My Kinda Clothes: Alligator Shirts And Real Bass Weejuns

“My kinda clothes” is a delightful little phrase coined by the legendary Charlie Davidson of The Andover Shop. It’s also a regular series here in which men discuss their favorite items of apparel. If you’d like to contribute, please use the contact button above.

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I grew-up in Grosse Pointe, MI and my grandfather and uncle owned a very fine men’s clothing store in Midland, MI.  They featured suits by Hickey-Freeman, shirts by Sero and Gant, and even carried Lacoste shirts, then made under license by IZOD. So I was wearing “alligator shirts” from fourth grade onward.

I graduated from the University-Liggett School in Grosse Pointe in 1964. In those long ago days, roughly half of my male classmates (with a total male head-count of 25) left for boarding school in the east. Most went to schools in the New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, or New Hampshire environs, so they generally passed through NYC or Boston to or from school. They shopped at Brooks, Chipp, J. Press, The Andover Shop, Langrock, and the like.

When they came back to Grosse Pointe, one could not help but notice their taste in clothes: real Bass Weejuns from Wilton, ME, sweaters from Scotland, LL Bean hunting boots, rep ties from England. That is where it all started for me.

My addiction was confirmed by the quarterly arrival, at the Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit, of the traveling salesmen from Brooks Brothers with their multiple steamer trunks full of the latest from 346 Madison Avenue. I was hooked. My first charge account (signed by my father), was opened at Brooks in the summer of 1964.

In those days, an account holder at Brooks wasn’t even given a discreet number: your name and home address was good enough at all five Brooks stores to purchase whatever you desired. Those were the days.

Sadly, Brooks lost its way decades ago and my loyalty transferred to J. Press, especially after they opened the store in Washington 30 years ago. I met Richard Press at the opening of the store and his recollections of the early days of his family’s historic business was more than an added bonus.  — BILL CANFIELD

65 Comments on "My Kinda Clothes: Alligator Shirts And Real Bass Weejuns"

  1. Born again. Thanks for the memory.

  2. As a boy in the early1980s, I loved my “alligator shirts”. And that is exactly what I called them. As a very young boy I recall having a stuffed animal–an alligator with a little man on his shirt!

  3. Mr. Canfield,
    Those were the days!
    Could you please identify your eyeglass frames for us?
    Thank you.

  4. Very nice article, however there is an unfortunate typo early on that I suggest you remove post haste.

  5. Good catch. Thanks.

  6. Chewco L.P. (Cayman) | February 8, 2017 at 1:04 pm |

    You, sir, are what us young bucks refer to as “O.G.”

    (I’d also like to know what eyeglasses you’re wearing: as per Lexophile’s request)

  7. Marc Chevalier | February 8, 2017 at 1:23 pm |

    It seems to be an Ivy verbal tic to call the Lacoste crocodile an “alligator”.

  8. Chewco L.P. (Non-Taxable) | February 8, 2017 at 1:41 pm |


    Crocodilian US vernacular = alligator.
    Crocodilian World vernacular = crocodile.

    Same with metric units.

  9. Charlottesville | February 8, 2017 at 2:18 pm |

    Great post, Mr. Canfield. The following poem by Ogden Nash seems appropriate here. It is entitled “The Purist.”

    I give you now Professor Twist,
    A conscientious scientist,
    Trustees exclaimed, “He never bungles!”
    And sent him off to distant jungles.
    Camped on a tropic riverside,
    One day he missed his loving bride.
    She had, the guide informed him later,
    Been eaten by an alligator.
    Professor Twist could not but smile.
    “You mean,” he said, “a crocodile.”

  10. Marc Chevalier | February 8, 2017 at 2:43 pm |


  11. Mitchell S. | February 8, 2017 at 2:48 pm |

    It’s interesting to me that even though Rene Lacoste was a famous tennis player, no one call the shirt he wore a “tennis shirt.” It’s either a golf shirt or a polo shirt, never a tennis shirt. Tennis gets no respect. No respect at all.

  12. MacMcConnell | February 8, 2017 at 2:52 pm |

    It’s actually a Crocodile named for the French tennis player Rene Lacoste , who might have been the first pro tennis player to wear a short sleeved shirt.

    I believe the originals had a placard.

  13. MacMcConnell | February 8, 2017 at 2:52 pm |

    Rene Lacoste nick name was the Croc

  14. MacMcConnell | February 8, 2017 at 2:55 pm |

    I to was introduced to Brooks Brothers at trunk showings at the Hotel Muehlebach in Kansas City.

