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.

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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 √† 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!

Comments

Kendal said…
Bahaha! So, here I am about to write the most wonderful comment about this spectacular blog post, everything prep and I lost my train of thought because of the tag line on your comment box. #damnit

All in all, this blog post rocked my world. Keep them coming!
Ashley said…
hmmmmm, so many preppy stories to chose from. i'd say being driven back and forth from bms to gilman for class in a car worth more than my college education. or maybe some ocean city popped collar-ed hang outs? the options are limitless.
Eliot said…
During my "No Tengo Pantalones" birthday party, a bunch of us roamed around without pants and my friends kept popping my collar.
Branson Nantucket is a holiday resort and it is a global network of resort.there are many facilities are available for visitors and many visitors are visit this resort and spend your holiday with your family.
Anonymous said…
Kanye West
-Viper
Anonymous said…
Asking the waiter what sparkling water the restaurant carried and being told "perry - er". Ordering a bottle of "perrier" and then having said waiter bring you pelligrino.
Kendal said…
Kegs, more specifically: Keg stands. But keep in mind to make this outlandishly preppy you MUST be wearing your Sperrys, naturally because they're boat shoes, duh!
Tex and Coda said…
Hey guys, remember to leave us your name and some way to contact you or we won't be able to let you know if you win. Thanks and keep them coming!
Unknown said…
I was at the Hamptons with my friend and his family, and took his nephew up back to the house since he had to go to the bathroom. I believe he was six at the time? This was our conversation:

"Mey, do you like me?"
"Yes of course I like you!"
"Mey, do you think I'm handsome?"
"Yes, I think you're very handsome!"
"So, I see it's just you and me."
Crickets

And then I was propositioned by a six year old playboy in the Hamptons.