All posts in Lifestyle

Ivy League Humor, Japanese Proverbs, & Ties

Pearls Before Swine

I thought that I had seen pretty much every humorous emblematic tie out there. Sure there might be 1 or 2 that have escaped me, but I have a good overall understanding of what is out there, or at least I thought that I did until I found Basarahadehiko’s Instagram account.

Basarahadehiko’s Instagram is where I learned that the Japanese have their own kind of novelty emblematic tie. These ties are based on Japanese proverbs. While many of the proverbs are well known others are uniquely Japanese, but the medium remains very American. The Ivy Style  inspiration is not limited to it being a tie, but also in the choice of animals, colors, and materials which adds to its charm.
Japanese Proverb TieJapanese Hare Proverb TieSaki TieHunting CurryWhen I asked about the origin of these ties I was stunned at the response. These ties were made primarily by J.Press and Brooks Brothers. I never knew. Humorous emblematic ties are nothing new to the Trad world (see Ivy League Humor) and neither is the Japanese interest in Trad, but this I had never seen or even heard about.

I have included a few samples of Basarahadehiko’s ties along with proverb in this post. This is only a small sampling. I encourage you to visit the Instagram account to see more.

The Summer Rugby

Kelly Green Rugby

During the summer I am usually only thinking of ways to stay cool, but the occasional cool summer night or chilly morning may call for long sleeves. Most of the time a simple OCBD or long sleeve Madras shirt will work just fine. If it is even cooler perhaps a cotton sweater or the classic grey sweatshirt will do. I have all of the above and use them regularly during the summer months. However, my rugby hoodie from Barbarian gets more wear than all of the the rest when the weather turns gross.
Barbarian RugbyI can’t say enough good things about this rugby. It is built to last. The construction is solid and the fabric is a nice hefty cotton that will soften up over time. Mine is currently entering the state where it is a dream to put it on similar to a well-worn OCBD or those chinos that you’ve owned so long that they now feel like sweatpants. The hood has come in handy plenty of times whether that be protecting my head from rain or myself from the world when I am not ready to deal with the morning.

I liked this rugby so much that I purchased another one just for warmer weather. What makes this one a little more summery than your average rugby are the colors. Green and blue are a classic color combination for trads in the summer. They can be found on everything from ties to ribbon belts. The green on this rugby takes it up a notch on the trad scale by using kelly green along with navy very similar to the Ralph Lauren ad below. The result is a nice brightly colored rugby that is ready for a morning coffee run or an evening walk.
Kelly Green Rugby
Green & Blue Striped RugbyThis weeks post also ties back to the, ‘Always & Forever (see here)’ post. I knew that I liked my Barbarian rugby and that I should order another while they are still around. In fact, when I purchased the rugby there was a note on the Barbarian website that said, ‘Some items in the store listing are not available.’  Lucky for me what I wanted was still in stock. For all I know the hefty all-cotton rugby shirt may be the next item on the endangered species list. Get them while the getting is good.

Happy Memorial Day

J.Crew Madras Close-up

Memorial day has arrived. These weekends are filled with parades, cookouts, and graduation parties. It marks the start of pool season and more importantly to this blog it marks the opening of Madras and white buck season. My weekend has been exactly like the one that I described consisting of good food, good friends, and beautiful weather all enjoyed while clad in Madras and shorts. Before heading out to enjoy the day today I wanted to wish all of you a happy Memorial day. I leave you with a picture of Bryan raising the Madras flag. Let the season begin!
Madras Flag

Always & Forever


I have been spent a lot of time trying to find the perfect source for OCBDs, chinos, and Shetlands. My thinking was that once I nailed down the ideal garment that I would be set for life. I would be able to purchase these “perfect” items over and over until the end of my days. I now see the flaw in my logic.

I know that I am not alone in this search. I get a lot emails from readers are on the same mission. It is a noble pursuit. However, I am changing my strategy. After following the clothing industry more closely over the past 5-8 years I have learned that change is inevitable. A company may not change the cut of the product, but use a new factory which changes the fit or they have to change their source for raw material and the colors change as a result. There are countless other scenarios that will impact our “perfect” shirt, pants, sweaters.

Based on the above my advice is that if you find something that you really like and that fits you well buy multiples, because tomorrow will never be like yesterday. I have kicked myself more than once for not following that logic. Friend of the blog Ensiferous shared this piece of wisdom that is well worth remembering,

“One is none. Two is one. The third is a spare.”

Linking the Past to Present: 90’s Fraternity Style

90s Prep

The style known as Trad owes a lot to the Ivy League style for its heritage. However, this traditional American style was shaped by not only heyday Ivyist, but by each generation after that was interested in the traditional American look.

Just this week I read an interesting post that covered late 90’s fraternity style. This post featured Wallabee Clarks and polo shirts. Two items that were also included in the, “Definitive Late 70s Prep Checklist” post. This post on the 90’s in conjunction with the late 70’s Prep post helps to illustrate the path from Ivy style to Preppy to Trad.

I encourage you to head over to Red Clay Soul to read the article: LATE 90’S – EARLY 00’S FRATERNITY STYLE