Buckle-Back Flannels and Cordovan Loafers, 1954

As a follow-up to this week’s earlier post about J. Press’ new cinch-back trousers, contributing writer Christopher Sharp sent in the above image showing buckle-back trousers in their original context.

The source: Gentry magazine
The year: 1954
The campus: University of North Carolina
The trousers: “Ivy League Narrows”
Paired with: Shell cordovan penny loafers

Note that the shoes and trousers are the same price. Today Alden’s Leisure Handsewn Moccasin in cordovan sells for $589.

Kind of makes the $375 J. Press trousers look like a steal. — CC

9 Comments on "Buckle-Back Flannels and Cordovan Loafers, 1954"

  1. Christian writes: “Note that the shoes and trousers are the same price.”

    Yes, and $18.95 adjusted for inflation per the CPI equates to $159.89 in today’s dollars. So what accounts for the extra $430 that Alden tacks on top of inflation?

  2. Nice work, Mazama! If other ads are available, it would be great to graph the cost inflation over the dacades.

  3. I like that the ad has “21” knee, 18″ bottom” on the trousers.

  4. The “extra” $430 is due to a combination of factors; I’d guess that the rarity of cordovan leather (only two producers in the world now, according to shellcordovan.com) and the cost of handsewing, especially by a domestic shoe maker, are significant.

  5. I would add that hide prices are up according to the Horween website. There are fewer horses available now compared to 1954 and sourced from a greater distance. Skilled craftsman are needed throughout the process. I am sure there are regulatory and environmental costs associated with the productions.

  6. Michael Mattis | September 19, 2011 at 10:32 am |

    “Yes, and $18.95 adjusted for inflation per the CPI equates to $159.89 in today’s dollars. So what accounts for the extra $430 that Alden tacks on top of inflation?”

    Suckers?

  7. Chelsea Drug Store | September 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm |

    Great work, Christian. It’ so refreshing find a voice such as yours these days. I have been reading some of your old articles and in my book you are the authentic voice of Ivy and Trad.

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