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

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Monday, December 4, 2023

Christmas Decorations (r)

The essence is restraint.

Classic New England preppy Christmas decorations have two flavors.

The first is very simple and elegant, erring on solemn.  One wreath on the front door, with just a red bow.  A few white candle lights in the lower windows, and perhaps the same on the second story.   A tree with lights and ornaments.  

The second is a variation of the first, but with a bit of wit or whimsy.  In my house growing up, all of the stuffed owls and water fowl (given to us by a Yale taxidermist) and decoys (carved by my grandfather) got little Christmas hats.  

The essence is restraint.  Basically, decorations are done right when they are easy to miss.   

Dressing one's house, or heaven forbid one's pets, in such a way that competes with the local shopping mall is as unthinkable as smothering oneself in perfume or cologne and then stepping into a crowded elevator. 

A bit of wit.  A bit of ingenuity. 

Reader Question for the Community: What are your Christmas sine quibus non? (r)

A reader question for the community:
I have a question for the community which has given much sound direction: what are the holiday traditions which we can never give up? Decorations, food, gifting, etc,.? 

Favorite Christmas Carols for Singing at a Party? (r)


A reader question:

I have a question for my fellow Salt Water New England readers.  Every year someone from my family hosts the Christmas party, and this year it is our turn.  In the past, we have sung Christmas Carols, but over the last few years the tradition has died down.  I am planning to resurrect it accompanied by a piano.  So, long story, what are some favorite Christmas Carols for singing? 

A Reader Question for the Community: Holiday Open-House (r)

Photos by Salt Water New England
A Reader Question for the Community:
Do your readers have suggestions for hosting an open-house during the holidays?   Christmas or, in our case, on New Year's Day.

Go-to-Hell Pants, A Preppy Christmas Staple (r)

Broadway Legend Lee Roy Reams (Center) 
Go-to-Hell pants, or GTH pants, are motif embroidered trousers, typically corduroy around Christmas and in lighter fabrics in other seasons.  When the motifs are animals, these are also called critter pants.   In the wild (below), they are often seen alongside equally festive tartan trousers, always wool.

GTH pants are a great way for naturally low key, more serious people to temporarily embrace bright festive colors, and a way for loud people to pass themselves off as low key, serious people temporarily embracing bright colors.  

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?