Spring & Summer, 2015

 Calling on me like a young OG.
I’m a classic man.

Selected outfits from late Spring to early August ’15. Continuing a major theme of CollegeTrad, this article includes examples of Rule #10 (proving that nice clothes can be affordable if you know how to shop!)


Café lunch with lady friend. One of my favorite dress shirts. Picked up my first pair of Donnelly’s as my most tapered chino, less for trad and more for fashion forward casual outings like this. (FYI: my go-to favorite American chino maker, Bill’s, recently launched Trim Fit M4 to compete with Jack’s.) Also my first Weejuns – took me long enough to acquire an authentic American made trad staple. Treasure hunt retold on the IG.

2b (2)-Brooks Brothers Slim Fit Non-Iron Bold Gingham Dress Shirt, $35 via “3 for $179 everyday deal” plus add. 30% off Corporate Double Discount Day and stacked $20 Brooks Card Birthday gift card (MSRP $92)
-Jack Donnelly Slim Fit Dalton Chinos, made in USA, $25 used via eBay (MSRP $105)
-LL Bean Chino Belt, 1″ width, vintage, made in USA
-Bass Fenmore Weejuns, made in USA, $148 with limited stock (MSRP$295)
-Seiko SKX009 Watch


Visiting The Matriarch for Easter. Church service and Easter brunch invite from family friends at their country club. Actually killed my wallet and paid full price for this KW tie…but its sooo good especially for S/S season versatility.

Easter Trad 2015-JCrew Ludlow British Khaki Irish Linen Suit, on sale $250 (MSRP ~$460)
-Brooks Brothers Slim Fit Non-Iron Spread Collar Dress Shirt, $35 via “3 for $179 everyday deal” plus add. 30% off Corporate Double Discount Day and stacked $20 Brooks Card Birthday gift card (MSRP $92)
-Kent Wang 3″ Sky Blue Grenadine Tie, made in Italy
-BB red and light blue pocket square, made in USA
-Allen Edmonds Clifton, made in USA, $60 used via eBay (MSRP $350)


Climbing up the ladder. Attending a big wig meeting. KW repeat since the sky blue gives a sense of keeping calm & cool & carrying on during the height of summer. All the while hoping they dont call on me. This suit was another hellavua deal, definitely one of my GOAT treasure finds. RL Black Label is a young professional’s fresh-off-the-runway outfitter for an ultra dignified fashionably forward version of Trad&Prep haute couture. Known for its elongated lapels and broad shouldering to enunciate your corporate shark mentality.

3Sans belt for modern minimalism in line of the RLBL aesthetic. 3aJacket removed while staring at excel sheets in the office. Can’t do my usual Politician’s Roll due to the french cuffs. 3bThe Deets. Functioning Surgeon Cuffs. Subtle cotton cuff links in blue and red that suggestively wink at the blue tie, burgundy merlot shoes. Don’t feel like Im at the senior level to have sterling silver cuff links just yet, cotton links placate the ostentatious french cuffs for the junior league. Pay your dues first, Mr. Future CFO. You can be mean when you look this clean. I’m a classic man.3c-Ralph Lauren Black Label Grey Anthony Sharkskin Suit, made in Italy. $200 used, slightly repaired via Styleforum B&S Section (MSRP $1895)
-RLBL Spread Collar French Cuffed Bond Dress Shirt, made in Italy, $30 via eBay (MSRP $295)
-Allen Edmonds Clifton, made in USA
-Seiko 5 SNKE01 Watch


Workday. Felt like putting on the Dandy.

44aThe Deets. Argyle & Sutherland twin socks and tie.4b4c-Ralph Lauren Polo Seersucker 3/2 Roll Sportcoat, made in Italy
-Brooks Brothers Slim Fit OCBD, made in USA
-BB Argyle & Sutherland Repp Tie, made in USA
-BB Natural Craftsmanship Collection Navy Linen & Cotton Dress Pants, made in Italy, $104 on sale (MSRP $348)
-BB Argyle & Sutherland argyle socks (S/S Collection ’13), made in England
-Trafalgar Engine Turned Plaque with with brown calfskin strap
-Alden for Brooks Bros. Cordovan Horween LHS Penny Loafers, Color #8 Burgundy, made in USA, <$250 NOS via AAAC B&S Section (MSRP $728)
-American Optical Original Pilots, made in USA


Saturday night clubbin’. KW fitted polos have mother of pearl buttons and an innovative spread collar, “dressy” for the night yet cool for the sweaty dance floor. Has a cult following and as seen on GQ. Sh*tkicker pennies for high heel scuffs, spilled liquor, projectile vomit, etc. The dance floor is a minefield. Black and mist green makes a nuanced warm night combo.

5-Kent Wang Black Polo
-Brooks Brothers Milano Fit Cotton & Linen Pants
-Cole Haan Pinch Penny Loafer


Just for giggles, if it were a South Beach venue, sippin’ on my third caipirinha and staring at Latina hotties in 11″ heels and 2″ tropical dresses; I would balance the casualness of the polo with pompous tassel loafers. Also prefer breaking up the black with burgundy to round out the color spectrum of these outfits, instead of having two harsh dark & light ends. Make sure pants are as slim as the shirt.

5a-Allen Edmonds Burgundy Grayson Loafers, made in USA, $100 used via eBay (MSRP $385)


Outdoor picnic calls for summer plaids and tartans. Novelty shorts are the easiest way. Violet family goes with Green, just want to tone it down Mr. Joker. Campbell Clan variation I believe. Ya goatfu*ker.

