As I have stumbled upon developing my own Tolkien-esque epic universe with this blog, which started with a big bang four years ago, and has now expanded and cooled to a twisted, dangerous, and black hole-filled mess that it is today; I wanted to make things easier for you in reading my postings by offering this codebreaker. I introduced a basic labeling system in my first “All in the Name“ article from years ago that lend identification to general clothing topics I speak to on the blog (for you old-timers, if you wanna take a flashback look again, I had updated it recently with improved definition). I went on to introduce in an updated editing of said article my most up-to-date evolved terminology, which I am publishing a more distilled list of below. This is is case some of you need clarification on some things found in diction, so that we are all on the right page in our tradly education. Otherwise, I may probably appear a little too schizophrenic in my latest writings if you didn’t know what these terms meant! Since I have been relying more and more on my CollegeTrad-specific “memes” to paint numerous metaphors that I like to portray to get points across. Some of these memes have been picked up elsewhere that you’ll surely recognize, but most others are my own creation that I use for jovial prose and to poke fun at myself. However, they have matching gravity too, as they are meaningful in showcasing continuous underlying themes that run throughout my manuscripts that are important in shaping the chapters of your own Personal Style. As with the initial part of this series, I will keep these pairing “All in the Name” editorial notes under My Style Advice since it defines the rhetoric used particularly in this section, even though there is no explicit style advice here. Use these posts as a simple reference guide to better understand my writings.
I will update as needed.
Americana: Rising in the post-2008 World Financial Crisis, this is a niche style movement that is one of our newest takes on Classic East Coast style, where the fashion community returned to the tried-and-true as a reply to the excess dandyism. Considered part of fashionably forward Urbanprep, practitioners of Americana love to fetishize Heritage Brands and Made in USA quality, as well as unique collaborative collections and obscure brands that touch on all faucets of lifestyle other than the wardrobe, such as grooming and living. The Americana movement was most popular in circa 2008 to 2012, where Heritage Brands arose, but has since toned down in recent years. Still, Americana is now part of the lexicon and will have a place for the young gentleman. Outfitters include JCrew (as a dual neoprep and urbanprep mall brand). Others include Red Wing Boots, Filson, Woolrich Mills, and raw denim outfitters. See: Urbanprep, Heritage Brands
Beau: Moniker for Barbour Beaufort wax coat. A GMP staple.
Blogosphere: Internet menswear blogs, social media, and communities. Where the most enthusiastic of us partake in both sharing to like-minded people and continuously educating ourselves. (ie Yours Truely) See: Groupthink
Brainless Masses: Those who have little to zero fashion knowledge and style. Or, those who think they are dressing in “authentic” Trad&Prep, but are woefully not and still in need of guidance. We shun these people! Members of the Brainless Masses look to the Ralph Lauren Pony as a badge of honor on their polo shirt. Those of us In the Know prefer the Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece. See: Mainstream Prep
Campus Pervert: CollegeTrad genre for preppy university campuses
Country Gentleman: Euphemism for our romanticism of the simple life. Think of cabin and lakehouse vacation homes, equestrian sport, and hunting game. Idealistic of the English Countryside. Example brands include Orvis, Barbour, LLBean, and include wardrobe items such as Tattersall OCBDs and Bean Boots.
Fashion Forward: Any modern day sartorial design that keeps menswear progressive. Alludes to Neoprep brands that use classic TNSIL for inspiration while keeping their direction continuously updated with contemporary creation. May be seen in the fashion magazines and on the runway. Prime examples are JCrew, Gant by Michael Bastion, Brooks Brothers Black Fleece by Thom Browne, Ralph Lauren Black and Purple Labels, JPress York St. and so on. May also represent Haute Couture and Botique fashion, namely from High Tier Luxury Houses (usually European) such as Gucci, Prada, Brunello Cucinelli, and Tom Ford. Normally with a positive reflection, but may also have a bad connotation; depending on the specific context of my writing for that instance.
Fogey: Moniker for our Anglo Saxon forefathers. We owe pretty everything in our beloved style to the English.
Fratagonia/Fratagucci: Patagonia. This is the top techprep outfitter that has proven itself over the decades and has entered the discerning lexicon of Trad&Prep. Can now be seen as a Neoprep brand because of this. “Frat” refers to the brand’s popularity amongst Frattier than Thou members of the Greek community. “Gucci” makes fun of the brand’s historically high retail prices, as it is the Gucci of techprep companies.
