Photo by Salt Water New England

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Reader Question: The Politics of Style

 

Many readers have observed that Ivy Style has become the new MAGA hat.   A comment sent this morning prompted me to post this reader comment on which I had been sitting for a few weeks, for obvious reasons:

"Politically, I consider myself a blend of left wing and traditional right wing, basically a typical New England Republican of thirty years ago or more.  That balance is why I like this blog and community so much more than others.   I have noticed that most of my liberal and centrist friends, and even other traditional Republicans, are increasingly viewing Ivy and Preppy style as the new MAGA hat, a not so subtle signal of support of some white entitlement fantasy.  In fact, I believe many on the left view Preppy and Ivy clothes as toxic.  They would no more wear a bow tie than camouflage.  I would like to hear from the liberal readers of this blog if that is true, and if so, how do they balance an appreciation of classic style with an aversion to the current right wing noise?'

 

 

72 comments:

  1. I find it odd that the Trad/Ivy/Preppy look can have a set of politics associated with it - at this point. I understand that the nature of dress is conservative using the original definition, but I’ve never seen it as conservative using the more modern political definition. I find that the clothing CAN signal a set of values to others, to be sure; it is when conversation occurs that one gets a sense of another’s actual values. That transcends the aesthetic.

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  2. Am looking forward to the responses. It is typically easy to tell the conservative protests from the liberal protests. The conservatives are nicely dressed and the liberals are dressed down. Not a judgment, just an honest observation. Not sure what it means.

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    1. A very interesting observation and one that I do not agree with. May I ask if you've seen a conservative Trump rally and how those people dress?

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    2. Muffy et al, please don't post if this seems too forward but I have to say I cannot even imagine any *true* WASP/Prep/Trad scrambling up our Capitol stairs, breaking windows, screaming obscenities and downright breaking the law all while wearing preppie garb and if they do, I know I want nothing to do with that vulgar behaviour and if that's what "Conservatism" has become then I want *no* part of it.

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    3. I am in total agreement. I don’t talk about my pedigree, but it connects me to a libidinous king, a famous prime minister and several US presidents. I am far to the left politically, but was sickened by the antics of The Former Guy and his supporters. My own wardrobe, that of a former college instructor, is very traditional.

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  3. Classicism and traditionalism in all forms is the embodiment of opposition to the current right wing noice, in my opinion.

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  4. Fascinating! Being a small town Southerner my comment is not on target here but I’d say that a male wearing anything but jeans, an untucked plaid shirt and those extra long pointedy toes shoes is still considered a liberal. I say this as I sit here in my OCBD, khaki shorts and old camp Mocs dreading a trip to the barber shop this morning where Fox news(?) is blaring and I’m eyed, not so subtly, as a liberal outsider because I’m not engaged in the conversation…and my dress.

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  5. There are no shortage of ocbds in the absolute northwest corner of Conn. Here the donkeys captured 70%+ of the 2020 vote. Break out the madras, thank you.

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  6. Too bad it has to come to this.

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  7. Speaking as a centrist (I used to consider myself to be a moderate R -- fiscally more conservative, socially slightly to the left) but changed my voter registration last year ago to be able to vote in a primary for the person I felt was the best to take on the orange one)- the rightwingers in my life actually don't wear 'preppy' clothes, nor are they part of the lifestyle (for example, they aren't readers, aren't into travel, etc.) So I'm safe.

    And I don't feel like I left the R party-- I feel like it left me.

    --EM

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    1. We must have been separated at birth. My feelings exactly.....

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    2. Yes, this comment is spot on.

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  8. It seems our children's generation may be feeling this to a greater extent than we. I notice a strong aversion to former standbys like khakis and polo shirts ever since Charlottesville among many 20-30-40-somethings I know.

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  9. Robert ReichardtJune 15, 2021 at 9:23 AM

    This is easy. Preppy clothes = white people.

    You know, the new anti-white racism that judges people not by the content of their character, but by the color of their skin. The opposite of what Dr. King fought for.

    This biased movement has made mainstream media unwatchable and unreadable. For example, I was enjoying watching an episode of the new "All Things Great and Small" series when suddenly there was a black woman in a small 1930s Scotland village complaining about white racism. Unbelievable. The liberal bigot who wrote that should be given an award.

    Sorry, but any of your "friends" who say otherwise are lying hypocrites.