6-Brooks Brothers Lilac Slim Fit Polo,  ~$18 via flash sale (MSRP ~$65)
-Ralph Lauren Polo Tartan Shorts, ~$15 clearance sale via Dillards (MSRP ~$90)
-Hamilton Khaki Field Watch with NATO Strap
-Sperry Authentic Originals Boat Shoes
-Persol SM 714, made in Italy, $275 new via eBay (MSRP $400)


Errands and then gym/run. Representin’ Terbacker Road. Repeat of last year, adding yet another championship. They aren’t too happy ten miles down the road. Rare moment I go for the prototype Fratdaddy look these days a few years removed from undregrad. Will leave it to further down the Brotherhood family tree. College affiliated tee works in lieu of frocket is fine. Generic Nike Logo graphic tee is not.

7aTry not to be a bigger Brand Whore than I already am, keeping the sport logos to a duo. Short shorts per usual, athletic gear at 7-8″ inseam. John Stockton and I agree. Less wind and motion resistance when you are bouncing the ball[sack].

7 -Nike Athletic Fit Tee
-Nike DriFit Running Hat-Ralph Lauren Polo Seersucker Shorts, ~$15 clearance sale via Dillards (MSRP ~$90), hemmed to 6.5″ inseam
-Adidas Tennis Shorts
-New Balance high top socks
-NB 993, made in USA, NOS via Joes Outlet, ~$110 (MSRP $145)


Downtown dinner and drinks with friends. Sophisticated urbanprep vibe. 8 Unbuttoned twice with jacket on. Permission to wear suit top as odd jacket if it is a seasonal fabric/pattern, like this linen. Never with dress worsted wools.8aThe Deets. Subtle varying shades of brown – tattersall matches walnut brown hues of jacket, shoes, accessories; blue hues of denim, polarized lenses, and pocket square. 8b 8c Unbutton twice to make the jacket less stiff for afterhours.8d June bug humidity compounded with whiskey gets me flushed. Unbutton once when jacket removed to appear less Guido-ish. Chest hair need not apply. Like, oh me, oh me oh my. I know many women want to be in my life.9e-JCrew Ludlow British Khaki Irish Linen Suit Jacket
-Brooks Brothers Spread Collar Dress Shirt, made in USA
-Raleigh Denim Jones Fit Raw Selvedge, made in USA
-Trafalgar engine-turned plaque with BB British Tan leather strap, made in Italy
-JCrew gingham pocket square, made in USA
-Allen Edmonds Strand, Walnut, made in USA, ~$200 on clearance via Shoebank Factory Second


Friday before Independence Day Weekend. Worked a few hours in the silent halls. Business casual with chinos and barefoot loafers (S/S Holidays with 90% of officemates gone are the only time socks may be an option). Dressed it up a tad with blue blazer and weejuns. Taking note from Don Draper, he knew to compliment the height-of-summer with Indian Madras Plaid.

3Kept jacket on most of the day to mute the plaid and belt. With jacket at back of my chair and sleeves rolled to type up reports. Motif needlepoint to celebrate Lady Liberty’s 239th Birthday. Doesn’t look a day over 200. 4a-Anderson-Little Blue Blazer, made in USA, vintage, thrifted $5
-Brooks Brothers Country Club Plaid OCBD, woven in Italy made in USA, tailored, $~20 via Garland Factory (MSRP $225)
-Smathers & Branson American Flag Needlepoint Belt, $115 on sale via Onward Reserve (MSRP $165)
-BB Milano Fit Non-Iron British Khaki Chinos 
-Bass Fenmore Weejuns, made in USA


Independence Day BBQ. All American combo of white shirt+nanny reds. The original nanny reds by the way, more of a “salmon pink” by sea salt fade. Linen cool into the firework-lit night.

July4th15The Deets. Red, White, Blue. Worth investing in a patriotic belt for the summer holidays - treasure hunt documented on IG.July4th15b-Brooks Brothers Slim Fit Linen Shirt
-Murray’s Toggery Nantucket Red Shorts, hemmed & tapered to 7.5″ inseam from bermuda length, $36 used via eBay (MSRP $80)
-Smathers & Branson American Flag Moftif Needlepoint Belt
-Sperry Authentic Original Boat Shoes


Casual affair. Nanny Reds part deuce. Muted with black for dog day August afternoon.

2-Brooks Brothers Original Fit Polo, inherited from my Father
-Murray’s Toggery Nanny Reds
-Rancourt Gilmore Camp Moc, made in USA


Scored free passes to the RBC Heritage in April. My boy Spieth fresh off [his first] Masters win in August, just down the road from Hilton Head. As if I needed a reason to visit a Trad Mecca.

IMG_2645Despite a penchant for plaid shorts, Yours Truely isn’t much of a golfer. Does not mean I can’t appreciate the tradly spirit of The Game. There is the Green Blazer, and then there is the Heritage Plaid blazer. Accredited by the Council of the Scottish Tartan Society. One yellow bar removed from Royal Stewart Tartan to make it custom to the Cup. IMG_2690 Southern breakfast. Deviled Eggs a must. IMG_2664Chicken n’ Waffles. Yup. Bacon bits. IMG_2667 And some cherry pie.IMG_2668Cathills Market in neighboring Bluffton. IMG_2669 Madras the epitome of a Summer Sportcoat.IMG_2674 -Ralph Lauren Polo Indian Madras Sportscoat
-Brooks Brothers OCBD, made in USA
-Bills Khakis M3, made in USA
-Bass Fenmore Weejuns, made in USA


After years of visiting South Carolina, finally picked up my very own Salty Dog Frocket. Famous around deez here parts. Cheaper to buy from the Factory where they print ‘em than at the actual restaurant.

IMG_2694This Flying Beast guards the gates of a coveted Southern Frocket Medallion. Fratdaddies from UVA all the way to Miami University have fallen prey to its razor sharp talons to earn the right to wear The Dog.



