Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Question: To Which Clothing Brands and Stores are You Loyal?

Photo from Salt Water New England
One measurement for the health of companies is their brand loyalty, that ineffable combination of habit, trust, even enthusiasm and self-identity.  Companies that value brand loyalty re-invest in it through improving quality, as well as trying to better understand their customers' needs and wants, and then providing products that better meet these needs.  Their new products cause excitement.

However brand loyalty has frayed.  This may be in part to companies losing contact with their customers, as when box stores and now online stores know more about buyers than the vendors themselves.  But also many companies have used brand loyalty against their customers.  Apple continues to raise prices on new iPhones, just as Gillette has done for decades on razor blades.  Some clothing companies that grew based on their (loudly touted) "Made in America" production have shifted to low-cost/offshore mega-factories that they hoped no one noticed, or in other ways undermined their own production standards.  Globalization has created markets, less for fabulous items and more for vast quantities of good enough products ruthlessly marketed, easily bought, cost effective, and quickly shipped.   And companies with vast PR budgets have been able to simulate the social media enthusiasm that was once the reward of actual great products.   And, some past great brands have simply petered out, often the cumulative effect of dozens of bad decisions.

However, their is still the opportunity for great companies to flourish.  Given that, a question for the community:
To which clothing brands and stores are you loyal?

Some brands mentioned (with links):


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Monday, February 18, 2019

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Friday, February 15, 2019

Reader Question: Balancing Minimalism


A question:
I have a question for the community regarding minimalism and the current craze of Marie Kondo. I know that there is a life span of clothing that starts with wearing to work, then wearing around the house until finally becoming gardening clothes. As a community, when we find really well-made items, we stock up on them for future years, and we have multiple sets of dishes, not to mention a lot of items inherited from family. How do we balance maintaining our heritage while not living in a museum? 
Many thanks.

Reader Question: What are Preppy Hats? (Real, not Cosplay)


A question:
Avid reader of SWNE, thanks for all you do. 
My question is thus: 
I am wondering what male headwear is most appropriate for preppy dress? In the winter I generally wear a tweed flat cap and in the summer a "dad hat" baseball cap but they always seem a bit off. What would the community recommend? 
Thanks!

Thoughts of Warmer Weather

Photos by Salt Water New England


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Reader question: Where and how should there be dress codes?

Photo by Salt Water New England
A question for the community:
I like to think of myself as a fairly laid back millennial, left leaning and open to people expressing themselves.  But when it comes to air travel I find myself sounding more like someone's grandmother.   Is it just me or are people dressing and behaving worse than ever? 
Which brings me to my question - what do people think about dress codes?   Does dressing with more care make people behave with more care?  Is this why some clubs and professions still have more specific dress codes? 
Where and how should they be used? 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

They Shall Not Grow Old


Muffy,  Do me a favor and post a picture of the WWI memorial next to Woodbridge Hall. I've just come from seeing They Shall Not Grow Old. Amazing. Go see it everyone, and tell people to go see it. Perspective, preppies, perspective! Felt as though I could have been looking at my grandfather and great grandfather who both fought in WWI France. Such a job well done. Stay after the credits to hear how the director did it.

April 25 1964 - Photos by Salt Water New England



Monday, February 11, 2019

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Dogs and I...

Photo by Salt Water New England

Reader Question: Can you still be preppy if you... (Reposted, by Request)

Photos by Salt Water New England


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


Harbour Court

Photo by Salt Water New England

Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Great Courses by The Teaching Company

Photo by Salt Water New England
In the mid-1990s, I was an early customer of The Great Courses by The Teaching Company.  While expensive, the cassettes - arriving in their large blue boxes - provided access to accomplished professors lecturing on their favorite topics.  Some reviewer called them, accurately, cultural literacy as performance art.  Their long form was a perfect match for needs at the time, both in length and topics.

The Great Courses now tend to be priced using the same approach as Omaha Steaks.  Nevertheless, two favorite courses from these early days are among those on their excellent CD sale this week.

One is the contemplative  God and Mankind: Comparative Religions by Robert Oden <https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/god-and-mankind-comparative-religions.html>. 

