Important Message: Most Everyone Wears Natural Shoulder


We continue our back-to-school celebrations with another gallery of vintage advertisements from college papers.

Most interesting are those from Harvey Ltd. (seen above and below), which catered to the Brown community. “There is a certain style of clothing,” reads the copy in one ad, “which distinguishes the Ivy Leaguer from all other college men.” And in the other, “This may be quite different from the style you are used to wearing.”

In other words, egghead meritocrats were encouraged to follow the lead of the Old Money, gentleman’s C types. — CC & CS





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18 Comments on "Important Message: Most Everyone Wears Natural Shoulder"

  1. A depressing reminder of how standards have fallen.

  2. Vern Trotter | September 8, 2014 at 5:01 pm |

    Notice how clean cut they look? Everyone wore their hair this way due to the military influence as the draft was still in effect and most served. I used to visit the barber every two weeks. You would wear a coat and tie nearly everywhere.

    Have bought goods at Harvey Ltd’s St. Louis store which was actually in suburban Clayton. Also a fine shearling coat from Langrock in Princeton. Never knew they had other stores.

  3. The 1953 Dartmouth pictures here:
    are fascinating. Hardly any natural shoulders and plenty of 2 button jackets.

    There’s always a difference in what retailers want to sell and what customers want to buy. Sometimes it’s small enough to impress as being almost in sync. Other times the audience/customers have moved somewhere else and the effect is ‘out of registration’.

    The Dartmouth pictures are evidence that the students were being influenced by the Hollywood silhouette and the growing (white) popularity of jazz and emerging rock and roll. The subtlety and understated conservative values of the traditional Ivy dress seemed to have been, for this particular 1953 go round, forgotten or purposefully overlooked.

  4. That’s because it’s 1953.

    Chris Sharp sent me a photo from Brown from 1952, and the silhouette isn’t heyday Ivy yet because the heyday hasn’t started yet, and 1952 is awful close to 1950 which is closer still to 1949.

    Of course the Ivy elements were in place well before the war, but fashion was always changing and the narrow tie-lapel Ivy look we associate with the years of popularity came later.

    I’ll post the photo on our FB page.

  5. Interesting to note than two of the shops are owned by recent grads of Brown and Cornell, How many Ivy grads today would own or work at a clothing store?

    I imagine that a trad emporium could be a profitable venture though the 1960s. Most of the male students as well as the professors and administrators wore “the look”; no corporate much less internet competition in college town;, sales and markdowns were infrequent because merchandise that didn’t sell was just kept in the storeroom and brought back out in the following appropriate season.

    The last “real” 60s style college trad shop I encountered was, of all places, in Muncie, Indiana almost 20 years ago. A not-too-large stone faced, Ivy covered shop that looked like they did 30 years earlier stood across from the Ball State University campus bookstore. I bought a sweater I didn’t need just from a desire to patronize the shop for old times’ sake. I imagine the proprietor had been there at least since the ’60s and is now long retired or even passed on.

  6. @Christian
    I linked the 1953 image because on that same page there was this:
    from the 30s. Maybe your facetious response was because I posted a link to another forum? If that is verboten I apologise.

    And yes, I’m aware “fashion was always changing”, that’s what the TI page shows and my comment about the ‘1953 go round’ alludes to.

    Anyway, as the 1930s Dartmouth pic shows so many of the ‘heyday’ pieces were already in place. Patch blazer, natural shoulders, flannels, pin-collar shirt, suede bucks. I simply thought it interesting that the 1953 students had moved to a more top-heavy inverted triangle silhouette.

  7. Which photo or photos on the FNB site are we talking about?

  8. Aside from lack of natural shoulder coats in the Dartmouth ’53 shots linked to, what also struck me is the amount of work-wear and military clothing in evidence. Of course, with war raging in Korea, and the draft in full swing, many students on campuses all over the country would have been recently demobbed at the time, and still retained coats, trousers etc. from their service period.

  9. Also, in ’53 Richard Press wasn’t there yet to set an example!

  10. @Mazama…well, my dad Norm Freudenheim, was a 1938 graduate of Cornell University (full boat scholarship). He had grown up in retail apparel, as I did, for in 1963, to make a life story short, he and my mother opened a good men’s and women’s retail Ivy in Ithaca. Yes, then competing with the stores CS’s ads show.

    From 1963 until their retirement in 1984 when my wife and I bought the store they did just fine, raising my brother and myself, traveling the world and topping it off with a comfortable stable retirement in a sunny and agreeable clime. Is this doing well ? How far the middle class has fallen.


  11. Ok-I see what pics we are talking about now.

  12. I grew up about a mile from the Harvey Ltd. store in Clayton and shopped there on occasion. It was a great store with the best of everything. I didn’t know the owner, Harvey, was a Brown man, but figured since the other store was in Providence there might be a connection. For years it had little competition in the area until Brooks Brothers moved in.

    Ironically, their St. Louis suburban store was right next door to the Record Bar, a popular music shop owned by the father of the movie star, Kevin Kline (Sophie’s Choice, etc), who also grew up in the neighborhood and prepped in St. Louis at Priory..

    Small world.

  13. @Bob

    Thanks for sharing your story about the store your father opened in Ithaca during the height of the 60s trad style on college and high school campuses. Yes, your parents and thousands of others were clearly able to make a good living from a single independent local retail outlet. I’m taking the business was more challenging for you and your wife.

    Independent retailing has, on the whole, been crushed by the combination of large corporations, online competition and ever increasing government regulation, all of which conspire in essence against independent middle class entrepreneurs and merchants. But there are still some fighting the good fight smartly and I seek them out when possible.

  14. Ted Lapides, presumably the son of one of the two Lapideses signatory to the Harvey Ltd. ad, was sent off to run the St. Louis store (referenced in the ad), where he dominated the Ivy style in St. Louis for many years. A most personable guy and a real gentleman. Harvey Ltd. closed the St. Louis store around the time that so many similar stores closed all across the country.

    The Providence store was still extant, though only barely, when I was hauling one of our kids around New England visiting colleges in 2002. I imagine it, too, must now be gone.

  15. @S R Heymann for sharing your memories. Ted is the youngest brother. Harvey ltd. Providence closed eight years ago.

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  17. Thanks to grade inflation, the gentleman’s C has become the gentleman’s A.

  18. Edward Aisthorpe | April 7, 2018 at 6:46 am |

    I’ve got a gorgeous jacket from The English Shop. Brown tweed with 3/2 roll, natural shoulder and patch pocket. Looks as good now as it did the day it was made. Timeless and sophisticated unlike the chavvy drug dealer look most young men like.

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