Groceries. Fratdaddy alumni.1 I like a golden yellow against a saltwashed navy. Blucher mocs lovingly broken-in and aged. Not trying to keep those pristine, meant for the elements. DatAss.1a-The Salty Dog Cafe Frocket
-Duck Head Chino Shorts, hemmed to 6″ inseam
-LLBean Blucher Moc


Brother and I visiting The Matriarch.

TradFamilySummer15a#TradFamily.TradFamilySummer15First Born Heir to the Throne: JCrew Ludlow Linen Suitjacket (borrowed from me), Brooks Brothers OCBD made in USA, Chipp2 Blue Grenadine Tie made in USA (borrowed from me), JC Broken In-Chino, Cole Haan loafers, AO Original Pilot shades (his own upon my consult, same as mine).

Her Majesty: JC cardigan, BB summer dress, custom made pearl necklace gifted from The Patriach, Dooney & Burke summer purse, and her generic fashion watch and old lady comfort shoes to my chagrin.

Young Master Prince: BB Fitzgerald Fit Chambray Sportcoat, BB NonIron Slim Fit Light Blue Houndstooth OCBD, BB madras patchwork bowtie made in USA, BB Milano Fit Cotton Linen Pants in S/S season white, my staple Trafalgar plaque belt with dark brown strap to match my loafers, Alden LHS made in USA, Persol PO276 shades made in Italy.



Your needs get met by the street, elegant old fashioned man.
Yeah baby I’m a classic man.

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Filson Bags

Filson Small DuffleMy Filson Small Duffel with “Guaranteed Warranty” Registry Tags

In preparation for last October’s weekend excursion, I bought my first (and probably my last) “Weekender” -  a dressed down bag meant for elective quick turnarounds or as a carry-on for exotic outbounds. Something sturdy that can be easily thrown in the trunk of a Harvard Boy‘s vintage Mercedes station wagon. Enough volume to house a few days worth of his outfits, yet small enough to squeeze between his St. Bernard’s big ass sleeping cushion and gym bag full of lacrosse gear in the boot. Able to gracefully age over multiple instances of Beethoven’s slobbered antics as he rides with Harvard out of Cambridge for the weekend, or carelessly dropped onto the gravel driveway hours later when the duo arrives at Grandma’s lodge at Cape Cod.

As with all niches that fill up our Trad&Prep Lexicon, there is an undisputed icon that readily comes to mind, as the Americana-rebellious area of my otherwise tradly brain opted for the Filson Small Duffel to fittingly go along with raw selvedge denim and plaid shirts one wears on the weekends to take a break from the workweek buttoned up uniform. All great staples of our beloved style share a common trait, with Filson being exceptionally famous for this battle-worthy quality that propels the stature of all such classic wardrobe items. A Filson bag feels somewhat heavy in hand even when empty, which I like because it confirms the authentic craftsmanship of a solid American made build. The abrasion/water proof oiled twill cotton exterior develops that amazing sought-after patina we love dearly after years of wear, akin to our favorite pair of sh*tkicker pennies. You end up looking forward to your Filson Duffel developing its own persona that serves as a visual storyteller of your past-and-future escapades. I have an ever growing list of domestic and international destinations to lug my Duffel to, and am excited to see our partnership renew – after too many weeks or months of monotonous paper chasing – time and time again. Of which, it is certainly foreseeable for my Filson to reach that Last a Lifetime Prize we aspire for. Always talked about in fashionista masturbation, but still too early in your new friendship to see for yourself. (You can however witness Filson’s testament of enthusiasts who are farther along their journeys in this huge SF thread.) The Seattle-based company is so uncompromising on their promise of delivering top notch quality that they offer a Lifelong Guarantee for each of their bags.

I suspect you may use your Weekender quite often throughout the year, say for upcoming road trips, fraternity formals, professional seminars, romantic overnight outings with the girlfriend, or impromptu weekend layovers. A Duffel is exactly the mobile carry-on you would want for these frequent affairs. You may even find yourself reaching for that Duffel moreso than your bulky luggage set that you paid $500+ for, but has been collecting dust in the attic ever since last June, when you regrettably went on a headache-inducing week long family cruise over summer break. Grandma pestering you the whole boat ride about finding a nice gal to marry, as you tried calmly sipping your watered down $12 Daiquiri, getting a lobster tan beside a top deck swimming pool filled with nasty diseases and some kid’s urine. Hopefully your Weekender sees better days than your American Tourister.

Unlike those annoying Roller bags with collapsible handles that your fellow airport companions trip over in a crowded terminal, a Duffel sings to the whimsical melody of ‘Get up and GO’ that harmonizes your noisy lifestyle. Given you only have 72 or so hours of mental freedom between mindnumbing Excel sheets at work or ten page essays about existentialism in Philosophy 102, would you not want dependable luggage that frees your mood for a relaxing vacation oasis? Why rack up more stress aneurysms with those stupid Rollers that have dozens of interior compartments that only serve to waste precious space, thereby your 2 shirts + 2 pants + jacket exploding the rigid exterior past the limits of those damn tiny overhead airplane bins; forcing you to check-in and then waste ample time on the tarmac, waiting for your dumb Roller to unload by some manhandler in a yellow vest, that you could have spent enjoying those few more extra minutes basking in a warm Miami Sun, before reality bites and forces you back into a fluorescent-lit Chicago cubicle. Get up and Go.

