The Definitive Guide to the Quiet World of Salt Water New England.     Photo by Muffy Aldrich

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Cows, Carnage, and I

Mahogany English Slant Desk, Early 1800s - Photo by Salt Water New England

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Lifecycle of Clothing Companies (including those referred to as "Preppy" or "Trad/Ivy")

Chart and Definitions Originally Shown on my Blog 'The Daily Prep' Over a Decade Ago

The clothes I like stay the same.  The places I get them change all the time.  

This sentiment is why, fairly consistently, readers send 'Questions for the Community' that are variations of: 
  • "What are the new companies providing classic clothes?" 
  • "What are the great go-to clothing companies today?"  
  • "On what companies have you given up?" and 
  • "What brands that used to be great are now totally inert?"

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Camp Mocs


Camp Mocs for Women and Men

Camp Mocs, short for Camp Moccasins, are a classic casual slip-on shoe for men and women.  Flattering and easier than boat shoes, they are perfect for business casual when new and for everyday wear when older.   They were invented by Leon L. Bean, and L.L. Bean first introduced these shoes in 1936.

With white soles, they can be worn on boat decks.   A red sole is a fine alternative for autumn.  They can be worn with or without socks.     

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Monday, March 13, 2023

This Time of Year...

Photos by Salt Water New England

Women's Khakis

A reader question:

I am hoping for help from the community in my search to find well made all cotton khakis. I am looking for a comfortable fit that will allow me to move easily and yet will not be too big and baggy. I am a slim woman, probably an inch or two shorter than Muffy and of the same generation.  

The khakis I have been wearing were from shops that no longer make the quality and style I am looking for or have closed their doors. I have had trouble finding such pants for many years and now I am down to my last pair.

Where will Muffy and others of the community go for their new khakis? 


Lambswool and Tattersall


Sunday, March 12, 2023

The New England WASP Ethos of Fierce Independence

One of the strongest attributes to the Salt Water New England culture is independence.  Fierce independence.  

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Where to visit in the U.K.?


Dear Muffy,

May I ask the community a question. Bearing in mind the fondness for some things British, have many of the U.S. readers visited the U.K.? If so where and what were their impressions?

Kind regards.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

A Bright March Morning

Photos by Salt Water New England

L.L. Bean Boat and Tote Bags - The Complete Guide (Repost)

Photos by Salt Water New England
I have received quite a few questions about L.L. Bean Boat and Tote bags.  Here are the top ten, and my answers (and some answers from the community).  

1. What is an L.L. Bean Boat and Tote Bag?

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Why People Love Preppy Clothes. Why People Hate Preppy Clothes.

There is a group of clothes that I find perfect.  These include pure cotton khakis and baggy oxford shirts in a handful of colors, Scottish Fair Isles, British rain coats, tweed coats, D-ring motif belts, Maine made bluchers and boat shoes, toggle coats, tartan cashmere scarves made in Scotland and Aran sweaters made in Ireland.

These clothes blend into the New England coast.  They are ideal for getting in and out of boats, for students throwing on as they run across the quad with wet hair on the way to class, for casual business meetings that turn into hikes across Cambridge to find some obscure used bookstores. The pink and green match the beach roses along the New England coast, the blues feel like the ocean, and the Donegal sweater I am wearing right now has the rugged complexion of the rocky Maine coast.   

These clothes also fit my highest compliment, which is 'class-feral'.  They are the Herreshoff yachts or Sarouk rugs of clothes; they wear well.  They also, rather than highlight the wearer, improve the scene.  

Many would describe these as 'preppy' clothes.  I think of them slightly differently, as "the thing before preppy."  My parents wore such clothes as early as the '50s and '60s.  I “never didn't” have these clothes.  (For context, I grew up around New Haven, where my family has roots that go back to its founding in the 1630s.  One of my great grandfathers, Deacon Samuel Heminway,  paid the first Yale tuition in 1702, and another, John Brockett, laid out the Nine Squares of New Haven in 1638.) But we never referred to them as preppy.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Summer Cocktail Party Attire

Photos by Salt Water New England

Summer cocktail party season is almost upon us.  For men and women, what do you wear, and were do you get it?  A flurry of reader questions.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

My Mother's Burberry Trench Coat - When do you save sentimental items?

Me, wearing my mother's Burberry (then Burberrys) trench coat, when I was about twenty.  Photo by my father.

I hate the notion of excessive storage.  My attic and basement are nearly empty, and drawers are kept to a minimum.  The youthful urge to fill has abated, and I find wide, empty surfaces the greatest luxury. Unfilled shelves represent opportunity, not signs of some intellectual wanness.    I am always culling.  

But sentimental items can make me tap the brakes on what is otherwise a smooth process and punt the decision.  

My parents bought high quality clothing and so decisions around those items often go unresolved.  I still have my mother's Burberry trench, in good condition, but a bit tight around the shoulders.   So there it hangs, punted again.

