As time creeps to a standstill under the virus lockdown, I’ve taken to going through my email inbox. People have been sending me random Ivy stuff for over a decade, and there’s a lot I still haven’t gotten to. So going forward I’ll start mixing it in with the news.
Cue the soundtrack, which comes to us from The Who and an early song that invokes Ivy League jackets and white buckskin shoes:
No mention of buttondowns, alas, but for you omnivores of all things oxford-cloth (and who have a WSJ login), here’s a 2012 ode to the Brooks buttondown.
Over at The New Yorker back in 214, Chang-rae Lee wrote about the gastronomical challenges of prep school food.
Back to the present, and Rowing Blazers sold out of its vibrant-patterned face masks, in spite of — or perhaps because of — the label that sits on your cheekbone. No doubt it was meant to be cheeky:
But that’s for when venturing outside. While huddled at home in the fetal position, Lands’ End is ready to make you feel like a survivor in “the new power suit”:
GQ, however, thinks the virus will resuscitate dress standards, rather than kill them off entirely. A lengthy feature on “menswear 2.0” includes quotes from Americana advocate (and J. Press PR man) Michael Williams:
A second coming of tailoring and suiting was already well on its way, but now getting dressed up might feel like an urgent necessity—if not now, in our early days of Zoom, than in a few weeks or months, when your sweats start to feel a little cramped. “No one wants more of this loungewear bullshit,” says Williams. “They don’t want to think about being home on a Zoom call. People want to think about when they can wear a nice jacket and go to an event or be at a nice restaurant again.” In that way, buying suits, pleated trousers, and double-breasted blazers again won’t just be a way to help local businesses, a method to tone down cranked-to-11 fashion, or a sign of an impending new era of style—it’ll be a symbol of hope, too.
Perhaps in the next iteration of menswear GQ writers will learn what “suiting” means.”
Stay strong America and some day soon we’ll be able to smile and smoke cigars like the fellow drawn by Fellows at the top of this post. Maybe even travel. — CC