Stash away your Made in Italy Tumi Roller (a favorite of the traveling executive, and one of my top recommendations for your non-Weekender) for the next business trip. Pull out your Made in USA Filson Duffel for everything else. The tough canvas won’t mirror your stiffy power suits and cufflinks the way a Tumi Metallic Hardshell does. Rather, your Filson Duffel embraces a soothing minimalism in complimenting a casual getaway. As if you haphazardly grabbed your most prized possessions and threw them into your Weekender/Emergency Escape Pouch in a mad dash out the door once Friday afternoon strikes 5pm. The decade old Brooks Blue OCBD must-iron with an awesome frayed collar and soft touch. Paired with very familiar Weejuns that has a fourth-replaced sole by your neighborhood Cobbler. A pair of vintage Murray’s Toggery “Nanny Red” chinos that Dad passed down to you; the Coral Pinkish Red having kissed the New England sun and sand every summer since you were born. This is the state of serenity you want for a perfect three day distraction. And the organic texture of your Filson in earthy colors of Tan or Otter Green is what your poor overworked self needs to rehab your colorblind soul, treating a tech-ridden landscape attributed to all other commonplace garment bags, laptop briefcases, and attachés that riddle the airport terminal in boring lifeless Gunmetal and Black.

Trading Manhattan with the Hamptons for the weekend. Sporty Casual Americanwear is what Michael Bastian does best. (Note: He is wearing a military surplus rigger, not a Filson Duffel L/XL, but the utilitarian sentiments of this awesome look remains the same. Also, cool to point out he appears to be wearing the original Nantucket “Nanny” Red Murray’s Toggery for his summer take on The Uniform of OCBD+shorts.)

source TheSartorialist Michael BastianThe minimalist theme again comes into play with simple no-frills construction. Filson Duffels have a single compartment with two interior wall pockets on each end. An outer storm flap and a rust-proof brass zipper. That’s it. No various meshed pockets and zippers that imprison your clothes with separate encasings that theoretically offer up clean organization, but realistically just eat up valuable real estate. It is oddly refreshing to just “pile it all in” into a roomy zipped enclosed abyss. Supported by tanned Bridle leather straps and two-snag grip for easy palm or shoulder carry, you can just whisk away your belongings and be out the airplane easy peasy. While the portly fella in a crumpled three button pinstriped suit a few rows back is still struggling to get his desperately-needed-matter-of-life-or-death Roller handle out before departing the fuselage, creating a backlog of aghast passengers behind him. You’ll brisk away past the food court before he even steps out! Lastly, an undervalued advantage of the pliable Rugged Twill cotton is that it expands or compresses with the needs of the contents. This means that two day’s worth of clothes actually reflects two day’s worth of feathered physical footprint. Not so with a Hardshell. So while a Duffel is a yellow polka dotted bikini when it can be, carefree and shapeless; a Roller or one of its many cumbersome cousins is more like a beached whale, lunky and sad. A Hardshell keeps its bulky proportions no matter if it is holding one outfit or many.


Because the Filson Duffel comes in size S-M-L-XL, it is natural to think the Medium would be the best option for intermediate space befitting of a few days of holiday. This is actually not the case. I strongly suggest the size Small for your first Filson, as having done the full background research when contemplating between the sizes myself (ex. read this Reddit review), I found disagreeing issues with the Medium that mostly stemmed from its sheer over-capacity. Even though the Small is seemingly *just shy* of being the “Perfect Size” for a couple of days, most owners would rather deal with the Small efficient (18″W x 10″H x 11″D) dimensions as compared to the Medium cavernous ( 24″W x 13″H x 10 1/2″D) dimensions. Again, assuming you need a simple carry-on that is not too bulky, the Medium actually will NOT fit into an airplane overhead bin if inflated to the max. The Small does. And although the latter may not be adequate for a pair of winter puffy coats, six shirts, and four pairs of shoes all at once…think of this confinement as a blessing. The Small’s physical boundaries forces you to consider only the bare essentials that reduces unneeded clutter. As the life lesson goes: Less is More.

How to Pack:

Not that I want to give the false impression that the Small Duffel is barely big enough for a Shih Tzu’s droppings. Remember: the prompt statement for a proper Weekender requires just a compact clothing kit. This given variable is defined within our dressed down problem set and follows assumption that you already know how to pack economically while maximizing versatility (ie utilizing solid colors, layering, etc.) Hence, the Filson Small solves all parts of the equation by offering us a basic unfiltered void for which to practice. Just obey your logical senses. Resist the urge to overpack! Bring  2 pairs of shoes, and flip flops if needed, that will get you through most levels of the formality spectrum. You do not need your heavy Dress Captoes for Saturday night dinner if your Loafers suffice. Passover the Sunday Suit and work in an odd sportcoat instead, (which btw has the added bonus of doubling as your outerwear!) Wear your post-Friday night festivities’ wrinkled OCBD on Monday morning’s coffee run on the way back home. Use athletic gear for sleep on Friday night then get it sweaty at the gym Saturday morning. Pack for the two day recharger, not the month long sabbatical! My protip is to generally pack a shirt for a “day less” than the total time length (ie 2 OCBDs for a three day), then at least 1 pair of tradly chinos for any dressy-ish occasion and 2 or so bottoms that goes with the outing spirit (ie seersucker shorts & nanny red chinos for a Memorial Day beach weekend or raw denim & corduroys for a NYC Thanksgiving break). Also, I always bring a lone sportcoat/blazer that you can layer into outerwear as mentioned before. When done right, you can have multiple pairings at your disposal that easily lasts you through the vacation, with these shortcuts honoring the very high ideals of leaving complicating wardrobe mishaps – along with everything else less trivial haha – behind. To just Get up and Go. 

