Penny For Your Thoughts

One day at my local thrift shop I came across the 1997 book “All American” by Tommy Hilfiger. It only has a few pictures worth presenting, which is fine, since it only cost a buck. So let’s jump in.

In the shot below there’s great contrast between the formal and informal, as a pinned club collar is played against a sweater, cream socks and loafers:

Weejuns are shoes for knocking around in, not obsessing over every little scuff. Photo by Cornell Capa, 1958:

Then-and-now chart:

Hilfiger could serve as the very personification of the rapid fall in popularity of the Ivy League Look. The book includes a section on Ivy style, with Hilfiger saying it’s what he and all his friends wore as youths. Below is his high school yearbook photo from 1967.

A few years later, with a budding career in fashion and a rapidly changing social landscape, he would look very different. — CC

17 Comments on "Penny For Your Thoughts"

  1. Are those even Weejuns in photo no. 2? They look like split toes to me.

  2. Checked photo in book and you’re right.

  3. Man, those Weejuns up top – the leather is so much nicer than the ones I’m wearing right now.

  4. What are the Pennys in the top photo? They’re definitely not weejuns? Anyone know??? Thanks!

  5. Why do the Weejuns look so different in this photo as opposed to the ones sold now, which have a heavy sheen and are usually of a much tougher (cheaper) leather???

  6. Christian | March 1, 2009 at 7:00 pm |

    Zach (not our Zach, by the way), there’s a thread at Ask Andy you should check out:

  7. Memphis88 | March 1, 2009 at 9:16 pm |

    I just got a pair a few months ago and will be performing the stripping method from Ask Andy tomorrow to try to get rid of the sheen.

  8. Beautiful shoes. Nicely worn in and comfortable looking.

    Well done.

  9. That ‘then-and-now’ chart is depressing, but I bet it wasn’t meant as a negative. Tommy sells most of that crap.

  10. Forest Lacroix | February 20, 2019 at 1:52 am |

    Couldn’t see any of the photos on my phone. Tried my PC, and couldn’t see them there either.

  11. apropos nothing, today would be a good day to revisit the (Ivy/Preppy/Collegiate) style of Bernie Sanders. As we look back, we observe a steady stream of herringbone tweeds, OCBDs, and corduroy.

    A retreat from the spread-collared, fat (tie)-knotted, black-cap-toed administration we’re enduring.

  12. A few years back, I obtained a pair of these in black: I stripped them, dyed them, lexol’ed them, creamed them, and waxed them. I could have skipped the wax, but that’s just my preference. They turned out beautifully. As they are black, I wear them after dark on casual occasions. I’ve been considering obtaining another pair in burgundy and preparing them with the same routine, changing the color to a lighter shade of tan/brown for more frequent daytime use.

  13. What happened to the photos, CC?

  14. Old School Tie | February 20, 2019 at 3:14 pm |

    Regarding leather quality, my Bass camp mocs have excellent quality, very pliable, pull-up leather.they seem to have stopped making them though, just selling off remaining stock. This all relates to previous articles this week regarding the resurgence of Ivy in the fashion world – the casual consumer isn’t looking for nor is obsessed by quality or details. Manufacturers just cash in and take the path of least resistance. More profitable I guess. A bit like the RL Knit Oxford – almost impossible to find, but if you want the (significantly) lesser lightweight mesh version, no problem. Again, must come down to profit margins.

  15. Photos are showing for me….

  16. CC,
    Every image up to and including Feb. 18 was fine.
    Starting with Feb. 19 (A Penny for your Thoughts) no images are visible in the post itself. All of the ads (images) are visible. All images prior to Feb 19 are still visible.

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