School’s Out: Daily Princetonian Seersucker Ads, 1940s

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If you were off on Spring Break or spending the winter in Palm Beach, Princeton’s clothiers of the 1940s had just the clothes you needed, including plenty of seersucker. While not graphically interesting, these ads include interesting copy revealing what was popular with students at the time. — CS & CC

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12 Comments on "School’s Out: Daily Princetonian Seersucker Ads, 1940s"

  1. Roy R. Platt | June 10, 2014 at 11:30 am |

    One can only imagine the bizarre comments from the “foremost authorities” on the internet if someone were to post a picture of themselves wearing the exact items in exactly the same way as they are shown in the Brooks Brothers advertisement.

  2. Sorry, the Brooks ad was misplaced in this post and has been removed. It may pop up later in the week!

  3. What’s the date of the Rosenberg ad?

  4. 1942 and 1941

  5. Based on these prices, a seersucker from Press, adjusted for inflation, would cost about $250.00 today.

  6. Tom Conroy | June 10, 2014 at 7:53 pm |

    Rosenberg’s, a New haven tailor (where I bought my first suit and where my father had his Navy Officer’s uniforms tailored when he was called up again for the Korean war) apparently had a shop near Old Nassau during the Big One. They were in NYC too. I remember it from the embroidered labels.

  7. $ 250.00!! Suits and coats costing less back then..and generally were of better quality.
    This baffles me.

  8. This is a really good question, isn’t it? How and why did (better) retail (clothing) become so expensive? When the markup on a jacket or suit is four or five times wholesale, something has gone wrong.

    A confession of sorts is that I can’t make myself pay full retail for much of anything, especially clothes. If a person makes the effort and tries to learn, there are ways around it. Sales, for sure. But there are good tailors who deal honestly with customers, and, well, one can go directly to the mills for the good cloth. The days of Huddersfield woolens and Scottish homespun tweeds retaining a mysterious aura that only the sartorial gurus at Brooks and the New Haven spin-offs can illuminate are long gone.

    If the shops that advertise on Ivy-Style.com relied upon people like me, they’d go out of business in a matter of days.

  9. Waldo Walters | June 11, 2014 at 12:02 am |

    “Hitherto” in ad copy for a clothes sale — love that.

  10. “This is a really good question, isn’t it? How and why did (better) retail (clothing) become so expensive? When the markup on a jacket or suit is four or five times wholesale, something has gone wrong”.

    I think that cost of work incresed at some point (70s?) and this is because clothing industries began to relocate in other countries.
    Taxes maybe are another reason.
    But i think that the main reason is especially excessive greed (also consider that often the expensive clothing ( of questionable quality) are make in poor countries in sweatshops).

  11. Considering that the average car cost $850 in 1940 and $1500 in 1950, I blame Keynesian economics and the continuation of currency devaluation.

    Most retail pricing is “keystone”, twice wholesale cost.

  12. Carmelo has it nailed: Cost of work. Labor used to be cheaper than materials, not just in clothing, but in many lines of goods.

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