Photo by Salt Water New England

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Best Casual Sandals?


A reader question:

What are people wearing these days for sandals?  Are there any recent styles or brands that readers have liked?  I am not really a Birkenstock person, nor a flip-flop person,  but I see plenty of both around.

Thank you!

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Lobster Rolls

At Red's Eats.  

Lobster rollslobster meat served in a toasted hot dog style bun with butterare close to perfection for some.  

Deciding to have one for lunch is easy.  Finding the best source, however, is a bit more difficult.   Different venues vary greatly.  Some are generous with the lobster, and others skint.  Freshness matters.  Served warm or cold?  A pure take, with mayonnaise/lemon juice/celery, or with more stylized additions?  Expensive restaurants do not have an advantage over local "no frills" establishments.  

Best of all, even an average lobster roll is still pretty great, and often the easiest thing to order, especially on the go.

Photo credits:  Muffy Aldrich 

Occasionally worth the line.

For On the Boat

Ocean House.  Comme ci, comme ├ža.


Friday, May 20, 2022

Single Image

Photo by Salt Water New England


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

What Is the Right Dress Code?


For, say, a Saturday night at a nice urban (or light urban) club or restaurant, what would your ideal, enforceable dress code be?

A quote from an article in today's New York Times, "Leave the Sweatshirt at Home. Dining Dress Codes Are Back. A number of restaurants are betting that Americans want to get gussied up again, but not everyone is thrilled about the fashion screening"<>, weighs in:

“At Les Trois Chevaux, we revere the style and finesse that can only be attributed to having New York swagger,” it said. “We expect our guests to arrive in proper dinner attire, and for you to celebrate the style that downtown New York City can bring.”

Lest there be any confusion, details followed: “Blue jeans, shorts and sneakers are strictly prohibited.” Diners were “kindly” requested to wear jackets.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Steamed Clams and Mussels

Photos by Salt Water New England
Mussels and clams, steamed and served with melted butter, is a favorite by the docks.  The fresher and, in New England, the more northern the source the better.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

White Bucks from Barrie of New Haven

Photos by Salt Water Eastwood and Archives

My husband bought these white bucks from Barrie LTD in New Haven over 30 years ago.  They are pure examples of the classic shoe, white buck with red soles.  Typically trotted out after Memorial Day, these made an early appearance today.  

Barrie's was a New Haven mainstay for years.  I first started going to their York Street store with my father as a small girl.  We would start at J. Press where Gabe and my father would exchange their usual air punches and insults.  After his business was concluded there,  we walked through the connecting door to Barrie's.  Their Chukka boots were his favorites and he had many pairs.  We continued this pattern for decades.

For our wedding, my husband and his groomsmen followed suit, so to speak.  Trousers, (some) blazers, ties, and Brown crests from Press, then white bucks from Barrie's.

Shown here with:


From the Wedding Archives...

Outfitted at Press and Barrie...

Ever True..

Holding up to Ball Tag with the Bridesmaids in the Other Golf Cart


Sporting My Mystic Knotwork Bracelets...


Today, wearing a couple of my two strand and three strand cotton cord rope bracelets.   

Design your own, mix and match your colors:

Saturday, May 14, 2022

The Surcingle D-Ring Belt

Photo by Salt Water New England
D-ring belts add a bit of jauntiness to an outfit.  

The motif ribbon belt is one D-ring path, but wool surcingle is an often underappreciated alternative.  

Surcingle refers to the course weave of the wool.  The word 'surcingle' comes from the thick leather strap that fastens around the horse's girth.

Wool surcingle belts are more durable than ribbon belts.  And wool takes colors better than cotton.  

Wool surcingle belts typically are available in one solid color or two colors in a simple stripe. Monogramming is also available.

Some prefer the stretchy surcingle belts as well.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Around Town...

Photos by Salt Water New England


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Car Stickers/Decals

Photos, Examples and Counter-Examples, by Salt Water New England

Stickers add personalization and even a bit of functionality to a car.

On a primary car, the norm is often to show one or two low-key stickers, ideally in one of the back windows (without obscuring vision), plus any necessary parking/beach pass stickers.  Typically these stickers include prep schools and colleges (which also prevent you getting towed while you are visiting), towns, clubs/yacht club burgees, flags, and favorite conservation groups.  

For some people, stickers provide their perfect overlap of bragging and utility.   They need their OSV (Oversand Permit) or Town of Nantucket Beach Permit, after all, and they just haven't gotten around to scraping off the last few years of them.   

Some stickers are often preferable to none.  They are surprisingly useful for striking up conversations, and also identifying your car.  They make parking lots more interesting.  I enjoy recognizing some stickers on other cars as I walk by.  

When traveling, one soon realizes that the density of certain stickers, such as from one's alma mater, conveys how close or far one is from the institution, both geographically and culturally.  A single sighting a thousand miles away is always fun, while a dozen or more on I-95 during homecoming or graduation weekends is to be expected. Of couErse when visiting the campus the pings come as quickly as a Geiger counter at Maine Yankee (kidding).  

Five can be the upper limit no matter how many tuitions and dues you are paying. 

Clothing brands, monograms (except for code flags), and dog and cat breeds might best be avoided.  And of course bumper stickers are very tricky to do well.     

And tangentially, when getting a new car, a good habit is to get the dealer to remove any of their advertising.  This request is received much more graciously than the same request made at Ralph Lauren.    

