Photo by Salt Water New England

Thursday, February 2, 2023

An Additional 10% Off During Final Few Days of Cordings Winter Sale, and Tweed Shooting Coats

 All Photos by Salt Water New England

This is the last few days of the Cordings Winter sale, with final reductions.  And they have just offered an additional 10% off with code EXTRA10 at checkout.

This includes many items from their Women's section.

This includes many items from their Men's section.

Which also includes many of the wonderful tweed shooting coats, including found at:

About Tweed Shooting Coats

Tweed shooting coats are classic country outerwear.

Also sometimes called field coats, they are designed for shooting, but also for long walks in the woods and fields.  They are also great for watching sporting events, for around town or the office, and doing chores outside.

Comfortable in temperatures in the 20s to 40s, Tweed shooting coats are not sufficiently warm alone for a cold New England winter day.  However, those in larger sizes that can fit over a heavier sweater, making them useful down to the 10s.

In quite a few ways, tweed shooting coats represent clothing perfection. They are handsome, durable, and practical.  They are warm and windproof.  They allow for full movement.  They are (best) made of natural materials, to wit, tweed.  They assume thorns and dogs.   They even blend into beautiful places.  And they are quiet.  There is no synthetic rustling.  Even the snap closures should be almost silent when unfastened.

Tweed Shooting Coats are available in a wide range of quality.  At the low end are the tweed blends, and most of the construction is outsourced, though some are still made in England.  The next level are the ones made of British tweeds, 100% wool, but with outsourced construction.  Some of the best, in my opinion, are made by Chrysalis, which is what Cordings carries.  Made of truly gorgeous, substantial British 100% wool tweed, hand cut and sewn in England with enormous attention to detail, these are available for Ladies as well as the Men.  I have owned and worn them all.

Whatever the source, when choosing one, look for a substantial storm placket and collar to protect from the elements.

Tweed shooting coats should also have a lot of pockets. The two front are large bellow (or cartridge) pockets and should be able to be snapped open by a retaining flap holder for unfettered access when shooting.  

Modern touches include:  Waterproof membrane as a drop-liner behind the tweed for protection, and Teflon treated tweed so it does not absorb any water.   

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Where do Preppy and Yankee overlap, and where are they clearly different cultures?


A reader question, left in the comments:

If, as Muffy says, "Preppy includes ... town and country," what is the relationship of "Yankee" to preppy? Certainly there are some areas where there are clear differences (sailing is preppy; lobstering is Yankee), but I think there's some overlap. For examples, I'd say woodworking, gardening, and cross country skiing are both Yankee and preppy. Where do preppy and Yankee overlap, and where are they clearly different cultures?

Around Town, the Quiet of January

Photos by Salt Water New England


Monday, January 30, 2023

Arthur Beale Water Resistant 61 litre Sailing Bag - Made in Scotland

Photos by Salt Water New England
Sometimes you need a water resistant, large, tough bag.  A bag that can carry the day's change of dry clothes, towels or blankets, food, and other supplies.  A bag that can be rained upon without issue, take some spray, is at home on a dock, and that can be thrown from one boat to another.

Arthur Beale's new kit bag fits the bill.  Made in Scotland of a tough and durable 100% waterproof PVC, this bag is rigid enough to keep its shape, spacious but shallow enough to make everything accessible, and has quite a few useful pockets.  



Friday, January 27, 2023

A Lovely April Day in January

Photo by Salt Water New England


S. Dillon Ripley

Photo by My Father


Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Darien Sport Shop, Darien, Connecticut

Photos by Salt Water New England

The seeming eclecticism of the preppy culture throws a lot of people.  Preppy includes young and old, pretty and substantial, sporting and evening events, town and country.

When I was growing up, one store that encompassed more of this than most was the Darien Sport Shop.

The suits and more formal wear were downstairs, with skis and lacrosse sticks on the third floor.  I remember one visit where I bought a Thule and had it installed on my wagon while trying on a little black dress.

The store offered many interesting brands before they were available locally anywhere else.  The children's section (second floor) took youngsters seriously before other stores, with miniature versions of classics.

And of course, Mr. Z. reigned over all.

I still have and wear quite a few garments purchased there a few decades ago.  It is no longer THAT store, but for its golden era, The Darien Sport Shop belongs in the Prep Pantheon. 


Monday, January 23, 2023

Pretty Good for January

Photo by Salt Water New England


A Sweater's Ply

A reader question:

To my SWNE colleagues,

When it comes to sweaters, I am ply-ignorant.  I see many references on this site to different ply sweaters.   Is 2-ply sufficient?  Is 4-ply better, and 6-ply better still?  Or is it just a matter of preference?  I wear sweaters a lot during the winter for everyday living and for business casual entertaining.  
Thank you! 

Some of the sweaters from this site of various plies:  Photo by Salt Water New England

4-Ply Shetland from Bosie, Made in Scotland

Friday, January 20, 2023

Angela Moore et al. Today

Photos by Salt Water New England

  • One of my old Angela Moore Bracelets


The Cotton Norwegian Birdseye Sweater

Photo by Salt Water Mew England
Cotton versions, made in the USA, of the classic Norwegian Birdseye Sweater.  I bought these about two decades ago at the L.L. Bean Freeport store.  Still in use.

Photo from the Archives: Tweed + Minimalism

Photo by my Father

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Reader question: What are some better choices for earth friendly alternatives?

