In The Clearing Stands A Boxer: National Underwear Day, 2014

Tue 5 Aug 2014 - Filed under: 1990-present — Christian
Comments (21)

mercerbox

Amid the hoopla of National Underwear Day (yes, there is such a thing), one boxer stands out among the crowd: that of Mercer & Sons.

You can get them in pima oxford cloth by special request, but David Mercer says pinpoint oxford is better, telling us, “As a longtime fan of two-ply pima oxford shirts and boxers, I have decided that pinpoint, which I feel is a poor cousin to oxford and broadcloth for shirts, actually makes a superior boxer. Less bulky and the cloth really gets smooth over time.”

And with undergarments this fine, who’d want to take them off? — CC

 

Ivy’s Place On The The Sartorial Totem Pole

Mon 4 Aug 2014 - Filed under: 1920s-'40s,Historic Images — Christian
Comments (4)

lynes

Following the mention of Paul Fussell’s pinpoint-accurate and hilarious book “Class” in our last post, faithful reader “Old School” sent us a reminder about another entertaining class theorist, Russell Lynes. The above chart comes from Lynes’ 1949 book “The Tastemakers.” His 1953 Esquire article on the shoe hierarchy at Yale, which we presented several years ago, is a must-read.

We also featured him back when we were a wee little site of six months old. — CC

 

Authentic Ivy League Suits Sanitized For Freshness

Sun 3 Aug 2014 - Filed under: 1950s,Historic Images — Christian
Comments (11)

bigu

This ad from a 1959 issue of Sports Illustrated is interesting for a number of reasons. Most obvious is the ad’s premise of dressing young. From our perspective 55 years later, the men in the ad could hardly look more mature. Yet such were the small distinctions of suit-wearing at the time.

Then, in the box on the right, is the apparent trademarking of this “authentic IVY LEAGUE Model.”

And finally there’s the italicized line in the lower left about being “sanitized linings for hygieneic freshness,” with exclamation point.

I recall Paul Fussell’s having a fitting remark about champagne in his book “Class” (DCG, please return my copy.) Something about how the middle class always saves the unused portion by putting aluminum foil over the top, thereby satisfying its dual yet competing desires for luxury (pronounced “lugzhury”) and thrift.

Or, in this case, an authentically prestigious Ivy League model priced “regardless of budget” and sanitized for freshness. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

 

Going Native In 2014

Fri 1 Aug 2014 - Filed under: 1990-present,Clothes — Christian
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batik1

In a previous article, I mentioned that native prints are not common among Ivy retailers today. This possibly overreaching assessment prompted me to make a more thoughly investigation of current offerings.

I approached O’Connell’s, the purveyor of all things traditional and known for its expansive collection of old stock. I struck out in finding any vintage heyday batik, but manager Ethan Huber shared with me the news that he was successful selling native prints last year and is offering again this year. The supplier of O’Connell’s native fabric items is Bills Khakis.

Readers who have followed the brand over the years have watche it go from one product to many. I asked founder Bill Thomas about native prints, and he said he’s offering the Parker model short in a kalamkari fabric. Kalamkari is an Indian fabric similar to batik. “The patterns were discovered in the archives of an old mill,” says Thomas. “It went back 50 years and took two days to look at all the samples of madras and kalamkari.” The fabric was introduced on a whim and is one of the more playful items in the collection. Thomas admits that Kalamkari is “off the register” both in wildness and in production. The hand-screening technique used creates imperfections in the print design. The shorts offered by Bill’s are in a 4.5-ounce cotton and 9.75 inseam. The Bills website offer two colors of Kalamkari shorts, golden sand and beach grass. Thomas suggests pairing them with solid polos, washed oxfords and chambray.

newbat

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Chez Cheever For Sale

Thu 31 Jul 2014 - Filed under: Personae — Christian
Comments (5)

728cheever-web-06

A few weeks ago, on a short jaunt to Westchester County, I passed a sign for Ossining and immediately thought of John Cheever.

Now it turns out the former house of the author nicknamed “Ovid in Ossining” is for sale. Newsweek has a great story on both the author and the property. — CC

 
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