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    1. Robert, immigrants from the Caribbean to the UK well before the "Windrush" generation. Many came to work in the munitions industry and as household staff because of the labor shortage during and after the Great War. It is not beyond reason that some people may have ended up in Yorkshire and the industrialized north.

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  10. You can wear the clothes but it doesn’t mean you understand or live the lifestyle. Being preppy isn’t about wearing Nantucket reds. It is a lifestyle- one I might add- that doesn’t revolve around politics. These folks who think they are making a political statement are more than likely two things: NOKD and try hards of a new nature.

    Signed, a die-hard Progressive Liberal

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  11. I'm not certain of my place on the political horseshoe. I think of myself as a conservative, my wife thinks otherwise. Maybe I'm in the middle, in which case you can stop reading. Be that as it may be, I wonder where the commentator got those ideas. I rather doubt that many of the tourists visiting the Capitol last January were wearing Brooks Brothers. Of course, that may have been the dress order of the day. After all, you don't wear a suit to the beach (Our grandfathers might have).

    There are other ways to see this. White privilege or entitlement is not the same as right wing. And right wing is barely conservative on my scale of such things. My scale, if I may put it this way, is not a straight line, with the liberals at one end and the conservatives at the other. It's more of a horseshoe magnet, with the ends closest to each other, yet totally opposite. They are close together because they're both willing to do the same things to achieve their goals, which basically is to be in power and sometimes little else. But take comfort in knowing that democracy will prevail. In fact, I believe all countries are democracies in reality. The only differences are in who gets to vote. Sometimes even kings and emperors were elected. Please vote next election, if you can.

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    1. Alas, if we cross a threshold - say in the lower to mid 80%’s - of voter participation,
      then we have real problems.

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  12. I don't worry about it. I dress as I please, always have, always will. I will not let the "woke" crowd dictate how I dress.

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  13. This is a topic with many layers and nuances, but I do not believe it is only about clothing. Anyone who has ever seen a PRL advertisement knows how it seizes upon the arrogant and entitled look. Depending how you wear your clothing, it is possible to project that aura, and wearing distinctly preppy clothing can amplify it. Wearing rumpled khakis, old camp mocs, and an OCBD with a fraying collar is less likely to come across as haughty than GTH pants, Gucci bit loafers, and a professionally laundered shirt, but the real test is the sincere openness of the wearer. I did not choose to be a WASP, but the combination of ancestry and the way I was raised have made clear who I am. It does not make me one whit more special than anyone else on this planet. Whatever my ancestors may have accomplished, those accomplishments were theirs, not mine. I feel ashamed when I hear other WASPs assert that they are somehow superior, and to me that unfounded assertion is the real travesty and cause for offense, along with failure to acknowledge and deal with the systemic privilege we have enjoyed. For me to stop wearing natural fibers until they are too worn out to go on and to start dressing differently would be a sad failure. Most any other way I might dress could, ironically, be another form, albeit subtle, of cultural appropriation. So I'll dress as I always have and see it as a small contribution to cultural diversity and a way to be a little more kind to the planet than adopting a new persona would be.

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    1. I couldn't have put it better myself. I am not a WASP but I do come from an old Eurasian family that were part of the ruling class at one point in time. I have never ever, however, lorded it over anyone; to do so was and is considered crass.

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    2. " Whatever my ancestors may have accomplished, those accomplishments were theirs, not mine." Amen to that and thank you!

      Glad to see your comment after being saddened by others using the words "woke" or "anti-white racism" in their replies. While the idea of noblesse oblige may seem a little arrogant in contemporary terms (higher birth, powerful social position, etc...), the concept acknowledged privilege and reminded us that we have responsibilities to those who are less fortunate. It is disappointing to see others deny their privilege, but it is down right upsetting and infuriating that they can't see the struggles of others.

      ~A New England W.A.S.P.

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  14. If your party views classic clothing as "support of some white entitlement fantasy" I would suggest you find a new party.

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  15. Not in Boston/North Shore. Everyone seems to look and act like they always have. Elsewhere I can't say.

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  16. This is an interesting question. I’m rather younger than some of the people I see here but an avid reader over the last five years. What I’ve witnessed in those years is a true atomization of almost every aspect of American life, a complete disintegration of some of our most important and traditional national bindings. Stoked by the intense polarization coming from the right as well as the left, there is simply no stone left unturned in what has been dubbed for at least three decades as the “culture wars.”

