Sunday, November 4, 2012

only in america

As you've undoubtedly gathered by this time, 2012 is an election year. And not even one of those total nonentity midterm election years.* It's a biggie. The Oval Office is up for grabs. In two days. So I've put together an extensive, if not comprehensive, post to help you navigate (and enjoy) the 2012 general elections. Be you decided in your choice or not.
*Totally kidding. All elections are important. But...you know...if you have to choose...don't be apathetic now.


Now Tex and I are admittedly a bit biased, but since we accept that not everyone has the same opinions we do, I'd like to direct your attention to I Side With.


I Side With lets you take a detailed political quiz and compares your stated views to those of the candidates running for President. Your results might end up surprising you (though mine didn't). And they might help you undecided voters know your own minds. I Side With also allows you to compare candidates to one another and has a very informative blog with break downs of all the candidates' positions on the election's hottest issues.


Fact checkers have generally earned their reputation for letting personal biases seep into their work. It's an understandable temptation. And it's what makes Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post such a rare find. As the Post's Fact Checker he's shown remarkable impartiality and is my go-to resource for the truth in all things political. As you can imagine, I've found him even more valuable during this seemingly interminable election season.


Kessler fact checks just about everything that happens on and around the Hill, which makes it especially helpful that he and his staff have separated out their posts on the 2012 election so you can shift through the various shades of rhetorical grey before voting. If you don't have time to sort through the myriad posts this election has generated, check the Cliff's Notes version: The Biggest Pinocchios of Election 2012. Then test your own knowledge of the issues with the Presidential Election Fact Checker Quiz.


Now we at TCKiT know just as well as anyone that an election can be fun even when it's serious, and this election has certainly spawned more than its fair share of mirth. From The Onion's increased coverage of our distinguished Vice President Biden to the recent spate of binder reviews on Amazon the Internets have never enjoyed an election more. Let's join them, shall we?


First up is Binders Full of Women. A relatively recent addition to the election-borne madness.


From a truly inspired collection of Halloween costumes to memes and photographs, Binders Full of Women successfully lampoons Romney's infamous affirmative action soundbite from the second debate.


Speaking of professional missteps, someone really ought to have talked Paul Ryan out of that awkward workout-inspired photo shoot for Time. Thankfully they didn't. And now both sides of the ideological aisle are taking advantage of this magnificent source material.

On the philosophical Right we have Hey Girl, It's Paul Ryan.


A neo-con iteration of one of my favorite memes, Hey Girl, It's Paul Ryan would surely make the VP-hopeful proud, and it never forgets to highlight his firm grasp of gun issues.

And in the other corner, weighing in for the Left, we have Mansplaining Paul Ryan.


Mansplaining Paul Ryan might trade in hyperbole, but it nails the Wisconsin Representative's penchant for condescension perfectly.


But my personal favorite is Arrested Decision 2012.


Pairing photos from the campaign trail with expertly selected quotations from Arrested Development, this site's commitment to nonpartisan ridicule is admirable in such a politically polarized atmosphere. Not only does it bring some much needed levity to an increasingly nasty election, this tumblr has the added benefit of getting everyone (even more) excited for the long-awaited return of Arrested Development. Who could ask for anything more?


All laughing aside, I know there there are a lot of emotional issues that play into this, and every, election. It can't all be cold, hard facts. Be your cause célèbre health caretaxes, employment, transparency, the economyIraq and Afghanistan, or marriage equality feeling can be a lot more compelling than stats when you get to the voting booth. Since that's the case, I just ask that you consider all sides of a question before doing your civic duty on Tuesday.

Also watch this mini West Wing reunion/random ad campaign, it's adorable and informative!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

football rap

I don't know if you've heard, but football is back! Or, as my brother so eloquently put it: our long national nightmare is over. Which means things here in Charm City are about to get doubly exciting. Not only are the O's fighting for first place in the AL East but the Ravens come back tomorrow to kick off another season of awesome. How best to celebrate this most wonderful time of the year? Online. Obviously.


Start by refreshing your memory of all 32 NFL teams. Even if you don't need the refresher, you're sure to enjoy this rundown of Every NFL Fan in 90 Seconds. It's brilliant, funny, and spot on. I mean, I'm totally the Ray Lewis of my lacrosse team.


