Think I’ll take it for one last spin today.
Came across this passage recently in Nelson W. Aldrich, Jr.’s biography of Tommy Hitchcock, Jr.:
The polo coat — long, belted, and made of soft camel’s hair — was still for the most part used by polo players, thrown over their shoulders for warmth between chukkers, but it would soon drape every prep-school graduate, north and south, from Foxcroft to St. Paul’s.
For more on the “aristocrat of topcoats,” see this post at Gentlemen’s Gazette. — CC
Yesterday the blog Heavy Tweed Jacket put up an epic post on the history and terminology surrounding striped shirts at Brooks Brothers, J. Press, Chipp and others. Head over here to check it out. — CC
My colleague Sven over at Gentleman’s Gazette put up a great post this week on the quilted jacket.
I’ve got one from Brooks Brothers, and it’s by far the biggest workhorse in my wardrobe. For probably five months of the year it’s worn virtually every day. I wear it for all outdoor excursions around the neighborhood, and wear it into town over a sportcoat when the polo coat or toggle coat would be too much.
Although mine says dry clean only, when necessary I throw it in the laundry (along with my pocket squares, as I recently tweeted), and it develops a gentle fade that way. — CC
This morning I received a dispatch from Kamakura Shirts letting me know they’ve started an English-language Facebook page.
The company is progressing with its plans to offer global e-commerce capabilities with a target date of April, so soon you will be able to get its collar-rolling oxford shirts without having to journey all the way to Madison Avenue.
Like them on Facebook to stay updated. — CC
Our last post on William F. Buckley included an eyewitness account of a JC Penney label spied inside one of WFB’s suits.
Then yesterday, as I was exiting at Herald Square, one of the MTA’s more labyrinthine subway stations, I found myself taking an exit that led straight to a Penney’s escalator. Remembering the Buckley post, I decided to continue inside.
And it was good that I did, since among today’s junk mail was a sophisticated (by the department store’s standards) men’s catalog, produced under the stewardship of new menswear director Nick Wooster. It features a new collection called Stafford Prep, which I’d noticed whiled walking through the store. JC Penney’s American Living experiment is over, but undaunted the store has decided to continue offering prep-inspired basics at rock-bottom prices. (Continue)
As “Take Ivy” and countless other photographic documents reveal, jackets were worn on the short side in the declining twilight of the Ivy heyday.
But the short jacket’s current hold on the marketplace has all the earmarks of a fashion trend we’ll be laughing at years from now, the same way we laugh at the giant lapels of the ’70s, the big shoulder pads of the ’80s, and pretty much everything from the ’90s.
The photo at left is from Thom Browne’s Spring 2013 collection. The outermost item adorning the model’s torso bears marked similarities to a conventional sport coat, including lapels and a vent, even if its length more closely resembles that of a vest.
And so it is under the inspiration of this image that Ivy-Style.com declares open a contest to see if a reader can produce a photo of a shorter jacket.
Historically jacket lengths have varied, though most experts advise that they reach the finger knuckles. Trendy jackets have lately climbed north of the wrist, are now at the forearm, and, as all fashion ends in excess, will likely reach the elbow by the fall of 2014.
Here’s how to play:
1) Use the leave-comment feature to paste a link to a photo of a short jacket that has appeared on the Internet.
2) The jacket should be from an American brand and be at least tangentially related to neo-prep or traditional American clothing, to be determined by the judges of Ivy-Style.com.
3) The jacket can either be from a brand or worn by an individual who in the parallel universe known as conventional taste, for example, would normally take a 42 XL, but as a fashion victim acting in staunch defiance of sartorial logic, not to mention the sense of proportion bequeathed to Western Civilization by ancient Greece, has opted to wear a 42 (or more likely a 40) XS.
4) The posting of the image must verifiably date from the calendar year 2013, which is another way of saying it should be current.
5) The jacket must be intended to be a suit jacket or sportcoat, with lapels and breast pocket and other distinguishing features including sleeves, which are conspicuously absent from some of Browne’s jackets (at least it eliminates the need to choose the number of cuff buttons). Sweater-jackets and lapeled windbreakers, should such things exist, do not count.
6) Finally, server jackets and boleros are also disqualified from entry.
The contest will close at a time as yet to be determined. The winner will receive his choice of a belt donated by the newly launched preppy belt brand Asher Riley, because, hey, what goes better with a short jacket than a stylish belt? — CC