Photo by Muffy Aldrich
The Modern Guide to The Thing Before Preppy

Friday, September 22, 2023

Lotuff’s No. 12 Leather Tote

New Arrival - Photos by Salt Water New England
Lotuff’s No. 12 Leather Tote is an effortless bag.  The design is elegant and complete.  It is the right size for a pocketbook, but has the breezy feel of a tote bag.   It is leather lined, so nicely structured.  It can go to a gallery opening in Stockholm or London, or the supermarket.  

And it looks smashing in Camel.  (I can now say Camel belongs amongst Lotuff's best colors, which include Chocolate (Brown) and Indigo (Navy).)  The Camel also shows off the absolutely stunning stitching that is felt but not always seen in some other colors. 

This bag I had slightly customized, opting for Lotuff's divine rolled handles. 

Lotuff's No. 12 is the perfect sophisticated older sibling of one of Lotuff's other wonderful "go to" totes, the Small Tote.
Given how addictive Lotuff products are, the range of delightful colors and designs (any one of which would be a tentpole product for another company) is quite satisfying indeed.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023


Photos by Salt Water New England
Not surprisingly given the time of year, I have received many questions for the community around tea, mostly along three threads:

  • "Where do you buy high quality tea today?"
  • "With what and when do you have tea?"
  • "What are suggestions on giving tea as a gift?"  

Sunday, September 17, 2023

The New England WASP Aversion to Pomp and Circumstance

In a New England WASP world, weddings would be little more than a short ceremony at the Congregational church,  followed by "punch and cookies" at the bride's house.  Guests at an ideal birthday wouldn't even fill the sitting room.  The best dinner parties are out of doors with a sailboat or two docked nearby.   Rituals are important, but done with restraint.  

Graduations aside, there is an aversion to ceremony and festivities bordering on anathema.  

The whys are clear. To many WASPs they are a waste of money, and nothing more than a distraction.  And perhaps worst of all, such scheduled merriment forces everyone to wear festive attire.    

All is not lost, however, for WASPs when dragooned.

One strategy is to find other like minded people and more effectively use the gathering.  At any Ivy League football game are at least three clusters of people, including one or two of trustees, working issues as rigorously as in any boardroom.  And another approach, for some WASPs, is to find a quiet corner for a quick doze when the boredom inevitably strikes.

And non-WASPs co-planning such events quickly learn an important rule:  never put a WASP in charge of the food, but perhaps the Scotch.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Between Gloucester, Newburyport and Points North to the New Hampshire Line.

 A reader question:

Hopefully we will be heading to salt water Massachusetts next month.  Since this community is well informed and helpful about all things in that part of the world, any suggestions about what not to miss between Gloucester, Newburyport and points north to the New Hampshire line?  Any particular favorite drive or local restaurants the tourists overlook?   It was great exploring Gloucester south to Marblehead last year so we wanted  to do something different this year.   Thanks for any and all suggestions.  Thank you!

Guernsey Jumper Arrival

Photos by Salt Water New England

The first Guernsey you buy should be Navy.  The second should be Aran.

Some Aran Options:

Shouldn't all Guernsey jumpers arrive in a Guernsey Potato bag??

This code is good through the end of September.


Monday, September 11, 2023


A reader question:

Thank you for your blog, and especially for all of your casual shots of everyday life.  I love seeing the cyclists, and am curious if readers could share what kind of bicycles they have, and what are their favorite accessories.  I am eagerly awaiting fall, and your fall photographs.  

A reader of your blog for 2 years. (Does that make me a long time reader?) 


This Morning...

Photos by Salt Water New England

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Washington Post: How to buy a well-made shoe

 Thoughts on buying a well-made shoe in today's Washington Post: 

Shoes have three basic elements: the sole, which touches the ground; the insole, which you step in; and the upper, which is the part that wraps around your foot. How these elements are held together has a big influence on how the shoe will perform. Glue is a cheaper and easier method than stitching, but it also comes apart more easily, especially when exposed to high heat...

Higher-quality men’s dress shoes are often stitched together with the Goodyear welt. This method allows a pair of shoes to be resoled multiple times without damaging the upper portion of the shoes... 
Another method, the Blake stitch, uses a special machine to stitch the upper and lining straight through the sole. These may be a bit easier to break in, but they won’t be quite as water-resistant... 
[T]aking good care of them will make them last much longer... Condition the leather to keep it supple, place cedar shoe trees in shoes to absorb moisture, and take shoes to a cobbler when you see signs of wear. 

- <>

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Autumn Checks

Photos by Salt Water New England