    So it should come as no surprise that there is no place for the moderate and studied enjoyment of traditional Ivy / preppy style when the notion that tradition is even worthwhile to maintain or has some level of value, if, as people allege on the right that it is meaningless in a nihilistic world where only power matters; or as people allege on the left that all tradition is bunk and upholds the very worst aspects of a skewed and repressing system.

    The inevitability of the criticism has given we acolytes of the style a chance to prepare a response, and, if we have the mettle, a good reason to stand the line. My answer is this: Ivy / preppy fashion might well be the product of wealth or prestige, but the style and the manner of wearing the clothes associated with it have always been about decoupling wealth from ostentation. The idea of an Audi, a Volvo, a Brooks Brothers OCBD, a Shaggy Dog, a Barbour jacket, or Rancourts is not to display some obnoxious signal of wealth but to prioritize purchasing something of high quality with every intention of preserving it while getting the ultimate and most thorough use from it. In the present, the prestige of items like the ones I listed precedes them because they have built up (even if sometimes a worrying depreciation has set in) a legendary appeal, which allows any person who owns or or all to instantly appear wealthy and privileged. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that the items are owned and deployed with a great care for authenticity. The items all have a context. And to use or own them within that context, and in a way that makes sense, should never be considered problematic.

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  17. I wear preppy clothes, when i'm not hiking or otherwise getting really dirty outdoors, and have hard left-leaning political views on most issues. C'est la vie.

    It's worth considering whether 'ivy' is still synonymous with 'preppy' based on recent experience with our youngest daughter. She graduated from a large public high school last week. Her college choice boiled down to the undergrad business school at the University of Michigan and Brown University.

    She chose Michigan, to our mild surprise (spouse and i both graduated from ivy universities). Her takeaway from local admitted students she knows and the admitted students Instagram page was that many of the soon-to-be students are self-consciously (aggressively?) unconventional - not preppy. While they may be a small minority of the inbound students as a whole, it turned her off.

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  18. I'm one of *those* Republicans, an ultra-, ultra-conservative who is far to the right of Trump and rejects the liberal orthodoxy on most issues. But I don't see dressing well as something that is inherently political. It's something that can bring people together. When we dress well, we brighten the lives of others and make them feel better. There's nothing liberal or conservative about that. And these days, "dressing well" means khakis and an OCBD and maybe a sport coat (for men) or a floral dress or cashmere sweater (for women), it's not like we're wearing top hats or mink stoles -- unaffordable clothing designed to convey a very clear message of wealth and status. The contemporary version of "dressing well" doesn't require us to alienate others. And if you can bring a little bit of refinement into people's lives by wearing khakis and an OCBD, why not do that? You're not making a political statement at all.

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    1. What a question! I'm afraid to say much about it except that I am a life-long liberal and I agree with Joe in that, in general, I don't see how "dressing well" indicates what political leanings you have. That being said, here in Georgia, I think of people who dress well as more on the liberal side. And - this is a huge stereotype and only what I have experienced myself - people here who dress as "rednecks" are usually conservatives. (I hope nobody wants to kill me for my opinion. It's just a big generalization and it's probably not true in all cases.)

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    2. I share Joe's political stance and agree with his comment about refinement. It may be military influence, but I prefer to leave the house clean and pressed - even in a Colorado university town.

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  19. There is only one piece of clothing I consider 'political" and that's the red MAGA cap. The people who wore them during the siege of our Capitol weren't dressed in the preppy style at all. The only other item that was made political by certain media outlets was the mask. I thank all the doctors, nurses and medical staff who stayed the course and at last are seeing us out of the Pandemic. Hopefully everyone will get vaccinated so we won't have to have another shut down ever again.

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    1. Speaking of the red MAGA cap, I have a similar cap in red ... except it has the logo of the Original General Store in Pittsfield, VT. I won't wear it any more because of what red caps now symbolize. What a pity.

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  20. Given the comments here, including my own, I wonder if we're really what we think we are--politically, that is.

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    1. As always, thank you, you are appreciated!

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  21. If I happen to dress and think a bit like Nelson Rockefeller, I'm fine with that. Of course, that would make me a "progressive" according to today's political barometer.

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  22. Gee whiz..all this wailing & gnashing of teeth. I dress like a no nonsense grownup as a standing rebuke to moral & cultural relativism. Enuff said.