Then take a look at what NFL team logos would look like if they were honest.


Thinking of taking in a game at a rival stadium? Don't buy your tickets blind, check out the view from almost any section in just about every stadium ever built on A View From My Seat.


All photos are user submitted and correspond to seating charts provided by the teams themselves. You can even share your own favorite spots in the comments. By the way, if you're thinking of making a playoff trip to Baltimore (let us pray) come visit me in my new sweet spot: section 334.


Already suffering from fantasy football stat fatigue? I hear you. Reignite your love of sabermetrics by falling for Wedded Blitz.


Grantland columnist (and secret friend-crush) Katie Baker does a highly statistical analysis of the New York Times 'Vows' section. Using her patiented NUPTIALS algorithm Baker ranks couples, a month at a time, by how well they fulfill the classic NYT wedding announcement tropes. The result is often equal parts sweet and revolting. Mostly, though, it's just hilarious. And while you're scrolling through the Wedded Blitz archives don't forget to stop by her rundown of the month of April, my neighbor is featured! Sadly the couple's score of 22 on the Society Scoreboard keeps you from reading about their adorable 101 Dalmatians-style meeting, but it's still pretty cool.


While we're still on the subject of love, let's talk about Aaron Rodgers. I know, I know. As recently as last season I was referring to him as the Captain Hook of the NFC North. But you guys, I was so wrong. I mean, not about him looking sort of like Captain Hook, but I was wrong to dismiss him because of it. This is an important lesson: just because someone looks like maybe they're a cartoon pirate doesn't mean they can't be awesome. And Aaron Rodgers is definitely awesome.


Quick history refresher: Rodgers was drafted by the Packers in 2005 to be Brett Favre's backup quarterback. Which was basically like being drafted to sit on the bench. Favre was Green Bay. And apparently, Rodgers knew it. But rather than get all emo about it, it looks like he decided to just enjoy the hell out of his time at Lambeau for however long it lasted. How'd he do that, you might ask? By photobombing all the Captains pictures he could manage from 2006 on. This site documents them all. And since turnabout is fair play, check for one or two that feature Rodgers' teammates getting the better of him. If only all Super Bowl MVPs were so much fun.


And now that we're done with our preseason internet warm up, I guess it's time to grab a Boh and get ready for some football.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

team america (london 2012)

Well kids, the Olympics are over. And the US delegation totally kicked ass. But it's not the glory that Tex and I will miss most as our attention returns Stateside, it's the Olympians themselves. You know who I'm talking about. Our hometown hero, that beautiful fool with the terrible taste, my own coup de foudre, and Cullen Jones. One more time, now: Cullen Jones. So in the name of international friendship, world peace, and our new hero Gabby Douglas I'd like to present you with an Olympic-themed post just for you. But also for us.


Look, this is a safe space so I think we can all just be honest with one another about something: Ryan Lochte would be a lot hotter if he weren't on Twitter. Unfortunately for his public image, he is. Fortunately for us, The Cut has found a silver lining.


Deep Thoughts from Ryan Lochte pairs admittedly hot photos of the Olympian with some of his choicest Tweets. Expect to finish the slideshow disappointed in yourself for not really caring about how stupid he sounds.


A friend of mine once posited the totally ridiculous theory that men in uniform aren't actually all that good-looking out of their uniforms. I won't delve too deeply into my thoughts on that subject (but, dude, you're wrong and even if you're not who cares), instead I'll merely refer you to this slideshow of 2012's hottest US Olympians...


Beating the odds and continuing to be hot in normal clothes.


And, in the continued spirit of objectification, check out what Olympic coverage would look like if all sports were photographed like women's beach volleyball:


Head's up, though, while not exactly NSFW it still might be a little uncomfortable to have your boss walk in while looking at awkward closeups of men's wrestling. So. Use your judgement.


Next, check out the BBC's web app to Find Your Olympic Athlete Body Match.


How do you stack up to the 2012 Olympians? (By the way, if the answer to that question is, 'with abs like these' consider yourself invited to TCKiT headquarters.)


Then round out your look back at the London games with one of its best memes:


McKayla is Not Impressed has photoshopped Team USA gymnast McKayla Maroney into everything from Disneyland to Inception with some truly impressive creativity. And McKayla, even if you're underwhelmed by that silver medal just know that the rest of us are pretty amazed by you and the rest of our US gymnasts.