I was able to store three days of clothes into my Small Filson comfortably when I packed for Asheville last autumn. I accounted for the weather forecast and intended outings of social dinners, tours, barhopping, and hiking. Likewise, I want you to consider these factors too. The destination’s climate, each individual outing’s degree of formality, your comfort, and the very type of activity planned for each part of the itinerary will all weigh heavily on what you should pack. Adjust accordingly to the variability by utilizing each clothing item for multiple purposes – your workhorse khaki chinos may be worn for a Tuesday morning affair with blazer+tie, Tuesday afterhours hitting the town with a V Neck, and Thursday red eye back home with that blazer again sans tie. The mission here is to bring out the most of your limited stock.

You may follow my expanded porn stash of ensembles worn in the Asheville post that are based on the raw sources pictured below. Kit1Here is a breakdown of this particular Fall weekend that hopefully adds further insight into my sartorial reasoning.

(1) Raw Denim – Worn for comfort on Friday afternoon car ride. Premium selvedge in “respectable” dresscode for Friday night dinner at a casual setting. Dark Indigo Navy for afternoon-into-night color versatility.

(1) Chinos – Non Iron to reduce wrinkles from travel. Worn all Saturday day and night, so I wanted a darker hue in British Khaki for color versatility, which doubles as a F/W seasonable alternate to a lighter Stone or Khaki. Part of my traddiest outfit for the weekend with cuffs and no-break. Worn to sightseeing tour, dinner at a nice restaurant, and barhopping in the city.

(1) Athletic Hiking Pants – Worn on Sunday hike and evening car ride back.

(1) Athletic Tee – Worn for Friday and Saturday night loungewear. Then for Sunday hike as a base layer afterthefact since it was already dirty. Moisture Wicking for the physical activity. Solid Heather Grey for color versatility.

(1) Pajama pants – Loungewear. Buffalo Check to match Americana vibe of mountains and F/W season.

(1) Shawl Cardigan Sweater – Worn Saturday day solo, night under sportcoat, and worn for Friday and Saturday night loungewear. Dark Navy for color versatility.

(1) Harris Tweed Sportcoat – Herringbone and Tweed Wool for F/W season. Worn Friday night for casual dinner and Saturday night for nice dinner, and as outerwear for city barhopping.

(1) Fleece Vest – Worn for Sunday hike and afternoon car ride back. [Offered to and worn by friend on Saturday night city barhopping.]

(1) Shotgun Belt – Matches Americana vibe of mountains. Worn Friday afternoon car ride with denim, casual dinner, and Saturday all day and night with chinos. **I do not like bringing multiple accessories on short breaks so I try to keep to one item per.

(1) Waxed Canvas Dopp Kit – For toiletries, etc. Matches Americana vibe and mirrors the Duffel. Although not a Filson, it is also manufactured in the USA by Blue Craw Co. Gifted to me from a friend.

BlueCrawCoDoppKit1 BlueCrawCoDoppKit2(1) Sunglasses & Watch [not pictured] – Single quantity for short stay. Croakies for Sunday hike. Diver sportwatch for casual & athletic versatility. Sunglasses with Polarized Blue lenses and Turquoise Frame for outdoor mountain vibe & fashionable versatility.

(1) Baseball Cap – Worn Sunday hike and evening car ride.

(1) Day Pack – Worn Sunday hike.

(1) Camera Bag & Tripod – Hobbyist custom photos for friends backed by mountain scenery.

(2) OCBDs – Plaid shirt matches Americana vibe for Friday evening car ride and dinner, Mid Outer layer for Sunday hike.

(2) Pairs of Shoes – I consider Camp Mocs typically a F/W shoe. Urbanprep with raw denim for Friday night casual dinner and “dressy” for Saturday tradly outfit. Comfortable supple leather and insole for extended Saturday of sightseeing tour, dinner, and city barhopping. Trail Boots for Friday evening car ride, Sunday hike and evening car ride back. I sacrifice the space and weight to bring cedar wood trees for protecting my leathered shoes, left inside the pair not currently worn during the day, or otherwise in the Camp Mocs overnight. Shoe Bags for Camp Moc protection [not pictured]. **The shoe trees and bags are not urgently required for short excursions so I will leave this suggestion as entirely optional.

(3) Pairs of Socks – Marled Green Camp Socks for Friday afternoon car ride and dinner, matches green accents of paired Plaid Shirt and F/W season. Worn Friday night as loungewear. Navy Hiking Socks for Saturday night loungwear, Sunday hike and evening car ride back. Brown Argyle Socks in Orange and Gold accents to match F/W season, worn Saturday all day and night for tradly outfit.

(3) Pairs of Underwear [not pictured...you perverts] – My only uncompromising need to wear fresh daily, as it should be. Saving Duffel storage space be damned!

Keeping in mind I have an outfit adorned (ie one Shirt, Pants, Shoes, etc.) for the car ride to and from Asheville, there was even some space left over after the rest of the kit was packed.

Kit2After closing the Duffel, I situated the Day Pack and Sportcoat under the tabbed handles for simpler mobility. I carried the Camera Bag and Tripod separately. And if it weren’t for the camera equipment, I could have gotten away with carrying one packaged item. Aiming for this effortless fluidity sets the tone for a relaxing getaway.

Side profile of packed Duffel. Another pro for the Small is that it is easier to carry by shoulder or hand even if ballooned up, while the larger sizes tend to be a nuisance over long periods of time. This difference becomes painfully evident when walking down a half mile long airport terminal.


