Photo by Salt Water New England

Sunday, September 20, 2020

The Kimbolton Bag from Tusting - Handmade in England

All Media by Salt Water New England
The Tusting family has been in the leather business in England for five generations - since 1875 - first as leather tanners and today as handcrafters of fine leather bags and accessories.

Their Kimbolton bag, shown here in Tan in size Large, has been enormously popular for years, and it is easy to see why.  With its classic style and roomy interior, substantial handles, lovely style and quick and easy access.  

All of their bags are handmade in England.  Lovely bags made by lovely people.  

Some other Tusting products to note

For men, the hugely popular satchel/briefcase/flight bag/holdall:
Also for men, the classic canvas travel holdall"
For women, the 1950s inspired bag:
And also for women, the classic Cardington saddlebag-style bag.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Sorting Winter Scarves

A Reader Question for the Community: Building a Wardrobe after the Core Items?

A Reader Question for the Community:

Dear Muffy, 

I enjoy the insights of you, your community of interested participants, and your advertisers regarding the tasteful, serviceable, clothing that is the Trad idiom.  A thought occurred to me that for most items of male attire there will be general consensus on number one, but there is rarely discussion of number two.  For example the navy Shetland crewneck is the clear number one sweater, but what is number two?  When you have number one, what is your next selection?  Do you go wild, such as buying carnation cashmere after you bought your navy Shetland, or is it the same sweater in dark grey (or the the lambswool v-neck in yellow, or something else)? I wonder what you and your readers think. 
So here are my choices... 
Number one Shetland crewneck
Number two...same in dark grey
Number one dress OCBD
Number and white university stripe OCBD
Number one trouser...plain front cuffed (1 3/4") khakis
Number two...plain front Oxford grey worsted with 1 3/4" cuffs
Number one odd 3/2 blazer
Number two...grey 3/2 Harris tweed herringbone
Number one
Number two...olive
Number one
Number one short...9" stand up in Pelican
Number two...Nantucket reds
Number one casual shoe...Maliseet
Number two...Topsider
Number one dress shoe...Alden tassel in No. 8
Number two...Alden LHS in No. 8
Number one tie...repp stripe in your school colors
Number ancient madder neat or paisley
Number one outdoor coat...Barbour Beaufort
Number two...Gloverall duffel but could easily be the camel polo.  Here the conflict is palpable


Of course the list can go on.  It just seemed an interesting exercise.


Scratchy Photos from the Late 70s, Around North Shrewsbury, Vermont, Photos by My Father

Photos by Salt Water New England

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Field Testing the Dubarry Bracken Tweed and Galways in Ivy

It is easy to see why the Dubarry of Ireland's Bracken coat is so wildly popular.  What stands out immediately is the lovely Scottish Tweed and the comfortable cut, as well as details such as the cast metal buttons.  The weight of the coat is also very nice,  not too heavy and perfect for autumn.  Dubarry has rigorously but subtly treated the tweed and leather for the elements.  One does not have to size up, but I did.  Shown here in Heath.
And their Galway boots are always fabulous, waterproof and breathable and made of their DryFast-DrySoft leather.  Shown here in Ivy.

Scottish Tweed in Heath and Cast Metal Buttons

Monday, September 14, 2020

Red Cars

Photos by Salt Water New England

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Which, If Any, of the Summer Belts To Put Away

Photo by Salt Water New England

Japanese Cars?

Photos by Salt Water New England
A Reader Question for the Community:
Love the recent car posts! Could you do a post on Japanese cars? I know Subaru has been mentioned several times on the blog. Would love to see a post featuring some Outbacks and Foresters, but also other notable brands and models that fit in with the NE aesthetic (Landcruiser, 4Runner, LX, Trooper, CRV, etc).

Thursday, September 10, 2020

This Time of Year

Photos by Salt Water New England

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Reader Question for the Community: Daily cutlery and special occasion silverware?

Reader Question for the Community:
Where do your readers find daily cutlery/silverware and special occasion silverware?  A friend asked me to help her purchase special occasion silverware because she admires our family set.  Our family silverware came over on a boat from Rotterdam in 1902, so I have no idea where to look.  We would also be interested in finding special occasion dinner sets or tea sets that could be passed down as heirlooms (since the family grows over the generations, the treasures are too few).  Many thanks for your kind time and attention. 

All Local...

