Historic Images

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Authentic Ivy League Suits Sanitized For Freshness

This ad from a 1959 issue of Sports Illustrated is interesting for a number of reasons. Most obvious is the ad’s premise of dressing young. From our perspective 55 years later, the men in the ad could hardly look more mature. Yet such were the small distinctions of suit-wearing at the time. Then, in the


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Batik On Campus

Was batik really worn by college men, or was it a marketing ploy by clothiers, as one reader recently suggested? Evidence courtesy of Lehigh University yearbooks from 1961-65. — CC & CS






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Where Main Street Meets The Elite

This ad from mass-market clothier Galey & Lord dates from 1965. But apparently that’s no random model who sat for the portrait. According to textilehistory.org: In the mid-1960s, six prominent socialites had their portraits painted by Henry Koehler. The garments were crafted using G&L fabrics. Ads appeared in the New York Times Feb 2, 1965.




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School’s Out: Daily Princetonian Seersucker Ads, 1940s

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





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Haircuts: Ivy League Versus Beatles

Last night the CBS evening news did a story on Joe Brown of Pensacola, FL, who is still a hardworking barber at the age of 98. Patrons were asked, as they should have been, whether they feel safe in the hands of a nearly century-old tonsorian, especially when he breaks out the straight razor. But


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Tartan Day And Men In Plaid, 1950

In case you hadn’t heard, tomorrow is Tartan Day. To celebrate, we’re sharing a LIFE Magazine article from 1950 (scroll down to page 123) that showcased Yale students in plaid vests and Andover preps in plaid caps. The article opens with this: When the British caught wind of the fact that American men were developing


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International Pipe Smoking Day

This cartoon dates from 1961. It was found here, where the caption reads: … note the sophisticated, pipe-smoking college man in a letter sweater.  Such folks would be extinct on college campuses by the end of the decade. On this International Pipe Smoking Day, I salute you through a fog of Three Nuns. — CC


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Forty-Fourth Street Salvage

According to the seller unloading it on eBay, this J. Press sign was salvaged from the 44th Street store when the company moved to Madison Avenue. It was originally listed for $2,500, but, as it didn’t have any takers, was relisted yesterday with an opening bid of $499 and buy-it-now of $700. — CC





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Unseen And Undarted: New Book On King Of Cool Steve McQueen

© Photograph Judith Jamison/Barry Feinstein Photography, Inc. A new book shows that Steve McQueen could wear an undarted sack jacket and more than live up to his title as king of cool. Based on candids and stills from the movie “Bullitt” taken by friend Barry Feinstein, “Unseen McQueen” is due out next week from Reel


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That Damned Brooks Brothers Shirt

Recently the comments section has been lively with discussion about Brooks Brothers shirts. Obsessing over them is practically an institution; as early as the mid-’60s George Frazier was writing, “What the hell’s happening to the roll on Brooks Brothers buttondowns?” There’s a reason men get so worked up about them: they have strong attachments to



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