This Day In 1959

claxton coltrane

…. the Guggenheim Museum opened.

One year later William Claxton took the above photo of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. A previous Ivy Style tribute to Coltrane (and the Claxton photo shoot) is here, while a post on striped sportcoats is here.

As for posts on buttondown-collared shirts, Mr. Erik J. has weighed in on the new “FIGHT!” (the term he used on Twitter) between Brooks Brothers and Kamakura Shirts for your oxford dollars. — CC


19 Comments on "This Day In 1959"

  1. Cool picture ! The Guggenheim seemed like a much more civilized place – now I can only go there in the very early morning and during weekdays… The large crowds with super sized proportions, fanny packs and Chicago Bulls caps take away from the experience but ooh…what a pleasure is to walk early in the morning and wander the halls with not too many people around!

    As for the new fight, thank you for the link! Kamas are great and have potential, and some will prefer them and that’s fine by me.

    My only “beef” is when the Brooks and Jpress shirts get trashed in the process, which is unfair and reeks of internet groupthink. I wish Kama good luck and hope BB and Press continue to make their made in the USA OCBDs. It will be a sad day if they ever stop making them!

  2. Thanks for the mention, Christian!

    @Jazz Man: It actually wasn’t my intention to trash Brooks or J Press (I’m a fan of both and am wearing a Brooks OCBD and tie as I write this). But, I do admit to being a little critical of Brooks. While Kamakura is made overseas, I feel that they have an enthusiasm for Ivy Style and a desire to replicate the traditional details, which is something (in my opinion) Brooks has sacrificed to become a global entity. I like their OCBDs, but for that price range I like the Kama slightly better. I don’t know how it would fare against O’Connell’s or Mercer, though. I have nothing bad to say about J Press, except that I can’t afford more of their items.

  3. Erik – no worries – I enjoyed your post! And I was not referencing you. My fear is that as some get caught up with enthusiasm for Kama- they may forget that Brooks, Press, Mercer, O’connells, Cable Car Clothiers, Paul Stuart and Ben Silver are also making great shirts – The Brooks when bought on sale come out to $55 a piece- that’s an amazing deal for a USA made garment.

    I also wish kamakufa would do a true regular/traditional fit. Something like Brooks, Mercer, Press and O’connell’s make. This roomy fits are getting harder to find. I do have several Kamakura shirts and may even go to their anniversary (I was invited but may be busy that week). It’s good to have Kamakura in Madison – but I will always support Jpress and USA made Brooks ocbd’s

  4. Definitely! I agree that the problem I see with Kama is their sizing. My size was only available in the “Tokyo Classic Fit” which is a “generous cut,” but seems slimmer than a Brooks. Their New York is probably roomier, but the sizing seemed rather long. I think they’re expecting that cut to be popular with NBA players.

  5. Quite a body of work for a man who passed at the age of 40. RIP Trane!

  6. I agree- there is room for all- Brooks shouldn’t be bashed and I am guilty of that. Took a friend there today to get him the non-iron, 3 shirt deal (he is a slob and is going on a series of interviews and doesn’t know what an iron is…) I was surprised that the non-iron was only available in pinpoint, not oxford. I didn’t know that.

  7. Kamakura sizing is my one complaint about them. I bought a shirt from them, and it fit perfectly out of the bag, but shrank when laundered. Simple solution: get the next longest sleeve length, but there was no next longest.

    I’m not a big guy (6′, 180 lbs.) but I have wide shoulders and long arms. I don’t think there are many men in Japan with a build like mine. But my size is available at BB, JPress, and O’Connell’s, as well as most other places (for shirts, that is, suits and sport coats I have to have made for me.) Bill’s Khakis size L shirts fit me perfectly.

    I suspect that standard sizes in the Japanese market support a much smaller range of physiognomies than the much more diverse US market.

  8. Someone has told me he thinks the supima oxford is shinier than it used to be and that Brooks has changed fabrics. Anyone else noticed this?

  9. I just bought 3 on last Thursdays corporate discount day. They are the same as before. There can always be slight variations in fabrics but if anything I’ve noticed that the BB’s OCBDs cloth is looking better and more substantial than the ones from 5 years ago. I find the BB Oxford cloth better than the ones from Press though I prefer the Jpress for their flap pocket and collar roll… Though this is just my opinion and personal presence.

    There’s always variations on shirts, my Mercers cloth texture and cloth vary sometimes from year to year…

  10. I noticed the difference in the white Supima cotton OCBD. It was oddly glossy, and not as thick as usual; in fact it was porous. I compared it to the Gatsby OCBD and the fabric was the same, so I didn’t buy it. The salesperson also brought a blue and a blue stripe and they were unchanged (I have both and a red stripe at home).

    I would really be interested to know if anyone has had the same experience recently.

  11. I bought a white oxford last year from Brooks that was shiny-ish and much more translucent than I remembered older ones of mine being–I.e., this one requires an undershirt for common decency, while the old ones did not. The other colors I have had no problem with.

  12. Yes, the white does seem to be shinier, almost like a royal oxford. I’m hoping it’ll loosen up a bit after a few washes.
    The x3 deal on the original, non non-iron BB oxfords is the best around. I love the Kamakuras but the BBs are tough as all heck and it’s good to support the US manufacturing. I’m still not sure about the Mercers. Last oxford I got (white) was a nice cut but the cloth was kind of flimsy, in fact it didn’t have the heft of a Uniqlo oxford. I’ve never tried their blue OCBD….

  13. The white Brooks oxford I purchased several months ago definitely feels different than the oxford that I had purchased two years ago.

  14. So interesting. The Ivy-Jazz connection transcends the limits of both subjects, in a way. Some may delight in reminding us of the historic affiliations with the Eastern Establishment, most particularly the Big Three and the CFR and the major banks and law firms and so on, but the occasional mention of Ivy style in reference to something like jazz, co opted by Society but still a wild beast, serves to remind us that the style cannot be reduced to St. Grottlesex and the Big Three.

    If it was preferred (briefly) by members, young and old, of the Establishment, it was also, it turns out, worn by horn-playing hipsters. And people who have never been to New England. Now, that’s radical.

    And who, among the moderate-liberal American East Coast establishment, sports the style with anything resembling frequency? These days, one sees more Ivy in Brooklyn and among conservatives, Southerners, and libertarian-leaning, anti-establishment types (like P.J. O’ Rourke, for instance) than the halls of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley, & McCloy.

    In fact, there’s a kind of absurdity to continuing to refer to the look as “Ivy”–as though a majority of students, faculty, and alums of Ivy League schools have any interest in this style, or, for that matter, any style worthy of mention.

  15. @S.E.

    Precisely why I now prefer to use “Trad”, rather than “Ivy”, to describe my chosen style of clothing.

    I certainly don’t want to be associated with today’s Ivy Leaguers: Unshaven, unhealthy-looking types in motto-emblazoned t-shirts, unwashed jeans, and flipflops.

  16. @Curmudgeon

    I like Newton Street Vintage’s term “the old New England look”.

  17. What about that crazy Internet guy’s term “New York department-store look”? (He means specialty store of course; Macy’s is a department store).

    But stay tuned: Chris Sharp has excavated some interesting insight on the term “trad” when it comes to this kind of clothing.

  18. @ Christian

    Related to the Japanese usage, we may guess?

  19. @SE


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