FratDaddy/FratStar/etc: Euphemism for the Fratty Style that is predominantly worn by Greek Members on university campuses, prominently on the East and Southeast American regions. It should be noted that this collegiate style is NOT necessarily “correct” dress, or something to be aspired to for longevity. Fratty Style is the most youthful interpretation of Trad&Prep, and is meant to be built on as the young man move through his budding adulthood. Worn by the younger to mid range demographic of this blog, generally by those in high school to a few years removed from undergraduate college. By your mid-20s or so, you should start transitioning to a more mature stance. Consider FratDaddy style to be the influential feeder into the overall classicism and minimalism that eventually comes with Trad&Prep. As you Fraternity Brothers grow older, you’ll use what you learned during your undergrad Fratstar years as a base to take on a more sophisticated approach that is appropriate for a yuppie working professional.
Frocket: Front Pocket Tee. Stands for “Fraternity + Pocket” in our context, not “Front+Pocket”. See: FratDaddy
GDI: God Damn Independent. Undergraduate students not in a fraternity. In our context, those students who are typically not preppy. See: FratDaddy
Go to Hell (“GTH”): A way of thinking for the most preppiest and WASP-ish of your wardrobe. If a clothing article is boisterously offensive in color, pattern, or motif then it is doing its job correctly. As if to say to gawking passerbys in mocking spirit: Go to Hell, pal! 😉
God Mode Prep (“GMP”): This is the ideal young gentleman we all aspire to be. He belongs in the Neoprep category, but has transcended even his fellow advanced leveled neoprep peers. The archetype GMP is someone who was groomed from birth with a top tier pedigree of Trad&Prep working knowledge. He had went to the elite prep feeder schools and universities and on to a respected professional career. He knows the most nuanced of Trad&Prep, whether it be our “Mt. Rushmore” of brands (specifically, the Holy Trinity) or all of the Trad Mannerisms. Unrestricted by any certain set of sartorial rules, he is one of the few with a masterful eye who can innovate a truly great Personal Style. His go-to is The Uniform. He loves to honor thy classics, and yet is also a Renaissance Man of multiple fashionably forward dress codes. He is the direct opposite of your usual ignorant plebe from the Brainless Masses, and is the exact epitome of what CollegeTrad stands for. I had earlier referred the model GMP as “Harvard Boy”. See: In the Know, Harvard Boy
Go-To & Staple: Highly recommended as the most basic item in your wardrobe. Enamored for its both its versatility and respect from groupthink. This is your fallback when in doubt; the blank canvas for which you can paint upon with advanced clothing tastes. Worn the majority of the time compared to the rest of your supplemental clothing items. See: The Guide
Grandaddy Brooks & Brethren: Euphemism for Brooks Brothers, one of the two brands that are the absolute paramount of all Trad&Prep brands (the other being JPress). No other outfitter in our history has had as much influence for Classic East Coast Style. Referenced the most readily in this blog as the golden standard for all others to compare to.
Groupthink: Accepted brands, items, mannerisms, etc. amongst those who are In the Know. Anything tried-and-true and championed by the aggregate total opinion of Groupthink is in our style lexicon; taken to be scientific fact. While some of the recommendations I give on the blog could be backed by questionable subjective taste, items and ways of dress taken in by Groupthink are across the board in unanimously approved judgement. Think of it as a general consensus sourced from what I have gathered as “de facto” from industry, clothing online communities, the blogosphere, and my own anecdotal evidence and thoughts. Subject to regional differences. When in doubt, look to Groupthink. See: In the Know
Guide, The: Seen at the header of the blog. I will already have assumed you read my “About Me” and all parts of “The Guide” before partaking in reading the rest of my entries. The condensed starter education, recommended clothing items, and guiding rules & principles from The Guide serve as the backbone of CollegeTrad, for which I build a platform that your advanced sartorial education launches from. I will also assume that you have purchased all of the Guide recommendations (or similiar alternatives for which each item represents), as they are the bare minimum for a successful and timeless wardrobe. You can technically get away with these items as your minimalistic wardrobe for the rest of your life. The Uniform is sourced within that list. Anything I recommend further on the blog is elective to these go-to workhorse staples in your closet. See: The Uniform
Harvard Boy: One of my first blog metaphors, inspired by fantasy imagery of a Red Blooded, Clean Cut, All American growing up in the Original Prep Mecca New England circa late 1980s to 1990s. Family upbringing in New Hampshire. Summers in Cape Cod and winters in the Adirondacks. Groomed as a pupil at Philips Andover Academy, now attending Harvard as a fourth generation. Studying for a white collar discipline like medicine or law. Direct inspiration from Brendan Fraser’s protagonist in the movie With Honors and real life America’s Prince JFK Jr. See: God Mode Prep