  15. Mac:

    Indeed he was the first to play in short sleeves. I wrote a bit of history on the man and his shirt back in 2010:

  16. Charlottesville | February 8, 2017 at 3:19 pm |

    For a picture of Mr. Lacoste, wearing the namesake critter, go here: . And I thought the RL Polo shirts for the Olympics had big logos.

  17. I should also mention that the embroidered crocodile was placed lower on the shirt originally. It seems to have evolved to the current placement in the mid-to-late sixties. I recently watched Red Line 7000, a film from 1965, and there were a few Lacoste shirts shown which still featured the lower placement.

    There were also a couple of Baracuta jackets being worn.

  18. Vern Trotter | February 8, 2017 at 4:22 pm |

    I have owned dozens and dozens of the Lacoste croc logo shirts over the years. Somewhere along the way I noticed they would shrink after washing and being placed in the dryer. I stopped wearing them as you can imagine what would happen when laundered by a NYC wash and fold laundry. Maybe I shall try them again.

  19. I am told they shrink in length only. Nevertheless; I take no chances. I dry them in the dryer for about 10 minutes, then carefully lay them flat on the living room carpet to finish drying overnight. Bonus: no ironing required!

    If you plan on using a commercial laundry, you might want to buy one a size up and submit it to a test wash or two before committing to a new dozen. Less popular and/or out-of-season colors are nearly always on sale at the Lacoste website.

  20. I grew up in small-town Canada, a million miles away from anything resembling Ivy style. Crocodile shirts made me think of old men (i.e. in their 40s) playing golf, which was not a look I wanted to emulate as a ’70s teen. When I went to grad school in the US, I discovered the joys of OCBDs, khakis, loafers and tweed jackets. But Lacoste shirts were always a bridge too far. To this day, I’ve owned a lot of polo-style shirts, but none of them has ever had a crocodile on it. You can never get past some youthful prejudices.

  21. Whether you call it an allidile, or a crocogator, I wouldn’t wear a shirt with a critter. But I’m persnickety that way.

  22. Charlottesville | February 8, 2017 at 4:59 pm |

    I wore “alligator shirts,” as we called them, in the 70s and 80s, and then went off them and other logoed wear. But when the Lacoste company took back the license from Izod, I tried a couple again. As Mr. Kraus says, the logos are too high on the current version and they mainly sit on a shelf in my closet, unless I am wearing one under a jacket where the logo won’t be seen. Silly, I suppose, but I just don’t feel comfortable wearing obviously branded clothing.

  23. I think maybe it’s time for an essay on the topic of logos as we’ve never addressed it. Maybe me or DCG or one of you can opine for a bit. The way I see it there are three levels.

    1) Let’s wear logos!

    2) Only fools wear logos, so let’s not

    3) I don’t care, and/or I’m going to do it not as part of group one, but in spite of group 2

    I think it’s similar to black shoes and the concept of the “Internet gentlemen.” Since schmucks wear black shoes, the iGent says brown only. Then group 3 (guys like Alan Flusser, or men [probably just one] who wear “Ivy Chic”) say I’m going to wear black because I know it’s “wrong.”

  24. The Lacoste logo is an original and in my mind gets a pass.. My problem with them is that they no longer have the four inch tail in the back as in the seventies. I assume they are now intended to be worn outside rather than tucked in. I would pay a premium for one of the old style.

  25. I echo the sentiments of Wianno85. The Lacoste logo is special because it was the first. The premier. The numero uno. And has 80 years of history behind it.

    Based on the length and the equal sized front and rear tails, I do believe the current L1212 is meant to be worn outside the trousers.

    In old films, I have seen a version with an elastic bottom, I would like to see them reintroduce that one.

    For me, other logos on shirts (private club logos excepted on court, course or polo field), belt buckles, sunglasses, etc. are verboten. I only give an occasional reluctant pass to the Fred Perry polo (introduced 1952) which features a directly-embroidered Wimbledon laurel wreath.

  26. Here I was thinking me and my 4th grade coterie were the only ones who referred to them that way. I’m pleased Lacoste has maintained consistency with their classic pullovers. My “Friday casual” consists of an alligator shirt, well worn, brown loafers (Gucci horsebits sans socks, egad!) and cuffed RL chinos.

  27. Lexophile, I believe that Mr. Canfield’s glasses are Anglo-American Optical’s Model 406 in tortoise:

  28. Chewco L.P. (N.T.) | February 8, 2017 at 6:10 pm |


    Logos, like one’s entire sense of style, are signals. By wearing “ivy” or “trad” or being “preppy” isn’t one signalling to people that they associates with a certain group or sub-culture? On a superficial level, I would make the assertion that one would definitely want it to be known!