And so, with a last look at the Olympic Google doodles and a round of Spice Girl songs, we bid adieu to the XXX Olympiad. See you in Rio!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Su Casa es Mi Casa (Part II of Tex's Furniture Blogging Adventure)

Well, kids, Tex is back from her long travels, wild adventures, and mysterious rendezvous (rendevi? rendevouseses?) in the distant East. And she's brought something to share with you.

You know, until recently, I wasn't big into 'furniture stores.' Why buy furniture, I asked, when fruit crates fall off the back of trucks all the time, and you hardly ever run into trouble collecting cardboard boxes? Well, times is changed and Tex has seen the light.

That light is Su Casa.


As those of you who read last week already know, Coda and I entered Su Casa's Test It/Blog It/Win It contest on a tipsy loaded drunken completely s***faced fun whim - never thinking we'd actually be selected to perform our jobs (blogging is a job, right?) in exchange for goods and services, and certainly never thinking we'd actually like doing so.

In fact, we showed up at the Su Casa store championship-style: a week late, a little bit drunk, and 15 minutes before closing. The very sweet woman at the desk greeted us happily nonetheless, in that tolerant-amused-jaded way that only Baltimoreans can manage, and welcomed us with open arms into her store.

 It was f***ing awesome. 

Before we get to the real meat of the review (that comes in Part III, kids), I want to take you on a delightful photographic journey through the maze of wonder and happiness that is the Su Casa store.





Su Casa's a garden of magic; it's a nirvana of design; it's a love letter to Baltimore, in all of its beautiful, simple, tacky, complicated, violent, lovely, charming glory. 

It's simultaneously Towson prep and Hampden hon; Ashburton buppie and Cherry Hill local; Canton penthouse and Pigtown rowhouse. It's the comfortable couch at your best friend's house and the swanky bar set at your boss's place. It's aspirational and accessible and personal but structured. It's global and local; it's pink flamingos beside Louis XIV couches; it's ravens by the register and blue crabs by the windows; it's monogrammed koozies and baretta-shaped ice trays. It's wildly and deliciously home.



Tex has found her furniture Xanadu. 


Friday, April 13, 2012

the one where we entered a Su Casa contest

Kids, gather round.
Kids.
Kids.
KIDS. I said  'gather round.'
Jameson, Cooley, Tulla, Whinnie, Deanston, Cutty - get in here.
Mummy wants you to look at something.

Now then
.

A few weeks ago, Tex was engaging in her usual Friday night routine - slamming whiskey with state officials, cursing incompetent aurifabers, and sexually harassing off-duty astronauts - when she stumbled upon the Test It. Blog It. Win It. contest being held by furniture moguls Su Casa


Now, drunk Tex loves contests like drunk Coda loves starting fights with Steelers fans. So naturally we entered, and will be blogging our merry little lives away for the next few weeks. (Settle down, Cooley, love - this won't affect our summer plans at all. We're still going to see your little friends play in their soccer game or whatever.) And in the interest of full disclosure (and in an effort to teach you some semblance of good taste in home decor), we're going to share our adventures with Su Casa in all their gory, gin-soaked gloriousness.

We naturally figured the best place to start would be at the beginning: with our illustrious application.

----

From: Tex and Coda <texandcoda@gmail.com>
Subject: Blogger Application

Application

Name: Tex and Coda
Email: texandcoda@gmail.com
State: Maryland
Blog URL: thecoolestkidsintown.blogspot.com
Furniture Preference: Bar

Why is your blog a good place to showcase your furniture preference?
Our blog's a great place to talk about bar furniture - mostly because our readers (and ourselves) spend quite a bit of time there. Our home bar's been carefully stocked, and we post new drink recipes ~1x/month. Granted, our recipes are at best alarming and at worst wildly irresponsible, but what's a little vodka-and-grain alcohol between friends?

Show off your blogging skills: Describe the dinner you had last night.
Honestly, it was mostly gin. There was some sort of a meat involved, too - steak? Veal? Long pork? I remember hooves being mentioned. Okapi? Horse? Good god, I hope it wasn't horse. If I ate a horse, my kids are *never* getting in to Princeton. Let's just say gin and potatoes; vegetarians are popular this year. This isn't going to print, right?

