Brooks Civvies: The New Yorker, 1945


Perhaps the heyday of the Ivy League Look began not in the ’50s, but the moment after World War II’s detente.

In this 1945 New Yorker cartoon, a soldier returns home from the war and is told by his mother to immediately get himself some mufti at Brooks Brothers to show that everything is all right in the world. — CC

12 Comments on "Brooks Civvies: The New Yorker, 1945"

  1. The New Yorker Out Loud podcast just did an episode discussing the past 90 years of the magazine. One of the editors was talking about how post WW2 was when fiction and the cartoons really took hold.

  2. Bags' Groove | February 19, 2015 at 1:10 pm |

    One is always delighted to see The New Yorker get a mentch, but why, when we’ve just exited what felt like endless BB devotionals, with endless BB devotional comments, did we have to immediately return to the BB (so good, I named it thrice) theme? A chap can only take so much. I’d go so far as to say – and please forgive me if you think I’ve gone a little too far – that it really is a bit rum!

  3. BB is/was the most important brand/thing to this topic. The only difference is that a couple weeks ago we ran two long essays that inspired a lot of comments.

    The last batch of posts have been about Black History Month, snow-covered campuses, and my gray wardrobe. I think you can handle a cartoon.

    Also, they just had their fashion week showing, so there may be yet more.

  4. Bags' Groove | February 19, 2015 at 3:29 pm |

    Christian, I must have mixed with the wrong people in NYC, because I can hardly remember BB being mentioned.

  5. No idea what you’re talking about. I was talking about

  6. Yes,but in the cartoon is not said if the wealthy ex GI buy a ready to wear sack,or a custom darted double breasted,at time both available to Brooks Brothers.

  7. Bags' Groove | February 20, 2015 at 4:31 am |

    Oh really, CC? I wasn’t. I was talking about the hobby horse this topic has become.

  8. From at least the Civil War many prominent, as well as rank and file, American military officers obtained their dress uniforms from Brooks Brothers.

    However, according to one source ( ) Brooks’ attempt at Civil War mass production for the troops didn’t go all that well: “Elisha Brooks and his brothers, of Brooks Brother’s fame, were the first recipients of a Government military uniform contract. These uniforms were turned out in a matter of weeks and issued to the new recruits. However, they were missing buttons and button holes, were barely threaded together, fit poorly and were made from a wool substitute consisting of sawdust, scraps and threads, glued and ironed together, falling apart in the first rain. A total 48,000 of these uniform frauds were paid for, before a government board of inquiry required Elisha Brooks to testify why he had used sub standard materials. Brooks stated,

    “I think that I cannot ascertain the difference without spending more time than I can now devote to that purpose.”

  9. BB still makes military uniforms. See here for an example:

    I hope these aren’t also made of sawdust and glue!

  10. These Navy tunics are..darted? (lol).

  11. “Shoulder pads, sleeve heads, and other major components of the same high quality found”

    And no natural shoulders…..

  12. One of the sources for buying the required khaki, dress white, and dress blue officer uniforms when graduating from Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island was the Brooks Brothers Uniform Shop in Newport. Many of us went to sea outfitted in Brooks Brother clothing. As the lady in the New Yorker cartoon knows, you don’t have to be ill-clothed just because you’re in the military.

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