Category Archives: Swag for the gents

the men of the sea

It had been quite some time since I had gone through my T&V email. Sifting through junk mail and spam offers from that oafish brand chubbies, I  found a diamond in the rough when I received an email from Zeke, a student at BB&N. Zeke is the representative of a clothing line called “men of the sea.” What Zeke brought to my attention was not only another clever example of prep school students swimming against the current, but also another story of a prep school administration oppressing its students and their freedom of expression.

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The story Zeke shared with me begins in the bitter cold month of February on campus. BB&N advertises their dress code as being the 6 B’s (no boobs, back, butt, belly, bra, or boxers). So, surely no students would have been bold enough to have violated these rules. However, shortly after launching his company with his brother, Zeke was called into the Dean’s office. Throughout the school day, the men of the sea had been selling inventory to their classmates. Like a tidal wave, the students of BB&N flooded the campus showcasing their new favorite brand. Coming from the student body, this was a sign of support for their classmates and good taste in an up-and-coming preppy brand. Apparently, some opposed the brand. One could suppose that some students or faculty may have even been looking for an excuse to get Zeke in trouble. But, that is neither here, nor there.

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In the office, the Dean explained to Zeke how he thought the brand was inappropriate because some students had complained to him that they were offensive. Countering the Dean, Zeke argued that the logo could not be deemed inappropriate since sperm is a subject of discussion in mandatory biology and sex-ed coursework. Additionally, BB&N had hosted assemblies on sex and healthy relationships. [Side note: assemblies like these are often used by pubescent preps to make witty sexual wisecracks and are hardly productive educational platforms. Unless of course, you decide to ask the sex-ed expert about the theoretical possibility for a couple to execute the Nantucket Sleigh Ride.]

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Zeke told me this: “To me, this knee-jerk reaction of labeling something you may not particularly like as ‘offensive’ is a disgusting behavior. I questioned whether I could come to him and say a Nike logo was offensive to me and that I wanted Nike banned from the school. He didn’t have a good answer to this other than that it was his judgement call. Sounds pretty tyrannical.” This logic is socially relevant in the war on political correctness today which is one of the reasons why we champion freedom fighters like the men of the sea.

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By March, The Vanguard, a student-run newspaper at BB&N had interviewed Zeke and his brother. An article was composed profiling the boys, their brand, and the administration’s choice to abolish it from campus. According to Zeke, “To further assert the administration’s tyranny and hindering of freedom of expression and speech, the administration did not allow the article to be published.”

Our staff does not agree with many policies made by prep school administrations these days. For example, when The Boss was a senior, he was forced to take down a video of the headmaster breaking up a staged lucha libre fight on halloween or face the threat of expulsion. We want to know your opinion. Should the brand have been banished from campus? Has it been banished from your campus? What do you think?

 

 

 

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Filed under America, Fashion, Interview, Politics, Prep School Life, Swag for the gents

Interview with Dave Gauntlett, Co-Founder of Wind & Waves

A few weeks back we featured the up and coming belt company out of Rhode Island, Wind & Waves. Specializing in Stirling silver plated belt buckles made in Rhode Island, and leather work done in Ohio, these belts are proudly a Made-In-America product. Today we’re back with an interview with one of the co-founding brothers of the company, Dave Gauntlett. Dave spoke with us about his background on the water, the inspiration behind Wind & Waves and the process behind starting a company.

Where did the initial idea for Wind & Waves come from? What’s your background before Wind & Waves and did this background help inspire the belts?

I suppose you could say Wind & Waves found us. Wind & Waves is really an extension of who we are. How we were raised. Fortunately, my brother Rick and I have been blessed to have grown up “on the water” as they say; boats-wood boats. Growing up, our family’s summer vacation was usually spent in Cuttyhunk and occasionally in Nantucket. And we fished; It’s what we did all day, everyday. Later in life we fished for a living. Rick and I at one time use to commercial shellfish here in Rhode Island on Narragansett Bay. A great job! I’m grateful to have also spent some time getting paid to sail and on some world famous yachts I might add. Surfing and windsurfing can also be added here, too. From food to fun we love the ocean and all it offers!

A lot of kids have ideas which they would love to take to fruition. How did you taken Wind & Waves from an idea to reality?

Wind and Waves really evolved from our other business, GRILLIE. Grillie is an affinity product that began with our late step father, Ron Pearl, who line of hood ornaments in the early 80’s. A handful of years ago Ron began prototyping the idea of doing a decorative ornament but rather than putting them on a car’s hood they would attach to the grille of a car or truck. Unfortunately, Ron was diagnosed with cancer and passed almost 3 years ago now; It was a very quick good bye. Before that day came, however, he had a sit down with us and encouraged that we pick up where he was leaving off. And we did. It took a couple years but we got the product to where it is now and had a formal launch in NYC in January 2012 at the International Gift Fair.

