Westchester WASPs Declining? Also, Classic Preppy Style and Argyle Update

Monday’s Journal News has a fascinating story “Westchester WASPs on decline, still prized,” one that is being printed out and hand carried to a few relatives who will find it more than intriguing. The publication covers the lower Hudson Valley, essentially Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

The story starts out this way:

“Fifty years ago, it was easy to tell who was on top.

The men wore suits from Brooks Brothers or J. Press, the women white gloves and pearls, and places like Westchester County were their natural habitat.”

It goes on…

“… it seems now more than ever the WASP has left its central position on the historical stage, even in places like Westchester and Putnam counties.

It may be time to send in a final thank-you note for all the memories.”

The story quotes author Susan Cheever at length; here is a brief excerpt:

“Preppy style is one of the few things this country has managed to export in fashion. You could argue that style is an echo of WASP elitism, and it’s huge in Japan and Europe,” said Cheever, 65. “The clothing also connotes a certain kind of ethic, the old preppy ethic. But it’s interesting to see what gets passed along with the clothing, and what doesn’t.”

Speaking of J. Press, they do have an inordinate amount of marked down merchandise available, like the Blackwatch button down, as well as the Madras shirt.

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And now we have an argyle update, as we follow up on the sweaters posted a few weeks back.  We stumbled across this Fred Perry Short Sleeve Argyle Sweater at Nordstrom whilst grazing the online pastures in search of a few holiday treasures to buy and hide away for TPC (The Princess Consort).

Unfortunately this one felt a little…well, a little “nerdy,” if that is the appropriate term we hear the younger generation use today? We also stumbled across these Perlina pumps (lower left) in a chocolate and pink combination at Zappos.  Lower rght, the Juicy Couture Margot slipper, which didn’t make us ga-ga either.

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Below, the Volcom Prepster argyle sweater for Men.

Volcom 'Prepster'

Volcom

It isn’t working for us, but then, Volcom isn’t exactly created with folks like TP in mind. It is more of a surfing, skateboarding brand, and while many of you no doubt envision The Princess barreling down the drive on a skateboard, that isn’t our M.O.  At any rate, what we really wanted to share was this, from the always-fabulous Rich over at Down the Line Tennis:

Down the Line

PHOTO: Down the Line

On the left we see the USA’s own Andy Roddick, and on the right in the photo Russian ace Nikolay Davydenko. Age 27. No, it isn’t his grandfather or even his father. Amazing what a little argyle can do for a guy. BTW, while visiting Rich, look for the feature on Rafael Nadal as fashion plate while receiving a major award Friday.

Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

PHOTO: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Next, a story from the Times you might enjoy, a piece on classic clothing entitled, The Fashion Report of 1920. Written by Guy Trebay, who frequently covers fashion and style for the paper, it really is a gem.  Kim France, editor of Lucky magazine is quoted:

“There are all these great standbys that don’t really have anything to do with the lifestyle we lead here in New York and are totally underappreciated,” she added, referring to things like Red Wing engineer boots, Aran sweaters, Barbour jackets, Sperry Top-Siders, Woolrich jackets, Alden cordovan loafers and Pendleton shirts.”

Gregg Scaffidi for the NY TImes

PHOTO: Greg Scaffidi for the NY TImes

The photo above features a flannel-lined wool shirt by Woolrich, white Hanes T-shirt, Carhartt pants and Hunter Wellington boots.  The column continues:

“Versions of this stuff are popping up everywhere from Ralph Lauren to Rag & Bone to the neo-traditionalist collections Alex Carleton designs under the Rogues Gallery label, Mr. Fielden said. Anonymous, eminently functional and reasonably priced, the clothes seem perfectly attuned to times like these. That they are cool besides seems to derive not from any sartorial irony or nostalgia for the manual labor fast vanishing from the American landscape or even from a conservative cultural atmosphere. It is more simple than that. They do the job.”

Issac Turner

PHOTO: Issac Turner

Above, a photo of the Rogues Gallery store in Portland. Maine. You may read more about this wonderful establishment here.

And finally, for today’s Pretty in Pink photo, we share the darling Pretty Pink Princess Sky King Trike at Vivre. Created by Airflow Collectibles, it is too cute. Perhaps the only thing cuter from Airflow is the Princess Pedal Car, complete with chrome accents and a running board!

Happy almost-here Monday!

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5 Comments

Filed under Argyle, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

5 responses to “Westchester WASPs Declining? Also, Classic Preppy Style and Argyle Update

  1. Let me get this straight – WASPs declining, but Prep is making a comeback? A restorative martini might be in order here.

    And – Andy Roddick’s argyle = good, Rafa’s shiny brown suit = notsomuch. Yikes.

  2. You don’t skateboard? 😉

    I agree the slippers are too much but that trike is adorable!

  3. Amelia

    I love those argyle pumps… I really need them!

  4. fashionman

    This year’s tennis fashions were dissapointing. Only the men’s champions displayed some style.

  5. CW Maddox

    There are still pockets of supreme WASP culture. They have moved with the migration of economic ebb and flow on a generational basis.

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