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  23. I wonder if the questioner lives someplace where clothing thought of as "preppy" is not the norm? Here in beautiful blue Massachusetts, it would be tricky to draw a conclusion on political affiliation. In fact, our Republican governor, who is seen around town fairly frequently, is about as preppy as they come.

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  24. This blog has been a happy place for me. I have enjoyed the pictures and lifestyle comments as a place for civilized people to appreciate the natural beauty of New England along with interesting clothing styles, automobiles, and architecture. But, now politics enter the conversation. The question itself, by the way it is worded, shows the questioner's political presumptions and beliefs.
    I hope this will stay away from the quagmire of politics and stay focused on what it has done so well.

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    1. Agree completely. Politicizing one's life and actions is abhorrent.

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    2. Well said. Thank you!

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  25. I dress preppy, Ivy you might say, I do come from the UK originally though where there is a niche culture round the style more 'boho' than here maybe. I dress that way I would say and Americans seem to see it as Ivy or preppy roughly too. I am leftish in politics by any standard. I am not sure how others take it though and hadn't thought about that before.

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  26. I second everyone who has pointed here to clothes being a many-layered issue, and also those who mentioned they've appreciated this blog as one of the most civilized corners of the internet, if not actually the MOST civilized. That said, I've often felt SWNE was eerily - if comfortingly, and by design - divorced from the bedlam and cacophony that is modern life. I've appreciated that as well, to be sure; but it's important to wade into uncomfortable waters every once in a while. Being able to do so graciously is a sign of character.

    That said, as daily imperatives, dress well - as a gesture of respect to others and to yourself - and be kind to people. These are both traditional values, yes... though, when they go together, form an increasingly Liberal package.

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  27. Clothing preferences are affected by many cultural inputs. Unfortunately the movements to make everything in all aspects of life about politics has rebounded in clothing as well as other places where one would be better served with focus on practical values and aesthetics.

    Sadly, as is evident by many comments here and elsewhere, it appears far too many people make their political choices based upon aesthetics rather than grounding in sound values and thoughtfulness. The most pernicious and ignorant politics when presented with a comforting aesthetic draw widespread support. Sound and sensible politics represented by a less favored aesthetic are anathematized. Let clothing be clothing, and one can prefer one's own style while tolerating the choices of others.

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  28. In my experience, it's not the clothing that offers the attitude but the person that wears them.

    "If you throw stones in mud, it will only spoil your clothes." -Aditya Pancholi

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  29. For the apparel oft proclaims the man ...

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  30. I am a liberal (some might say left-wing) Quaker from Ireland. My husband (also a Quaker) and I live in Utah. We know many Quakers who are Republican (as in the Republican party of Gerald Ford) and we know many liberals. How we dress is a signifier, despite our desire that we are judged by who we are, not what we wear. We dress in accordance with the way we live, and the jobs we have. "Preppy" clothing may seem elitist or of white privilege to some, but we forget that these clothes are well-made and can be found in local second-hand stores, giving people of all backgrounds the opportunity to dress for a job interview, an important meeting, business classes at the local community college and feel confident. Trendy clothes are generally badly made, never last and are generally unsuitable for many aspects of life including gardening, housework, walking the dog, going to work, and going out to dinner without having to change our clothes. These classic styles are worn because we don't particularly want to stand out, and we don't really want to have a "wardrobe" for every occasion. Ostentation, arrogance and politics are not necessarily driven by the clothes people wear. How people judge me or assume to know me is none of my business. It's sad to think that people assume a political leaning based on the clothes people wear. I wonder if those people are seeking further polarization and confirmation of their own narrative - it is more about them than the people they judge.

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  31. West Coast StoicJune 15, 2021 at 6:54 PM

    Interesting question. I think it speaks more to class than to politics, but in times of social and economic stress, everything becomes more political. I think we are all influenced by when and where we grew up, and who we grew up with. Also the culture has become more and more informal. Certain types of social signaling may be less advisable now. I don't think I would want to drive a very flashy car or wear a $10k watch to too many places. Part of the Ivy culture was to blend in. For reference, I grew up in NYC and attended an Ivy school there in the seventies. This question is a good one, and
    I appreciate it.

