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

Friday, December 1, 2023

Today, just behind the house...

Photos by Salt Water New England
Today, just behind the house...


Thursday, November 30, 2023

Out and About

Photos by Salt Water New England


Sunday, November 26, 2023

SWNE Christmas Gift List - 2023

All Photos by Salt Water New England

A collection of classic gift ideas for The Uniform from SWNE.  

New additions may be added over the next few weeks.  Most of these items are made in the US, Europe, or the British Isles.  Links under the pictures. Most items sent by vendors.

Mercer Shirts!  Table not included.

For those who want more Hamptons than field in their field coats. And spoiler alert: everyone rocks orange gloves. 

What happens when a pea coat leaves the Navy and gets an MBA?

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Questions for the Community: Can you still be preppy if you... (r)

I don’t know why, but I have received a series of emails in the last few months that fall, bizarrely enough, in the category of contrition.  People ask me, “Can you still be preppy if…” and then list some specific things that they describe as non-preppy. I thought it might be interesting to put forth this aggregate list in the spirit of fun and see what people think.

Readers ask, “Can you still be preppy if you…”
  • Jet ski and snow board instead of sail and ski
  • Vacation at theme parks
  • Vacation on cruise ships
  • Put chemicals/fertilizers/dyed mulch on your lawn
  • Watch reality television
  • Get your suits at Jos. A Banks
  • Buy new wood furniture with a high gloss finish
  • Eat family dinners at local chain restaurant
  • Get your exercise at a gym instead of out of doors
  • Buy your clothes at a mall
  • Drive a car that gets less than 15 miles per gallon
  • (For men) Have visible product and/or highlights in hair
  • (For women) Wear more than two kinds of make-up 
  • Shop at Walmart, Kohl's, Target, Ikea and other box stores
  • Have kitchens with lots of granite and stainless steel
  • Have Louis Vuitton luggage and/or handbags
  • Get plastic surgery
  • Leave your scent in a room after you are gone
  • Come from some place other than New England
  • Get all of your antiques from shops and flea markets, rather than from family members 
  • Buy jewelry from a mall store
  • Follow NASCAR
  • Wear nail polish with sparkles
  • Drive a non-European car
  • Wear black during the day

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Freeport for the Holidays?

Photos by Salt Water New England

I timed my visit yesterday to L.L. Bean in Freeport to avoid crowds and enjoy bright sunshine, and was successful on both fronts.  

L.L. Bean’s presence is felt everywhere in Freeport.  But one does get the feeling that the Freeport Historical Society also wields a mighty sword.  The prime real estate that their base of operations occupies is a bit of a power play.  And many of the buildings on Main Street have the juxtaposition of being beautifully restored, yet housing utterly soulless companies. And Freeport boasts the most tasteful McDonalds, perhaps anywhere.

As you may know, if you order a Boat and Tote and it is shipped from a one of their stores rather than from their warehouse, you are not able to monogram it.  However, if you paid for the tote using the L.L. Bean Mastercard, you can at any time bring it into their flagship store and get it monogrammed for free.  (As long as the bag is in good condition.)  I have even heard, yet to be confirmed, that the monogramming machines there are superior to the ones at the warehouse.  

So I brought in my new bags sans monograms.  They were unfazed by my pile, and per usual, they had a seamless system in place to swiftly process my request.  As always, the L.L. Bean employees are outstanding.  

What are your thoughts on Freeport's evolution over the years, and do you plan to do any shopping there this holiday season?


Thursday, November 16, 2023

Steele Log Carrier and Log Holder - Made in Massachusetts

Photos by Salt Water New England

I wrote earlier that Steele reminded me of the kind of products that I used to stumble upon at L.L. Bean during their golden era.  Rugged.  Casually tasteful.  Thoughtfully useful.  Buy it and don't think about it for decades.

This log carrier and log holder are perfect examples.  And the log holder is just as sturdy as you want a log holder to be.   

It's been getting daily use.  Now to refill the wood shed...


Also Shown:


Out and About - Jumbo Volvo-Spotting Edition!

Photos by Salt Water New England

The Daily Prep: This Week in Outfits


Photos by Salt Water New England

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Don we now? Coats and ties for Thanksgiving?

A reader question: 

Greetings All,

We're a little more than a week away from Thanksgiving. A question for the gentlemen... how many of you will be wearing a coat and tie for Thanksgiving dinner?  For the record, we both will—not even up for discussion.