    Now, logos are a microcosm of that: also a signal.

    Individuals in your Group 2 are what people generally refer to as “hipsters.”

    That being said, most people are in Group 3.

  29. Lots of trads in group 2 who are vociferously anti-logo.

  30. When I first started wearing the “clothes” in 1964 we never called the clothes Ivy League, prepp, or traditional. We referred to the clothes by brand or by the store it was from. For example the shirt was a Gant, Sero, or a Brooks. The slacks were Corbin or I got them at Brooks. When you saw a guy in the clothes you new they were made by one of a few brands or from one of a few select stores. The cut and fabric of the clothes was the logo. In those days you could walk into one of many small mens stores across the country and look around and know whether they were selling what is called Ivy League today. The salesmen were helpful and most importantly knowledgeable. Unfortunately, that level of service and knowledge in mens stores today is almost impossible to find.

  31. Jesse Livermore | February 8, 2017 at 9:57 pm |

    Never smile at a crocodile
    No, you can’t get friendly with a crocodile
    Don’t be taken in by his welcome grin
    He’s imagining how well you’d fit within his skin
    Never smile at a crocodile
    Never tip your hat and stop to talk awhile
    Never run, walk away, say good-night, not good-day
    Clear the aisle but never smile at Mister Crocodile

    You may very well be well bred
    Lots of etiquette in your head
    But there’s always some special case, time or place
    to forget etiquette

    Never smile at a crocodile
    No, you can’t get friendly with a crocodile
    Don’t be taken in by his welcome grin
    He’s imagining how well you’d fit within his skin
    Never smile at a crocodile
    Never tip your hat and stop to talk awhile
    Never run, walk away, say good-night, not good-day
    Clear the aisle but never smile at Mister Crocodile

    You may very well be well bred
    Lots of etiquette in your head
    But there’s always some special case, time or place
    to forget etiquette

    For instance:

    Never smile at a crocodile
    No, you can’t get friendly with a crocodile
    Don’t be taken in by his welcome grin
    He’s imagining how well you’d fit within his skin

    Never smile at a crocodile
    Never tip your hat and stop to talk awhile
    Don’t be rude, never mock, throw a kiss, not a rock
    Clear the aisle but never smile at Mister Crocodile

  32. Mr. Koran unfortunately even proper menswear stores with well made clothing are hard to find. You are lucky to have been alive during such a time when people dressed well.

  33. Damned autocorrect, I meant “Korn” not “Koran.”

  34. Mitchell Lee Annis | February 8, 2017 at 10:26 pm |

    Dear Christian,

    Excellent story. As a young reader of this blog reading this makes me yearn to live in a simpler time when clothing was more valued. I enjoy browsing Ivy Style’s articles, and am thankful for all that it has taught me.

  35. @WFBjr Sounds like my uniform with Alden’s or Rancourt’s.

  36. Mr. Annis, I couldn’t have put it better myself.

  37. OK, here’s my position on the matter of logos / black shoes / etc.: Here in California, where there is nothing to lose or risk from a sartorial standpoint, for me it’s: Whatever is on sale wins as long as the quality is in place. Delightfully, it takes only the very slightest of attention and intention to make 99% of the rest of the state look like cave people, so there’s that. Add to that that neighboring Oregon, Nevada, and Mexico pose zero threat, and I’ll order the crocs by the dozen, sight unseen, with complete confidence.

  38. Mitchell S. | February 9, 2017 at 3:59 am |


    Let’s have a poll…


    A) yes, I’m a “brand whore.” Proud of my Polo shirts, Samsung microwave and Apple computer.

    B) no, you’re paying for a label. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. Love my JC Penney polos and generic paper towels.

    C) other/it depends. It’s complicated. Every iGent knows that certain brands (Barbour) are hip and others (like Burberry) have lost their cool and drifted far from their heritage. Google what a chav is in the U.K.

    I’m guessing most millennials are in group B since hipsters are millennials.

    Probably most baby boomers are in group B. Generation Xers (like Mr. C) most likely to be group A. Group C is for iGents and the small minority of guys whole analyze every detail (logo included) of a brand’s history, such as myself.

    For the record, Lacoste was cool until they started to outsource production outside France twenty years ago. Vive Le Croc!