A second, longer and more energetic, is How to Listen to and Understand Great Music by Robert Greenberg <https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/how-to-listen-to-and-understand-great-music-3rd-edition.html>.

As well, many libraries today stock a collection of these great courses.  And the company itself, not unlike so many universities, has recently evolved offerings to cover more practical topics for those inclined.

They are another example, as with podcasts and directors' commentaries, how experiences once reserved for people in close proximity to cultural centers are now available to anyone who makes the effort.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Photo by Salt Water New England

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Question for the Community: What have been some of the best weddings you have attended?

Photos by Salt Water New England
An amalgamated question for the community:
To give some readers ideas for their own events, as a guest, what have been some of the best weddings you have attended?   And why?  What were the details that made it interesting?  And with other weddings, what didn't you like?

Game Pocket

Photo by Salt Water New England

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Upstairs Wallpaper

Photo by Salt Water New England

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Monday, February 4, 2019

Bright Skies

Photos by Salt Water New England

Some answers from this site over the years to the question: "Where does this particular SWNE way of life go in the 21st century with the next generation?"


From thoughts expressed here over the years, personal actions can include:
  • Align private and public behavior.
  • Be an environmentalist.
  • Spend as much time as possible with people who are better than you.
  • Buy hard, wear easy; own less, but great.  Buy high quality staples.  Make your retail purchases count.  Be suspicious of deep discounts. Avoid knock-offs of authentic garments.
  • Minimize buying the things that you would find in a box store.
  • The goal is to be your best self, not someone else.
  • Be frugal, not cheap.
  • Don't water down your belongings, friends, diet, or time with a lot of filler.
  • Boring is underrated.
  • Value decency and dignity.  Be around people who take their work and mission seriously, but not themselves.  
  • Work with and in moral institutions, and that have a mission in which you believe.  Avoid those institutions that pretend to still be moral but are not anymore.  
  • Be intolerant of people who are vulgar or dishonest. Virtue signaling is a warning.
  • Embrace your culture’s greatest minds and artists. 
  • Pay for news.  And avoid sites that steal photographs from others.  
  • Don’t know about things that are over-hyped. 
  • Don't take the things you value the most - such as family, health, friends, community, air and water, country - for granted.
  • Have the best rooms in your house or apartment/flat be where you do your work.
  • Make count any travel, eating out, and spontaneous purchases. 
  • Spend a bit of time at consignment shops, estate sales, and thrift shops.  Learn, but have a very high threshold for what you buy.
  • Copying the style of other people is fine in your teens, but not much past that. 
  • Listen to podcasts. Some of the greatest thinkers today are there. 
  • Know people of all ages.
  • Embrace a bit of hardship, such as cold showers, no desserts, and some toil.
  • Help people you know.  (So often saying "thoughts and prayers" without actually doing anything is the equivalent of saying "I know you need help, but I am not going to give you any.")
  • Regularly, carefully get rid of things you don’t want anymore.  Find them good homes. 

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Sorting the Cupboards

Photos by Salt Water New England




Saturday, February 2, 2019

A Cold Day

Photos by Salt Water New England

Friday, February 1, 2019

Question for the Community: "Where does this particular SWNE way of life go in the 21st century with the next generation?"


A reader question:
I hope you are doing well this frigid evening. I am an avid reader and wanted to thank you for all the thoughtful and enjoyable content over the past years.  
I wanted to humbly pose a question to you and your readership. Where does this particular SWNE way of life go in the 21st century with the next generation? I saw some debate of this topic in relation to the NYT Bush/WASP article(s). The values and qualities put forth by this blog are certainly in decline. The question is, are they left to die proudly or do they gradually adapt with the times? Where do people fall on this? 
I'm a millennial and have seen many of my peers run away from such a life. In its place, there has been this phenomenon of faux prepdom with 'Brad' and 'Chad'.

Thank you for your time.

The Geraghty Era

Photos by Salt Water New England of New Yorker Covers on Exhibition at a Past Westport Historical Society's Exhibit