Friday, February 11, 2011

One of my favourite blogs is giving away free stuff

Let The Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore one of the two blogs that offer a preppy female perspective that I follow, is doing a giveaway to celebrate their 500th follower. They are offering a 50 dollar gift card to CNS stores and all you have to do to enter is comment on the post. 
Check out the contest and scroll through the blog. Although it is more female focused it is my favourite lifestyle blog, it actually provides ideas such as the Ocean Reef Club as great vacation spots that otherwise you may not hear of. It is also gives me a pretty good idea of what at anytime my girlfriend would appreciate as a gift, while the pictures also show some good male prep style from her boyfriend and other male friends.
I have had it bookmarked since spring of 2010 and have gone through every post, it is a very well put together blog and is the style I eventually would like to work my way towards with this. As opposed to the many blogs featuring outfits with no heads or clothing piece collages of an imagined outfit.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wheels Part II

As the first part of this series covered vehicles for a utility usage, this series will cover my favourites in the fun class. To be qualify for this, like the other the vehicles I feel there should be an air of class about them, they should have a lasting appeal without being showy and for my list they have to be something that you can own for less than the cost of a house.

To start off this list I will begin with the car that first drew me into to this entire niche of cars all of which just so happen to be convertible 2 seaters (the impracticality ensure their key usage is for fun).

The Triumph TR-6
As a preteen I remember seeing TR-6s and not being so fond of them, the wedge nosed TR-7 was what really excited me, as I matured however I began to lose interest in the cheesy wedge shape and was drawn to the classic looks of the TR-6 instead.

This car has a classic style and is probably one of the most high performance models of the lot. The brand, for me leaves something to be desired, it is also probably the most successful and easily identifiable brands of the cars on this list, which probably partially contributed to my slight dislike of the brand itself. The newer models I find are more easily associated with my parents generation, who all seem to be wrapped up in status symbols and having the newest and best of everything.

The Mercedes SL

The next 'fun' car I will mention is one that because of the later models I was very disinterested in but with some further examination, I discovered the earlier models had a more appealing style.

The Pre 1974 models lacked the metal reinforced plastic bumpers that turned me off of the later models which too me made the car look tacky and cheap.

The next model is also an MG, however it came before the MGB and personally I don't find it as appealing but with it's appearance in the classic Animal House, I could not exclude from this list.

Driven by Greg Marmalard to take the ladies to the look off, the MGA comes off as distinctly more British than the MGB but for my tastes, the attempt to balance the swooping classic lines with the sportiness of the roadster.

The next car starred played a strong role in a favourite movie of mine, where I first saw it, somewhat like the MGA. However in this case, this particular model pulls of the look that seems to be attempted with the MGA but far more successfully.

The Jaguar XK 120/140/150

In the movie Cruel Intentions, the cocky teenage main character drives a Jaguar XK 140 which oozes more style that a Lamborghini or Ferrari only wishes they could pull off. It is a key factor of the film and part of the bet which unfolds over the film. It is also one of my favourite parts of the film and I feel there are few roadsters out there that can match the style of the XK.

The last car I will cover, while not as attractive as the XK has other merits.  After talking to a few family friends who had owned some of the cars on the list at one point or another and one fellow in particular who had owned 4 of the models on the list in the past, he said out of the bunch, this model stood on another level for build quality, performance, reliability and ease of maintenance (he also did and continues to do all of the work on his 'fun' cars).

The Austin Healy 3000
To me it also has a look very similar to both the MG's and the TR-6, yet it pulls it off better and with a sportier finished look, whilst still retaining all the class a British sports car should have and in the end isn't that what it's all about?

The most important part of all of these vehicles is not tied up in individual traits of the cars but that in their whole, I feel they would go well to match my own personality and my style of dress, can't you just picture yourself stepping out of any of these cars in boat shoes, GTH chinos, Oxford cloth button down and a navy blazer? Because I sure can, however try picturing yourself in the same style stepping out of a shiny Cadillac Escalade, does it mesh as nicely, how about a brand new Corvette? For me there a certain things that speak to me and I could easily associate myself with them and others that although I could get by with and probably even impress plenty of people with another vehicle, it just wouldn't have the same comfort.

Now you may be asking yourself, what does he drive? I have some pretty strong opinions and preferences about, well just about everything. However at the same time I, like most am still working my way towards contentment. I currently drive an american made SUV there is nothing classy about it, but it can pull a boat trailer, a bunch of friends and our skis or bicycles or any other assortment of things I may wish to shove in there. I have had my eye on several of the vehicles on the list but as a current University student it is hard to accept the risks of owning a classic vehicle and the impracticalities or even switching vehicles whilst I attempt to divide my focus between my studies, sports, drinks and girls. However I will quickly admit, that although it is far more practical and reliable than most if not all of the vehicles on the list, it lacks the class.

