Thursday, February 4, 2010

What We Will Learn

I was blessed to go through an incredible line of public schools. My high school is admired for its academic and athletic accolades but has long been infamous for its snobbishness. The resentment is unfortunate, but I admit, some of it has been earned. We were always the rich and preppy kids, the true tale of the Preppy Handbook (though I hadn't heard if it at the time). If you've read my first post, you'll know I wasn't among the collar-popping masses.

I tried to be as time went on, but I never quite felt like them. I had no car, no trust fund, no membership at the country club and no lodge at the ski resort. My father always had that classic, traditional substance without the accompanying bank account. I learned it all from him and have continued to grow.

My friends, the ones I was formerly so envious of, have stopped growing. They play it safe. They stick to the daily - a Ralph Lauren polo and chinos/jeans and boat shoes. These guys haven't heard of Brooks Brothers, and they certainly haven't heard of Paul Stuart, Gant or J.Press. Their days consist of some school and a lot of sleeping and drinking.

Obviously, I'm a fan of Ralph but I go beyond that. And obviously life isn't about fashion, it's about substance - the substance that resonates from my father. From my father I learned what true class is.

Christmas: circa 1993

A litte, dandy me in 1993.

All life should be a meritocracy.


  1. Let's not confuse style with fashion. I would argue that true style is an inherent part of people with substance, while followers of fashion are generally those totally lacking in substance.

    Is not our concern with style in part a reaction against those substance-free people?

  2. Thank you so much for citing this. I absolutely agree. Honestly, I meant to say fashion, but I wrote style while thinking of its very correlation with substance. I've now corrected the typo.

  3. One might even argue that Ralph Lauren is really fashion masquerading as style.

  4. To an extent, I agree. I'm not into all the Ralph polos and such covered with logos and writing. However, he has found success producing the same classic pieces for nearly half a century. His polos, chinos, suits, ties, etc. are an evolution of the traditional brands that inspired him. Even Brooks Brothers had to start somewhere, and has expanded into the fashions of Thom Browne and Junya Watanabe.

  5. Sounds like Dad brought you up right.

  6. Love your blog! Keep up the good work.

  7. Thanks, Alan. I just checked out your LeDandy page, and I've added it to my blog roll. Wonderful, inspiring site!