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On Nantucket Reds

Harvard, you win.

A few months of school here has taught me that if there is one rather unfortunate style trend that simply will not be eradicated, it’s the Nantucket Red trouser/short. Yes, I said it. Nantucket Red: the salmon hue graces the legs of countless men on Harvard’s campus and on campuses nationwide. The pants were originally produced by Murray’s Toggery Shop, a half-century old, family-owned apparel store on Nantucket Island. Since then, the concept has been snatched up by labels such as J. Crew, Ralph Lauren, and Vineyard Vines and made available to consumers everywhere the Internet touches.

I say the trend is unfortunate not because I dislike the actual pants/shorts. I have no problem with the color; in fact, I kind of like salmon as a break from the blues and khakis that boys tend to rely on so strongly. It is with the way in which the trend has become manifest in style repertoires that I take issue. Whoever decided on the formula of polo + Nantucket Reds + Sperry’s as a valuable tool for getting dressed literally every day of the week for everything should be publicly shamed. It is boring and, honestly, played out.

So, guys, if you must have your Nantucket reds, let’s spice it up a bit, shall we? Try these formulas instead.

1. NR shorts + graphic crewneck + casual chukkas

Look 1

Billionaire Boys Club Crewneck, Mighty Healthy Hat, Generic Surplus Chukkas, Ray-Ban Aviators, Corgi Socks

I love this crewneck from Billionaire Boys Club (Pharrell’s brainchild) paired with a bright red snapback from Mighty Healthy. Add a sporty chukka, like this pair from Generic Surplus via Endless, and fun accessories – I picked socks and Ray-Bans – and give your Nantucket shorts an urban update perfect for a weekend afternoon.


2. NR trousers + slim fit + blazer

Look 2

H&M Blazer, Slim Fit Chinos from J. Crew, Zara Bluchers, Flud Watch

Fit is everything, and getting your Nantucket trousers in a slimmer fit – this pair is from J. Crew – can go a long way to updating the overdone, New England prep look. When matched with this clean cut blazer from H&M, sharp brown ZaraMen Bluchers (which I am in love with … do they come in women’s sizes?), and a yellow-faced Flud watch, your Nantuckets will stand out in all the right ways.


3. NR + denim + quirky loafers

Look 3

ASOS Denim, Herschel Backpack, Loafers from Paul Smith, Mark McNairy, Charles Philip Shanghai

This look is perfect for class on a spring day. It works with trousers or shorts and allows room for you to showcase your personal style. I picked three pairs of loafers: teal from Paul Smith, yellow soles from Mark McNairy via MyWardrobe.com, and tasseled CPS via Park & Bond. This denim jacket is from ASOS and has cord detail; other great places to look include Seven for All Mankind, Gap, or even a local thrift store. The Herschel backpack – via Farfetch – is a fun, useful bonus for carrying all those textbooks you love so dearly.

Moral of the story: no more polos with your Nantuckets … unless your polo is animal print.

– Erica Byas-Smith ’15