Well, without a doubt a Spring here in the nation’s capitol.

The cherry trees, a gift from the people of Japan to the people of the United States, are blooming across the city and tourists from around the world are flooding in.

Though a little frustrating – please, please stand to the right on escalators – I love seeing how amazed visitors are when walking up to the Capitol or strolling along the White House gates. What I also like, especially after our unusually brutal winter, is that folks are breaking out the Spring wardrobe.

Two items of note on this front; (1) The Preppy Handbook, the tongue-in-cheek arbiter of all things Ivy League, is getting a Part II, and (2) if you like ties, you need to check out a small company from Raleigh, NC, called Lumina.

First, The Book. The New York Times this past Sunday reported – on the front page no less – that Lisa Birnbach is penning a follow-up to the seminal “The Official Preppy Handbook” currently titled “True Prep.” For the pink and green cognoscenti, this is huge; a second coming of sorts.

Though intended to be a parody of the WASPy, gin soaked, boat shoe wearing, blue blazer sporting, East Coast lock-jawed social snobs inhabiting the finest prep schools and ivy covered walls of higher learning, it instead became the bible of how to become one.

Great piece from back in the day (thanks to UnabashedlyPrep.com)

The current wave of preppy resurgence has some serious staying power and is still riding high. And this generation of preps has been pining for its own social guidebook on par with the classic TOPH.

As Scott “The Sartorialist” Schuman mentioned to me once, although Americans like to try on other styles – English country and city looks, Italian sprezzatura, French minimal cool – East Coast prep is ours and ours alone. No one does it better and we should be proud of that.

The other preppy classic: Take Ivy

Outside the U.S., preppy/East Coast/Ivy League/American Trad, call it what you will, is the defining style of America. Japan may be the most obsessed when it comes to getting the precise look down pat, but what makes American preppy so enduring is its imperfection and evolutionary nature.

TOPH made my family cool – and I sure can’t argue with that. So, be on the lookout for more updates on this genuinely exciting news. With any luck, you’ll get to see a sneak peek right here, before it hits the shelves.

Now, on to some preppy wares that you can put to use right now.

Today, I am sporting a bow from the Lumina Clothing Company – a small shop run out of Raleigh, North Carolina. Named after the nearby town of Lumina and founded by a group of tie-loving friends, they make outstanding and unique ties.

As I write this, I am wearing the Something Traditional bow tie (as you can see below). Now, I do like bow ties but don’t often wear them. It takes some guts and I have to be in the right mood – but after tying on this one I think I’ll be in the mood more often. The construction is outstanding, I love the bright, refreshing design and even the hook and roller hardware is impressive. In disclosure, they sent me this tie as no cost; but for $39.00, it’s a darn good deal.

The Something Traditional bow tie

Please take a moment and stop by their site, check out their other bow and neck ties and learn more about this great little company. OTC is always on the lookout for smaller and start-up companies that have a great story and great products – this one has both.

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1 Response » to “Signs of Spring: Preppy Handbook & Lumina Bow Ties”

  1. Terrell Mehr says:

    Inspect your roof in the late fall and early spring (you may need binoculars). Look for loose shingles, or shakes, or, if you have tiles, look for missing or cracked pieces. On shingle roofs, look for curling, fraying and tears at the edges. Don’t forget to check the flashings around chimneys, vents, skylights, and other roof penetrations. They should be tight and in good condition. Also check the condition of the fascia boards near the joints of all eaves metal for signs of leakage or rot. If you see any of these signs of wear, call a professional contractor for a more thorough inspection.

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