Young JFK Pattern Mixing

Who doesn’t love more JFK? On July Fourth we celebrated President Kennedy and the stars and stripes. Today we celebrate solids and stripes — plus a plaid. This pattern-mixing scheme of plaid jacket, striped shirt and solid tie is a timeless winner.

I don’t recall having seen this photo before, which was just brought to my attention at Ivy’s Facebook group (which you really should join via the link in the top menu). Is the knit tie navy, or was black already a classic when the photo was taken, which looks to be 1940 or so? — CC

15 Comments on "Young JFK Pattern Mixing"

  1. Marc Chevalier | July 5, 2017 at 3:50 pm |

    I believe he was still wearing custom-made suits and sportcoats by F.L. Dunne, of Boston and New York.

  2. Marc, what’s your opinion on his tie color? Was the black knit tie already embraced by the Eastern Establishment that early? We associate it with the ’50s and ’60s, but increasingly we’re learning that almost everything in the Ivy genre existed before the War. That’s a point you made to me way back in ’08 in a conversation we had!

  3. Marc Chevalier | July 5, 2017 at 9:53 pm |

    Christian, this looks like a flash photograph to me. By the way that the tie’s color seems to absorb the light, I’d say that it’s either jet black or midnight blue. Black silk knit ties must have already been popular by then: I used to come across many 1930s and ’40s Brooks Brothers ones at vintage stores, back in the ’80s and ’90s.

  4. Vern Trotter | July 5, 2017 at 10:28 pm |

    In my opinion, JFK was more of any Ivy Style dresser when he was younger, as this photo illustrates. When I worked at Brooks Brothers in the tie, belt and glove department in 1959-60, the knit ties were always black unless they were a special order, as I recall. A navy knit tie from Brooks hangs in the back of my closet today, unworn in years. A product of the early 70s, it is four inches wide.

    For you Kennedy inamoratos, there is a niece piece on the current Congressman Joe Kennedy in the August issue of Town & Country. Wearing mostly Polo.

  5. Do a Google Image search. You’ll find the complete photograph which includes a second figure I’m certain one of the Kennedy-philiacs-in-residence can identify. More important, however, the photo shows a lovely natural shoulder and (two-) button stance. My guess is that the tie is black wool. And I’d peg the year closer to 1935.–robert-kennedy-john-fitzgerald.jpg&imgrefurl=

  6. Okay, okay. I mucked around the interweb some more. One of the sites places the photo in 1941, when he was 24 years old.

    Jeez. There are zillions of Kennedy photos floating around. No camera-shyness in that clan. And not a sweaty upper lip in the bunch.

  7. Charlottesville | July 6, 2017 at 9:56 am |

    ROI — I’m not much of a Kennedy camp-follower myself, but according to the caption, the other guy in the picture is Robert Stack, the actor. He played Elliot Ness in the early 60s TV version of “The Untouchables,” and was later in “Airplane,” as well as playing a number of other TV and film roles. He was in the Navy during WW2 and went to Bridgewater in Massachusetts, but I don’t have any idea how he connected with JFK. He would already have been a bit of a celebrity by 1941 for his early movies. I note he’s wearing a 3/2 jacket, possibly camel hair, with a patch breast pocket. Pretty Ivy, but the scarf looks like pure Hollywood to me.

  8. Vern Trotter | July 6, 2017 at 12:41 pm |

    JFK is said to have met Robert Stack in 1940 while prowling around Hollywood. He attended business school up at Stanford after he was out of Harvard for a while. They became close friends and likely met up again while both were in the Navy. Lots of stories circulated about their enjoying bachelor life in wartime.

  9. Charlottesville | July 6, 2017 at 1:58 pm |

    Thanks, Vern. I had not heard about the Stack/Kennedy connection before.

  10. Didn’t JFK’s father have an interest in some Hollywood movie studios and starlets?

  11. One of the coolest photos of RFK I think I’ve ever seen. Maybe because it’s like what I wear?

  12. (Sorry, meant JFK.)

  13. Jeffrey Shawn Haber | August 9, 2017 at 5:56 pm |

    In reference to the above-mentioned photo of a young John F. Kennedy, the original print certainly does include actor Robert Stack- who won an Emmy Award as Eliot Ness for “The Untouchables”. I know this because the photo fully appeared in Mr. Stack’s autobiography entitled “Straight Shooting”, which he co-wrote with Mark Evans. The caption of this photo in Mrs. Stack’s book explains that while the photo was taken, “Ambassador Kennedy’s son was visiting Robert Stack on the set”.
    As for my enthusiasm about this photo, it is because “The Untouchables” which aired from 1959-1963 is my all-time favorite TV series and I often watched it with my Dad- the late Jerry Haber, when the series appeared in re-runs.

  14. alyssa haines | May 8, 2019 at 4:34 pm |

    wow!amazing. JfK was a strong leader. we should belive in what he has done… to help save us. and serve him as a president, he was strong.

  15. Vern Trotter | October 28, 2019 at 8:02 pm |

    JFK’s Boswell, Lem Billings, is quoted in the fine bio by Nigel Hamilton,”JFK: Reckless Youth,” as saying he would send the future naval officer, “One bale of khaki and J. Press specifications.” JFK ‘s number had just been drawn in the draft, Palo Alto area. Fall 1940 I believe, while at Stanford Business School.

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