In March of that year, we were showing our GRILLIE line at a salt water fishing show here in Rhode Island. We have a line of fish Grillie’s and with any new product there are always questions, and one of the more common questions inferred a reference to belt buckles! This was a relatively easy endeavor for us and also one close to the heart. We already had a local artist, a RISD graduate, Cathryn who meticulously sculpts each design in clay. Lucky for us, manufacturing is here in Rhode Island and we already had those contacts. There are a lot of ground work, such as internet searches, emails and phone calls necessary to any new project as well as learning curves, and unfortunately they can become expensive. (It’s true what they say. Measure twice!) But in the end there is a great sense of accomplishment holding a finished product in hand combined with a sense of pride in the fact that both our companies products are Made in America!

What’s your goal for the future of Wind & Waves and are there other products (beside belt kits) in the pipeline currently?

The Wind & Waves product line are either an exact representation of what’s out there, such as our belt buckles or a combination of materials familiar to us or anyone living the good life. For example, look at my ‘surf boards’. ‘Surfboards’ are a stylish and practical lap desk that are great for the home. I got tired of having my laptop wobble and burn up my lap while chilling on the couch. They’re made of teak and holly. Teak and holly flooring is found in more expensive boats and is referred to as ‘soul’. I cover foam with sunbrella and fasten the cushion to the board with stainless screw snaps. I make these myself. I oil the surface of them and they are easy to maintain. I foresee more products down the line that will include various materials and hardware found in boat yards everywhere…. All pledged to be made here at home in the USA.

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Flyover Press for the 4th

The first print in our Freedom Series, the Bennington Flag was flown during the Battle of Bennington in the Revolutionary War, an important turning point that helped lead to the eventual surrender at Saratoga. Recognizable by its large 76 and unique 13 star arrangement, we choose a slightly faded colorway to represent the immense history the flag has seen.  The flag may have never flown over the Midwest but without it there’s a good chance the Midwest would have never become part of the USA.

Made in the New Haven, CT, the Bennington Flag print by Flyover Press is the perfect purchase for this Independence Day. Whether it’s a gift for the interior of the old man’s yacht or a patriotic decoration for your man cave, get yours soon before this limited edition print runs out!

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Filed under Swag for the gents, Swag for the ladies, Travel

Prep School Fashion Blogs

We were surfing along Google trying to find a new cover photo for the Facebook page when we stumbled upon The Exeter Dress Code, a student run blog focused on “street style” found on the Exeter campus.  You would expect to see this kind of blog focused on NYFW, not New England prep schools, but alas with some further digging we were able to find a number of these blogs.  Without further adieu here is a list of prep school fashion blogs.  If you run one, or your school runs one which is not featured on our list, please comment so we can add you to the list!

With no given bias, the men of St. Paul’s really seem to be stepping up their fashion this winter.  Keep it up; we are impressed.

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Cufflinks

With Spring Formals and Proms right around the corner, a lot of preps are looking to spice up the traditional cufflink game.  Seeing as all proper tuxedo shirts make use of French cuffs, cufflinks are a must. 

Lanvin Knot Brass Cufflinks

$226 – Purchase Here

Paul Smith Bugs [Wasp] Metal Cufflinks

$160 – Purchase Here

Burberry Gold-Tone Dog Head Cufflinks

$275 – Purchase Here

Miansai Knotted Cufflinks

$19 – Purchase Here

Salvatore Ferragamo Double Ganici Cufflinks

$250 – Purchase Here

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St. Patrick’s Day Style Guide

Irish Linen Regular Fit Sport Shirt — Brooks Brothers ($98.50)

 

Striped Flex Cap — Borsalino ($109-179)

 

Embroidered Shamrock Pants — Orvis ($59)

Clover Needlepoint Belt — Smathers and Branson ($165)

Driver Mocassin with Gancio Bit — Salvatore Ferragamo ($595)

Kokkari Ascot Tie — Ceravelo ($120)

 

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Spring Threads

Since Punxsutawney Phil indicated the upcoming seasonal change, it’s time to add a few new threads to your Spring wardrobe.

Indian Cotton Shirt — J.Crew

Whether you’re an online shopper (boarding students) or live a convenient 20 minutes from the nearest J.Crew (day students), every guy should be adding a few new button downs to their wardrobe. The J.Crew shirts have patterns to layer with solid sweaters, and also come in brighter colors for brighter days.

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Everlane Bows

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The Liberty Floral Bow (top) and the Liberty Blossom Bow (bottom) from Everlane are easily two of the coolest bows I have seen in a long time.  Competitively priced at $35 per bow, throw one of these on to spice up your daily wardrobe.  Purchase at Everlane.

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You Want Game?

Game’s new album is unreal. I’m a huge fan of his flow, but I see you all out there who don’t listen to him. He’s a little hard I admit it.  Check this song though, it shows a different side of him for sure. Plus you got Cole to balance him out. Enjoy!

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7vN_mHnGq4]

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Filed under Music, Swag for the gents

GANT Rugger Holiday Collection

Subtlety vibrant colors  define GANT Rugger’s 2012 Holiday Collection.  Check out the entire collection at http://us.gant.com/ and see if there’s something that catches your eye for the Xmas list (or Dad’s!)

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