Some months ago we ran a photo of a striped sportcoat. Either that or I mentioned finding them cool. Whichever it was, I remember several readers chiming in to say that this was a faux pas, that stripes only belong on suits, and that a striped sportcoat was destined to look like an orphaned suit.
Well probably because I’m a sportcoat guy rather than suit guy, I think the gent on the left below is a lot more stylish than the one on the right:
Yes, striped odd jackets were once as Ivy as, well, the color olive. Though rarely seen today save for the occasional model from J. Press… (Continue)
What? Headline makes perfect sense to me. What did you think it was referring to? Honi soit qui mal y pense.
The shagging in question is of the dancing kind, to that delightful mishmash musical genre known as “Beach Music,” the subject of a lengthy article in the latest issue of O. Henry, a magazine that bills itself “the art and soul of Greensboro.”
The story centers on a legendary nightspot in ’60s called the Castaways. Writes author Stephen E. Smith:
When I asked a commuter student about the Castaways, he explained that it catered to college kids, all of them white, and featured local bands, also white, and the occasional Motown, Atlantic, Stax or other R&B acts, most of them black, performing popular music for dancing the shag, or as it was called in those days and in that place, the basic. “If you’re going to the Castaways,” my informant cautioned, “you better know how to dance the basic.”
But knowing how to shag wasn’t all; you also had to look the part. Explains Smith:
A male who danced at the Castaways wore a sports jacket and tie… over a starched white Oxford-cloth button-down shirt cursively monogrammed at the collar and cuff. Trousers were usually high-waisted, with a shiny alligator belt transvexing the dancer like a sack of meal. It was obvious that footwear was of the utmost importance… and highly-buffed alligator wingtipped tasseled loafers were the shoe of choice. I possessed none of the appropriate accouterments, but hoped to skate by with my khaki trousers, a blue dress shirt sans monogram, my new Harris Tweed sport coat, and Weejuns.
The article is viewable online by heading over to the O’Henry home page. Enter 59 in the page window located above the current issue, and print or zoom to read.
Also check out our previous Ivy Style story on “Shag The Movie.” — c C m
As a follow-up to yesterday’s post by Stephen Mason on Rogers Peet, here’s a selection of the now-defunct menswear company’s vintage advertisements. (Continue)
Update, 7 June, 11:55 AM: Camel City Dispatch has the latest minor developments on the story.
Update, 4 June, 10:23 AM: WRAL has pressed Representative Holloway on the WASP 101 story, who has said he’s just another man in a Brooks Brothers tie:
Monday night, offered the chance to reconsider his denial, Holloway declined.
“I’ve just made the only comment that I’m going to make, and that’s it. I’m going to stick by what I said. I don’t really see it as news or a story, so we’re just finished with it.”
Holloway said the coincidental similarities between himself and “Richard” prove nothing.
“One thing I would point out is how many brown dachshunds are out there, how many Brooks Brothers ties are hanging on the rack at a Brooks Brothers store,” he told WRAL. “I’m 5’10”, I have brown hair, I’m white. There’s a hundred million people who could look just like me.”
What about the North Carolina politics link?
“I haven’t even read [the blog,]” Holloway said. “Again, I stick with what I said. Do whatever you will, write whatever you will. I’m done with it.”
An audio clip of Holloway being asked about WASP 101 can be heard here.
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Rogers Peet was inducted into the halls of Americana with the song “Marry The Man Today” from the 1950 musical, “Guys & Dolls.” The lyrics tout the clothier as among “the better things: respectable, conservative and clean,” in company with the likes of Readers’ Digest, Guy Lombardo, golf, galoshes and Ovaltine.
That may befit the era, but with the sole exception of golf, I prefer the associations made by Jonathan Yardley in his moving memoir of his parents’ life, “Our Kind of People.” Yardley’s grandfather, Alfred Gregory, was a Rogers Peet man; a person who “liked to go first-class,” who gave his piano-playing wife a Steinway grand, who had his family’s photographs “taken by Fabian Bachrach,” and who “bought his boring gray suits at Rogers Peet.” (Continue)
Today is my nine-year anniversary of blogging, and I’m here to splash cold water on the face of anyone thinking of taking it up: Blogging is publishing, and publishing is the public dissemination of content. In choosing to do it, you make yourself a public figure. (Continue)