Sunday, 13 February 2011

Get a good ole education

In a country not really known for its fashion groupings America has always maintained one classic iconic style the Preppy student college look.
It is an unusual style because it can be taken apart and becomes recognised in pieces worn, due to there iconic looks, singularly.
For example, the penny loafer, the chino trousers, jumper over pastel t-shirt, flannel shirts and of course the classic of the entire look, the college sports jackets.

Just think James Dean in East of Eden and Tom Cruise in Risky Business, plus countless other Americana films and you are somewhere in the ball park.

The new Carhartt, those masters of industrial workwear fashion, is an understated look back at this cult garment. The choice of grey avoids the bright reds and blues synonymous with the jacket, sporting its college name proudly on the left of the chest, 'closest to the heart', making it more accessible to UK wearers, the jacket, which is fleece lined, six button fasteners on the front, with two large open pockets on the bottom of the body and the classic striped collar, waist band and sleeves.
The pure cotton jacket comes along nicely with the new camera t-shirt, in grey, sporting the companies label on the hem of the shirt.

The Malcolm Blue Corduroy baseball jacket is a version on a theme, a simpler design than the sports jacket, the baseball, which comes in a dark nay, is corduroy outside, with a padded body, well baseball is played in the winter you know.
The companies logo is printed in full on the chest replacing the large university lettering of the sports jacket and the lined rib does not sit on the colar, just cuffs and was it band.
The seven button fasteners and higher collar makes this more of a denim jacket in cut, although it is fuller around the body, due in most part to the padding. This is a more understated working jacket than the sports and is a nice edition to the prep look.

There are of course certain other garments which remain almost completely prep, even if they are taken sway from the look, such as the chino, for example Docker trousers, I will be posting about those later, along with the tennis shirt, or as we in Blighty call the polo, bloody yanks eh, confusing everything, the collar turned up, al la Cantona, must be adhered to at all times, if you are going prep this summer, but more on those later, with a stunning new Lacoste range out to droll over.
As for the Carhartt range, the delicious flannel shirts such as the Fairdale Polar, which is about as classic a check shirt as you can get. The LS Cornell blue check flannel shirt is another iconic piece, these shirts are rugged enough to be worn over a classic T, for example the Sunspel range, or Carhartt's own SS shirts, crisp white or pastel colour bleeding nicely with the print of the shirt.
You could go all Mickey Dolenz, of Monkey's fame and don on of Carhartt's terrifically simple bobble hats. I love these hats, known as Watch Caps, they are simple and pure, but honest in their look. Plain rather than ribbed cotton, sporting a large Carhartt logo on the front, they sport a large bobble on the top and come in greet, blue and black and have to be seen to be believed I feel.
Coupled with a Penfield puffa jacket for example and some Redwing boots and you are moving into another area of American work/fashion style, which I will have a look at at another time, there is only so much you can talk about in one blog I feel.
for now, its back to Campus for many of you this summer, and the Carhartt sports jacket and the other accoutrements is a great place to start.
As Fergal Sharkey sang for the Undertones circa 1979; Here Comes The Summer.