James Kraus, who’s been featured on Ivy Style previously for his book “Jet Age Cooking For The Bachelor Gourmet,” recently read Helen Gurley Brown’s 1962 best-seller, because that’s the sort of thing you read when you’re into vintage bachelorhood.
He spied this interesting passage from a chapter called “Shopping In Men’s Departments” and forwarded it:
Rarely will you meet your love, or even a date for Sunday brunch, among the briar pipes and Harris tweeds. Another place, true, where the men are but alas, not adventurous ones. Those who spend their lives shuttling between inventory and stock control are usually married and security-minded.
Shopping for tie racks and other male accessories, however, is a good way to practice your femininity. Donna says a sort of gracious-lady attitude sweeps over her in men’s departments as she trustingly asks whether Oxford is as nice to be next to as broadcloth. I wouldn’t want it back but this must be how it was in the Edwardian era when men were all-wise and women were all wiles. I must say the staff at Brooks Brothers, Los Angeles, can make you feel like a grand duchess pondering some sartorial tidbit for the duke. They’re the most, and adorable.
As for the photo above, which was taken at the Brooks Brothers flagship by LIFE Magazine in the 1950s, one of those people is in the wrong department. — CC