, of all things, was on the television in the background.


David Coggins: Is that Alexander Olch in the first shot of Damsels in Distress?

Whit Stillman: It is, and he also repeats, at the end, when they talk about cool people. His very recognizable silhouette goes through twice, kind of bad continuity. He’s wearing a suit and sneakers. I think you should talk to him about shoes.

DC: I will. It’s funny you mention coolness though, because in all your films there’s a distinction between people who understand what’s going on and those who are struggling to figure it out, and a lot of analysis about that fine line.

WS: I agree with the Violet character [in Damsels in Distress] in that debate, that if you really want to be cool, you have to tamp down your humanity a little bit. You’ve got to de-emote, depersonalize. But I tried to be fair to Lily’s character, and what she says does make sense, that yes, we need normal people so things work right.

For instance, I find dealing with Sony Pictures, I’m not so good with the deadlines, because I want it to be really right, but they need to get it by a certain time, so there’s a bit of a drama when ‘Whit needs to approve something.’ It’s been good, but I feel that the practical people get things done. And often I find there’s a conflict between a certain kind of particularism, and getting-it-done-ism. I don’t like to say perfectionism, because nothing is perfect, but if you want to get things in a particular way, that goes against getting it done on time.

Five Easy Pieces from Gant Rugger SS12

Sep 8th, 2011 | Categories: Men's Stores, New York City, Preppy | by Michael Williams

We stopped by the recently opened Gant Rugger shop on Prince Street in Manhattan to check out the new Gant Rugger SS12 collection and were pleasantly surprised by the presence of one of our favorite designers — Mr. Christopher Bastin. We had no idea Gant’s original Bastian was going to be walking us through the new clothes, but were happy to get an expert tour. The new Rugger collection looks solid per usual; the clothes are very collegiate and also very wearable. It is important to also note the colors are all spot-on (often with preppy, the colors are all wrong) and the fabric selection was very well done — all directly attributable to our pal Christopher Bastin.

Since we had him hostage we coerced Christopher into helping us show off some of our favorites pieces from the upcoming SS12 collection. Check it out after the jump.


GANT Throwback YALE CO-OP Shirts

Mar 14th, 2011 | Categories: Menswear, New Haven, Preppy | by Michael Williams

With the recent opening of the GANT Campus Store in New Haven, a re-release of the classic YALE CO-OP shirts was inevitable. Just this past weekend came word that the company started selling a small run of the button-down shirts ($115) at the new campus store in New Haven, as well as at their stores in New York. The wovens, which are based on the original designs that were sold at the university bookstore in the 1960s, are co-labeled with the YALE CO-OP mark and GANT branding. For me the oxford shirt is my daily driver, so I for one am excited to see these classic styles be released. If you are someone who isn’t into oxford cloth and button down collars, this is probably not the shirt run for you. For those of you that look for those attributes in your shirts, I’d say you are in luck.