My questions for the community are:

What items do you keep for sentimental reasons? 

When such items are authentic, do you risk getting them tailored? 

How do you dispose of "classic" items when/if it is time?

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

The Quintessential SWNE Breakfast, Lunch, Grazing, and Dinner?

Dear Editor,

The quintessential SWNE diet consists of…? 

Thinking fondly of my late grandmother who lived well into her 90s, whose diet consisted almost entirely of wheat thins and tomato sandwiches and whose exercise routine was a daily walk down the street to Todd’s Point Park in Old Greenwich. 

What do you eat? When do you eat? and how do you eat it? 

Looking forward to your response. 

Monday, February 27, 2023

Random Photos from our Archives

My Father, Early 90s, Connecticut Shore

My Mother, 1960s, Connecticut Shore

Saturday, February 25, 2023

The Importance of the Right Smells

The right smells and the wrong smells are critical.  Smells are just as important as visuals in making a place feel comfortable.

Some smells are just wrong.  And I will get a lot of pushback here, but perfumes and colognes are a no.  When getting my car emissions checked recently, it took several days for the cologne of the car mechanic doing the testing to go away, during which time,  I went through several wool sweaters that picked up his scent that had lingered in the car, even with leather seats.  Days of airing out.

There is an amalgam smell that I just shorthand as smelling like "away."  Time spent in airports, commercial airplanes, and other venues leaves garments similarly in need of immediate washing or airing out.

Anything artificially scented, especially when used to (try to) cover up another smell, is problematic.  Dry cleaning comes to mind.   For one reason, masking smells make it harder to monitor our environment.   If I am shopping for fresh produce, I want to be able to smell the produce,  not the person who walked by five minutes ago.  

Smells that are designed to fool us, like air fresheners, seldom do.   Scented candles and potpourri are designed for someone else.  The only thing worse than how hair product looks is how it smells. 

When shopping, unscented products are the only choice.  I will switch brands if the unscented version is not in stock.  

And nothing beats hot soapy water.  I love doing laundry.  

There are other smells that are glorious, of course:

  • Wood Smoke
  • Good Leather
  • Fresh Sheets
  • Tack Rooms
  • Pipe Tobacco (I know, I know)
  • Apple Pie
  • Wool
  • Salt Air
  • Low Tide (I know, I know)
  • Mulled Cider
  • Golden Retrievers  (pre-rolling)
  • Clean Cars
  • Beach Roses
  • Air from the North

While walking down the road, smelling someone's wood smoke is as enjoyed as much as another's perfumed laundry fabric softener is not.  

Every few years there are new studies on the toxicity of artificial scents.    These just confirm our instincts that smells should be treated as authentically as everything else.

Spring Shirts

Photo by Salt Water New England


Thursday, February 23, 2023

Collars Up?

 A reader question:

The Breton Rouge Guernsey looks great.  Thank you for sharing that.  I also have a question, and I hope this is the right place to ask it.  I notice that Muffy almost always has a turned up collar.  (Side question - is "popped collar" a traditional term, or is it newer like trad or OCBD?) She turns up her shirts and her coats and jackets.  Except for Barbours.  Interesting.

What are there tips for when to turn up my collar?  I am male and in my early 30s.   Are there better collars for turning up?  And turtlenecks are scrunched not folded.  Also interesting.  

 Sorry for rambling.  And thank you for any help!


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Reader Question on Living Simply

Question From a Reader:

I see many examples of simple living on your blog - quality over quantity, enjoying the outdoors, slowing down and enjoying life to name a few. How do you and others in the SWNE community live simply in this hectic world?


E. in Texas

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Leather Man Ltd./Eliza B. Resupply

Photo by Salt Water New England

 Men's D-ring Motif Belts <>

  • D-Ring Motif Belt, Silver D-Ring, Kelly Green Webbing, with 7 Nantucket Island ribbon
  • D-Ring Motif Belt, Silver D-Ring, Kelly Green Webbing, with 75 Tennis ribbon
  • D-Ring Motif Belt, Silver D-Ring, Natural webbing, with 42 Green Whale ribbon
  • D-Ring Motif Belt, Silver D-Ring, Hot Pink Webbing, with 4 White Schooners

  • D-Ring Surcingle Belt, Silver D-Ring  Navy & Yellow

  • Eliza B. Motif Key Ring, Hot Pink webbing, 298 Pink Crab on Navy motif ribbon
  • Eliza B. Motif Key Ring, Kelly Green webbing, 75 Tennis motif ribbon
  • Eliza B. Motif Key Ring, Pink Webbing, 42 Green Whale motif ribbon

Friday, February 17, 2023

Men of New Haven, 1960s

Photo from Our Archives

 Men of New Haven, 1960s...

I knew them all.  My father - back left.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Newport in April

Photos by Salt Water New England