  39. Even though (as I said above) I’ve never knowingly worn a Lacoste, I do like the occasional logo. The SF label Marine Layer does very comfortable polo shirts whose only flaw is that they shrink quickly if you’re lazy and put them in the dryer. Their logo is great: kind of a weird cross between the Golden Gate bridge and a person in a hammock. I just noticed that the newer ones are logo-less though.

  40. Charlottesville | February 9, 2017 at 11:23 am |

    I’m not big on logos and, I could not be called a hipster by any stretch of the imagination. If I have a choice, I will buy a product that does not have an obvious logo because, rightly or wrongly, I think it looks like someone who is trying too hard or showing off, like leaving the cuffs unbuttoned on one’s first custom suit. I have removed exterior tags from shoes and other garments, if it can be done without harming the item, and when I was younger, even razor-bladed off the rear label on my Duck Head khakis before wearing them, so it may simply be a personal neurosis. However, things like the distinctive lining of a Burberry or Barbour coat, or even the various proprietary stripped sleeve linings on suits by Brooks, Polo, and J. Press, are, I suppose, a form of logo, and I don’t worry about these. In fact, I confess to noticing them if I catch a glimpse of the striped or plaid lining on someone and thinking that the wearer is someone who possibly knows what he is doing, which is also probably a diagnosable neurosis in the DSM. But the linings and labels should remain on the inside, generally invisible when an item is worn. I tend to agree with others above that the be-gatored Lacoste shirt gets a pass for historical reasons, but beyond that, I’d rather not have visible labels or logos.

  41. Love the couple in the Bass ad. To me it’s kind of an American ideal, unlike Trump’s trucker hat.

  42. I’m generally quite anti-logo. The great exception, the one obvious branding that I allow myself to wear, is the distinctive stitching on the pockets of Levi’s jeans. I guess I don’t see that as obnoxious primarily because I’ve been wearing Levi’s jeans and cords all my life.

  43. Another thought: The only thing worse than wearing a logo-on-display item is to be falsely self-deprecating by commenting about it along the lines of, “Yes, it was one of my better finds at Goodwill / Salvation Army / second-hand shop.” Or, “This really isn’t me, but it was a gift.” Better to say, I think, “I really wanted the logo, and the shirt (or whatever) came with it! How about that BB sheep hanging in a bow, cool, huh?”

  44. @MLA

    Shout-out to you for such a kind remark. It’s my pleasure. Keep the trad faith.

  45. Chewco L.P. (Non-Taxable) | February 9, 2017 at 1:04 pm |


    You’re saying what I am saying. “Signalling.” The distinctive corduroy collar or plaid lining of a Barbour, or, yes, even the tiny horseman on an RL polo. These are all signals.

    They start to become obnoxious when it has been over-commercialized, cheapened, “mainstreamed,” etc.

    Once in an elevator, a older man complimented my shoes and said “true gentlemen put pennies in their loafers.”

    Whereas some of my peers think I’m a tool for putting pennies in my loafers.

    An iGent might look at Boyer’s black cap-toed oxfords, not knowing who he’s dealing with, and think “what a tool.”

    BTW, do you still wear this monstrosity?

    You’re definitely signalling with that thing on 😉

  46. Of course clothes are signalling signs about everything. That’s what fascinates me about the topic.

    My point was that some are over-eager to signal through the use of brand logos, and as a result others thinking themselves more enlightened very purposefully avoid logos believing they’re only for schmucks.

    The third category is the guys who’ve liberated themselves from both and just don’t care.

    And I”m happy to report all my caps now are single-panel “Ivy” caps; no more floppy 8-panels.

  47. I belong in the three category because for a while I only cared about logos and brands, not about history or quality. Thankfully I grew out of it and the truth is I don’t really pay attention to logos. I wear Lacoste and RL shirts and the logos don’t bother me, they’re subtle and iconic. My Barbour coat has the word “Barbour” stitched on the pocket flap, it is hardy visible as the thread used in the same color as the coat but I’ve seen people complaining about that little detail on menswear forums. I guess some people do have a terrible aversion to any logos, I can’t understand it because I’m indifferent.

  48. I meant “third” not “three” category, autocorrect strikes again.

  49. And, Christian, you’re right about the clothing we wear signaling whether or not we wear logos. A man in a tweed jacket, cords and OCBD is signaling that his style is traditional just as a man wearing a Lacoste shirt and chinos might be signaling the same.

  50. I’ve always been delighted by the personal stories here, such as this one by Mr. Canfield (Miller Canfield is a big law firm in Detroit–any relation? Canfield Avenue is also a well-known street there).

