The recent opening of the Basquiat retrospective at NYC’s Gagosian Gallery reminded us of one of our favorite peculiarities about the artist: his penchant for painting while wearing shockingly expensive Italian suiting. And for that matter, while generally regarded as a subversive vanguard, the man knew his way around a pocket square and bow tie pretty well. So we dug a little deeper, and found a good deal of trad items hiding in his wardrobe—even a herringbone blazer.
Here’s a handsome addition to any well-appointed bookshelf or coffee table in need: the madras-wrapped Ivy Style.
In addition to its obvious clothbound charm, the book is filled with a wealth of information on the habitudes of the trad—published by Yale Press, naturally (and released just this week). The book serves as a companion catalog to an ongoing exhibit at New York’s Fashion Institute, but should serve you just as well if a trip to NYC by year’s end isn’t in the cards. Contributors include the exhibit’s curator, Patricia Mears; Esquire’s G. Bruce Boyer; and Christian Chensvold of the blog Ivy Style (no relation). And with the holiday season around the corner, it might be wise to earmark this for any bookish Ivy League enthusiasts in your life.
The fresh-faced preppiness was on point as expected—a master class in updated and tailored versions of trad standbys. But we noticed something a little different on some feet: the cotton tennis shoes weren’t all the white we’ve been seeing for the past few springs and summers. And most noticeably, there was a bright green pair—Tretorns like the rest of them—and we’re hoping to see more of it in the upcoming year.
After the hell you put them through this summer, your white plimsolls ought to be replaced anyhow.
The Armory Show started up this week, with hundreds of galleries piling into two piers on Manhattan’s western edge. It’s the closest you’ll find to a pop-up MoMA—and more importantly, it has nearly every variety of gentlemanly style you could want, from British Museum trads and disheveled artists to the Harajuku avant-garde. (Also, every conceivable hairstyle.) We stopped by yesterday with camera in hand to document the splendor. Check it out below.
You can take or leave most of the style advice we dole out. As cool as they are, you don’t need a checked blazer. You don’t need an advice-giving pen. But if you’re living anywhere that sees snow on a regular basis, you’re going to need a winter coat—and you’re going to be living with whichever one you choose for quite a while.
So choose wisely.
And to help you survey the territory, we’ve broken the world’s winter coats into three easy categories and singled out the best items in each one—starting with the most classic item in the bunch, the overcoat...
For the moment, we’ll pass over the (cognac-colored!) gloves and the unfussy light-wash denim to focus entirely on that jacket. It already passes our 50-foot test, and the shawl collar pushes it into Bing Crosby territory. This is how holiday party legends are made.
Trads won’t like the high cut (it won’t, as Mr. Wong will remind you, cover your posterior), but we’ve never been shy about breaking a few rules.
As we head into tweed-jacket season, we thought we’d remind you of one of our favorite fall style moves. It’s a bit of understated traddism that happens to match perfectly with the rough fall jackets you just took out of storage.
Our love of old-school shaving cream got a boost today, with trad king Will Boehlke unveiling a new crop of British-style shaving soaps at his in-house shop. The scents are all old-man perfumes like cedar and sandalwood, but it’s really about the ritual of the wooden bowl and the badger hair brush, something Boehlke calls, “the second best experience a man can have with his pajamas on.”
So far, we’ve resisted the urge to write about tomorrow’s Royal Wedding, but since he's going to be in a very big spotlight, we couldn’t let the occasion pass without a few words concerning William’s status as the standard bearer for British style.
In short, the prince dresses like a banker. And it’s bad news.
We’ve got a soft spot for trad writers, but when one of them manages to carry the look through to the colonies, we start taking notes. So in honor of his latest adaptation, we’re bringing you a quick appraisal of the glorious mound of v-neck sweaters and linen suits known as Graham Greene.