Cornell’s Trad Shop: A Surprising Discovery Of Historical Precedent

Tue 4 Feb 2014 - Filed under: 1960s,Clothes,Historic Images — Christian
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I could hardly believe it, but there it was right in front of me: a grainy newspaper photo of a group of happy haberdashers under a sign in Old English script that read “The Trad Shop.”

How could this be? The general consensus in the natural-shoulder enthusiast community is that the word “trad” refers roughly to the Ivy League Look in Japan, and that it was never used in the US to refer to the natural-shoulder genre. To believe otherwise is to embrace an artificial construct of the Internet age.

But the question now is what to do when you find the exception to the rule. I believe that a dispassionate examination of the evidence will show that this anomaly adds to the richness of the Ivy story for those who love both clothes and the business acumen that brought them to the public. So let’s delve in and meet Stuart Lewis and The Trad Shop, which served the Cornell campus during the Ivy heyday. (Continue)

The Dignified Hoodie: A Gallery Of That Gentleman ’80s Polo Model

Thu 16 Jan 2014 - Filed under: 1980s,Historic Images — Christian
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Even an item as banal and unstylish as the hoodie can be elevated by its wearer. Case in point, that handsome old gent from Polo ad campaigns from the late ’80s and early ’90s.

I remember these ads — including the hoodie shot above, taken alongside a tennis court— from when they first came out, which was right when I became interested in style. I’d stare at the guy and, as with all narrative Polo ads of the time, couldn’t help but imagine the character’s backstory.

If anyone knows who the model was, please let us know.

In the meantime, here’s a small tribute to this unnamed gent. In addition to looking distinguished, he holds the distinction of being one of the few elderly beaux to ever have a starring role in a fashion ad campaign. And who else has ever made you want to stock up on yellow? — CC (Continue)

 

Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, In Your Christmas Loafers

Mon 23 Dec 2013 - Filed under: Historic Images — Christian
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(Teaser of a post to come after the holiday.)

 

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

Wed 13 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Historic Images — Christian
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© 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 Art Press. (Continue)

 

That Damned Brooks Brothers Shirt

Tue 22 Oct 2013 - Filed under: Historic Images — Christian
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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 this particular article of clothing. Like the fellow in the drawing above.

The cartoon by Charles E. Martin appeared in the New Yorker in 1952 and is available from the Conde Nast Store.

But be forewarned: the print costs more than a new Brooks Brothers shirt. — CC

 

Boys To Men: The Long And Short Of It

Sat 21 Sep 2013 - Filed under: 1920s-'40s,Historic Images — Christian
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whiffenpoofs 1927

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

 

The Illustrated Man: Midcentury Magazine Artist Joe Bowler

Wed 14 Aug 2013 - Filed under: Historic Images — Christian
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While performing a Google Image search for some random terminology recently, I came across an illustration that caught my eye. It turned out to be from an artist named Joe Bowler who made his living in the ’50s and ’60s doing advertising and magazine illustrations.

Quite a few have details that would interest us here, such as the guy above, with buckle-back chinos and rep-striped billfold. (Continue)

 
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