    I’ve also enjoyed the lively discussion about logos. Many years ago (1980), I graduated from a large Midwestern school (as far away from the Ivy League as you could get). While I was there, it was the frat guys who wore the Izod shirts, Weejuns, L.L. Bean gear, etc. This was the height of the preppy boom. If you weren’t in a frat, you DID NOT want to look like one of these guys, and if you were in one, you did not want to look like you didn’t.

    So to this day I have never worn a crocodile shirt, or a shirt with any logo.

    Oh, where were all these guys from? Mostly from the Grosse Pointes!

  51. MacMcConnell | February 9, 2017 at 3:57 pm |

    I’m not married to logos, but I do buy Polo knits, I find them more reliable than Lacoste in laundering, same goes with the modern Fred Perry.

    I prefer Gittman heavy oxford BD shits, but buy Polo button downs in plaids or fancy patterns. Yes I know the Polo collars are too short. Been meaning to try M. Spencers for patterns.

    The only Logos that bothers me are the Speery stamps they started putting on their deck shoes in the 1980s, Polo Big Ponys and the hideous Kangol embroidered logo on their caps. Yes I’ve worn Kangols since the sixties before the logo, unfortunately I replaced a very old navy wool one recently and it’s amazing what a black and navy Sharpie will do.

  52. More trivia from the Kraus Archives:

    In 1956, a scant two years after the dawn of the Ivy Heyday, and five years after Lacoste first began offering colors other than white; Bill Haley & His Comets had a big musical hit with See You Later, Alligator.

  53. And one more arcane factoid:

    Robert Culp was often spotted in Lacoste polos and Lacoste croc-bedecked OCBDs in his role as Kelly Robinson in Spy. This was apropos since his “cover” as a spy was that of an International Tennis Bum.

  54. That is to say I Spy (1965-1968)

  55. “3) I don’t care, and/or I’m going to do it not as part of group one, but in spite of group 2”

    Absolutely fabulous.

    Reminds me of the joke: “First I was a vegetarian because of animal rights. Then I was a vegetarian for health reasons. Now I’m a vegetarian just to annoy people.”

  56. Using clothes as class signaling devices doesn’t always (usually?) work in cross-cultural situation.

    During my Foreign Service tour in Saudi Arabia circa 1977-78 – I came to realize that the Saudi government officials and businessmen I interacted with saw no distinction between Westerners dressed in Ivy League style or then-au courant doubleknit bell bottoms with matching while patent leather shoes and belt.

    And since every Saudi dressed virtually identically while “in Kingdom” THEY used expensive fountain pens and watches to signal status to each other.

  57. Funny about the pennies in the Weejuns. I read somewhere — maybe Lisa Birnbaum’s Preppy Handbook? — that one emphatically does *not* put pennies in one’s loafers, so I never did after reading that. But maybe I’m wrong about the source.

  58. Charlottesville | February 10, 2017 at 2:24 pm |

    I’d be interested in some history of the penny-in-the-loafer question too. When I was a kid I did it, but kids will do whatever those around them do. I can’t imagine doing it now. I recall a few college girls putting pennies in their loafers in the 80s, but have not seen it on anyone recently, male or female. I think I have heard that it had roots on Ivy campuses in the 30s, when Bass first started making [Nor] Weejun shoes but don’t know whether that is true. Messers Boyer and Press probably know.

  59. @CC

    The more I think about it, the more I believe that RL should retire the Polo Horse Logo on absolutely every item they sell except for the classic white tennis shirt for a period of two to three years. Oh, and the white shirt being the only piece with it should not be allowed to go on sale ever, nor ever show up in a discounter like TJ Maxx. Marshall’s, and their own outlet stores.

    Now that will never happen because RLC is a public company and therefor is a slave to 90-day investor reports, but I really think taking that measure would help breakdown the aura of over saturation the company is currently experiencing right now, and would help bring back some of the “aspiration” that built the brand in the first place.

  60. People on these threads often complain about him because he doesn’t stick to the ideal traditional fits, molds and colors of the Ivy look, but the truth is we need RL to stick around and carry the torch. He really is the gateway for many people or can be their first step towards it.

  61. Benjamin, for me Polo was the gateway into adopting a traditional, American style of dress. The brand’s claim was “inspired by tradition but never bound by it” and this was apparent in their beautiful and creative aspirational ads of the 1980’s. However, the brand changed from offering classic-cut clothing with new spins on traditional style to bland preppy style with trendy fits. The quality also took a dive and nowadays the brand closely resembles fast-fashion. They need a near-complete turn around or a miracle and I am praying for either.

