Shopping: The Lake George Needlepoint Belt
How does equality-mad America cope with inequality? By poking fun at the privileged. And no one can more easily be made to look ridiculous than posh prep school alumni (or at least those among them who don’t have the wit to hide their rank).
With the return of Memorial Day, old Exonians and others can be seen sporting needlepoint belts; belts with regimental stripes are perfectly acceptable, but especially prized are those made by hand, featuring yacht club burgees, school crests, croquet mallets and allusive references to places like Seal Harbor and Small Point. You get the idea. A few years ago, two prepsters (Peter and Austin) started a company called Smathers & Branson to manufacture the belts, but with a wink of the eye and with irony. (But really, what’s more preppy than irony?) The product has been featured in magazines like Quest, as well as in the New York Times.
Recognizing the humor as well as the appeal of the belts, Next Summer owner Matthew Slaughter commissioned the company to make Lake George needlepoint belts. Stitched into the belt are images of a Hacker, the Minne, an outline of the lake itself, the LG oval decal, and an Adirondack chair, among other things. Even if you find the semiotics of the needlepoint belt infra dig, you’ll want one of these. $165. Next Summer, Main Street, Bolton Landing.