BC Separation Anxiety: Nantucket Reds

BC Separation Anxiety is a blog in which I lament all things BC related that I will miss this summer. The whining is rampant. 

Forgive me Lord for I am about to sin. Egregiously. This article is about to contradict every statement I’ve ever made.  It’s actually prompting me to do a lot of soul searching (what is life? I’m not sure anymore). What is the root of my metaphysical conundrum you ask? Well, the fact is I… I… I miss the Nantucket Reds.

Ew, I said it.

Photo courtesy of the Preppy Times.

Photo courtesy of the Preppy Times.

Those of you who know me well are probably retching into a toilet somewhere. In the past I have frequently taken great joy in mocking the Vineyard Vines lifestyle. So I realize I have a lot of explaining to do.

As a native of Massachusetts I’m no stranger to the faded “red” shorts that are touted as the pinnacle of preppiness. Notice the ironic quotes around the word red there. Nantucket Reds are not red, they’re salmon. Learn your color wheel.  At one point in time they started out as red pants that faded in the sun to the salmon color we all know and love. But now they’re sold pre-faded, so no. They’re not red.

Any trip to the Cape and Islands will inevitably yield many run-ins with the salmon shorts, but never in my life have I been surrounded by such a high density of Nantucket Reds as I have at Boston College.  The Huffington Post noted this proclivity for campus-wide preppiness in a not-so-flattering manner when they ranked us as one of the preppiest colleges of 2012. I’ve already expressed my opinion on that subject, but now it’s time to admit why I secretly love the salmon short lifestyle.

gavel3-300x300I’m nothing if not an optimist, and there’s just something painfully optimistic about a pair of Nantucket Reds. They practically scream, “I am wearing pink pants, get at me life!”  At the heart of every pair of Nantucket Reds is a decent sense of humor. How can you wear pink pants and not have a good sense of humor? Impossible.

As if the general aura of happiness wasn't enough, Nantucket Reds are generally accompanied by a whimsicality that defies the rules of fashion. Salmon shorts patterned with octopi and lobsters? Life is too short to NOT wear salmon shorts patterned with octopi and lobsters. Oh, you take yourself too seriously to wear lobster patterned shorts? Boo, you fun-sucker.

I can’t even talk though. The sad fact of the matter is I own absolutely zero pairs of lobster patterned pink shorts/variations of Nantucket Reds. I DO take myself too seriously to rock the salmon, which is why I need my daily dosage of BC Bro to take care of that for me.

I know I have made my fair share of preppy jokes (Bro, do you even sail?). I’ve even submitted pictures of friends to the tumblr White Boys in Salmon Shorts. But all of that is behind me now.

Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 7.20.27 PM

Okay, it's behind me NOW.


Maybe it’s easier for the rest of us to laugh at the bros in salmon shorts rather than  admit our jealousy of their flamboyant defiance of acceptable color combinations. They can wear pastel on pastel, gingham on seersucker. If I tried wearing gingham on seersucker, I wouldn’t even make it out of my dorm room before being accosted by my roommates.

Photo courtesy of clp614/tumblr.com

Photo courtesy of clp614/tumblr.com

So yes, I miss the happy bros in Nantucket Reds. I work in a sad little gray cubicle with people who favor hues of brown, green and more brown. I miss the happy-go-lucky pastels and Sperry Topsiders and Croakies and… okay, maybe not so much the Croakies. But everything else, particularly the Nantucket Reds, would be a welcome sight in my blah workplace.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Maybe my new-found respect for Nantucket Reds would whither quickly after a trip to Martha’s Vineyard, but I doubt it. I’m officially out of the preppiness closet. I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to Vineyard Vines anytime soon, but to the boys in pastels: keep doin’ you.

And I realize I am going to get endless crap about this blog post from one Teddy Kolva, Gavel Media’s own sports editor and Nantucket Red aficionado, who I have harassed mercilessly in the past. Oh well.


True Life: I’m a closet Nantucket Red fan.

Screenshots by Emily Akin/Gavel Media.



Emily Akin