CollegeTrad Recommends:

The Filson Small Duffel runs for $285 MSRP. Many big name retailers collaborate with Filson, such as Nordstrom and JCrew, but rarely will their Filson quantity be largely discounted. Thankfully it is our go-to Trad&Prep outfitter Grandaddy Brooks that has the cheapest solution…or so I’ve heard. Around early December, Brooks Brothers will offer up to 40% off their Accessories, as seen in this 2012 Dappered.com PSA. Their Filson collection is included with the promotion, however when I was shopping for the Small last Fall 2014 a few weeks prior to the road trip, Brooks Brothers had already sold out of their Tan and Navy trims. Only the Otter Green was left which I did not want personally. Furthmore, as of this publishing date it appears there are no plans to replenish their Small Duffel stock for the remaining 2015 S/S season. I also do not remember seeing the fabled 40% Accessories deal this past December 2014 either. But if it pops up again then you can score the Medium Travel Bag (with dimensions close to that of the Small Duffel model) for $195 down from $395 MSRP. If the Small Duffel comes back to BB then it will be a steal at ~$170. Keep your fingers crossed!

Tan is the flagship trim that I own and highly recommend as your first, much like how a virgin Ferrari owner goes for Rosso Corsa. The Navy is handsome but does not exemplify the same amount of rugged undertone that the Tan has, nor will it develop as noticeable of a patina aesthetic in my eyes. The Otter Green comes in as my third choice, reminiscent of military gear. Black and Brown are my least favorites.

The Small Waxed Canvas Duffel version of the classic Cotton Twill is more affordable with a MSRP of $120, but I hesitate to fully recommend it because it may not be as durable as the Cotton Twill in the long run. Caveat emptor!

Since I was in a crunch at the time of my Filson treasure hunt, needing that Weekender for the road trip and subsequent vacations planned intermittently after, I wanted to purchase right away and could not wait for Brooks Brothers to have their winter sales (if they even offered it for Filson anyhow). Which is why I love eBay, ultimately coming through for me once again in scoring a NewWithTags – and presumingly NewOldStock – Filson Small Duffel from a powerseller with only two listings of minimal wholesale inventory. Final bid price was ~$210. Not exactly killer savings, only coming in at around 25% off MSRP, but it is a happy life long investment that will pay for itself. Like the Barbour Beau, the Alden LHS, and the JPress Shaggy; a Filson Bag sits among the elite quintessential artifacts that hold up our beloved style’s lexicon.

There is good reason why Filson is one of our most enduring Heritage Labels and personally my most trusted Americana supplier. Many imitations. Only one original. Made in Seattle since 1897.

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Weekend in Asheville, NC

chimneyrockflag“Made in USA”, Top of Chimney Rock, NC

The weekend was set for this past October 2014 in the charming southern town of Asheville, NC, nestled in the backdrop of the scenic Smokey Mountains. We had all been meaning to take a road trip together, with a Bucket List floating around somewhere of places far and wide that my college buddies and I wanted to visit together. But as the natural progression goes, presently being a few years removed from [now] such trivial things like “Finals” or “Pledge Hell” Weeks of Eternal Stressdom, we had all gone our separate ways to earn a living or march toward a terminal education. Which made it that much more important to have a mini reunion, so we can catch up and relive the good ‘ol days before full blown quarter life crisis mode kicks in, and our can-still-drink-a-case-without-dying-mid-20s turns into one-pint-and-I-am-out-by-nine-30s and onward.

Having become quite familiar with the Asheville and Western NC area, visiting almost every Fall these past couple of years (see my 2013 post here) to enjoy the colorful foliage lining the Appalachians, I willingly co-chaired the event and picked a “best of” itinerary since most of the group had never been. Wetting their appetites with a busy sampler of historical insight, nighttime escapade, and hiking. The invite went out to All, but as it is often  predicted, only a Few Good Men found the time in their busy schedules to come out (and I suspect our troop’s numbers will dwindle down in the coming years sadly…c’est la vie.) We went for a secluded cabin accommodation in Weaverville which is just outside Asheville. That way, the deer and owls won’t mind our late night drunken antics as much as neighboring hotel patrons!

Travel Kit

Short excursions like these are the perfect excuse to own a “Weekender” to pack with. I went with the classic Filson Small Duffel, which I expand upon in making a case for in this accompanying article. Easily fits enough items to last 3-4 days.


Day One: Road Trip

That Friday evening I picked up two of our party who happen to be on the way to the destination. Since I currently drive an economical Volvo S40, I decided to splurge on an AWD SUV rental to better equip for the terrain, and also so my carpooled guests may enjoy some breathing room (unlike my S40′s tight cabin!)

Over a quarter century years old, bitches! Rented a 2014 Kia Sorento, seen below parked in our cabin’s driveway (yeah I will save up for the Range Rover next time.) Protip: Check RetailMeNot and compare all of the listed coupons. Ended up saving a few more bucks with a code I found for Budget Car Rentals that was listed near the bottom of my RetailMeNot search query.

KiaSorentoDress for the occasion. I left my tradly pennies at home and brought my hiking boots instead. And what better setting than the Appalachians in Fall to explore my starved reserves for Americana manly-man-hood? The Filson Twill Cotton Duffel compliments the pairing of JCrew plaid shirt and Raleigh Denim selvedge. For the sake of versatility and restricted luggage space, the techprep Merrells stood in for proper heritage Red Wings for the time being, especially since this outfit was primarily for the drive itself.

Details: American sourced Bridle leather exudes rugged appeal with both the Filson Duffel Straps and Orvis Shotgun Shell Belt. Fall/Winter season-ready green marled socks and green plaid shirt match together. The brass accents and tan canvas on the Duffel match the Belt brass, which match the Shirt golden accent lines (that faintly match the Merrell yellow trademark…boom headshot).