As cars age, the number of stickers increases.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Friday, May 6, 2022

Patsy Kane's Navigator Bracelets

Photos by Salt Water New England

Customize your latitude and longitude coordinates with Patsy Kane's sterling silver Navigator Bracelets, made by hand in their studio in Marblehead, Massachusetts.



Thursday, May 5, 2022

Classic(ish) Guernsey Sweaters that Aren't Navy

Photos by Salt Water New England
Navy Guernseys are iconic.  When building a classic wardrobe, they are an early purchase.  

After that, I might consider Le Tricotuer Guernsey pullovers in other nature-based hues.  Made of British Wool, knitted in Guernsey, and hand-finished in the homes of island residents, their wonderful Light Grey and Beige sweaters are equally harmonious with favorite places.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

A Reader Find: Susan Fosse of Norway

Photographs of Norway sent by reader.  Used with permission.

Hi Muffy,

Long time reader and supporter and have purchased one half dozen sweaters from Harley’s / Bosie at your suggestion!

My wife and I are on vacation in Norway and discovered and bought the most beautiful and well crafted sweaters we’ve ever seen.

They are out of this world…

You should check them out:

Their customer service was a 10/10 too!

Have a great day.

Is a Love of British Clothing, TV, Cars, and Tea Common in New England?


'British Tweeds' Store, Camden, Maine. 1964. Photo by My Father  
Dear Editor,  
May I ask the community a question? 
Being a Brit, I am fascinated by the SWNE communitie's love of many things British including our country clothing, (being a countryman who shoots and fishes I spend half my life in tweed, lambswool, tattersall and moleskin) our television dramas and some of our vintage cars (who wouldn't love a vintage MG). I've even spotted some tea drinkers out there. Is this common throughout New England or is it that SWNE attracts the kind of people who like things from this side of the pond? 
Kind regards.

The Gucci 1953 Horsebit Loafer: Still Part of The Uniform?


Dear Editor,

Question for the community: what is the current view on Gucci bit loafers? Specifically, the 1953 Horsebit model.

Now that the world seems to be returning a state of normalcy post-Covid I find myself wearing my old bit loafers more often and, frankly, after +15 years they are ready to be replaced.  

I’ve always thought of Guccis as a part of The Uniform. Before investing in a new pair I thought it would be interesting to see if others still feel the same way.

Many thanks.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

The Exmoor Doeskin Gilet by Cordings - Made in England

Photos by Salt Water New England
I had been looking for a perfect gilet for quite a while.  I wanted one that was made of natural materials,  not synthetics, a bit more formal than my Barbour Westmorland,  and that had a bit of structure.  And any nice finishing would not go amiss.   

So I was then very interested when Cordings came out with their Exmoor Doeskin Gilet, handmade in England. (Quick note: this is the 'other' doeskin, a Merino wool, tightly milled twill weave, face finish.  It is named—aptly, in this case—for being as soft and lustrous as a female deer.)   This Doeskin cloth was woven in Yorkshire.

The Exmoor Gilet is lined with a bright and beautiful wool Tattersall woven in Lancashire.  The design and construction are also pure English - elegant and practical.  And the buttons, not to be outdone, are Buffalo Horn.

I had very high expectations for this garment.  And when it arrived, my expectations were surpassed. It fit like a dream (Men's medium, in my case), is the perfect companion to so many favorite shirts, and has enough room to go over a wool pullover.  It is even greater than the sum of the parts.

My only problem with the gilet, and it is a big one for me, is that it also comes in Navy.   

Saturday, April 30, 2022

The Arthur Beale Erebus Boat Neck Pullover - Made in Britain

Photo by Salt Water New England
The Arthur Beale Erebus Boat Neck Pullover is such a rare creation that it is amazing that, in this day and age, it exists at all.  At home in Arctic conditions, the ribbed sweater is unbelievably thick, and made with fabulous oiled British wool, but it is also sized generously.  The 2XL size very comfortably fits this 6'4" frame. 

The Weather Vane

Photos by Salt Water New England

Weather vanes provide the perfect venue for expressions of passions, appreciation of craftsmanship, and even wit.  In a culture that values the architecture of streets and entire villages to support a greater collective vision, weather vanes allow for individuality.   

In terms of The Uniform, weather vanes may be the equivalent of the motif belt or, for some people, socks.  

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Muddy Dog For Memorial Day and the Fourth of July

Photos by Salt Water New England
By the pool, on picnics, on the boat, or just around the house, The Muddy Dog's dishes are perfectly suited for summer activities and beyond.  All made in the USA.


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Mercer Shirt Delivery

Photo by Salt Water New England

 Seersucker and broadcloth, some Mercer fabrics for spring and summer.  Made in the USA.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Shorts and Sweaters

Photo by Salt Water New England  (Repost)
Late summer, spring, and early autumn are the perfect times for the paradoxical combination of sweaters and shorts.  (And for some in Maine, year-round.) As with all of The Uniform, it enables action.  It is the perfect solution to the conditions famously described by Charles Dickens: "It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."

The combination is especially ideal by the water, where everything below the knees somehow, despite best efforts, becomes soaked.  And so many sweaters that get dragooned into a day of activities end up with the sleeves rolled up.  

Shown here, an Extra Fine Merino Sweater, which many have called their most used and versatile sweater.   
  • Patagonia 9" Stand Up Shorts (RIP)

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Favorite kind of Beach?

A reader question:

I have a question.  Do the readers have a preference for the beaches on the New England coast or the Southern coast?

I always like the rocky beaches in the New England area to the beaches when I went to Florida.  Sorry if I offended anyone.

I have a feeling what is going to win out.  Just wondering what people think.

Thank you.