Frequent comment-leaver Old School alerted us to this 1966 Gant ad, which he’d found on the web but didn’t think had been tumblred to death.
The ad copy attests to correctness of Gant’s oxford buttondowns, including its “casual roll of the collar.”
The ad below, from the previous year is even more verbose:
We chose Gant because they take shirt making seriously. They’re hard to please (like we are) when it comes to fit of collar, its roll, its profile — how much it shows above the suit collar. They’re fastidious about the way the body of the shirt drapes and folds. All must integrate to achieve that viable ingredient which gives comfort and aplomb. In substance, Gant shirts are keyed to the discerning tastes of well groomed men who appreciate quality. These men are our customers.
God/the devil is forever in the details. — c C m
That is some good copy. I have heard nothing but good things about vintage Gant shirts from guys who were around during the heyday of Ivy League Style.
It’s true! Gant, collars were the best looking button downs in the market. They road high on the neck with a near, if not perfect, role. My father swore by them. To me, the collar setup is what makes or breaks the shirt. Gant owned the collar!
Gant shirts and weejuns were the two iconic symbols of Ivy Style in the mid 60’s
Apparently college students were expected to take the time to read advertising copy. Now, their attention span is far more limited.
Right about Gant and Weejuns, but also Canoe. Surprising that CC has not written about it yet.
Canoe!, that’s a blast from the very distant past. Anyone remember Gravel? In KC it was Gant and Creighton shirts, Corbin pants with Canterbury wool surcingle belt, Weejuns or Alden monk straps with a splash of Canoe or Gravel, Adler socks optional.
So you really mean Canoe the fragrance? We’ve written about bay rum several times and its association with Madison Avenue. Was Canoe sold at campus shops?
1966, senior year in high school. Had a after school job and a charge account at the Yale Co-Op. Got those Gant OCBD’s in all colors plus stripes and wore them all through college with the Co-Op Shetland sweaters plus one $17 shaggy dog and loafers from Barry’s. Life was Trad Good in New Haven in those days. Now my OCDD’s are Brooks. Loafers vintage Cole H and Polo cotton crew necks. Not even remotely close!
I had two, and later three Shaggy Dogs in college. They were a lot pricier than the Co-Op shetlands — had a stack of them for everyday wear.
Canoe, the fragrance, was no. 1 with the Ivy League crowd (but Gravel was very popular too, as was Agua Lavanda Puig [Sinatra’s favorite]).
The first campus shop I worked in, in 1959-1961, wanted to carry Canoe, but Dana sent a salesman around to check us out first. He looked around the shop for a hour and then said we were not good enough.
It fell so far out of favor 25-30 years later that JC Penny and drugstores were about the only place to find it.
I can row a boat…..Canoe?
Canoe, Gravel, Barnaby Bitters and the usual lyme colognes were sold in most ivy / soft shoulder shops in the midwest.
Can anyone recommend a pair of sunglasses? I’m looking at the O’Malley frames from Oliver Peoples, although my track record for sunglasses doesn’t justify the price tag. Also looking at the Downing from Warby Parker. Any other suggestions?
Man up, go with Ray Ban Aviators…. Wayfarers are too in right now.
It took us years to learn that it was pronounced kah-know-weigh, not kuh-knew.
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal was what Bostonians used.
Yes, it was kah-know-weigh.
I like the look of Oliver Peoples frames. I have Anglo-American frames for reading and sunglasses, but wear Ray Ban aviators with wraparounds for more physical activities.
@kencpollock and LA Trad No, it was kuh- knew. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH3Ya2rpsdY ( I believe that great voice over is Rosko one of the first FM rock Disc jockeys in NY in the mid 60s)
At least one New England shirt maker believes those old (admittedly great) shirts can be examined carefully and replicated. Whether science or art, in today’s market, replication isn’t difficult if skilled artisans are involved.
Back to the copy: the “casual roll of the collar” is asserted. What’s interesting is the contrast with the stiff, arguably more formal collars. This speaks volumes about the sprez that marks Ivy. Studied, perhaps. But still.
