Well that’s a coincidence. No sooner had I posted on the completely made-up concept of “beatnik prep” than a reader informs me that that is the very theme of an upcoming collection.
Beams Plus, the Japanese brand known for its Ivy and vintage Americana, has developed a collection entitled “The Subterraneans” for this fall/winter. The title takes its name from the novel by Jack Kerouac, the Columbia-educated Beat writer, and includes the following copy:
“The Beat Generation” is the keyword of the BEAMS PLUS 2017 autumn & winter collection. It’s the cultural and literary movement led by the US young anti-conformists in the 1950’s after the WWII. They avoided the adult-centered culture and the prepackaged-life from their parents. Instead, they traveled from the east to the west or to foreign countries with no aims, which eventually led to their new styles of literary works. They styled themselves uniquely with some improvised twists based on the American traditional styles. This season’s BEAMS PLUS collection theme “The Subterraneans” is the title of the famous Jack Kerouac’s novel on such young Beatniks.
Based on the BEAMS PLUS unchanging concept “American Traditional Style”, the coming season will focus on a laid-back style with sense of confidence and insouciance, updated with modern fabric and function. The short reversible blouson is with 1950’s patterns printed by the modern technology. The M-43 jacket, a symbolic jacket loved by the Americans including the Ivy leaguers, is made of light and wind-breaking hi-tech fabric with the original details.
The styling presented here are inspired by the dress-down styles of the Beatniks and nerdy Ivy looks, finished with today’s street minds.
The collection includes plaid buttondown workwear shirts juxtaposed to a grey flannel sack suit with belted-back trousers. Check it out here. — CC
Looks like some pretty good stuff. Weather-permitting, I’d probably wear… Most of it.
Most of it Alpha sized…but dirt cheap in comparison to some others. The tweed jackets convert to just over $400 USD.
Not a fan of patch pockets with flaps or trendy baggy pants. They look goofy.
Years ago, Lands’ End offered a similar jacket: https://www.landsend.com/products/mens-traditional-fit-supernatural-wool-suit-jacket/id_254717?sku_0=::U63
One reviewer wrote that the the breast pocket looks like “an oven mitt glued on by a kid.”
CC, it may be you can take credit for the phrase “beatnik prep.” That said, somebody (Plimpton?) referred to Bobby Kennedy’s style as “Brooks Brothers Bohemian.” I’ll try to find the source.
Brooksy clothes + long, floppy hair = Brooks Brothers Bohemian. Accessorize with an old Volvo (think DL/240), complete with following stickers: “Kennedy ’80,” dancing bears, Steal Your Face, and Bowdoin Alum.
Also known as circa 70s Updike/Plimpton style. Warhol comes to mind, as well.
WRT that Lands’ End link provided by Mitchell S., what is “supernatural wool”?
Interestingly, this style seems to most closely resemble my wardrobe for the past many decades. Although the term beatnik is not what I would ever have called myself. To my eye it appears more as a disaffected over-educated Midwestern combination. Sort of an eastern establishment educated son of a Minnesota tractor salesman. I think you will still see this kind of look on many lawyers in Ohio and Indiana. In fact, I know a few of them. But, I admit the beatnik angle has me intrigued.
Beatniks and jazz. Some Ivy and jazz. Jazz the continuum.
I’m a great fan of Beams Plus. I had the chance to visit their Tokyo store last fall, and I’d advise any Ivy Style reader to do the same. It’s a beautiful shop that seems to evoke men’s stores of yesteryear.
Best of all, I managed to pick up a fantastic crewneck sweatshirt that actually fit my Viking-ish proportions: all I had to do was size up from medium to large. So the great-looking stuff in this collection may fit Americans, too.
Very promising line. Brooks Brothers take note.
Cameron, I believe that “supernatural wool” comes from sheep whose heads can spin 360°.
Big fan of Beams+ stuff, but the downside is that I have yet to get any of it to fit me. Unionmade is a good source for Beams+ for those of us stateside.
Very nice references. I agree. A lot of late 70’s prep influence as well with the outdoorsy vibe.