Power Dressing, 1965

A Black Power activist in 1965 with striped tie, pinned club collar, and two-on-the-cuff. Plus damn cool goatee and shades. From the 1998 book “Men Of Color” by Lloyd Boston

23 Comments on "Power Dressing, 1965"

  1. My first thought on seeing this photo of all three faces juxtaposed together was of Tom Wolfe’s Radical Chic.

  2. Those shades look weirdly contemporary, foreshadowing the bro-shades of a later era.

  3. This could be part of an IS series–Ivy beyond the halls of official WASPdom. Or something such. You get the idea–outside its natural habitat(s).

    Catholic schools, for instance. I’ll contend Holy Cross (College Of) is preppier than Sewanee, Hampden-Sydney, and W&L combined. Now that Mainline Protestants have traded tradition for fads, the Jesuits have the upper (trad) hand.

  4. Evan Everhart | February 11, 2019 at 4:52 pm |

    Hep Cat. Most definitely.

    -And those modernist sunglasses frames were kind of a thing at the time from the reference of various media sources I’ve come across. Saw those in an episode or two of Mission: Impossible, this photograph obviously, a scattering of other photographs of the general era, and of course in The Graduate. Cant say I approve of the wrap around models that resemble modern Oakleys, but this fellow’s shades are more moderate in form; not full on and odiously sci-fi or groovy either. Great shirt-collar too!

  5. pani.muzquiz@gmail.com | February 11, 2019 at 4:54 pm |

    I think he’s a time traveler.

  6. Black Power – Socially Acceptable, White Power = Not so much… Why is that?

  7. Nice bait, Ethan.

    The photo is great, Christian, thanks for sharing.

  8. I love every bit of this. A sturdy cool appeal while protesting for rights.

  9. @Ethan

    Think about it. Then keep your thoughts to yourself.


  10. MacMcConnell | February 11, 2019 at 6:51 pm |

    I’m just a white guy, but over at RL they are selling a saddle oxford in snuff suede with brown leather saddle, $180 regularly for $125 with an extra 40% off, $75. I don’t work for RL, but if you are in the market? I bought them last week on a lark and am very pleased.

  11. Carmelo Pugliatti | February 11, 2019 at 7:01 pm |

    Stop the world in 1965|

  12. Why was he dressed that way ? Because white men in charge dressed that way, and his attire showed he could be taken seriously.

  13. Is he dressing to impress the white girls in the audience or just trying to “fit in”?

  14. This has a lot to do with access– stores that sold the clothing.

    There was “Main Street Ivy,” but, by 1957, Southwick was available in sixty-two stores (towns). Interestingly, there was only one Southwick retailer in New York City. Hint: Initials are P.S.

    Some of them go way back: The Andover Shop, Krawcheck’s in Charleston (Later Max’s Men’s Store), Robert Kirk Ltd. in San Francisco. Most of them now rest in peace, including The Young Men’s Shop (Charlottesville) and Nelson & Gwatkin in Richmond.

    By this point, Southwick had declared all-out war upon other Ivy stylists. The campaigns boasted of “Superflex” softness (Take that, Norman Hilton!). The worsted panama suitings weren’t merely lightweight; they were “Phantom Weight.”

    Wonder where the guy in the picture bought his suit.

  15. Black power, huh. Is there not even one normal corner of the internet left anymore to just relax and take a breather?

  16. Ezra Cornell | February 13, 2019 at 2:25 am |

    A black man in tie and jacket makes you that uncomfortable? Poor thing. Welcome to America.
    Hooray for Christian for posting this and others celebrating the broad Ivy Style family.

  17. While I share Christian and others’ distaste for, and quick rebuke of, the questions (and implications) offered by Ethan — I think it’s important to answer clearly. I say this because, in my capacity as a professor, I have noticed a strain of too-clever-by-half logical literalism that allows young men (mostly) to point out what they perceive to be illogical ‘liberal’ shibboleths. We see it for example in the spate of ‘It’s OK to be White’ posters springing up at campuses across the continent last year. *Of course* in a literal sense it is ‘ok to be white’, but the point is these types of displays are beyond the pale for two (among others) very good and clear reasons. So no, to make such statements is not to be clever or to point hypocrisy. And no, there is no equivalence between ‘white power’ and ‘black power’, and here’s why (again, minimally, not exhaustively):

    1. Assertions of racial identity by a *majority* is ALWAYS different than assertions of racial identity by a *minority* — there is an inherent danger in the former which does not exist in the latter, full stop. This would be true with respect to any set of ethnicities (various examples exists on the African continent whereby appeals to ethnic pride on the part of majority tribes was a prelude to ethnic violence). In this sense it need not even be about ‘white’ and ‘black’ but about majority/minority. BUT ALSO:

    2. HISTORY. This is particularly key in the American context. The legacy of white supremacism is undeniable (and I say this as someone who doesn’t like Ta-nehisi coates and bristles at contemporary grievance-based identity politics) and therefore renders any and all contemporary claims regarding white ethnic solidarity immediately suspect. There is an ugly history associated with these sentiments such that even glib claims regarding ‘its ok to be white’ are rendered morally suspect.

    For these reasons alone (there are others) it is not simply a case of “if other groups do it why can’t we”; and again, its not being clever or pointing out hypocrisy to insist otherwise.

    I’m sure for almost all of us here these things of course don’t need to be said, but again in my experience these types hear responses of ‘shut up’ or ‘keep it to yourself and move on’ as confirmation that they’re being literal and logical and other people just refuse to consider it because of some kind of indoctrination. The point is there are clear and obvious reasons why there is no equivalency, and you’re not being clever if you don’t know them, just ignorant.

  18. I would just nuance the above by questioning whether we should treat what constitutes a “majority” and what constitutes a “minority” as self evident. Further, I would question whether those terms are useful in meaningful ways given the shared experiences of the poor across race and gender. I understand the over emphasis on class as an analytical category in the past, but I would suggest that race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, and religion are not necessarily more useful categories.

    In other words, something is happening to make disparities in our world pathological. And I’m not convinced the minority/majority binary system is up to the task of explaining it.

  19. For sure, I was just making the case in as simple terms as possible using ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ in their literal, numerical sense. In this narrow sense they are self-evident (more members of X than of Y in a given population).

  20. That’s fine, but it also ought to prompt us to think more deeply about the connected claim that there is always an inherent danger with expressions of ethnic pride from a majority that aren’t present in a minority. I don’t think we can take that as a given, either. But I’m willing to ignore that concern as being something that we probably disagree on in deep ways that can’t be worked out in a comments section. Other than that, I appreciate the depth with which you’ve addressed the issues you have, correctly to my mind, identified within the mini-discourse on this post.

  21. Hmm yes I think I see what you mean, call it a useful heuristic than, sufficient for present purposes but worthy of deeper consideration. I certainly don’t mean to imply that there is *no* danger in expressions of ethnic pride from a minority (however defined). But yes, *tips cap*.

  22. Myron B.Cook | February 18, 2019 at 4:05 pm |

    Found my copy and the picture featured is on page 184. As LLoyd Boston’s subtitle states —-Fashion, History, Fundamentals. From the historical perspective the few campus shots from Morehouse college brought back memories because I recognized several fellow undergrads. As I reflect on some of the comments I am assured once again that “the more things change the more they remain the same”.

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