RoadTrip1RoadTrip2JCrew Plaid OCBD, Slim Fit
Raleigh Denim Selvedge, Jones Fit, made in USA
Merrel Moab XCR Boots
Orvis Shotgun Shell Belt, made in USA
JCrew Marled Socks in Green, made in USA
Filson Small Duffel in Tan, made in USA
Seiko SKX009
Persol PO714 SM in Honey Tortoise, Polarized, made in Italy


Once we arrived later that night, we met up with the group and head out to nearby Blue Mountain Pizza for hot food and homebrewed deliciousness. I usually bring an odd jacket or blazer on trips because they add a touch of class to otherwise dressed down outfits (the sportcoat also has the double advantage of layering into outerwear if needed). This vintage Harris Tweed with tan braided leather buttons made its debut. Since there is no other traddier odd jacket than a Harris Tweed in classic Grey/White Herringbone, it became a priority buy for quite some time the last couple of years, before copping this beautiful American made treasure find on eBay. This Harris Tweed will serve as anchor in spawning more of my F/W sportcoat collection. Switched the boots for the camp mocs and unbuttoned twice on my shirt collar to finish out a stylish urbanprep response for the evening.

Details: Blue Gingham Square coordinates with Navy palate of the denim and plaid shirt. Camp Mocs light brown Chromexcel Horween leather matches the sportcoat tan leather buttons.

RoadTrip3A required Trad&Prep trademark tag to have hanging in your closet some day.HarrisTweed

RoadTrip4Harris Tweed Wool Herringbone Sportcoat , vintage, made in USA
JCrew Slim Fit Plaid OCBD
Raleigh Denim Selvedge, Jones Fit, made in USA
Orvis Shotgun Shell Belt, made in USA
JCrew Marled Socks in Green, made in USA
Filson Small Duffel in Tan, made in USA
Seiko SKX009
Rancourt&Co Gilman Camp Mocs, made in USA
JCrew Blue Gingham Pocket Square, made in USA


Day Two: Sightseeing

Sunrise at Homebase

CabinPorchMorning Fogwoods

After not enough sleep, we were greeted by a chilly fog that later melted into a cloudless blue sky; gorgeous Autumn weather for a busy day. We first refueled at Tupelo Honey Cafe in Downtown Asheville for a quick southern breakfast of biscuits, jam, and yes honey. Then beating an onslaught of tourists, we stopped by my family’s mountain pied-à-terre since most of my friends had never visited a real life Victorian mansion, let alone the largest privately owned in the country. Plus I am obliged to visit this small prairie shed whenever I am in town – to make sure the serfs living off our family land are making quota.

I knew the October temperature was going to rise throughout the day, so I wore a lighter weight Shetland shawl cardigan to spare me the heavy duty warmth of the Harris Tweed. This was my most tradly outfit of the weekend in order to appreciate the grandeur and opulence of Biltmore Estate, which likewise other visitors feed into the Victorian luxury by being seen in Sportcoats+Loafers or Quilt Vests+Equestrian Boots (…although many many more of the mainstream brainless masses are in their usual flips flops, sneakers, faded jeans…)

My driveway.

biltmore1aOverseeing the subjects. Gentlemanly crossing of the legs and biting softly on sunglass temple in deep introspective contemplation, while on a stone terrace overlooking hundreds of protected acres dotted with oranges, browns, and yellows = a Ralph Lauren fantasy. After the Polo Campaign photoshoot, we toured the rest of the home and its gardens before driving to the nearby vineyards to finish out the afternoon.

Details: Light Brown accents of sunglasses, cardigan leather buttons, and camp mocs. Autumn earthy tones of red university striped, british khaki, and gold/orange argyle socks. The cardigan solid navy pulls it all together and grounds the ensemble.

Not my purse.


Outing1Ralph Lauren Rugby Shetland Shawl Cardigan
Brooks Brothers University Striped OCBD in Red, Slim Fit, made in USA
Brooks Brothers Advantage Chinos in British Khaki, Milano Fit, Non Iron
Rancourt&Co Gilman Camp Mocs, made in USA
Orvis Shotgun Shell Belt, made in USA [unseen]
Brooks Brothers Argyle Socks, made in Italy
Seiko SKX009
Persol PO714 SM in Honey Tortoise, Polarized, made in Italy


I know of a couple “secret” spots all around the campus, but this one in particular overlooking a pond and my modest bird house in the background is by far my favorite. This is where I shot this magnum opus of a gem two years ago, from my regular iPhone 5 no less. Brought my camera equipment this time around to practice my NatGeo Safari Skillz on willing prey (…I am an extreme amateur in photography btw. I know the basics enough, but when it comes down to it, I know how to press that round button on the top – annnnd that’s about it…) This group shot turned out really nice. Will frame and place on the mantle. Preppy logos and all.

biltmore2aThe pair on the far right happen to be engaged at the time, and our Biltmore Tour was a unique opportunity to snap sweetheart pics for their Story of How We Met Album, or whatever old married people stash away in their kitchen drawer to force their grandkids to flip through.

Details: One of my best friends whom I’ve helped shape his wardrobe over the years. He is wearing a very F/W-appropriate Tattersall Orvis OCBD, Levis 501STF, and Clarks Beeswax Desert Boots. Exactly the kind of basic starters I suggest in The Guide.

coupleMe: “What if we put my cardigan around your back for a preppy country club look?” 10 seconds later. “NahhhshawlAfter free wine tasting and buying a few bottles & souvenir gifts at Biltmore’s Vineyards, we all left for sunset dinner reservations at the historical The Omni Grove Park Inn. Their outdoor Edison Restaurant overlooks the Asheville cityline and the Blue Ridge Mountains, and my hope was to catch a picturesque twilight, but sadly the mild sunny skies of the day turned into a bone-chilly densely cloudy night. Even with ceiling heating lanterns above the table, one of our lady friends asked for my Patagonia Fleece Vest, which she could have; while the other 95% of me who is not a chivalrous Prince Charming selfishly held onto my warm Harris Tweed as repurposed light outerwear over my cardigan. Satisfying the “Rule of 3″, having such pieces for layering is important when traveling! And unlike traditional adorning of a sportcoat/blazer, you now have the excuse to treat a pseudo-coat dastardly: Keep the buttons unfastened, flip the collar against a brisk wind, and keep your paws warm stuffed in the pockets. I especially like odd jackets such as Harris Tweed just for this kind of character duality – I am more delicate with a worsted wool suit jacket and would never suggest to wear it solo, especially as outerwear. But a lumpy tweed? It can take a beating.

