A surprise for you this morning. No acid-drenched observations decrying how far society has fallen with regards to what is now deemed suitable by the masses for wear in public, or the attitudes and behavior that go hand in glove with it.
Instead, to celebrate the 700th post since June 2012 here at Classic Style, spend some time perusing this collection of vintage warm weather wear for men from the 1930s and 40s that I've culled from the web. Many of these delightful pictures were done by Laurence Fellows and appeared in either Apparel Arts or Esquire. Others were by contemporary illustrators and done in a similar style.
And who knows? You might find an idea or two for calm, cool, collected summer comfort that nevertheless permit you to remain presentable. Click on (most of) these pictures to enlarge them for closer inspection. Enjoy!
Another feast for the eyes from Esquire magazine as it once was. Although the illustration dates from the 1930s, the basic look is still sound in 2018.
It's Memorial Day here in the United States, a day when we remember our war fallen. It is also the traditional start of the summer season here, typically observed with parades, backyard cookouts, and sometimes larger parties, although the precise kind of event and/or observation differs slightly depending on where in the country you might find yourself.
It's an early scorcher here in Mid-Michigan today, high 80s to low 90s Fahrenheit (31C.-32.7C.), and if it's also hot where you are, you might be wondering how to dress comfortably for an afternoon or evening to mark the occasion. Here's a small hint. Dressing comfortably for the heat need not involve a threadbare t-shirt from your college days, a wife-beater, grungy cargo shorts, or those flip flops you've been wearing for the last five summers. And then some.
Another delightful old menswear illustration that, I believe, is by an artist other than Laurence Fellows though I could be mistaken. Apparently, there were quite a few such illustrators who did work in a similar style for Apparel Arts and later Esquire.
The quote above has been attributed to Oscar Wilde. While it seems to be in direct opposition to the current zeitgeist here in the United States, it of course resonates with yours truly. Empty-headed popinjay that I am. ------------
On a related note, within the menswear and style blogosphere, some observers lament, now and again, that they have been asked by friends/acquaintances/strangers on the street why they are "dressed up." A few add that they feel the need to defend themselves and their anti-guttersnipe stylistic choices from this rather childish sort of peer pressure.
Oddly, I have never run into this other than when a student asked a couple of years ago if I ever wore sweatpants. No, I don't. Pajamas, yes. …
Not my photograph, but one that helps make the point nicely. The BEST cups of coffee come from using either a pour-over pot with its special filter (at left), or a French press. Of course, it helps if you use enough ground coffee so that the result in your cup or mug actually tastes like coffee.
The above line was overheard way back in the early winter of 2005, possibly the morning of December 26th, when a crew of roofers arrived at 7am to begin replacing the old roof of a large 19th century townhouse where the Grand Duchess and I rented a wonderfully quirky apartment for a few years prior to purchasing our first house. We had the third floor unit just beneath the roof, so Christmas Week that year was, shall we say, a raucous affair.
Had I been thinking straight at the time -- It was still very early in the morning on Boxing Day you understand -- I would have quipped in my best Ron Popeil voice, "And you don't have to!"
Just buy either a pour-over pot like those produc…
While I lack any reason to don morning dress myself this weekend (my invitation clearly must have been lost in the mail), I can hardly pass up the chance to share this old Laurence Fellows illustration of said attire.
On May 17th each year, Norwegians celebrate the establishment of their country's constitution in 1814. That document was based heavily on previous documents written a few decades earlier by politicians in what eventually became The United States of America and in France following The French Revolution. Liberty, egalitarianism, and fraternity in other words.
While Norway remained in a sort of union with Sweden until 1905, it marks its independence from several centuries of Danish political, social, and cultural dominion each May 17th. It is worth pointing out that much of this was part of a reshuffling of the European map at about the same time as the first abdication of Napoleon in 1814 before he returned briefly for The Hundred Days in 1815, which ended during the Waterloo Campaign in June of that year.
But back to Norway. As you might expect, there are parades of various sizes all over the country, prominent displays of the flag, and considerable "celebration" last…
Not quite like Bingo Little's necktie that so offended Jeeves' sensibilities, but it will do nicely for yours truly.
I am long-time fan of P.G. Wodehouse's stories and novels about Bertie Wooster, Jeeves, and their various misadventures, and of course the Jeeves and Wooster series from the 1990s, which is the gold standard when it comes to TV and film adaptations. It should come as no surprise then that I have been on the lookout for a red necktie with horseshoes, as worn by Bingo Little, for ages. At long last, I turned up something acceptable atHorse & Houndfor a reasonable price.
Vain, empty-headed popinjay that I am, this will be fun to trot out from time to time once classes resume in late August. And I can almost guarantee that none of my students, if they even notice, will be the wiser when it comes to the literary inspiration behind this particular accessory.
And yes. Before anyone asks, or makes a snide remark, I did ride at one time in the misty past, th…