A reader question: 

 Dear Muffy,

Our growing awareness and understanding of things like forever chemicals and products that cause environmental damage means we need to study more closely the things we buy and, when possible, choose the most earth friendly alternatives.  A great example is Gore Tex, basically stretched Teflon.  If you want to stay dry in an environmentally responsible way, choose waxed cotton instead.  If you have been buying sparkling white towels and T-shirts, consider unbleached organic cotton or, better still, linen.  If you are storing that last bowl of chowder for tomorrow's lunch, use glass instead of plastic.  The list may be short, but whatever length it is, it benefits us all to make it grow.  What are some of the other "better choices" SWNE readers make and would share?  Sources are welcome, too.  Finding natural all linen dish cloths took me all the way to Lithuania and LinenHomeStudio via Etsy! 

Best regards,

Vecchio Vespa

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Checkbook Friends

The invitations always follow the same format.  "Let's meet at [some expensive restaurant/resort] at 7:15 pm on Friday night.  I will make reservations.  [Some person you want to see] is coming as well, and I will see if [other person] and [other person] can make it."

Or join me at The University Club or some opening night performance, try out the new guest wing, see my new house on the island, have lunch at the yacht club, or take the new (old) 380SL for a spin.

And, it does not need to be said, that friend will insist on picking up the tab.

These are checkbook friends.  They are generous to a fault.  Some even pick up air fare and book blocks of hotel rooms.  They have vast social networks.  But every event, and in fact every conversation, is on their terms.   

These checkbook friends are always charming (often self-deprecating, describing themselves as "cranky" or "bossy").  They are genuinely valued friends.  And tremendous fun.  

And these relationships have their golden time, even if they eventually wind down.  

Offering to go Dutch seems like a solution, but trying to pull it off gets resentful glances.  Suggesting gatherings that don't involve bills also seems like a good idea but does not alter the trajectory of the more sponsored events.  

For many young people, having an older check-book friend (or relative) can be highly influential.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Lotuff's New Leather Small Tote, Made in New England

Photo by Salt Water New England
I have a thing for totes.  

So that may be why this new Lotuff Small Tote felt instantly at home when it first arrived.  Just out of the box, I was already walking over to it to put in keys and sunglasses.   

The just released tote is fabulous and it has all the right proportions - wide enough to be stable and not so deep that you can't find anything.  

It is a perfect size for a pocketbook, and in fact the perfect pocketbook for people who don't like pocketbooks.   

One of my favorite features is the full continuous handles, meaning the handle leather wraps around the bag to give it an extra tough and secure feel   And the handles are rolled, so it feels great to carry   

This is an unlined tote, with a clasp to keep it shut if desired, and a not-too-thin shoulder strap. 

 Mine is in Chocolate, but it also comes in Camel as well as a few other colors.   One is not going to be enough.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Scratchy Photo from the Archives

From My Archives
1991.  A photo I took of a long-time friend at a Vineyard family wedding.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Everyday Dinnerware?

 A reader question:


Greetings from the rainy PNW!  Hope all is well!

Question for my fellow readers: 

I am looking for suggestions for either new/new to me dinnerware.  Unfortunately it needs to be dishwasher and microwave safe.  I have inherited collections of china and transferware that I'm slowly reinforcing as I find pieces but with a home containing children, looking for more "everyday" options.  

Thank you!

Monday, January 9, 2023

Reader Questions about Television Viewing - Comfort Shows, Binge Watching, and the SWNE Ethos


A few reader questions for the community:

Hey Muffy,  how are you?  I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday.  I have a reader question.  I have a library of comfort shows that I put on to fall asleep to every night, and I am looking to add some new shows into my rotation.  What shows do other people on SWNE watch to doze off?  Thank you!


To my fellow readers, I am looking for BritBox or Acorn shows to binge watch.  What have been the best shows of 2022, or earlier?


Dear Muffy,  thank you for the great posts.  Here is a question for readers that might be better for January than right now...  What movie best captures the soul of SWNE (the blog or the place)?   




Friday, January 6, 2023

Cordings' Big Twice a Year Sale Is On!

Photos by Salt Water New England
Take advantage of Cordings' big twice a year sale.  Some of the things on sale at Cordings right now:

Cordings' Navy Shetland Tweed Paddock Jacket for Men is the kind of item that I wished companies offered more often. For the price, it is exceptionally good looking and well constructed.  The Shetland herringbone tweed from Yorkshire is beautiful.  The fit is as natural and flattering as the older Barbours.  Of course it has two side vents on back.  And paddock jackets, including this one, are simply very useful garments to have around.

A lovely 6-ply lambswool sweater that is available in a perfect shade of Navy.  Distinctive, luxurious, and robust, it improves a wide range of settings.  Made in Scotland.

Feet should be sportily clad as well.  Made in England.

Cashmere tartan scarves are just perfect, and Black Watch is always appreciated (except some times when wearing mossy green tweed). Made in England.  (Yes, England, not Scotland.)

Black Watch Cashmere, Made in England

Shooting Stockings - Made in England, with 6-Ply Lambswool Crew Neck - Made in Scotland


Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Which Clothes Should be Made in Which Country?


A reader question:

  • When buying clothes, I look for khakis made in the U.S. and Shetland sweaters made in Scotland.  What classic clothes do other readers look to be made in what specific countries?

The Pink Turtleneck

Photo by Salt Water New England
The white turtleneck is considered de rigueur, of course, but a good pink—as with a good green, a good light blue, and a good navy and white stripe—is also very versatile. 

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Friday, December 30, 2022

Suggestions for a New Tuxedo?

A reader question:

Dear Editor,

May I pose a question for the community? I have a black tie event coming up in a few months and will be having a new tuxedo made for it. Any suggestions for my tailor, e.g., notch, peak or shawl lapel? Black or midnight blue? Many thanks!

Sunday, December 25, 2022