The style arbiters at the New York Times’ T Magazine have revealed what was behind the artful dishevelment of recently deceased pundit William F. Buckley Jr.: dressing up was simply beneath him.
Buckley adopted the blueblood uniform of The Millbrook School, the sort of upper crusty institution where the preppy look was born back in the day, they write, and never grew out of it.
“He came from an era and background where if you looked like you spent too much time thinking about clothes, then everything else was suspect,” the great Alan Flusser tells T. “[He was] anti-fashion in the original sense of the term.” Hence the moth-eaten Shetland sweaters. Buckley himself once wrote that if left alone he would “permit [my] standards of personal dress to deteriorate to the level of the downright offensive.”
While the homage was no doubt unintentional, Preppy style was once again back in full force at the recent Premiere Vision menswear trade show. And so Buckley’s style lives on in the form of thousands of pastel-hued polo shirts.
- — Jared Paul Stern