----

I'm certain you can see why they chose us.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

mixes & matches

I don't wanna brag or anything, and I certainly don't want to jinx our current streak, but it looks like Tex and I are on our way to becoming reliable updaters. So with that in mind, I'm posting 2012's first Awesome Blog of the WeekMean Girls of Panem. And kids, I promise you will not be disappointed by what happens when the Burn Book meets the Girl on Fire.


A tumblr that combines my two favorite things so seamlessly? One that's replete with Tina Fey's sense of humor and Katniss's attitude? It could only be the work of fate (or maybe just one awesome girl). And even if it's not destiny, well, it's definitely my new favorite way to lighten up a heavy hour or two. (And yes, you read that right, Mean Girls and The Hunger Games are my two favorite things.)

So hurry up and add the tumblr to your RSS reader, follow Mean Girls of Panem on Pinterest, and admit to yourself that Mr Katniss Everdeen is never got going to be funny. Never.




UPDATE

One of the reasons I was so compelled to do an Awesome Blog of the Week about Mean Girls of Panem is because its author doesn't pull any punches. She was rightfully appalled when critics started calling Jennifer Lawrence fat, and I was so impressed by her response that I contacted her and asked if she'd thought about addressing the horrifying, racist comments people have been making about the two black actors who were cast as Rue and Thresh, respectively. Renee and I agreed that the backlash against casting Amandla Stenberg and Dayo Okeniyi was both abhorrent and ridiculous; we also mutually wondered if any of those assholes had left their e-Klan rallies long enough to actually read the book.

And then this happened:


Guys. My friend crush totally noticed me! 

Friday, April 6, 2012

pretty pink ribbon

Over the past five years Tex and I would like to think you've gotten to know us pretty well. You know we hate hipsters, love Ramshackles, and that we have a preppy streak a mile wide. And that preppy mile of ours? It's paved in grosgrain.

Ever since the tragic shredding of my favorite ribbon belt from high school (faulty D-rings, it's still hard to talk about) I've been on the hunt for something new to love. And I'm happy to report that I've found it. About a week or two ago we received a package from our giveaway partner in crime and, kids, its contents have brought us nothing but joy.


We've gone on record before about our affinity for Chesapeake Ribbons, but now we're walking the walk, as well. I've worn my new favorite belt every single day since receiving it, and not one of those days has passed without getting at least one compliment on it. I'm telling you, this stuff is cute.

So what did we get? Glad you asked. We'll start with my beloved belt:


Pink flamingos, naturally. They're a Baltimore classic. And if you want to lighten the belt up a little, you can do what I did and request pink webbing behind the ribbon instead of blue. It's a much brighter look, perfect for the warm months ahead.


This is one of the Chesapeake Ribbons Gift Sets - a line of presents for the wee prep in your life. This particular set features a tiny little belt and pacifier clip, Tex gave it to some friends of hers so their son could be stylish even in his earliest years.


With bright colors and a pretty pattern, this key fob had us from hello. Currently it's being used as intended, but ever since I stumbled across this post on the Chesapeake Ribbons blog, I can't help thinking that maybe I'd like it even better as a luggage tag.

As if all of this weren't great enough, it turns out Chesapeake Ribbons also a charitable organization, which means when you support it, you're also supporting autism awareness groups, cancer research institutions, and children’s cancer organizations. You can't get much better than that.



Monday, March 19, 2012

update: just the contest

It's come to our attention that our awesome-as-hell 100th post is a little on the long side, so Tex and I have decided to cut you kids a break and re-post the contest information on its own. Entries will be accepted in the comments of both this post and all prep everything.

Because we love you, Tex and I want to help you on your journey to being well-kempt and adorable, so we're excited to announce that in honor of our 100th post  we're having our very first giveaway.

The prize: a $20 gift certificate to Chesapeake Ribbon Co. 
Purveyor of all things cute and grosgrain (belts, key fobs, dog collars, headbands, and more), Chesapeake Ribbon Co reminds us of ribbon shopping after school, lacrosse tryouts, and also the belt whose arrival I'm anxiously awaiting (because as any proper Baltimore girl can tell you: Pink Flamingos are clutch).

