Speaking of khakis, as we were recently with Duck Head (BTW, the company reached out to me and I should have some interesting info to divulge in a follow-up), Ivy Style contributor Eric Twardzik alerted me to current offering from Ralph Lauren depicted below.
It’s called The Iconic GI Khaki Chino, and comes with a price tag associated with products that have “iconic” in their name. The rise is modern, but the pants come with a button fly for purists; perhaps there are some “modern purists” out there.
“I quite liked them in person,” Twardzik noted. “They looked to have a kind of soft utilitarian air about them, somewhere between Army Surplus and a college campus. In other words, perhaps something actual GI Bill recipients may have worn to class. I’m sure Ivy Style readers will scoff at the price, but I admire that someone at RL is allegedly looking back to the heyday for inspiration.”
And in other RL news, and part of our recurring theme throughout the year on the 50th anniversary of the fall of the Ivy heyday, something else happened in 1967 when young men were abandoning their penny loafers and oxfords. Ralph Lauren went into business, and has just unveiled the 50th anniversary edition of his massive slipcased bio book. I might be able to swing by the store today and how many fresh images have been added to it.
Looking forward to the upcoming week, expect more Duck Head news, a glimpse of the new J. Press store, a new/old Timex watch, a candid shot of Mr. G. Bruce Boyer, and a couple of interesting contributor pieces. And as always, if you have an opinion or image you’d like to share, reach out using the contact button above. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD
I bought the book online yesterday, looking forward to the 950 new/old images!
“Modern” fit? Ugh. The old G.I. Chino was a both a nod to WWII-era khakis and a precursor to the Bills M1 model. Full fit, 19″ bottoms. Not for the must-have-Heyday-fit crowd.
I had no idea when I was serving as a US Navy junior officer in the later 1960’s that my wardrobe would become so trendy — and expensive: khaki trousers (Ralph Lauren $125 – 185); khaki shirt (Orvis $98); and deck jacket (Ben Silver $775).
The image encapsulates how I think of the Polo Ralph Lauren brand. The tie depicts riders playing polo. However, the bit resting on the tie is a half-cheek driving snaffle, used for harness horses, not polo. It speaks to an advertising department trading in images of things they don’t understand. One imagines that if one of them were ever to touch a real live horse, probably the first thing they would do is go wash their hand.
Maybe there’s a polo player somewhere who rides with a half-cheek driving bit, but typically they use either a pelham or a large-ringed snaffle.
Rojo, it was obviously a total snaffle snafu
Look to be sold out already….
“Iconic”, “Inspired by…”, “Imported”. I think I’ll stick to my LLBeans which are simply “imported” and “inexpensive”
If PoloRL bring back a seamless woven-and-made-in-Scotland shetland crewneck, I’ll buy at least one. I am guessing this would require Ralph’s direct intervention.
I’m intrigued by the candid shot of Bruce B. Please tell me he’s not been caught visiting his gym without a tie.
19″ leg opening…if I want expensive, khaki bell bottoms I know where to go. These look like something Muffy Aldrich would wear whilst cavorting in her garden. Although she would never pay such premiums for a Southeast Asian sweatshop’s creation.
WFBjr – I think that S.E. was referring to the leg openings of actual, old-school G.I. chinos when he mentioned the 19″ leg opening. According to RL.com, these chinos have a 15 and 3/4″ leg opening.
Iconic GI Khaki Chinos…
The button fly is a real pain in the you know what.
We can’t be surprised by WFBJr.’s misreading. Nor by his taste. All those years of 2-button, heavily darted, high-shouldered suits (Firing Line episodes serve as proof), and–(gulp)–sideburns.
Perhaps it predates my membership here, but has Ivy Style ever covered Orvis’s offerings during the hey day? I recently picked up a bullet-proof Harris tweed sport coat in brown herringbone. 3/2 sack with 2 patch pockets and leather buttons. The seller claimed it was made ~1960s – I have no way of confirming or denying, but the shoulders are soft and the lapels are 3″ – so I’m inclined to believe him. To top it off, the jacket has a Made in England label.
I’d love to know if Orvis had a place in Joe College’s wardrobe.
I must disagree with your negative assessment of WFB’s taste. While it’s true his attire did not check all the boxes of Ivy Orthodoxy (I recall reading that he cared little for clothes, and everything was picked out by his socialite wife), the manner in which he wore them exemplifies the casual nonchalance at the heart of Ivy style.
About ten years ago, Dockers, of all people, did a limited edition khaki pant called the K-1. It was spec-ed just like the latest one from Ralph; on-seam pockets, button fly, military buttons, and best of all, made from Cramerton cloth. More generous rise than the RL one. I still have a pair that I try to not over-wear, so they are in great shape.
JDD – I am old enough to remember when Abercrombie and Fitch carried high-quality, classic products, but I can’t speak for Orvis’s heyday clothing. Your tweed sport coat sounds like a great find. My experience suggests that Orvis quality is still pretty good. I have one Orvis sport coat but it is of fairly recent vintage and is more English shooting jacket in style than Ivy. I bought it on sale because it was a 3-button in a beautiful Harris Tweed fabric, but came to regret it. After wearing it around the house some, I have consigned it to a pile of things that are destined for Goodwill. However, no complaints about the quality of this or any of my other Orvis products. I bet your new old coat will last forever.
My personal style is closer to Trad than 100% ivy just due to the time investment required to hunt down attire that is shoe. WFB’s style was whatever Pat threw him in. I just worship the stand he took in the midst of liberalism’s onslaught.
@Eric thanks that’s good to know.
The older GI chino referenced by S.E. was my favorite pair of khakis. Substantial fabric with full rise. I wore them until they fell apart and only wish I ordered more. Will pass on a 15.75 leg opening.
The original Ralph Lauren pleated chinos looked very much like the MacArthur image provided by M Arthur. On seam pockets, welted outer leg, watch pocket with button flap, either left rear button flap pocket and sometimes both. Retail $ 67.50 US, by 1980 $ 125 US.
RL still sells the Real Thing through the RRL line, in various weights and colors. They almost always end up in the seasonal sales, uniformly have a high rise, and there are a few different fits.
Here is the design concept that drove the development of the K-1 khaki pant at Levi / Dockers and related products that I referenced in my post above: http://www.tomorrowpartners.com/casestudy/dockers-khakis/ (circa 2010?).
They should have made it available to repeat right now, based on the PRL’s currently sold out success with a lesser product.