Funny Valentine: Brooks, Chipp & Press Daphne Garters


On this Valentine’s Day, we’ll honor the occasion with an example of the humor — in this case, mildly bawdy — that has always played a role in the Ivy League Look.

Case in point, the above vintage suspenders with matching sock garters from J. Press. They’re currently for sale on Etsy, where the seller claims they date from the ’30s and is asking $250 for them.


Turns out Chipp offered the very same thing, as evidenced in these shots from a former eBay listing:



Even Brooks got in on the act:


Evidently the motif was called “Daphne” and can be traced back to the New York shop of Calvin Curtis.

Now all that remains is the following question: just what kind of man wears sock garters? — CC

14 Comments on "Funny Valentine: Brooks, Chipp & Press Daphne Garters"

  1. The breast looking suspenders I’ve seen in a long time.

  2. adioselkabong | February 14, 2014 at 6:25 pm |

    The kind that calls braces “suspenders”?

  3. In the States, saying “braces” instead of suspenders sounds like iGent pomposity, akin to saying “odd jacket” for sportcoat.

  4. Growing up I was told they mean different things, that’s one habit (affectation?) that predates my exposure to the interweb

  5. @Christian – it’s simply correct terminology. In the US, suspenders are the ones with clips that attach to the pant. Braces attach via buttons on the pant. In the UK, braces refer to all suspenders. If you were to say suspender in the UK, they would assume you are referring to that which holds up a woman’s stocking or, in this case, a man’s sock.

  6. Some random thoughts. The advertisement clipping that was linked to for Calvin Curtis is from the New Yorker.

    When Trafalgar reused Daphne(Lady of the Lake) the catalog dated it circa 1953.

    If an items date roughly fall within the time particular shops were open those J. Press braces should have been made and sold before 1943. If they were slow to change stamping then they could be post war.

    This is also a Calvin Curtis design

    This post brings back found memories, I semi jokingly call “Daphne” my first love. In part I blame her for talking me down the sartorial road I find myself.

  7. Early morning error should have said reissued, in second thought above.

  8. I can’t imagine any men these days wearing sock garters. To me they evoque a 19th century / early 20th century look. If someone wants to wear them that’s fine, but I would feel utterly ridiculous wearing such things.

  9. @ Bimmer,

    For me suspenders hold up your pants, and braces straighten your teeth. Of course, I fully comprehend Americans affecting British usage- if you wish, they hold up one’s trousers (rather than one’s under garments), orthodontics still being a rarity in the UK.

    @ Christian,

    “Just what kind of man wears sock garters?” A business colleague who knows of such things told me that they are erotically fetishized by some suited gay men when worn en déshabillé. OTOH, my recent purchases of wool socks at Brooks apparently contain insufficient nylon to prevent serious bagging after only a few washings. So, there might still be a need- and I could more easily forestall being thought a fetishist than the far greater indignity of falling socks.

  10. Wow! I bought those exact same sock garters last September for $17.50 on eBay to wear with my wedding tuxedo socks… My wife just shrugged as usual, but I had tall socks all evening without having to constantly fix them… I never knew of the daphne history… I just knew they were old, very old. but they are far, far better quality than most available these days that have a rubber tab, which often comes undone… At age 30, I realize most men don’t wear these anymore, but they really are nice and do a fine job holding up the socks… Due to their age, I don’t wear them all that often, in hopes I can use them for many years to come…

    As usual another excellent post at Ivy Style, and brought a little smile to my wife when I just showed her this page!

  11. Imagine the chagrin when the metal detectors at the airport go off.

    “Oh, it’s just my sock garters.”

    A full strip search would follow, if just for the amusement of the TSA.

  12. Press had the braces in the mid-1980s. Old stock, perhaps, but not from the 1930s. Suppose they could have carried them for a few decades, though. Dad wore sock garters and certainly did not have any dress socks with nylon. I should have saved them, but my suit fetish days were well in the future.

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