To win: leave us a story in the comments that you think best exemplifies 'all prep everything.' 
Entries must be in by 11.59pm on March 21st, and should include a name and email address where the winner can be reached. Tex and I will notify the winner by the following Friday.

Good luck!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

all prep everything


It's finally come. The day you've been anticipating for 5 long years. The day Tex & Coda publish their 100th post! And yes, you did that math right - we're averaging 20 posts a year. Bask in the glow of our tireless work ethic. We're celebrating with the post below and - scroll down to see this - a giveaway!

Now I'm afraid we're going to have to take a break from the celebrating for a few minutes because Tex and I have agreed that there's something we really need to talk to you about. So I'll just let her take the reins here for a bit while I have a mini-panic attack over these shirts selling out.

--

Hello, muffin.

So you're all about that age, and Coda and I have been wanting to sit you all down and have a very frank conversation. I know this might be a sensitive topic, but it's a necessary one and we're having this talk because you're all growing up, and Coda and I want to make sure that you're going to be making good decisions as you go out into the world.

It's about your clothes.

We'll go into this more extensively at a later date, of course, but for now we just - *sigh* - we just felt compelled to say that  - well, it's just that - I mean, the safe thing to do, of course - well, we - God, this is awkward. Look, just explore the awesome clothing lines below and...we'll talk when your father gets home.

Wait, wait, no - I can do this. I want to speak to you frankly, and - thanks to the grand maritime tradition of our mid-Atlantic home - the only appropriate place to do so is on a (metaphorical) boat.


Port call #1: The classics. The foundation on which you build your empire. The frame upon which your masterpiece's canvas is stretched. The headmistress who gave you an early sense of discipline. The grandfather from whom your ill-spent inheritance flows.

Note: We haven't listed three of the better-known labels here, but we'd like to think we didn't have to tell you about Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, and Cole Haan. 

The Andover Shop may well be one of the last surviving remnants of the Langrock-style campus store. Lots of tweed, very little go-to-hell.

Ah, Barbour. I know you think you've worn a coat before, and you probably feel like you're basically Professor Coats, but trust us - try the Barbour.


Emilio Pucci is simply the best outfitter if you plan to be lounging under a umbrella in Palm Beach, complaining about your ex-husband and trying to order drinks from the pool boys.


Sometimes, our British friends get it right. Fred Perry is one of those times. (Graham Norton is not.)

Gant is a northeastern favorite with an emerging euro-modern approach. Hopefully it won't veer too far into the realm of the metrofashionable; for now, it remains reliable.

J. McLaughlin - a simple staple, kicking off our foray into the land of initialized label names.

J. Press - Where the Old Boys Club gets dressed. Founded on the Yale campus over a century ago J.Press has been a sartorial tradition ever since. Just ask our 41st President.

Nothing's preppier than lazy fashion shortcuts, and throwing on a pair of Jack Rogers sandals with the nearest pair of khaki shorts you can get your hands on is the fastest way to be passably dressed for gin-hangover brunch.

And here, we'd like to pause and wish a Happy 100th Anniversary to that most beloved of prep brands. Here's to you, Bean - without whom we'd all have wet feet.

Lands' End: Like Bean, but Sears-ier.

Lilly Pulitzer is sort of the Lisa Frank of adult preppy women - lots of bright colors and patterns happening here. Lots of patterns. Nonetheless, all done in a sort of Palm Beach-cum-Greenwich style. 

Like so many other women's labels to follow, Milly is a print-heavy collection of shifts, cardigans, and silk scarves.

Orvis: Like Bean, but fly-fishier.

Pendleton Woolen Mills, a 19th century Western wool-working company, is the creator of the most beautiful, work-of-art blankets in the country. Their work in American Indian prints and Hudson's Bay horizontals is inimitable. 

What do you mean, 'I don't own smoking slippers'?! What the hell do you wear to smoke in, then?

Of course we listed Talbot's, Mom. We heard you.

Tod's produces classic, simple designs. And driving moccasins. Well-played.


And again, our Limey friends get it right. Thomas Pink's jackets and men's shirts fit exceedingly well.




Port Call #2: The scion. The heir to the throne. The next old thing. The brown-nosing cousin in line to take your father's job. The older brother who "forgot" to tell you that the party was jackets-required.