  62. @GS

    Since I was born in 1984, I can’t comment on the size and fits back then, but like you, RL lead me to BB, and from there, well, let’s just say that I read this forum daily.

    I will say though that the largest notable change in the “Polo By RL” line that I can recall occurred shortly after they abandoned Rugby and changed the look and name of the blue label tag to just “Polo.” The DB Polo Camel Coat I bought in 2008 and still wear all time is a size 44 and fits perfectly. Yet, when I tried on the same coat new in the Chicago store this year, which looks identical albeit slightly shorter and has the chest flap pocket, I needed the 48T. In addition, I went from L-XL to XL-XXL but only gained 5 to 10 pounds between 2008 and now.

    It is almost as if they took Rugby’s fit and meshed it with the blue label styling. One of my sales clerks told me that they are expecting the sizing to revert back in the coming seasons. If that is true, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the CEO dropping out earlier this month doesn’t hinder that plan because the fact that I still wear and perfectly fit into a size 44 of yesteryear but often need a XXL today is ridiculous.

    As for quality, I think the Blue Label line in itself is also divided into three or four levels as well depending on where it is sold.

    At the bottom you have what they produce for the Outlet (cough, cough Factory) stores and TJ MAXX/Marshall’s. Dreck.

    Just above that you have the product that they sell at Macy’s, Dillard’s, Lord & Taylor etc etc

    Then at the top you have what they sell in their flagship stores. Higher-end department stores like Bloomindale’s have a hybrid of Flagship Store and Macy’s level merchandise as well.

    Now of course there is bound to be some cross over at the different retail fronts, particularly with the licensed stuff (I.e. eyewear, underwear, sweatpants etc), but the cashmere cable knits on Fifth Ave and Michigan Ave are different than even the ones you occasionally find elsewhere. It may be hard to notice because the differences can be subtle to the eye at first, but they’re certainly there.

    I believe in your day they had a brand extension called “Polo University Club” whereas for my generation it was “Rugby.” Both are now defunct, even though they were supposed to be gateways to the higher-end labels in the world of RL. Perhaps they need to bring one of them back under a new name, so that the “Polo by RL” that we used to know and love can return to the way is was too. Birnbach should lead the charge by writing a third book.

  63. Henry Contestwinner | February 13, 2017 at 3:59 pm |

    Mitchell S. wrote,

    It’s interesting to me that even though Rene Lacoste was a famous tennis player, no one call the shirt he wore a “tennis shirt.”

    Actually, Giuseppe at An Affordable Wardrobe called them “tennis shirts,” and I do, too. Now my children do as well, but I always switch to “polo shirt” when speaking to someone other than my children.


    I have some Polo University Club clothes, some bought new, some at thrift stores. Affordable quality, and I wish they’d either revive it or introduce a new line like it.

    CC et al.,

    I wore “alligator shirts” and Levi’s exclusively in high school (interesting combo, I know). Now, I am in the same boat as my twin, Charlottesville: I prefer logo-free clothes, and will remove them when I can. However, I have resigned myself to logos as inescapable on some items, such as sunglasses and casual shoes (plimsolls and the like). Having said that, I would like a nice, crisp, white Lacoste tennis shirt, complete with crocodile logo, for actual tennis playing. (Now if I could only find logo-free white tennis shorts, too…)

  64. I too grew up as a kid in the early 80s with what I thought of as “alligator shirts,” all in primary colors, as I recall. Unlike people around country clubs or other similar places perhaps, I grew up without any exposure to them at all until, when in college, I had just arrived in London and a group of girls was waiting to be admitted to our dorm. One of them was wearing what I hadn’t seen since a kid, and I asked her about it. I think I called it an IZOD shirt, because I knew the name, or maybe not, but in any case it was the first time I became aware they were still making them. Today I have several; I like them because of the alligator and colors, and they are nice shirts, but I don’t wear them as much because of the preppy/yuppie/country club associations, which I suppose is silly, but…. ditto madras, for the most part.

  65. John Zachary | August 18, 2019 at 2:13 pm |

    Count me in as one who wore “alligator” shirts in the 80s. I rediscovered Lacoste a couple of years ago and think the shirt is a good complement to RL polo shirts. Lacoste shirts are made with a lighter fabric, and I find them more comfortable during days in DC with oppressive heat and humidity. I also like the way they wear over time with a subtle fade and relaxing of the logo.

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