William F. Buckley, Jr., widely considered to be the patron saint of American conservatives, has died (or, to put it more obscurely, is now communing with the eschaton). As befitted his politics, he never swayed in matters of appearance from the preppie style seen in this photo of him around the time of his college days at Yale. Ironically, that look—comprising a button-downed collar, narrow tie with a small knot, and three-button sack jacket rolled to the second button (note the button hole on the lapel)—is now at the height of fashion, and is being copied by labels such as of Band of Outsiders (some of whose wares can be purchased here).
The one time Izzy was in close promixity to Buckley, your humble blogger noticed that Buckley’s tuxedo—which had survived innumerable galas, fundraisers, and rubber-chicken dinners—was so battered that it had a faded brown stripe on its shoulder, the result of years of wear from the leather strap from his briefcase. Surely there is nothing more trad than a dinner jacket that is no longer entirely black.