Conservative Dress: Images From GOP Conventions Past

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Ivy Style herein presents a post both timely and nostalgic: namely, scenes from kinder, gentler Republican National Conventions.* These mostly date from the heyday of the Ivy League Look, as well as 1980, the year of Reagan/Bush and “The Official Preppy Handbook.”

Look for neat haircuts, pipes, sack jackets and rep ties, and a future presidential hopeful. — CC

* Ivy Style does not presume to tell you how to dress nor how to vote. We consider both John F. Kennedy and George HW Bush icons in the pantheon of prep politicos. Next week we will do a similar post on the Democratic National Convention. If you feel microaggressed or triggered, see your doctor right away. 

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31st October 1968: Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon (1913-1994) is showered by balloons while standing on stage at a political rally in Madison Square Garden, New York City. (Photo by Santi Visalli Inc./Getty Images)

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55 Comments on "Conservative Dress: Images From GOP Conventions Past"

  1. “If you feel microaggressed or triggered, see your doctor right away.” One of the reasons I continue to visit this site (almost) daily. Thank you!

  2. I don’t know what’s cracking me up more: Sammy’s jacket or his lit (indoor!) cigarette?

  3. Was Sammy a Republican? I would’ve assumed he and the rest of the Rat Pack were all loyal Kennedy Democrats, through the connection via Peter Lawford.

  4. Vern Trotter | July 20, 2016 at 3:23 pm |

    The Rat Pack became Republican after the Kennedys ostracized Sinatra because of his mob connections and after the Judith Exner affair became public. Frank was very bitter and pro GOP. Later very very big supporter of Ron and Nancy.

  5. Sammy did an episode of All in the Family, and recorded the Baretta theme around that time. Hollywood was different then. Everything was different then.

  6. Isn’t that George Romney in the first photo?

  7. Gerald Ford looks pretty snazzy with those long collar points and there’s Bob Dole, too. I miss the ’80s (though I was just a kid then). Is that Everett Dirksen in the fourth photograph?

  8. @ Jim, that is definitely George Romney. That might be a young Mitt two men over as well.

  9. One guy has a button on his hat that says “They Can’t Lick Our Dick.” Priceless….

  10. @Ignatius Reilly,

    Mr. Reilly, that image is from the 1976 GOP convention, held that year in Kansas City. Governor Reagan being prominent in the picture explains your placement of the photo in the 1980s.

    Governor Reagan had a strong charge against the incumbent President in 1976, and came close to defeating him in the primaries and at the convention. It was the last time (before last night) that a candidate nominated by their party had over 400 delegates vote against the nominee.

  11. Actually I think that’s a woman wearing the hat with the button that says they can’t lick our, um, Nixon.

  12. I know a few women who love vintage clothing and would pay handsomely for one of those IKE dresses.

    A number of the women in that photo have somewhat weird toothy grimaces, but one in particular has gone beyond grimace and into the realm of the rictus.

  13. rvpress59 | July 20, 2016 at 7:18 pm |

    Love the pic with NY State Attorney General Louis Lefkowitz, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller & Sen. Jacob Javits.

  14. Dinesh D'Souza | July 21, 2016 at 12:50 am |

    You’d think smug Christian Chensvold was the first person ever to make a trigger warning joke. Maybe now that Milo Yiannopoulos has been excommunicated from Twitter, smug Christian can become the new alpha troll.

  15. Fred Balthazar | July 21, 2016 at 3:55 am |

    Is that Chuck Berry on the 9th photo?

  16. Fred Balthazar | July 21, 2016 at 3:57 am |

    oh, got it, Sammy Davis Jr!

  17. I think Mr. Davis may be over-accessorized just a touch.

  18. Quick on the draw, Dinesh. I might even say you sound trigger happy.

  19. G. Bruce Boyer | July 21, 2016 at 1:16 pm |

    What’s so interesting [?] is that the elephant in the room — apart from Mr. Davis and his wife — is so white.

  20. When I do a DNC post next week we’ll see if there’s a noticeable difference.

  21. Anonymous | July 21, 2016 at 2:47 pm |

    Is that Mitt Romney in the 2nd and 3rd pictures? Who is with him, a brother?

  22. The 4th photo is journalist Frank McGee of NBC

  23. I have always considered it the height of tragic irony that most people of all colors don’t realize or are willfully ignorant of the fact that it is the Republican Party (or at least it used to be) that most represents the interests of black people. Sad, sad, sad.

  24. @ G. Bruce Boyer

    If your referring to the picture with Mr. Davis and his wife, I believe I see two to three other ladies in the picture who happen to be black. Regarding the pictures as a whole, I find it quite maddening when a people choose to act against their own interests, especially when it effects me and my family so directly.