Heritage Brand: Most recently arising to prominence with the Americana style movement
Holy Trinity, The: J Press, Barbour, Alden. The top tier Trad&Prep brands that have some of the most prestige in our lexicon. A true GMP has not transcended to the Heavens of Trad unless he has the staple items from The Holy Trinity. See: God Mode Prep
In The Know & [Traddier/Preppier/Frattier] Than Thou: Going hand in hand, these adages represent your and my membership to our beloved style that is the East Coast Classic aesthetic. Those who can be labeled with these complimenting maxims are at the prized God-Tier level of expert clothing knowledge, and certainly close to being GMPs if not already. We also playfully compete with each other by proving our membership amongst those of us “In the Know”, by out-tradding/prepping/fratting each other out. For example, your fraternity brother who wears his beatup Alden LHS loafers as casually in everyday manner as you wear your Sperry Boat Shoes, is winning in this unspoken game we all play against each other, and is thus “Frattier than thou”. Think of it as our own version of a secret society. Our Skull & Bones. Where we try to outdo each other in how we practice our groupthink pool of knowledge. Learn the handshake and guard our secrets well! See: God Mode Prep
Lexicon & Encyclopedia: If CollegeTrad was a university lecture seminar that educates young men of all experience levels on “Trad&Prep 101″, then our Lexicon is the sum of knowledge this blog brings forward to you. Think of the Lexicon as our semester’s lessons of tradly material in a proverbial Encyclopedia of Trad that us students read from.
Liddy: Moniker for the Barbour Liddesdale quit jacket. One of the basic outerwear I recommended in The Guide.
Mall Brand & Department Store Brand: These are the low tier brands that the Mainstream Preppers buy from and are mistakenly seen as “authentically Trad&Prep”. Some brands may have been accepted by Groupthink into our Lexicon of style, but have since fallen out of favor. Instead, they are usually low quality clothes that should be generally avoided, with your individual budgetary restrictions being your last resort judging barometer. Examples include: Gap, Banana Republic, Express, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, Izod, Aldo, Mens Warehouse, Jos A Bank, and so on. 90% of Ralph Lauren Polo (Blue Label) should be declined. Generally, anything you can find at Macy’s Department Store or is a in-house brand (such as Alfani) is not worth it. One of the only Mall Brands I actively recommend is JCrew.
Moral Compass: The “True North” in moral judgment and recommendation to you the read, by Yours Truly. I try to use my Moral Compass from trivial every day manners like in answering to the best of my ability in a one-on-one personal correspondence, to ethical standards in my balancing of integrity and industry appeal. I strive to relay my unfiltered knowledge to the blog’s audience, however opinionated or raw it may be.
Motif: An emblematic and/or theme to a clothing item. Examples include critter pants and surcingle belts with a patterned ribbon (where for example repeating lacrosse sticks on the belt is the Motif). Popular in GTH use.
Nanny Red: Moniker for Nantucket Red Pants or Shorts. See: Go To Hell
Novelty: Euphemism used for any particular clothing article that is unique and unbranded. For example, a frocket from your fraternity chapter instead of from a generic Southern Tide frocket tee.
OCBD: Oxford Cloth Button Down. Refers to the button downed collar. Invented by Brooks Brothers, considered a prototypical American style staple for menswear. NOT to be worn for formal dress, but instead as a casual-fied dress shirt. An “in-betweener” as a step above the polo shirt, but a step below a spread collared dress shirt. Never to be worn with a suit, but can be for a blazer or sportcoat and neckwear for a semi-casual affair. See: The Uniform, The Guide
Our [beloved] Style: Monkier for Trad&Prep
Pennies: Moniker for a pair of penny loafers. See: The Uniform, The Guide
Personal Style: What I wish to develop in each and every one of my readers. In the post-2008 Global Financial Crisis, we saw in the fashion world pullback the excess in reply to the national sentiment, with a return to basics and the tried-and-true. We now live in the era of Personal Style, where each of us can develop our own interpretation of the classics, and not prescribe to any one dress code. The main objective for College Trad is to give you my personal opinions and critique on Trad&Prep, guided by my Moral Compass. However, I ask that you don’t copy my lookbook (Porn Stash) verbatim, but as inspiration for you to incorporate into your own Personal Style.
Porn [Stash/Pics/Stores]: Euphemisms for my visual content and genres. My Porn Stash are my personal pictures of actual outfits that you may use for your inspiration.
