Last month, when we shared G. Bruce Boyer’s piece on cardigan vests for Drake’s, someone remarked that cardigans are fine under sportcoats, but never under blazers. Naturally we followed it up with a series of images from Ralph Lauren that included — what else? — cardigans and blazers.

And then the new issue of the Japanese magazine Popeye comes out, and what should we see but a J. Press employee wearing the outfit below.

(Note: subject says he was forced to look into the sun).

More from Popeye’s “Finding The Classics” issue in our next post.

In related news, the website Racked has an interesting read that posted today called “When Cardigans Were Battle Attire,” which covers everything from the origins of the sweater down through the Joe College years, and from Mr. Rogers to Kurt Cobain:

A looser-fit, often wool-knit version suited both men and women in the Ivy League crowd in postwar years. Academic examples abounded. In the 1950s and early 1960s the Oxford-educated British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan took to wearing a baggy cardigan as part of his country gentleman’s persona, and a well-worn cardigan became international shorthand for English comfort and unflappable intellect. Though hardly unflappable, Rex Harrison wore a suave beige, leather-buttoned cardigan as professor of phonetics Henry Higgins while singing, “Never let a woman in your life!” in the popular film My Fair Lady, parading the sweater around his mansion’s lush and bountiful library.

A few years later, in the biggest moment in popular cardigan history, on February 19th, 1968, the first episode of Fred Rogers’ famed television show aired on national television. Original broadcasts of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (or Misterogers’ Neighborhood in earlier editions) ran from 1968 to 1976, and then from 1979 to 2001. Each episode begins with Mr. Rogers’ personal coming-home ritual of trading dress shoes and suit jacket for sneakers and one of an impressive array of zippered cardigans, all while singing the very familiar “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Through Rogers, as well as Como and Harrison, the comparative formality with which celebrities in the postwar decades wore cardigans — often atop white dress shirts and ties — affected and reflected the transition to more casual dress for all Americans.

Check it out here. — CC

16 Comments on "Eye-Popping"

  1. Caustic Man | October 4, 2017 at 12:08 pm |

    No cardigan with a blazer? Silly rules followers… ?

  2. It’s ALL subjective.

  3. There’s a photo of me at age 20 in almost the same outfit — but the blazer is DB!!!

  4. Charlottesville | October 4, 2017 at 1:38 pm |

    Great looking outfit. I sometimes wear a cardigan under a tweed sport coat, but the red vest I wear under a blazer is flannel with gold buttons. I am a fan of the odd vest and have several, including Tattersall and very soft suede from Brooks, both of which I think pair well with tweeds and flannels or cords. Looking forward to cooler weather so I can wear them.

  5. A Trad Confused | October 4, 2017 at 1:58 pm |

    DCG from this day forward shall now be addressed as Case 14…

  6. A blazer is a type of sport coat.

  7. Mitchell S. | October 4, 2017 at 3:11 pm |

    A blazer is a basically a part of a naval uniform and should not be properly worn with a cardigan. Sport and military don’t mix. You wouldn’t wear a cardigan with a tuxedo, would you?

    I loved the Racked article, great pictures, but one glaring omission: no picture of Stuart Smalley. “I’m smart enough, I’m good enough, and doggone it, people like me.” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuart_Smalley

  8. Hitched my trousers up for the next batch of photos I promise

  9. DCG: in this image, the ‘cutaway’ of the sweater at the bottom together with the shadow or object behind your left hand combine for an effect almost like you’re wearing a morning coat.

  10. Ezra Cornell | October 4, 2017 at 5:25 pm |

    Not only the cardigan, but the Japanese article praises our hero for matching the cardigan with the shoes for a sophisticated, put-together look.

  11. “A blazer is a basically a part of a naval uniform and should not be properly worn with a cardigan. Sport and military don’t mix. You wouldn’t wear a cardigan with a tuxedo, would you?”

    Unless you’re actively in the military a blazer *isn’t* a uniform, just an affectation, so I don’t think this is applicable…

  12. Mitchell, by your “sport and military don’t mix” logic we shouldn’t wear OCBDs with chinos. A blazer is a type of sport coat because a sport coat is just an informal jacket worn without matching trousers.

  13. Also the cardigan is a military item first worn by the Brits in the Crimean War.

  14. GS

    Well said. Spot on.

  15. All men’s notched lapel jackets are just military tunics with the collar turned down.

  16. @DCG
    And there I was thinking how your trousers looked perfect length, with a nice break, and not swinging about your ankles.

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