Ann & Sid Mashburn's Atlanta-based shop is so authentic that we just can't resist it. Our particular favorite? The Boyfriend shirt. It even tempts us to throw out the ex-boyf's old Boys Latin oxford.

Khakis are the PB&J of every prep's wardrobe. Bills makes them, and makes them well - and in the bright colors that will make all the girls at the club spill their gimlets in excitement.

Ah, Black Dog - that most beloved of all Vineyard icons, least beloved of all Vineyard bars. Increasingly egalitarian, but I made my first nonchalantly-ripped-up/I'm-a-special-snowflake/teenage-rebel hoodie from my old gray Black Dog, so it holds a special place in my heart.

A self-described East Coast style-guide, Bowties & Boatshoes is one aptly named blog. Written by two native Annapolitans, the authors know a thing or two about boat shoes. And, as it turns out, bow ties.

Eliza B makes flip flops so popular among the prep set that they were practically considered in uniform at our beloved school. I mean, technically they were not, no, definitely not. Technically, I received 3+ detentions for wearing these instead of headmistress-sanctioned shoes. Still wore them, though. Thug life

Elizabeth McKay's designs are Milly for a younger set; all the same bright prints, but a little less Mom and more Meg, the suck-up oldest sister who's going to get married before everyone.


Kiel James Patrick is, without a doubt, the brightest young thing of all the bright young things in neoclassic prep fashion. The bracelets, headbands, necklaces, earrings and belts he & Sarah Vickers make are relentlessly perfect and quixotically prep.

Leatherman, Ltd. & Austin Jeffers are the gentleman's counterpart to Eliza B. - and just as popular. 


Smathers & Branson, another Maryland favorite, is the product of two college friends who realized that quality products shouldn't have to be prohibitively expensive. From key fobs and flasks (Coda has the camo one) to belts and coasters, it takes the re-emerging needlepoint phenomenon to the next level.

Think of Southern Proper as Georgia's answer to Vineyard Vines. Featuring lines for Belles and Gents, expect to see prints that celebrate the South, which means mint juleps and magnolia blossoms for all.

Growing up in a coastal state you expect to absorb a bit of the maritime culture into your daily life, and Marylanders have taken to boat shoes like, well, a fish takes to water. And while there are a lot of companies out there making good boat shoes, for our money, nothing beats the original: Sperry.

Never have women loved a pair of relatively plain ballet flats as much as they love Tory Burch's relatively plain ballet flats. Admittedly, these are cute and comfortable shoes.

Needlepoint belts of the type sold at Tucker Blair are one of the many go-to-hell items that preps enjoy. The brainchild of a former-financier prep-school rebel, these run among the more economical of needlepoint options - without compromising authentic prep design.

Vera Bradley is the original home of those patterned, quilted bags so popular among moms, college students, and hungover sunglasses-wearing plane-hoppers.

The original. The granddaddy of them all. Those omnipresent patterned ties that make us wish women had more neck-wear options. The tote bags are a pretty great consolation, though.

Home of the original sailcloth bags,William J. Mills Co. has specialized in sailmaking since the late 19th century - but lately has expanded their inventory of fashionable totes and packaways for those of us who spend more time onboard the Metro than a sailboat (God, that was bleak).



Port Call #3: The neophytes. The bright young preps. The sophomores at Gilman with stars in their eyes and lax sticks on their shoulders. The manner-born baby birds, just waiting to fly free from the preppy nest and dive into the big, blue world of whiskey summers and corner offices.
Tex loves beautifully-designed, well-made bags like a fat kid loves other fat kids who give the first fat kid free cake. Hence her adoration for Blue Claw Company, whose line includes - among other things - an Old Bay Overnighter. Maryland wins it again.

Pastel plaid is not madras. I don't care what American Eagle told you. It's not. Purists (read: slightly fanatical) we may be, but if you ask us, it's patch madras or nothing, which is why we were so excited to find Cape Madras, seller of all things patch and bright. After all, it's not summer without it.

Ribbons, ribbons, everywhere! If there's one thing preps - particularly those of the Mid-Atlantic variety - love, it's ribbon-based accessorizing. Dog collars, belts, headbands, key fobs - you name it, we ribbon it. And so does Chesapeake Ribbons.