Prep Mecca: Areas in the United States where Trad&Prep is the predominant style. Usually on the East Coast, Southeast, and Deep South regions. May also identify concentrated areas like a particular city or university campus. These are areas where you can feel complete “freedom” in your Preppier than Thou outfit choices and should not be afraid to experiment with your most daring GTH garments. Our style is generally accepted and beloved in these areas by fellow GMP members of In the Know.
Ralph: Moniker for Ralph Lauren. A favorite member on the “Mt. Rushmore” of prep brands. Arguably the most pervasive mainstream prep brand to the Brainless Masses and those In the Know alike.
Shaggy: Moniker for the JPress Shaggy Dog Shetland crewneck sweater. A GMP staple.
Southern _____ Brand: Euphemism for the recent crop of startup “College Preppy” brands that specifically target the collegiate demographic, notably the Greek Community on the Southeastern and Deep South university campus. Subject to regional differences. Original establishers included Vineyard Vines and Southern Tide, but have since exponentially multiplied from countless new startups. Ubiquitous with Fratty style, and such should be transitioned to more premier brands as you move past your undergraduate years. See: FratDaddy, TFM, Frocket
TFM: Total Frat Movie. Moniker for Fratty style. See: FratDaddy
Trad [& Prep/Frat] Mannerisms: The nuanced practices or specific clothing items that separates the top level God Mode Preps from all the rest, including our fellow Neopreps who are already leagues above the Brainless Masses. Think of them as signifiers of GMPs; their calling cards that lets you know that they are Tradder than Thou, and thus are members of the secretive society that is those who are In the Know.
Trad&Prep: Blanket term for the mens fashion represented on CollegeTrad, based off yours truly’s own interpretation of what he considers “Authentic” and “Practical” traditional and preppy genres. Includes all of the branches on the overall Classic East Coast American tree of style, and how his blend of respective sartorial choices (i.e. Tony’s Personal Style) into one young man’s perspective for a timeless and youthful style, that all of his fellow peers can follow and learn from.
Tradly/Tradastic/Tradgasm/etc.: Adjective and pronoun euphemisms for Trad&Prep.
Uniform, The: Consists of a long sleeved OCBD, neutral toned chinos, and penny loafers. Chino pants can be switched out with chino shorts for warmer months. Addendums may include a motif belt and/or a crewneck sweater, as well as a classic blue blazer and bowtie for an “Academia Trad” version of The Uniform, in relation to prep academy dress code. It is the foundation to which we build upon and is considered the go-to second skin of a GMP. When in doubt, go with The Uniform, and then alter the outfit as necessary. The Uniform obeys all iterations of the Trad Mannerisms, such as the chinos having no-break and cuffing, and the OCBD with a Banker’s Roll if worn without a jacket. Gold standard of The Uniform is a “Must-Iron” Brooks Brothers Blue OCBD or JPress Blue Flap Pocket OCBD, a motif belt or a slim dress leather belt, Bills Khakis Chinos, and a pair of Alden LHS penny loafers. Socks optional depending on climate. The more lived-in and frayed the outfit, the more comfortable it is as your second skin. See: God Mode Prep
WASP: White Anglo Saxon Protestant. The originators of our Trad&Prep American style. Purveyors with the most respectable legacy and pedigree; they were raised on Trad&Prep while the vast rest of us poor serfs (including yours truly) had to learn it. God Mode Preps are a byproduct of these elitist mutl-generational families. The 1%, as they say. However, not to be literally taken for its common real-world meaning on this blog, since instead I use the term WASP to poke fun at ourselves. Movies and popculture portrays WASPy guys as douchey antagonists who try to squash the antics of the rebellious-against-establishment cool kid protagonist that gets the girl in the end…I like to play on this trope by owning it up! Go to Hell, I say. Because our beloved style is actually accessible to all, and not something you have to buy into even if you didn’t have the pedigree. It’s the 21st Century, and we live in the decade of Personal Style where all rules are broken. Identity trumps all, so you can still be the cool kid with the hot girl at the end of the day, rebellious against society while still wearing your nanny reds and pennies! I also relate WASPs to the loudest of the preppy style that is often attributed to Northeastern prep meccas (i.e. Martha’s Vineyard). Think of porn stores like The Andover Shop, JPress, and Vineyard Vines. See: Go To Hell
Yours Truly: Me, myself, and Tony. Your professor. See: CollegeTrad.com
[**Updated as of May, 2015**]