If you were off on Spring Break or spending the winter in Palm Beach, Princeton’s clothiers of the 1940s had just the clothes you needed, including plenty of seersucker. While not graphically interesting, these ads include interesting copy revealing what was popular with students at the time. — CS & CC (Continue)
One summer day in 1946, Joseph Haspel, Sr. walked neck deep into the Atlantic Ocean wearing one of his family’s seersucker suits. He emerged from the ocean a part of clothing lore.
Haspel was attending a convention in Boca Raton, Florida, when he took his now famous dip into the sea. Afterwards he hung his suit over his hotel room tub to drip dry. Later that evening, those who had seen him in his unrthodox bathing attire were equally surprised to see him wearing the same suit, and his act was the hit of the Middle South Utilities Inc. banquet.
The seaside plunge, alas, was no personal idiosyncrasy. There was a practical reason for it, namely to demonstrate Haspel’s new easy-care cotton and Orlon suit.
Many readers have likely heard some version of this twice-told tale. We contacted Haspel to ask if it were true, and they were happy to provide this photo documentation. — CHRISTOPHER SHARP (Continue)
Next Wednesday marks the return of National Seersucker Day, when the US Congress temporarily resembles a gathering of Kentucky Derby spectators. In celebration, Ivy Style will present a truly epic presentation of seersucker coverage — all spearheaded by associate editor Christopher Sharp — including multiple galleries depicting campus advertising through the decades.
By the time it’s finally over, you’ll be calling the fabric “seersicker.”
We start off with this 1942 cartoon from the Yale Daily News. — CC
My latest piece for Ralph Lauren Magazine is on the shawl-collared cardigan, which was the favored warm-up gear for baseball players from about 1900-1930. Origins of exactly how and why the shawl cardigan became associated with baseball are murky, and very few of the sweaters survive outside of photographs. I was able to talk to several baseball historians, including MLB’s official, in an effort to shed some light on the handsome sweaters, which were eventually supplanted by woolen varsity-type jackets. (Continue)
A collection of six bow ties belonging to pioneering modernist architect Walter Gropius (1883-1969) are currently on display at the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Frances Loeb Library.
Gropius, along with fellow modernist Le Corbusier, helped cement the bow tie as an emblem of nonconformist thinking, creativity, and architectural genius. The bow ties in the collection provide a glimpse into Gropius’ personal taste, his connection to Harvard, and his thoughts about the small accessory that makes a big statement. (Continue)
No need to be long-winded, so I’ll keep it short: Jackets that are too short make men look like boys, while jackets of adequate length make boys look like men. Take it from these 1927 Whiffenpoofs — estimated ages 18-22. These gentlemen songsters may be doomed from here to eternity, but it’s not for being slaves of fashion.
Thanks to frequent comment-leaver S.E. for the excavation of this superb image. — CC