After dinner we went to the downtown district to barhop. Wicked Weed is always my first place to start out, making it a habit to taste their newest seasonal brew. Didn’t have a chance to stop by this time, which is a damn pity, because Salsas Restaurant serves crazy delicious Mexican Caribbean fusion burritos. Good for soaking up the alcohol in between bars.Outing3Harris Tweed Wool Herringbone Sportcoat, vintage, made in USA
Ralph Lauren Rugby Shetland Shawl Cardigan
Brooks Brothers Red University Striped OCBD, Slim Fit, Must Iron, made in USA
Brooks Brothers British Khaki Advantage Chinos, Milano Fit, Non Iron
Rancourt&Co Gilman Camp Mocs, made in USA
Brooks Brothers Argyle Socks, made in Italy
Orvis Shotgun Shell Belt, made in USA [unseen]
Seiko SKX009
JCrew Blue Gingham Pocket Square, made in USA


Sometime between 2am and sunrise, we made it back to camp safely. Since Friday night, I had been wearing a heather grey techpreppy UnderArmour athletic tee with RL Polo pajamas for lounging around the cabin. Highlighting the necessity of versatility for travel, I then used my RL Rugby cardigan and my thick weight JCrew marled (Fri night) and hiking socks (Sat night) to keep my toesies toasty. Cuts down on having to bring slippers. With the shawl cardigan and flannels particularly befitting as a refined upgrade to your old ratty t-shirt with weird yellow stains combo’d to baggy basketball shorts, no? Very relaxing to step out in the early daybreak when everyone else is asleep to peacefully sit on the porch overhang with a strong cup of hot joe. Watching the sun peak through the birch forest of autumn leaves. That perfect amount of cold snap seeping past the shetland wool into your tired achy bones to wake you up. “Your own piece of serenity, my dear.” – Regards, Mother Nature.

Details: The Buffalo Check pattern compliments the F/W season and the woodsy surroundings.

Lounge1Ralph Lauren Rugby Shetland Shawl Cardigan
UnderArmour Tech Tee, Heather Grey
Ralph Lauren Polo Flannel Pajamas in Buffalo Check
JCrew Camp Socks, made in USA
Seiko SKX009


Can’t go to bed without Snuffles the Snuffly Elephant. No, you’re the one who still sucks his thumb. N’huh. You are.



Day Three: Hiking

After checking out, we carbed up at Stony Knob Cafe with pancakes and waffles. Yours truly had their breakfast specialty Chicken&Waffles. Washed down with Tony’s specialty Coffee&Mimosa.

stonyknobTheir interior is really cool in an eccentric funky kind of way. Snapped this ninja pic of this space age lantern in the middle of their dining room.

stonyknob2Chimney Rock State Park is about an hour southeast of Asheville. Fun place to visit for a day hike and grab awesome high altitude panoramics. Or if you are lazy, there is an elevator that reaches the top. We wanted to feel our hams and glutes buuuurrn baby burn.

chimneyrockThere is an overlook behind the Rock. Pointing east where Rocky Broad River feeds into Lake Lure.chimneyrock2Looking north towards Rocky Broad River Valley. ValleyAnother friend and his girlfriend were able to come out for the trek. I am actually unsure what brand his boots arebut his plaid shirt, raw denim with rolled cuffs, and heritage footwear thoroughly completes the Americana Uniform.couple2Since great minds think alike, I again wore my JCrew plaid OCBD this time as a midlayer with my UA tee as a base. Made with polyester, I brought that tee for a dual purpose. Initially used as loungewear for the first two nights, and then as throwaway dirty laundry for the last day climb so that its polyester fabric would keep me dry and cool. Lastly, this is a case when I’ll allow croakies for aging fratdaddies way past graduation; since here it’s not solely just a fashion statement as an identifier of your preppy tribe, but actually being used for its intended purpose of physical activity too.

Hiking1JCrew Plaid OCBD, Slim Fit
Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants
Patagonia Retro X Fleece Vest
Merrel Moab XCR Boots
JCrew Camp Socks, made in USA
Seiko SKX009
Persol PO714 SM in Honey Tortoise, Polarized, made in Italy, attached to old fraternity croakies
REI Flash 22 Daypack
The Game College Bar Hat, strapped to Daypack when not in use


For craps & giggles, here is a pic of the hiking kit I packed. Cuz you never know when a 3 hour tour turns into 127 hours lost in a crevice, having to pick which of your surviving former-friends-turned-food you must kill to eat, desperate and having lost hope; until the rescue party finds you in a three foot deep crevice just past the visitor’s center, two hours after you accidentally tripped in. What’s that motto again? Be Prepared.

daypackkitYours truly on top of the world. Shed off the fleece layer and stored in the Daypack when the afternoon warmth rolled in.

hike1aWe departed our separate ways as the Sunday evening drew to a close. It was a fun weekend and I am glad we got to check Asheville off the bucket list together. Hope we can cross out more destinations in the years to come.


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