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  32. Not long ago, some old friends of my parents dropped by. I hadn't seen them for many years and was delighted to catch up with them. As they were leaving, one of them said, "Well, we're so happy to see that you seem comfortable in your own skin." I thought about that later and felt pretty good about that actually. Like most of us, I've seen a lot, good and bad. But I've remained in both dress and character essentially true to the self that first stepped blinking into adulthood. Being comfortable in one's own skin seems a simple premise. But maybe the one that best fits these tough and often contentious times.

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  33. It's an interesting question. I am European but also American, and Asian, and tend towards the Left. I have always been rather traditional in my style, and sometimes veer towards what I call 'updated classics' that sometimes make me look like a modern art gallery owner (according to friends). I echo the opinion of others above that say they just appreciate well-made clothing and don't want to, or have the need to have new items of clothing for different occasions. I have never been into trends and ostentation, and always preferred looking clean and well-groomed without calling attention to myself (I do have moderate vanity but I am not self-absorbed), and my clothes are functional with an occasional nod to things I like (the nautical lifestyle, animals, archaeology, all things Celtic...). There is nothing politicised about it. I only object to claims of superiority over others from arrogant types, and that can be anyone from Right to Left.

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  34. I am about as yellow dog democrat as they come and I, quite objectively, dress about as conservatively/preppy/traditionally as they come in the very traditional bank where I work in the deep south. The clothes I choose to adorn myself with are my personal style and have nothing whatsoever to do with my political leanings. Although I understand the question b/c there does seem to be a tendency to prejudge someone based on their vocation and dress as to their political leanings. But that, I believe, is a dangerous prejudice to have in a casual conversation with someone who is no more than a professional acquaintance.
    -Scott in New Orleans.

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  35. Traditional clothing transcend politics. No political party can lay claim to the lifestyle.

    Averell Harriman, probably the original preppy was a Democrat. Prescott Bush and H.W. Bush were Republicans. Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld is a quasi- Libertarian/RINO. Film Director Whit Stillman is a Democrat.


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    1. Yes, agreed. People have to choose a style they are comfortable with. Comfort with traditional clothing can be found among a wide variety of mind-sets.

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  36. During the Ivy heyday in the ‘50’s, Eisenhower was in office. During the preppy revival in the ‘80’s, Regan was in office. During a preppy revival in the early 2000’s, W was in office. I’m not saying these things are directly correlated, but it is an interesting trend. However, I don’t see how these national trends could take hold any longer with the hyperindividualism brought upon by social media. As others have mentioned in comments, SWNE is a refuge for people who appreciate this aesthetic in both clothing and lifestyle. Given that the political views seem to run the spectrum, perhaps we can take solace that we have more in common then we think. At least at SWNE.

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  37. Interesting... I disaffiliated from the GOP upon the nomination of Trump. Living in rural NY, those who still claim the party are often suspicious of people who are more traditionally dressed. You can only imagine the looks and comments my Volvo-driving, Orvis-clad self gets at the rod and gun club.

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    1. Similar situation here in rural PA. Prep is for those who work in downtown Pittsburgh or at one of the universities in Oakland, not for those who live out here.

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  38. There is a practical business reason for dressing in Preppy outfits. Whenever I'm in Asia, I tend to receive preferential treatment and excellent service on airlines, hotels, restaurants, banks, etc.

    Conversely, the person who wears trendy outfits or hot street apparel don't usually get the same preferential treatment because knock-offs are common in Asia and secondly, Supreme or Prada is over-saturated. It screams ostentatious around classy establishments. It's harder to find Brooks Brothers or J. Press in Asia with the exception of Japan.

    Asians recognize craftsmanship of Preppy outfits because it conveys quality and sensibility. More importantly, Preppy outfits signal status and this is highly valued in Asian circles.

    This has nothing to do with politics but about a shared love for that's a part of our history in New England.

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  39. Attended an Ivy, which is where I picked up my love of preppy clothing (yes, plenty of people still dress in a preppy fashion at our nation's top schools). I have plenty of school friends who are neocons or moderate conservatives, and plenty who are on the left. Across the spectrum, there are preppy dressers. It's that simple. I don't assume anything about the wearers politics, just that they care about how they look but not too much.

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  40. I'm very much a lefty who was born in Maine and have lived in Minnesota since 1997, other than to attend a small liberal arts college before returning to Minneapolis for law school. My experience was that in Maine, the clothes (Maine preppy with the LLBean bent) transcends political affiliation and possibly is only distinguished by certain professions/socioeconomic statuses. But a lot really falls into that general category.