  25. A Bridge Too Far | July 22, 2016 at 8:19 am |

    If the Republican Party most represents the interests of blacks, don’t you think blacks would be flocking to the Party? You saying blacks as a group are ignorant and casting blame on them–that’s so, I don’t know, Republican? Look at your Party. It’s the Party of imposed limitations, not freedom and expansion of liberties. Its no wonder there were no blacks in the Party in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, etc as all these great photos depict. And, nothing has changed. Your convention this year was overwhelming white once again.

  26. I’d have to agree, blacks have thrived in the largest Democratically controlled cities over the last half century. Great government schools and lots of jobs.

  27. A Bridge to Far, well you may be answering your own question when you consider that it was the Democrats that clung to Slavery, Jim Crow, and anti-Brown v. Board. It was the Republicans like G. Romney who fought for equality. The GOP voted for the CRA at 80% and 82% in both Chambers. Dems: 63 and 69%. Everyone goes “oh ya, well it was a (racist) dem POTUS that’s signed it into law!” Of course he did, there wasn’t anyway the veto would’ve been upheld with that large of a majority vote in favor. Now if you’re brilliant enough to debate the constitutionality of the Federal over reach which occurred as a result of the bills passing (ala Goldwater) that’s a totally different discussion; one which most of hoi polloi, like yourself, aren’t intellectually prepared to discuss. It’s an unfortunate insipid calumny against my party that folks like you quote as if it’s some axiomatic credenda dispensed to you from on high. Good luck with immanentizing the eschaton.

    As for those questioning the “whiteness of the Dems during this time, simply Google image search 1956 Democratic National Convention; cotton white.

    I can’t stand Eisenhower, Nixon, Javits and Rockefeller (Lindsay who isn’t shown); the whole lot of them turned the Republicans into tax and spend, Big government types. Vitiated the principles of our party as espoused so well for so many years by Sen. Robert A. Taft (R-OH, ’39-’53)

  28. @A Bridge Too Far

    I’m not a Republican. I’m a conservative. As a conservative, I expect people to make good choices, be decent, work hard and if they fall from such basic ideals, be responsible enough to get themselves back on track. I expect this from all people regardless of color. Conservatism offers the greatest opportunity for people to be free. I believe your definition of the expansion of liberties means the freedom to be irresponsible and have other people pay for your bad choices.

    Incidentally, I did see a great many black and Hispanic people at the Republican convention. Unfortunately, the headliner was an orange oompa loompa with an onion loaf on his head and an ill fitting Brioni suit who, when speaking extemporaneously, sounds more like an eighth grader with a case of the vapors.

    God help us!

    Will

  29. carmelo pugliatti | July 22, 2016 at 10:23 am |

    I like Ike.
    The best Republican President.

  30. carmelo pugliatti | July 22, 2016 at 10:26 am |

    I heard that Trump want reintroducing the Glass Stegal act…and this is good in my opinion.

  31. @Mac MacConnell:

    Merely offering something to consider, which only took a moment of googling:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-bad-democrats-20150702-story.html

  32. Vern Trotter | July 22, 2016 at 12:12 pm |

    I was a Republican precinct captain in 1960 in northern Baltimore County Maryland for the Kennedy/Nixon election; I had the complete list of voters for two precincts. This was horse country then, lots of big estates. There were 10 or 12 black families in the two precincts, maybe 50 voters. They were ALL registered Republicans! This was because of Eisenhower and what he did for them, although some traced their history and lineage back to the days of Abraham Lincoln.

    This, of course, was a small sampling but was indicative of how blacks registered then.

  33. carmelo pugliatti | July 22, 2016 at 4:36 pm |

    Nixon did much for civil right; There is a good book on this, “Nixon’s civil right” (Dean Kotlowsky).In retrospect would have been better if Nixon had won in 1960.

  34. People forget that Nixon integrated the seven southern states’ public schools by 1970, with out going to court or the use of troops..

  35. @Anonymous

    Yes, Mitt, G. Scott Romney in tweed jacket and their mother Lenore.

  36. Ted Roosevelt | July 23, 2016 at 12:48 am |

    4th photo is ABC’s Frank REYNOLDS, not Frank McGhee of NBC.

  37. Dinesh D'Souza | July 23, 2016 at 3:07 pm |

    There goes lying Will, yet again, compensating for his needle dick by pretending he’s the smartest mouth breather on a fashion website.

  38. What’s the name of the rhetorical fallacy for attacking the opponent’s penis size?

  39. Dinesh D'Souza | July 23, 2016 at 3:42 pm |

    @Christian

    “argumentum ad Rubio”

    What’s the name of the rhetorical fallacy for compensating for your lack of relevant material by smugly pandering to self-satisfied white nationalists?

  40. Is that Jeb! next to Sammy Davis Jr.?

  41. @Dinesh D’Souza

    I compensate for my wedding tackle with my car, a VW TDI Sportwagen family man wagon.

    May I suggest you put down the government cheese, move from your mom’s basement and realize that there are reasons to be happy. You sound quite frustrated.