Photo by Salt Water New England

Sunday, September 6, 2020


Photos by Salt Water New England
Two Questions for the Community:
  • What are your thoughts on current BMWs?
  • What is your all-time favorite BMW? 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Out and About

Photos by Salt Water New England

Monday, August 31, 2020

In the SWNE Mailbag

Some recent mail:

1) Hi Muffy, 
Is it just me or is this sweater ugly? Also, this description! 
“Our twist on a classic, with authentic cable designs from the Aran Islands. This updated boyfriend sweater is made from crispy cotton yarns that are substantial and reach further into the seasons than traditional wool.” 
CRISPY cotton?! Sounds very uncomfortable! Reaching further into the seasons? What?

Also, the whole “boyfriend” descriptor is so passé and cheesy. And are they passively suggesting that their other sweaters aren’t made from “substantial” yarns?!

2) Really love your site.  Just got a care package from Mercer & Sons.  
Photograph Sent By Reader

3) Dear Editor, 
Washable, filtered oxford cloth face masks. 
My company probably won’t start re-populating offices until 2021, but we will likely be required to wear a mask when we do.

4) Dear Editor, 
Where can one find clothes with the style of Brooks Brothers but made with comfortable & durable quality?  My husband & I are so tired of being disappointed with quality, even at very high price points.  We are looking for basics: khakis, OCBDs, cashmere sweaters, day dresses, navy dress jackets, sensible (non athletic) shoes. We would like to find soft, durable materials that are thick (so many clothes of the style we prefer seem to be tissue thin, almost see-through, & anything but durable these days). Any ideas where we might look? Many thanks for your time & attention.

5) Dear Editor, 
The New England value of thrift is a wonderful value that is good stewardship of not only our money but our planet.  Amidst the pandemic, with many of us having more time on our hands, the adage "time is money" can take on new meaning.  Things I might have paid someone else to do when I was working long hours in the office, I can now do myself, saving money.  I started thinking of the various things I do (other than wearing lovely natural fiber clothes until they are so threadbare that even I must let them go) that are thrifty.  So I started a list and hope other SWNE devotees will share and build on it.
  • instead of using paper towels and napkins use a stack of dishrags, dish towels, and, at table, cloth napkins, using napkin rings to keep track so that the napkins do not need to be washed and ironed every time
  • shaving with double edged blades ($10 for 100), shaving soap (a cake can last a year), and the giant $43 dollar bottles of 4711 for after shave (a bottle lasts about a year)
  • saving vegetable trimmings and bones to make stock, very easy and better than boxed or canned and basically free
  • baking bread that rivals fancy $5 loaves for a fraction of the cost
  • avoiding pre-made foods and sauces
  • lawn and yard care rather than using a service (sharpen blades myself, use electric mower, weed trimmer, and blower and no need to buy gas, oil, or air filters.  Use broom and/or rake instead of blower whenever possible)
  • running, walking, and planking instead of joining a club or buying equipment
  • ironing what needs to be ironed instead of using a professional laundry
  • libraries! 
  • making wine vinegar from leftover wine instead of buying fancy vinegar
  • using concentrates to mix my own spray cleaner and mixing starch in a spray bottle for ironing
  • composting 
  • growing herbs
  • using the clothes line instead of the dryer
  • and last for this list, finding liquor you like that is more affordable than many options .  Two prime examples here are Beefeater gin and Evan Williams bourbon in 1.75 size.  
These little things add up, allowing you to spurge when only the best will make you happy!  Glad to share details if any of these ideas prompt questions.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

When Do You Put the Shorts Away?

Photo by Salt Water New England
From Maine to Connecticut, there are some who have surprisingly strong opinions about when the shorts are put away for the season.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Arthur Beale's Sailors' Smock - Made in Britain

Photos by Salt Water New England
Arthur Beale designed this 100% cotton canvas smock to cut out the cold wind while sailing, and provide some protection for the heavy sweater or shirt underneath.  I sized up to accomodate a sweater, but today just over a shirt it was immensely comfortable to wear.

Made in Britain, it combines two favorite garment characteristics, tough and soft.   As with every Arthur Beal product I have so far used, it is completely fabulous.  And very well priced.
It is also available in Breton Red.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Town & Country

Scans of My Old Magazines
Scanned in from some of my old Town and Country Magazines, back when they got it right - a smattering of New England shore and Connecticut River towns, which includes some of my old classmates, riding friends, and neighbors. 

Sunday, August 23, 2020


Photos by Salt Water New England

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Life on the Connecticut Shore

Photos from Family Archives
 My grandmother, on the Connecticut shore, with her mother, her brothers, various cousins, and winning her diving competition, in the early 1900s.

Friday, August 21, 2020

A Small New England Farm

Photos by Salt Water New England

Wednesday, August 19, 2020


Photos by Salt Water New England
 Two Questions for the Community:
What are your thoughts on current Mercedes? 
What is your all-time favorite Mercedes?

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Dumping Ground

Photo by Salt Water New England