    In MN, however, it's usually a question of location. City/suburb you'll see more of the components of trad/Ivy dress, and it's a good bet the wearer is quite liberal. An outstate resident is unlikely to share that look or political affiliation.

    The one exception is for the CPAC crowd that has moved aggressively to the political right along with the Republican party, many of whom were card-carrying members of the Federalist Society in law school. However, it always seems to look like an uncomfortable uniform on these folks, of what they think they should look like. Which is, of course, the precise opposite of what the style actual is, so you can always sniff them out a mile away; never a good thing.

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  41. In the interest of a bit of contrarian “diversity” for this series of posts, this Trump supporting, MAGA Conservative American still enjoys traditional/prep styles for the most part, like I always have, whether dressed for business on the boat. I like the style on its own merits regardless of who wears it. I also still love the western cowboy styles stemming from the 70’s and 80’s (somewhat contrarian to the prep look both then and now!)

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  42. Regardless of whether you are left or right, I have noticed public dress overall has gone straight to heck in a handbasket. Seriously - since when are stretch pants, rubber flip flops, fleece, pajama bottoms, shower shoes considered acceptable dress for public? --Holly in PA

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  43. Although attributed to Winston Churchill, though not accurately so, there's a saying (in both English and French) that if one isn't a socialist by the time one is 25, one has no soul - and, of one isn't a conservative by the time one is 40, one has no head/brain. I'm not convinced that any of that has anything to do with one's anticedents, schooling, upbringing, or anything for that matter related to haberdashery. Though not an American, I do hail from the northern-most country on this continent (North America). And, my family are immigrants from central & eastern Europe. Though of meager origins, I have always admired American style, and particularly that of the traditional/ivy sort. I recall visiting the US as a young boy, and aspiring to the older crowd dressed in what many on this blog consider "Ivy" style. Though funds were always an issue, I continued with my admiration for both that style, and what it represented (particularly in terms of character), throughout my life -- even as styles changed. Time passed, and through the application of diligence and tenacity I was able to earn a graduate degree (which included research at Harvard in the 1980s), followed by some time in our military, then teaching at a technical college, and then civil service -- including time as a diplomat. All the while, indulging in American traditional style, mixed a bit with similar British and French pieces. Though not American, my politics have waffled somewhat over the years, but not greatly. As is the case with the majority of my fellow citizens, I sit firmly planted in the middle of the political spectrum - mainly because that's where sanity tends to live... and, I continue to admire American trad/ivy style, because it transcends age, fashion, and politics, and represents the best of what your country has had to offer. For that, I'm grateful.

    Your intrepid reader from north of the 49th parallel,

    Banacek

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  44. What a profound and insightful question. Thank you! Yes, there are many, many subtleties. But, for myself, I will never again wear a pink or white polo shirt, and I'm even starting to have doubts about khakis, because of the people who have made these items their uniform. Followers of the British fascist Oswald Mosley wore black shirts, which would have been much better for me, because I own not even one black shirt.

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  45. *sighs in Daniel Patrick Moynihan*

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  46. Other than some members of Congress, the only trad-wear the facists and racists seem to have adopted are polo shirts as a uniform. Fred Perry just stopped making the black/yellow version because of this. It is important that we remember what happened in World War II and reject attempts to confuse and divide us with hatred and disinformation.

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    1. Standing above the fray requires an objective apolitical view of the polis. The divisiveness you abhor is evident in your characterization of those you disagree with, not an accurate portrayal of "the other side" for that would be blind acceptance of whatever the media spoon feeds their audience.

      I like to think people here are more accepting of those they hold fundamental disagreements with absent the fierce tribalism that has taken over the public square. Grace for what this is worth still holds a special place in New England.

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  47. Most people in New England would not accept jack booted Proud Boys in black Fred Perry polos marching around, nor are they willing to stand above the fray and say nothing. It doesn't take a genius to see the thin edge of the totalitarian wedge as it descends. It does take courage to speak out against it. Our town greens all have monuments to people who died fighting assaults on democracy (including my great uncle in World War II). In this post-literate age, symbols, including clothing choices, are very potent political tools that are being used to manipulate. Credulous types who are not capable of understanding the difference between patriotism and volk-nationalism are easy prey for indoctrination, including government officials, religious people, and members of the military and police forces.

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