Authentic Ivy League Suits Sanitized For Freshness


This ad from a 1959 issue of Sports Illustrated is interesting for a number of reasons. Most obvious is the ad’s premise of dressing young. From our perspective 55 years later, the men in the ad could hardly look more mature. Yet such were the small distinctions of suit-wearing at the time.

Then, in the box on the right, is the apparent trademarking of this “authentic IVY LEAGUE Model.”

And finally there’s the italicized line in the lower left about being “sanitized linings for hygieneic freshness,” with exclamation point.

I recall Paul Fussell’s having a fitting remark about champagne in his book “Class” (DCG, please return my copy.) Something about how the middle class always saves the unused portion by putting aluminum foil over the top, thereby satisfying its dual yet competing desires for luxury (pronounced “lugzhury”) and thrift.

Or, in this case, an authentically prestigious Ivy League model priced “regardless of budget” and sanitized for freshness. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

11 Comments on "Authentic Ivy League Suits Sanitized For Freshness"

  1. Remind me when I get back, have to confess it didn’t hook my interest…

  2. Odd….

  3. Dutch Uncle | August 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm |

    Odd, indeed.
    Fussell’s “Class” tells us almost everything we need to know about understanding class, taste, and education in this country.

  4. Odd is my copilot

  5. Waldo Walters | August 3, 2014 at 6:06 pm |

    Weirdly homoerotic ad. Maybe you need your suit Sanitized For Freshness to mask the lingering smell of locker room sex with the football team.

  6. Don’t be prurient, Waldo, that’s clearly his son the old gent is looking at.

  7. Waldo Walters | August 3, 2014 at 7:53 pm |

    I hope not. The old gent seems to have some pocket pool action underway.

  8. I think it was this stie that mentioned “Class” a while back with peaked my curiousity. I found it interesting, being of middle class background. Most memorable was the mention of the newly found ‘high class’ building obnoxious houses right next to the road for all to see, and the old money high class building off, out of sight…. Needless to say, this principle can be extrapolated to just about any material item nowadays. I think this really hit the nail on the head as far as true class as far as I’m concerned…

  9. Vern Trotter | August 4, 2014 at 1:20 am |

    I see it as the younger man with the sweater vest being the father and the grey haired gent being the grandfather. The fellow on the left with the clip board is obviously a couch except today major college agreements with the uniform manufacturer require him to be dressed in sweatshirt, cap or jacket with team logo.

    Somebody has also pinched my copy of CLASS so I just ordered a new one from Amazon!

  10. We of the sinking middle class may sink without further struggles into the working class where we belong, and probably when we get there it will not be so dreadful as we feared, for, after all, we have nothing to lose.

  11. A couple weeks ago my cousins were over at our house, and we were going through some old family pictures from a summer party, Tenafly, NJ circa 1967–outdoors, and all the men were wearing ties. My cousin, Erik, remarked, “my God, they’re all wearing ties, and it looks like it’s 90 degrees!” Today, you would be at least the object of curiosity, if not outright ridicule, if you show up for a “cook-out” in an oxford button down and necktie–but we had a much greater sense of formality a half-century ago. This site frequently catalogues the death of the Ivy League look at the hands of the peace and love ’60s, and I am one among many who: 1) have family photos of the “good old days;” and 2) lament how times have changed.

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