Black History Month: The Quiet Sartorial Grace Of Julian Bond

Things aren’t always what they seem. Activists don’t always dress like paramilitary revolutionaries, and those clad in traditional clothing aren’t always so traditional.

As part of our Black History Month coverage, Ivy Style presents a gallery of images of Civil Rights icon Julian Bond, who attended Morehouse smack in the middle of the Ivy heyday, and fought for African American rights in the tasteful, understated style of corduroy sportcoats, shaggy sweaters, striped ties and buttondown collars.

And unlike the vast majority of American men who moved on to other fashions following the fall of the Ivy heyday, Bond kept loyalty to the traditional American look. David Wilder, who worked at J. Press’ New York store, recalls Bond shopping there in 2013. “He had a quiet sartorial grace,” Wilder recalls.

Bond died two years later in 2015.

Below is a short bio video about him, courtesy of The Young Turks. — CC

25 Comments on "Black History Month: The Quiet Sartorial Grace Of Julian Bond"

  1. I wonder if going to the George School and then Morehouse had anything to do with his dress?

  2. Charlottesville | February 23, 2018 at 12:07 pm |

    Rarely does one see a man dressed as well as in the photos above. He taught at UVA for a number of years, and was always known as a gentleman.

  3. Handsome AF

  4. Mr. Bond also provided the voice over narration for the seminal video history of the modern Civil Rights era “Eyes on the Prize,” produced beginning in 1987 by Blackside and distributed by PBS. If you did not live through it, or even if you did and you still want to learn more/figure it out, I cannot recommend this series highly enough.

    The Concord Diaspora

  5. Maybe the way he dressed was the reason I always paid attention to what he said.

  6. In other news:

    Che infamia e questa:

    “Mid-century Ivy favourites such as madras and seersucker meet the insouciant flair of Italian tailoring, offering suits and jackets cut in our soft house style”

  7. @B:
    Did you mean “è” (is) rather than “e” (and) ?

  8. Richard Meyer | February 24, 2018 at 5:55 am |

    Very nice post.

  9. This post put me in the mind of documentary I happened to see recently, about a Heyday-era (if not necessarily ‘trad’) civil rights & literary notable: “I Am Not Your Negro”, about the life of James Baldwin. It’s narrated by Samuel Jackson, reading Baldwin’s own words, and interspersed with footage of Baldwin’s interviews and debates, including one with WFB Jr. Highly recommended, esp during February. (below is an image of Baldwin with Brando during the period)

  10. Yes, I don’t know how to add the stress mark.

  11. Maurizio Bruno | February 24, 2018 at 2:50 pm |


    This will enable you to type Italian characters:

  12. Implicitly shows the all-around appeal of the “Ivy Style”. Well attired for serious business without being “in your face” power-suited, peacock louche, or thrown-on slovenly.

    I’ve always considered the look to be defined as much by what it isn’t, as what it is.

  13. Minimalist Trad | February 25, 2018 at 1:24 am |

    Well-attired, period. Not just for serious business.

  14. Oh, he went to George? How cool. George was a rival of ours, of sorts. Played them in a few sports.

  15. May I suggest a viewing of the Saturday Night Live skit with Mr. Bond and Garrett Morris during which they discuss IQ tests. Priceless. It was filmed during a time before political correctness and safe spaces and Saturday Night Live was a damn sight funnier than it is today.

    The weather was beautiful today at Chick’s Beach. According to my car the mercury reached 82. I saw the first bikinis of the year and many were not bad.



  16. Will,

    Every time you leave a comment, I’m reminded of the section in Tom Sowell’s “Black Rednecks and White Liberals” discussing the studies showing how black students educated in northern schools have higher IQ’s than white students educated in southern schools.

    Currently wearing pyjamas and sipping hot cocoa.



  17. One of GS’s (class of 57) finest. @KD with respect to Bond’s style, George School not at all. Morehouse, highly likely. Those two institutions are ideologically and sartorially on opposite ends of the spectrum.

  18. Joel

    Well said. You hit the nail square on the head.

  19. Will, shame on you for not paying Joel to live in his head so comfortably. Must be nice in there because he can’t get you out.

  20. GS

    There is a lot of rust colored shag carpet, brown naugahide, knotty pine and avocado appliances, but you can’t beat free rent.



  21. Will, I thought it was just filled with hot air.

  22. Henry Contestwinner | March 6, 2018 at 6:21 pm |

    Will & GS,

    You guys crack me up! Here’s something especially for Will:

  23. London’s Jason Jules featured J.B. in his Garmsville Blog a while back courtesy of a guest contributor. Can’t find a link to offer just now.

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