So much of the look is soft: padding, lapel roll, unlined shirt collar roll, shaping. Even the shoes: weren’t Weejuns unlined?
I used to think the precisely dimpled tie knot and sharp pant crease looked out of place with all the other sprezzy facets of the look. I am returning to that view.
I understand what you’re saying, but isn’t it a matter of personal taste? I like starting the day out in a nicely pressed pant, perfect dimple, and bullet proof starched BD. Trust me, by the end of the day I look “spezzy”. 🙂
Yes, Weejuns are still unlined.
As unsophisticated West Coast undergrads in the early 60s, we thought it was kuh-knew. When we migrated eastward and encountered civilization, we discovered that it was kah-know-weigh.
I had both the Aviators and Wayfarers from Ray Ban, but the aviators are not drunk-proof, and every college kid has wayfarers, which is probably how I lost my pair. Still looking for some decent tortoiseshells at a decent price. Thanks for the suggestions, though.
I wonder, did Langrock sell Gant?
I think they carried Troy made oxfords. But I’m told they sourced their own cloth.
There’s an old Princeton Alumni Weekly (volume 78) Langrock ad that declares Langrock “the only true purveyor of the Ivy look in men’s clothing in America today.”
The ad confirms why.
“The Ivy look means natural shoulders. It means three button style. It means unobtrusive lapels. It means distinguished traditional tailoring. It means comfort as well as fit. It means fine fabrics, superbly tailored.”
If Gant was all that, one would think yes. But, as others have hinted, it was Haute Ivy. No Southwick or NH there.
By “it” I mean Langrock.
I bought a few of the re-issue Yale Co-op shirts last year and really liked the traditional fit and detail. This year I go to buy some more and find the fit has changed dramatically. For me last years collar fit was Large, this year its Medium but the Medium body size is now quite short and much more fitted.
I thought the whole point of these shirts was to re-issue a classic fit but then after 1 year they seem to have ditched the idea in favour of something more “fashionable”. Why?
I have identified two Langrock shirt makers so far. They used Troy Guild and a firm called Embassy Shirtmakers LTD who were at 350 5th Ave. RN#16372. As with any shop that contracts private label I am sure there were other shirtmakers used over the years.
Good investigative work. Many thanks. It’s always nice to actually talk about clothing–the retailers, the cloth merchants, and the manufacturers.
Volume 78 of PAW is circa 1977.
I appreciate the audacity. By that year, perhaps they were the last bastion of pure Ivy as Mr. Frank defined it.
“Only true purveyor.”
Langrock’s used Southwick, at least for a while. Likely private labeled it.
If I come across any more Langrock shirt makers I will let you know. Is that PAW Vol, you mention on the web?
It should be.
You can still get Canoe actually…I got a Bottle at Walmart of all places
Re: Mr. Wyllis’s comment:
You can also get plain-front khakis and OCBD shirts at Walmart and be better dressed than 99% of the men you see on the street. Actually, you’ll even look better than many of the customers you’ll see at Brooks Brothers. Unfortunately, there’s no dress code for shopping at BB, or a doorman endorcing the code. I try to divert my attention from many of the other customers there, or, preferably, order online.
Note: Canoe is available at CVS, too.
Surprisingly, Wally World has decent plain front cotton drill khaki shorts. Faded Glory made in Bangladesh, brass zipper, on seam pockets, two buttoned finished back pockets, finished well constructed waist. They don’t always have them in stock, but next time you’re buying motor oil or ammo check it out, $16. 😉
Gant shirts have always been a big favorite of mine. This past year I sent them some of their vintage stock for their archives.
It’s not surprising atl all, sir. Khakis started as everyman’s garb, ascended to the heights of Ivy/preppy/trad style and are once again available to everyman, hence authentic Americana, not the exclusive property of the idle rich, and those who aped them.
Best guess is that they just didn’t sell very well. So “fashionable” won out once again.