Brooks On Campus, 1940: Corduroy Jacket, Grey Flannels + Saddle Shoes

In the spirit of tolerance, I’m posting saddle shoes on the website, despite a strong personal allergy to them.

But they’re part of a campus-inspired outfit formula from 1940, courtesy of this vintage Brooks Brothers ad recently posted to our Facebook group. The formula consists of corduroy jacket, grey flannel trousers and saddle shoes. You might have all these items but for some reason never wore them together. Or you may have two but are missing one. So here you go. If you want to go full kit, add vest and bow tie.

Also, check out the ad copy above with the reference to buckskin shoes, grey flannels and odd jackets and “all the years they’ve served as campus landmarks.”

The shoes, by the way, are from Country Club Prep and will run you a hundred “bucks.” — CC


19 Comments on "Brooks On Campus, 1940: Corduroy Jacket, Grey Flannels + Saddle Shoes"

  1. Speaking of vests, how do we feel about wearing one with belted trousers? I was always implored not to wear a vest unless it was with side-adjusted trousers and absent an unwieldy belt. But rarely do even custom-made odd trousers have such waists.

  2. MacMcConnell | February 11, 2017 at 3:15 pm |

    RL’s did in the 1970s, D-ring buckles & tabs on the sides or back. I wear vest with belted trousers with belt or braces. Either way the vest should be long enough to hide the waist band or buckle.

  3. MacMcConnell | February 11, 2017 at 3:17 pm |

    Corduroy jacket, the poor man’s tweed.

  4. I just found the “Nifty Tip for Wearing a Vest” article from late January that addresses my point by offering different solutions. I guess one simply needs to be willing to have a pair of odd grey trousers made with side tabs to wear with vests.

  5. According to an online inflation calculator, 13$ for grey flannels in 1940 would be 222$ in 2016 dollars. That’s not too far off what Brooks is charging for flannels today, albeit the current ones are made in Thailand.

  6. A close reading of the tiny print in the Brooks ad reveals that the pants being advertised are not grey flannels but “Glenurquhart plaids as illustrated and Gun Club checks”. With a Tattersall Flannel Waistcoat, no less.

  7. Those foam soles are simply awful….

  8. For waistcoats at decent prices try equestrian and hunting websites. Most do wool tattersail and solid moleskin waistcoats.

  9. Carmelo Pugliatti | February 12, 2017 at 11:01 am |

    “School,campus,or general country wear”.

  10. Charlottesville | February 12, 2017 at 11:04 am |

    Mac — Good advice re vests. I recently noted the following source in an exchange with Henry:

  11. I had fabulous saddle shoes from LL Bean circa 1975: classic bucks with dark tan “football leather” saddles.

    Then had Allen Edmonds in burgundy with black saddles that I wore heavily in the early-mid-80s but for some reason didn’t refurbish or replace when the time came.

    Since then zilch.

    I agree that crepe/foam soles – as well as less-than-full toes – are unacceptable, but can anyone suggest any good-to-excellent quality currently made buck or other casual saddle shoes they like? TIA.

  12. If you are after Saddle shoes with thte advantage of water repllency and decent traction, look no further than the Golf stores. Soft spike models have all the above at prices well below men’s shops.

  13. Mazama

    Don’t know who still does “red” soled saddles. Thought Walkover still did, but no. FYI, Walkover has their white and dirty bucks on sale presently, $100.

  14. Come on over to the saddle shoe dark side, Christian. You’ll be surprised at how little it hurts! 🙂

  15. @ Mazama

    Neil M. shoe company makes (in the USA) white and tan bucks with red hard rubber soles. I have the white ones. Excellent quality. Allen Edmonds currently has a sale ($247.00) on their Shelton II saddle shoes. I bought the Walnut/Brown and Black/Oxblood models. Since I wear a size 13B or C I have a rather limited selection of shoe companies to choose from. Thus a lot of Alden, Allen Edmonds, Rancourt, and Neil M. (white bucks) fill my closet.

  16. Thanks, gentlemen, for saddle shoe suggestions.

    Dean, A-E makes a brown/black saddle golf shoe that looks great except the sole is blue (?!?) which won’t work for me as a street shoe. May look elsewhere. Thanks for the idea.

    Malvernlink, I was unaware of Neil M. Footwear so thanks for the tip. When I checked out the bucks you referred to I saw that they also make a saddle shoe – Stanford Traditional Saddle Shoe – with the same specs as the Cambridge Buck except in a slightly darker nubuck with a tan saddle and it is currently reduced from $230 to $129.90. I went for it.

    You can see it at:

    At this price I don’t expect A-E quality but it will probably meet my needs.

    Ivy-Style comes through again. What a great blog!

  17. FYI although Ivy-Style posters came through with a lead to a seemingly good deal on some U.S.-made saddle shoes the vendor, Neil M. Footwear, failed to perform. Exactly 24 hours after accepting my order and charging my card Neil M. Footwear cancelled my order due to lack of inventory. Such is the state of internet commerce. The search continues.

  18. Mazama, take a look at the Orvis saddle shoes at

  19. elder prep | March 11, 2019 at 9:52 pm |

    CC, join Josh and me and try out the saddle shoe world. Also, two days ago received my saddle shoe order from Bass, Parker Saddle Taupe/Chocolate, 70-76002 $100.00 with red soles. They look great with my tan L.L. Bean cords pin cords, BB Ecru BD shirt (yes, non-iron version) and to complete the outfit, a J.Press brown herringbone tweed sports coat.

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