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A WEEKEND ON CAPE MAY

James Andrew on Cape May

James Andrew on Cape May

It seems I’m becoming something of a professional house guest, and with quite a few recent invitations, I’ve been very pleased to spend some wonderful weekends out of town.

Speaking of which, I had the most delightful stay in Cape May, New Jersey, this weekend. My super chic friends Mark Alden Lukas and his partner Edward Celata were our most gracious hosts.

Lukas has been summering on Cape May for all of his life and has become, as you might imagine, an authority on all things having to do with the place, including its rich architectural heritage! In fact, he himself acquired a glorious Gothic Revival house that was transformed into a Colonial Revival in 1904. Lukas has been lovingly and painstakingly restoring the house to its original splendor and beyond.

During my stay, Lukas treated me to the most terrific architectural tour. The story goes that in the late 1880s, Cape May went out of fashion, and people took to Newport and Atlantic City instead. As a result, Cape May basically fell asleep for almost 100 years. A massive 1940s hurricane and another in the 60s destroyed much of what once stood on the beach front, but for the most part the town is a snapshot frozen in time. During its hay day, the people of Cape May indulged themselves with all the fashionable and important architects, and subsequently there is a really fantastic diversity of architectural styles to see.

Gallagher House in the Second Empire style

Gallagher House in the Second Empire style

Cherry House in the late Federal Style c. 1840s

Cherry House in the late Federal Style c. 1840s

Physick Estate, Stick style, 1879. Attributed to Frank Furness

Physick Estate, Stick style, 1879. Attributed to Frank Furness

A lovely little folly.

A lovely little folly.

I’m pictured in front of the Mainstay Inn. It’s a bracketed American Villa style building originally built in the 1870s (and known then as Jackson’s Clubhouse, a gambling hall and gentlemen’s club). For a morning of touring, I’m sporting a straw hat from India Hicks’ chic Harbour Island shop- The Sugar Mill, a YSL black cotton poplin safari style shirt, Tom Ford black linen sateen pant, Ralph Lauren black alligator belt with sterling buckle and Louboutin black leather sandal/espadrilles, vintage Rolex, and my fragrance is Creed Orange Spice.

Needless to say, after our tour, it was off to lounge on the beach and sip a few bottles of very chilled rosé.

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BRINGING IT TO THE CAPE

James Andrew, Cape Cod

James Andrew, Cape Cod

If you’ve been following us here on WIJW, you’ll know that I generally don’t buy into set ideas of dress code for a particular environment — instead I prefer to thoroughly indulge my own fantasies.

The Cape can have a super casual vibe, with shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops, however I think this is a rather unimaginative option—not particularly “sartorially” striking to say the least—I of course tend to put a little more thought and effort into things. After a glorious day of lounging beach side, I’m pictured here with a look that I think is both chic and yet casually at ease. I’m wearing a pink silk Tom Ford “Spencer” jacket, custom pale blue cotton linen shirt with contrast white collar and cuffs, pearl and pale blue sapphire cuff links, vintage Rolex, JKP woven white cotton belt, Ralph Lauren pink and blue paisley cotton voile pocket square, Our Legacy hemp and silk shorts, madras plaid espadrilles, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Neroli Portofino

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HELLO CAPE COD

James Andrew, Cape Cod

James Andrew, Cape Cod

After what seemed like a very quick train ride from New York City, we arrived at Boston and were promptly whisked off to our friends’ home on the Cape — a monumental modernist affair perched high on a hill overlooking the sea with a nearly private stretch of beach at its foot. From here, just across Cape Cod Bay, one can see Provincetown. We arrived in time for a late luncheon with ample time to enjoy some hours soaking in the sun. I can’t tell you how restorative it was to be out of the heat of the city. Cocktails were served at 5 — martinis and delicious raw oysters on the half shell were the order of the day. A gathering of wonderful friends joined for a most delicious dinner accompanied by several lovely bottles of cooling Rosé — a perfectly idyllic way to launch our mini holiday!

Our beach

Our beach

Dressed for dinner in an elegant but casual summer ensemble, I’m enjoying a bit more beach-time before cocktail hour. I’m wearing a Tom Ford era Gucci navy cotton pique jacket, Tom Ford cobalt dot print silk pocket square, Alexander McQueen pink micro stripe cotton shirt with pink gross grain trim, Club Monaco madras plaid cotton shorts (I tend to not wear shorts in town, but love shorts and a jacket by the beach or in the country), Ralph Lauren red alligator belt with sterling belt and royal blue suede espadrilles, Gucci sunglasses, vintage Rolex and my fragrance is Tom Ford Neroli Portofino.

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