Although it's trending toward the dark, shameful realm of ANF try-hards, Jack Wills remains a wee Englishman's prep favorite - its signature navy-and-pink stripe are especially popular. They also retain an edge of tony prep authenticity thanks to their sponsoring of the annual Jack Wills Varsity Polo match.


Let us not forget the bright, bold patterns (see a pattern yet?) of Jonathan Adler. Everything from clothing to furniture to dog bowls. And plenty of monograms

Just Madras actually sells quite a bit more than madras, in fact, they're pretty much summer in store form. If you can dream it in madras or seersucker odds are pretty high that Just Madras stocks it. Not to mention their growing jewelry collection, which we'll definitely be keeping an eye on.

With all this hubbub over needlepoint we're starting to get a little concerned that a classic is being overlooked: the ribbon belt. However, with companies like Chesapeake Ribbon and The Knot Clothing Co in its corner, we think grosgrain has more than a fighting chance. Fresh designs, fun extras, and Coda's aforementioned favorite shirt are what the Knot is all about: a fun twist on a classic favorite.

Otter Bay is the least-known to us of all brands, but what we see, we like. Explore more on your own. 
I mean, Coda and I aren't going to do everything for you.

An offering from our Windy City compatriots, Salmon Cove currently only offers general prep staples - polo shirts, key fobs, and canvas bags - but we have high hopes to see it carve a lakefront Midwestern niche in the near future. 

Sloane Rangers were, as those history buffs among you might know, the first to popularize modern prep across the pond, and their influence on the development of American prep style - particularly through the publishing of the Sloane Ranger handbook in the 1980s - is well-known but little-documented. The new Sloane Ranger label promises to take over a position that the down-trending Jack Wills may soon void.

From tshirts to croakies and coozies, Southern Marsh is living an active lifestyle. Complete with a pervasive southern accent, this is not the store to visit when you need a tie for your fraternity formal, this is the store to visit when you need a new shirt for that early morning duck hunt. Talk about a breath of fresh air.

Bow ties are sadly underused these days, but with the arrival of Starboard Clothing Co. and its ilk we think all that's about to change. Featuring a fresh and ever-expanding inventory (that's right they have seersucker bow ties - summer is coming, you know), these beauties are lovingly crafted by one of the gentlemen behind Bowties & Boatshoes. We told you they know their stuff.

Bright and patterned? Not just for Lilly dresses anymore. Meet Tipsy Skipper, an online store of bags, shoes, and key fobs that infuse a sense of whimsy into any outfit. I don't know about you, but I see some real potential in that Captain Morgan clutch, especially.

The small shop of a brother and sister pair from New York, True Wind's sailcloth bags are authentically sailing-meets-suburbia. Most unique item? These sailcloth laptop bags.

Although we here at TCKiT are naturally distrustful of the French, Parisian Palm Beach label Vicomte Arthur shows significant promise in a new interpretation of classic prep style.



Port Call #4: The upstarts. The little sister majoring in "Transcendental Philosophy" at Brown. The entrepreneurial friend whose socks never match, but whose ideas are brilliant. The free-wheeling uncle who takes his tea with scotch and bedded three of his high school teachers.

Bow ties are a necessary item for any prep, dandy, or American hipster's closet - and, being locasartors and big fans of our personal friends, we believe no one does them better than AccoutreMe. Co-founded by Eliot Payne (hi, Eliot!), you'll enjoy this fashionable jaunt through bespoke accessories. And since D.C. is the home of progressive action, Accoutre supports Bow Tie Equality - women should wear them, too. (And Eliot special-makes bow-tie necklaces and bracelets for those traditionalists among you).

Filling a hole in our hearts (and closets) that we didn't even know was there, Ame&Lulu is a new shop that creates fabulously preppy sport & workout clothes. Tired of losing your prep identity every time you step into yoga class? Sick of no one on the squash courts realizing where you went to school? Ame&Lulu's here to fix that. First person to send one of these tennis backpacks my way gets free Manhattans for life.

The designers of Tex's beloved custom-made Gatsby bag, Full Harbor is the craftwork of Austin Saylor, an absolute genius of leatherwork and creator of some beautiful pieces.



Port Call # 5: The specialists. Those who do one thing - and do it very well.


