Sunday, July 31, 2011

Basic TDP Clothes - Essential Wardrobe Staples

Many ask for a list of the absolute, core TDP items for building out the base for a classic casual wardrobe. It is not complete (obviously), but a good place to start.

Of course, androgyny plays a role, with just a few items specifically for Men (M) or Women (W).

These items can be dressed up or down, personalized with other items, and often come in both inexpensive and high-end versions:
  • Shirts:  Oxfords:  Solids (White and Blue) and University Stripes; Polo Shirts; Turtlenecks (W); Tattersall (M); Flannel; Seersucker
  • Pants: Khakis; Nantucket Reds for summer; Corduroys for cooler weather
  • Sweaters: Navy Cotton Crewneck; Cotton Cable; Navy Wool Crewneck; Cardigans(W); Norwegian Crewneck 
  • Shoes: Quoddy Boat Shoes; Sperry Top-Siders; L.L. Bean Camp Mocs; Bucks (M); Bluchers; Bean Boots for winter
  • Belts: D-Ring Motif Belt (W); Tab & Buckle Belt (M)
  • Pocketbook (W): Vintage Vera Bradley or small L.L. Bean Boat and Tote
  • Outerwear: Rain Slicker (can double as a wind-breaker), Patagonia Fleece
  • Jackets: Tweed (M), Navy Blazer (M), Quilted


Joy said...

Wonderfully helpful list. I'm so glad you made this. Great advice :)

Collin said...

Thank you for such a helpful list, but I do have one question. Are tassel loafers an appropriate shoe for men, particularly kiltie tassle loafers?

Anonymous said...


You feel turtlenecks are a no for men currently?


Ben said...

Hello. Those asking this type of question might benefit from the following links, which provide a similar line of advice. They are aimed at men, though.

G. Bruce Boyer's "Curmudgeon's Lament":’s-lament/

This old guide for a "student wardrobe":

And Jeffrey A. Tucker's (rather conservative) "How To Dress Like a Man":

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ben, but I was actually curious about Muffy's opinion on the matter.


Claudine said...

Love love your blog (and today's somewhat sarcastic comments !). I'm a girl of the sea myself( Norman actually) but currently living in Paris, so I enjoy all these photos on the water and yachting trips in your posts. Anyway, forgive this French-speaking person and tell me : what does "Muffy" mean ? I understand it's a preppy nickname, but what does it refer to ?
Perhaps one of your commenters could help !!!!!.....

Anonymous said...

Muffy ... thanks so much for the list and links. I just went to the Leatherman site and ordered two fantastic tab & buckle belts, one with dancing martini glasses. Your blog is absolutely charming and a joy to read.



Anonymous said...

Hi there!

I just discovered this blog and it is amazing.

I was just wondering if you could give me some advice. My body is no longer as slim as it once was after the birth of 2 children. Apparently, my "curves" are here to stay. How would you suggest dressing a "preppy" larger chest.

I have such a hard time and the clothes that are in the stores these days are HORRID.


Stephanie F.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering what typical attire would be in any New England state for a trip to
the grocery store or hardware store or casual lunch date out?
Prep attire is the exception rather than the rule? Other than dressing for really
cold weather do people dress much differently than any where else in the USA?

Anonymous said...

Dear Muffy;

Could you do a post about preppy clothing?

I find it harder and harder to find basic staples, especially for girls. Often the girls' things-- even from the same brand as the boys'-- seem to be flimsier than similar garments for boys.

I cannot be the only mother who would like a basic quality turtleneck but in a nice light pink (for my pink-living daughter.) Some things I can cross over-- for example, navy turtlenecks-- but I would like a little more plain. It must be possible to have pink without a bunch of bling and without spending a ridiculous amount of money on (since kids grow so fast!)


Anonymous said...

You should do an article on cheapest preppiest brands

Anonymous said...

Muffy-- I found some great sailor-striped hats, as well as scarves, in Croatia of all places (navy sailor stripes everywhere in Dubrovnik.)

The store is called Aqua and they were in Dubrovnik and Split (they have some other locations in a few countries as well)-- but there is also a catalog/website and they shipped to me (customer Service in English was no problem and there is an English version of the website.)

The hats have been the perfect match to my L.L. Bean French sailor turtlenecks during this cold spring in Europe.

Also great nautical-themed stationery and random odds-and-Ends.


jo baldwin said...

Whenever I pack shoes they're always in a plastic bag, separating them from the rest of my clothes. I hate to imagine what the soles of my shoes come in contact with everyday, and the thought of them rubbing against my clothes is unthinkable. Hey, that's me.

Nicole B said...

Dear Muffy, I am going to Acadia, Bar Harbor, the jordan pond house and some islands. Can you suggest some hiking clothing basics to prepare me? I purchased a pair of khaki shorts from patagonia. I have hiking shoes and many patagonia 1/2 zips I planed on packing. You blog is one of my favorites it really gives a great insight into an old new england prep. Thank you Nicole.

KRW said...

This brings up a debate I've had with several of my friends. I noticed that the cardigan is not on your list as an essential for men.

It's omission not necessarily being a banishment, I would like your opinion, Muffy. Is the cardigan a preppy, trad, and becoming item for men?

Anonymous said...


In this post, you include D-ring motif belts. I noticed they appear in many photos in other posts too. Do you have any favorite motifs or ones you find to be classic preppy?