Buckley was “anti-fashion in the original sense of the term,” says designer and style expert Alan Flusser, author of “Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion.” “He came from an era and background where if you looked like you spent too much time thinking about clothes, then everything else was suspect….I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those Shetland sweaters actually had holes in them.” At social functions, men of Buckley’s era and class were content to serve merely as backdrops for their wives. By contrast, Buckley’s wife Pat, who died last year, was almost a caricature, one of William Hamilton’s New Yorker cartoon WASPs come to life.

In the end, beyond a general notion of the preppy staples that have been replicated by everyone from Ralph Lauren to the latest designer-of-the-hour since Buckley’s Millbrook days, it’s hard to remember exactly what he wore during his many years in the public eye. Which was precisely the point.

Times: A Style Salute | William F. Buckley Jr.