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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Following on from the last post, this cartoon appeared in the second volume of the the trade publication, Apparel Arts, in 1932 concerning the chastening of the menswear trade, and particularly the young store Clerks. Hopefully clicking on the image will get a resolution you can read!

This sportscoat dates to the middle 1920s. The revolution in American menswear in the late 20s really was extreme. From jackets like this – long line, very narrow shoulders, VERY tight to the chest and waist – which offered no forgiveness to anyone slightly overweight, slightly shorter than average, not of the ideal “cult of youth” dimensions, in the late 20s the shoulders got wider and more padded, the jackets shorter, more forgiving to different body shapes.

It’s interesting that in the 20s, when women’s fashions tended, however flamboyant and luxurious the fabrics, towards shapeless sacks which could at least in theory accommodate many different body shapes, men’s fashion was obsessed with one body type – long and skinny. The trousers were even more extreme, with very narrow legs – try getting your rugby player thighs into those! This fashion probably grew out of the cult of youth that followed the First World War, which was rather chastened by the stock market crash, driving men’s fashion in a more conservative, egalitarian, direction.

These excellent 1950s or earlier British work boots were found by a friend in a charity shop in the Midlands. The pull tab on the rear says that they’re made of Glacé Kid (goat hide). I would say this applies only to the quarter (ankle/leg) portion of the boot. There appear to be 2 different hides used in the boot – for the cap and vamp, it appears to be calf, and Glacé Kid for the quarter. The vamp and cap don’t have the glassy, grainy look of Glacé Kid that you can see in the quarter. Maybe I’m wrong. But whatever, these are fantastic, functional boots, and very modern looking, despite their age. I really love the hand finish on the heel – very stylish finish. A perfect work/casual boot.

The late 1940s gave rise to some of the most godawful ties in the history of menswear. Surpassed only by the 1970s (and only because they made godawful ties out risible manmade fabrics) the Bold Look era ties could get pretty garish. This is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. 5 inches (!) wide at the blade, and airbrushed green sunburst design with some sort of wing’d, or leaf-sprouting box. Who knows what the artist was smoking when generating this “masterpiece” … Made for Ohrbach’s, artist is un-named.

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