But really this blog isn't about the idea that I have already arrived there, it's about the journey.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wheels Part I

When it comes to vehicles I have my opinions and I also feel that there may be a strong regional influence as well but when it comes to vehicles for my other than my superfluous toys such as my motorcycles or snowmobile, whatever it is it should have a few common characteristics; it should be classic, something that will trigger warm memories as something that had some prestige in the past that this vehicle will maintain throughout its lifespan. Another characteristic is that it shouldn't be too flashy or ostentatious. Why you could say that muscle cars are classic they are not associated with prestige in their past and they were often quite flashy in their exterior appearance.

However even with these strong limitations there are lots of great vehicles in my opinion that meet the above criteria, send the right sort of message, yet you will still be unlikely to have one park next to you under regular circumstances.

There are 2 real categories I will separate these into, the first being Utility and the second being fun:

To start of the utility class I have to mention

 The Jeep Wagoneer
While it may not have carried the same level of prestige as some of the vehicles I will mention, it sends a strong unmistakable message, reinforced by Tommy Hilfiger's usage of the Wagoneer in his attempts to return to where he started (I don't think he can and some are saying Vineyard Vines and LL Bean are headed in the same direction as TH and Eddie Bauer).

Here is the Hilfiger commercial (notice which band they chose for accompanying music...)

Next up comes from a classic utility brand (as is Jeep) but isn't the offering from them, which the brand is most readily associated (that's next).

The Land Rover Defender,

While they are a bit over-killish in appearance (almost like a squished Hummer) they are something that most bystanders won't recognize instantly yet are built like a tank and will get you through most anything you would need to get through.

Next up for utility is the model that is instantly thought of on the topic of Land Rover, 

The Land Rover Range Rover.

 Now for this model it is not so simple as just owning one, too old and you will look like a military enthusiast or someone with a love of impractical vehicles, too new and you will be hard to distinguish from every other yuppie or wealthy soccer mom. To play it safe and avoid both I went with a 1992, nothing special about that year but its old enough not to be flashy, new enough to be used on a daily basis and be somewhat classic and out of all of the model styles it is one of my favourites (it is also similar to the one featured in the great show Always Sunny in Philadelphia).
My last offering in the utility class I hesitated to include as I have seen them to be quite hubris in appearance on occasion when new, just like the Range Rover, however if you follow the same principle by buying a few years older, you can tone it down a bit. The final straw which led me to include them on this list was the endorsement they have received from Canada's military.

The Mercedes G-Class (the pope used to have one!)
Since this seems to be a very large post I am going to stop here and get back to my studies and give you my perspective on the fun class later along with some honourable mentions, that don't quite qualify in my opinion.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vampire Weekend

They may not be my favourite band (they are up there though), but they sure are my favourite style wise. Even their music seems to have a preppy feel to it and it comes through loud and clear in their music videos, filmed on sailboats and cottages.

Aside from Vampire Weekend and the parody Tea Partay commercial from Smirnoff which I posted earlier another great music video discovery, I made was by Dynamite Hack for their acoustic rendition of Boyz in the Hood. Cricket sweaters, sweaters over the shoulders, GTH chinos in yellow and pink with golf course action, what's not to like?
Funny moments including the Rolls Royce on blocks at the start of the video and the friendly wave from the cop add to the hilarity of the entire video and the context from which the song originated from.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Making the Grade

Making the Grade was a movie released in 1984, I am not sure how I originally stumbled upon it but I loved it. The story involves a spoiled rich kid paying a street kid to attend prep school for him while he vacations in Europe, the street kid of course has problems fitting in and problems that follow him to the school. There are great depictions of prep school life, as well as golf and lacrosse which as a player I found very entertaining. At one point of the movie a character takes the street kid shopping to show him what is preppy and what isn't preppy. "Preppy come lately" = Ralph Lauren, "Preppy forever"= Lacoste.

Watching the film, there are many examples of great preppy style and even for people that don't have an interest in preppy style, it is still a fairly entertaining B grade 80's movie.
Either way, in my opinion it's worth the effort to track down a copy and check it out.

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Official Preppy Handbook

Most of my inspiration and discussion of style comes from a forum on the website, there has currently been roughly six of these such style threads within the forum (here is the latest ones as of this post, which also features links to some of the past threads) and it was here that I first heard tell of The Official Preppy Handbook, also known as TOPH as it is referred to often enough that the acronym is quickly recognized under the context of style.
I ordered my own copy online from Amazon in 2009, like the Tea Partay video, the handbook has a tongue in cheek vibe to it's explanations of the complete preppy lifestyle and I got several chuckles out of it, relating several excerpts to my relatives and especially my Grandparents.
The handbook details everything from childhood to retired age with descriptions of what sports are preppy to what jobs and schools are preppy with of course the style of dress discussed throughout.
If you are interested at all in preppy style, I recommend the read.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Go to Hell

The Go to Hell look is something that I immediately took an interest in, while the majority of my friends groaned and rolled their eyes at the thought of wearing brightly coloured or critter print pants or shorts or other flashy items, I thought it looked like fun.
The best explanation of Go to Hell style and its origins was created by Christian Chensvold of

Here is the complete article featuring many awesome Go To Hell pants of both the brightly coloured and the critter print variety.