Aristocracy & Revolution: Taylor-Made Shoes, 1955

Once the Ivy League Look gained popularity during the silver age of the ’50s, Main Street clothiers used the term as an advertising buzzword. Needless to say, Brooks Brothers and J. Press never had to resort to the term, and in fact dismissed the term “Ivy League” with mild scorn, as they’ve always done with every popular term applied to their clothing.

This Taylor-Made shoe ad lays it on pretty thick. As if the term “Ivy League” didn’t carry enough weight, the copywriter further drives the point home with “aristocracy” and “patrician.”

The ad dates from 1955, well before the world was turned upside-down in the late ’60s, when it became cooler to identify with the peasantry than the aristocracy.

But Taylor-Made knew how to play to both sides. This 1953 ad shows it could appeal to radicals in penny loafers. Vive la revolution. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

10 Comments on "Aristocracy & Revolution: Taylor-Made Shoes, 1955"

  1. Could one even go so far as to say that to call the style “Ivy League” in the first place is not to discuss the style of Brooks and J. Press? The other, lesser names were “Ivy League”. Brooks and J. Press just “were”?

  2. Not surprising, in the 50s and 60s my older sisters who taught me how to dress always used the word “Ivy” in reference to something, particularly fashion, instead of a word like “cool”. They also referred to the words “Ivy league” concerning clothing. Funny, we were military brats in the deep South.

  3. Taylor-Made’s use of “aristocracy” and “patrician” brings to mind Sondheim’s lyric, “Everybody Wants To Have A Maid.”

  4. Squeeze, remember much about the brand?

  5. Middle American shoes contiguous with Arrow Shirts comfortable on Main Street not Mt. Auburn Street.

  6. Doesn’t sound very patrician….

  7. I do like the price tag!

  8. It would be interesting to know what other brands were made in the same factory.

  9. First add from the year of my birth. Seems so old these days.
    I have both of these lace-up styles. Do need to replace the tassels someday soon.

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