Blazer Buttons: I know what you've been thinking: sure, my navy blazer is a classic, but how can I make it mine? Well, I don't know your life, but if you went to any of the 42 prep schools or 149 colleges and universities whose crests Charleston clothier Ben Silver has immortalized in blazer button form you could always start there.
Bass Weejuns: H.B. Bass Weejuns are a classic prep shoe, and will remain in our hearts forever.

Rainboots: Hunter boots have been a rainy day staple since their founding in 1856, and have remained so despite their insistence on expanding from their traditional green and into the disturbing world of neon and metallic. We can't seem to stay mad at Hunter, though, because we know we'd never make it through those dreary February rains without them. (Seriously, though, enough with the wedge heels.)
Nantucket Reds: You know these pants. These pants mean summer. Some people might call them Go to Hell Pants, but you know them by their true name: Nantucket Reds. For a pair of the real thing visit Murray's Toggery Shop and thank your lucky stars you didn't have to take that damn ferry.

Sandals: Tex might be an Eliza B acolyte, but for Coda there's only Rainbow. Murder to break in, but flip flop nirvana afterwards, the best things always take work.

Go-to-hell Shoelaces: Why the hell not? Stolen Riches makes go-to-hell laces - because there aren't enough ways to spend your money in America.



Down Below: Now, I know what you're thinking, and let me just scoff in advance. As if we'd just breeze by darling little Bastion & Archimedes without so much as a how-do-you-do. For the four-legged sartor, we present the following options (delivered in a monogrammed bowl, of course).

The Classic Prep: Four Preppy Paws

The Traditionalist: L.L. Bean Dog Shop

The Californian: Jax and Bones

The Modernist: Jonathan Adler Pets

And if you're the excessive sort (like Dear Aunt Muffy - bless her heart), then there's always this optionMy mother would have thought you were mad, but à chacun son chien.


Back at the Clubhouse: Well, by now, you're probably slavering over all the lovely designs and absolutely desperate to find out where you can drop loads of money to look exactly like everyone else.


You need look no further: sign up to become a member of Country Club Prep, a new flash sale site (launching today!) that features only the best in preppy clothing. Tell them Tex & Coda sent you, then start stocking up on all the seersucker and madras you'll need to be the BSD of a Cape Cod summer.

Now, since you're still shopping about for guidance (I would have thought you'd want to ask your father, but apaprently his board meetings are running long today), I've set you up for lunch with the preppy writers below:

College Prepster: She's young, she's adorable, and dammit - we like her.
The Daily Prep: Muffy Aldrich does it like no other - she's a bastion of wisdom about the history, lifestyle, and designs of the classic prep.
Great Lakes Prep: A bright young prep guy's voice from the Midwest.
Necessary & Proper: The most traditional of all the voices in modern prep fashion, we enjoy Lauren & Van's DC style.
The Preppy Life: A Baltimore-based blogger with extensive reviews, links, and advice. We love our hometown, and we love her.
Red Clay Soul: Interviews, labels, and features. Red Clay Soul's a comprehensive city prep gentleman's style site.
Urban Prepster: Exactly as the label says - items of interest for the urban prepster and his/her ilk.
Unabashedly Prep: He's Texan, but we would never hold that against him. Castleberry works hard to capture the essence of New England, flavored with modern good ol' boy charm at his blog.


And take a little time to visit Tex's private workspace at The Black Prep, and Coda's at t&c

Now then. I hope that wasn't too awkward for you. We found it wildly uncomfortable, but we love you too much to lie to you any longer.



Speaking of how much we love you: Tex and I want to help you on your journey to being well-kempt and adorable, so we're excited to announce that in honor of our 100th post (*gasp*) we're having our very first giveaway.

The prize: a $20 gift certificate to Chesapeake Ribbon Co. 
Purveyor of all things cute and grosgrain (belts, key fobs, dog collars, headbands, and more), Chesapeake Ribbon Co reminds us of ribbon shopping after school, lacrosse tryouts, and also the belt whose arrival I'm anxiously awaiting (because as any proper Baltimore girl can tell you: Pink Flamingos are a necessity).

To win: leave us a story in the comments that you think best exemplifies 'all prep everything.' 
Entries must be in by 11.59pm on March 19th, and should include a name and email address where the winner can be reached. Tex and I will notify the winner by the following Wednesday.

Good luck!