Now he follows up with another one, this time from Gentry’s Autumn 1952 issue, that provides an eye-opening glimpse into how collegiate attire was presented to young men at the time.
As in the previous piece (which featured, among other oddities, a one-piece corduroy “loafing suit”), the curious is juxtaposed to the classic.
Timeless items include plenty of dark-gray flannel suits and odd trousers, double-breasted camel hair polo coats, and the ubiquitous rep tie. Surprisingly, the trendiest items are from J. Press, suggesting the brand’s onetime willingness to experiment.
The J. Press of today looks to the 1950s for inspiration, but the J. Press of the ’50s apparently looked to the Gilded Age. The results are a four-button-rolled-to-three Shetland sack coat (the caption suggests it can be worn with all four fastened), and a nine-button, lapeled odd vest in mustard doeskin that “follows Victorian influence.”
If anything is to be learned from this, it’s that gray flannel goes with almost anything, and that the quest for the traditional sometimes ventures into the archaic. — ZACHARY DELUCA