    I have to go. I’m loading the car for another long day at the beach with my family and friends. I’m starting to look like George Hamilton. Tangueray and tonics are lovely in the summer heat.

    Cheers,

    Will

  42. Dinesh D'Souza | July 24, 2016 at 12:37 pm |

    @Will

    There sure are reasons to be happy. Like the fact that grumpy old white men like you are so disenfranchised that you have to come onto fashion websites to spout your bullshit. There are so few people who listen to your sad opinions in real life that you need to throw around your weight on non-political websites to feel like you might have a vague understanding of what’s happening in the world.

    I suppose it’s worth sacrificing a once-decent fashion website if it means people like you have nowhere else to go when you need someone to listen to your outdated ideas.

  43. @ Dinesh D’Souza

    My wife got a real kick out of your description of me as a “grumpy old white man.” Real people, decent people do not derive happiness from the disenfranchisement of any person or group. Conservatism wishes the best for everybody. The best does not necessarily mean equality as it depends on how much effort the individual is willing to expend in their responsible pursuits in life.

    If you received participation trophies or where told by your parents or teachers that you were special just because you existed, you were lied to and done a disservice. Time to get your chin off your chest and realize that life is not fair.

    To start down this road, may I suggest that looking the part will get you part of the way there. While many of my competitors are wearing khakis, golf shirts and running shoes, I am braving the intense Virginia heat in my BB wash and wear suit from the late eighties (3/2 roll and flat front with cuffs of course) crisp white oxford, BB blue and gold rep tie, engine turned belt with my Alden shell cordovan long wings which are breaking in nicely. A white shirt looks great against a deep tan-so says my wife.

    So get out of your mom’s basement, soak up some rays, throw away those Birkenstocks and graphic tee shirt and seize the day my lad!

    Will

  44. @Christian

    I don’t think your site is once-decent. I think its great.

    Will

  45. Dinesh D'Souza | July 25, 2016 at 4:07 pm |

    @Will

    If that’s what you need to tell yourself to justify your lazy parasitic life surviving on inherited money, then have at it. Some of us weren’t born with a silver spoon in our mouths, even if we dress like it.

  46. “Dinesh” reminds us that when it comes to that old slogan about liberty and equality you can have one but not both!

  47. NorfolkTrad | July 25, 2016 at 4:44 pm |

    @sacksuit

    Where in Virginia? I’m wearing seersucker here in Norfolk. The high was 107 today! Looks great with my white OCBD, white bucks and madras tie.

  48. @Dinesh D’Souza

    My middle class parents would find your comments hilarious as I paid for everything in my life myself. I insisted on it. My family didn’t have any money but their way of thinking about the important things in life were of the highest quality.

    May I suggest you watch the movie The Secret History of the Democratic Party? I believe a fellow of your name had something to do with its production. The government school you undoubtedly attended probably glossed over most of the facts you will discover in this movie, nay, covered them up or changed them entirely.

    Regarding your dress, you strike me as a Thom Browne man. I am picturing you with multiple bracelets too. Am I correct?

    Will

  49. Norfolk Trad | July 26, 2016 at 12:12 am |

    @sacksuit

    I bet he is. Sounds like a queer. Good movie. Most people don’t understand that the democrat party is the party of racism. Libtards are the most racist.

  50. My Thom Browne/multi bracelet reference was to refer to bad decision taking, not sexual preference. My opinion of the liberal mentality is not an original one. They seem to be like the battered wife who gives a violent dead beat husband chance after chance to change. Year after year their lives get worse and worse. Of course they have free will to behave any way they want, but their poor decisions bring the rest of us down as well.

  51. Dinesh D'Souza | July 26, 2016 at 2:34 pm |

    A government school like Cal State? No wonder Chensvold is so insecure and feels the need to pander to the political sensibilities of you elitist goons.

    And I agree, battered wives are responsible for their own situations and should stop bringing everyone else down. I’m sure you’re familiar with this situation, as Stockholm Syndrome is the only way you would ever keep a woman around to fiddle your needle dick.

    Also, Norfolk Trad is clearly a repressed homosexual and probably wants to suck off Milo Yiannopoulos.

  52. You and Norfolk Trad are two sides of the same coin.

  53. Dinesh D'Souza | July 26, 2016 at 3:16 pm |

    Said the pot to the kettle.

    BTW, since you began your transition from fashion blogger to serious political journalist, has HuffPo or Esquire asked you back to provide any biting analysis on the current political landscape?

  54. @Dinesh D’Souza

    You appear to be learning something here as you seem to agree with me that liberalism not only does not serve those whom it was supposedly designed to help but seeks to distribute misery among us all. I refuse to play along. BTW, its more like a peanut butter jar.

    @NorfolkTrad

    You do read something of a douche.

    Wathen’s Kentucky Bourbon with two ice cubes coming in about thirty minutes. The first one fast, the second a little slower.

    Cheers

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