FLMike

Connoisseur
Despite my snarky comment earlier, I will say one thing about the clothes I bought and wore in the 90's. They were all either a size too big, or were cut to look that way. Everyone wore their clothes a lot baggier and looser fitting in the 90's. I am a definite "medium", and yet I have several large-sized items (e.g. sweaters) in my closet that I bought in the 90's. Occasionally I'll go to wear one and I get incredulous that I would have bought something that fit me so poorly. As in, man this is huge! I really just need to get rid of that stuff.
 
My impression of it is as an extension of the "Rugged Ivy" of the 70s, much like the 80s look was an extension of the look of the 50s and early 60s. Maybe that's a false correlation to make?
This, I get.

But I dunno if the Merrel/Carhartt/Patagonia look fits aesthetically into trad or preppy, but this is because most of the people I know who dress like that are full-bore hippies.

Also it's how my Dad dresses.

But I still kinda want a real eye-bleeder of a snap-T.
 

Cowtown

Senior Member
While it was probably purchased in the 80s, I remember wearing a Hilfiger university stripe OCBD with a pocket flap I loved. I also remember purchasing the OCBDs and khakis from Abercrombie & Fitch which were of good quality probably in 92 or 93.
 

gamma68

Honors Member
The answer to the question heading the original post is: NO

Trad probably has more in common with the 1890s than the 1990s.

If there was anything "Trad" issued in the 1990s, it was carried over from the 1950s to mid-1960s.

I can't believe this thread has gone this far.
 

katon

Super Member
Were there any remarkable achievements for such then?
Maybe not full of achievement, but the 90s were full of choices.

For instance, it's when the various Trad companies finally started choosing sides when it came to the outsourcing issue, after Ralph Lauren started the ball rolling with his Hong Kong copies back in the 80s.




Lands End was putting out ads about the absurdity of Brooklyn-made "Shetland" sweaters (the 90s were also the last gasp for those lush David Ogilvy-style wall of text advertisements, I think), while J. Crew was getting sucked into legal battles over their "Made in USA" clothes from sweatshops in Saipan.



The catalog boom of the 80s had made Mainstreet Ivy for everyone a real possibility again, mostly through the efforts of "mom-and-dad Eddie Bauer clothes" purveyors like Lands End chasing the old L.L. Bean market into new households, preserving the traditional look while making it their own, while genuine old-line Ivy companies like Norman Hilton and Brooks Brothers were going bankrupt or being bought out and changed.





Grunge brought Dad's Funky Chic 70s Maine Guide shirts back out of the closet while Patagonia made an argument for purple as a GTH color (They wrote a manifesto on why they wanted to do everything in these colors in one of their late 80s catalogs, quoting Flaubert, etc. Wish I could find a copy.) and the environmental virtues of synthetics.

I guess that's just a lot to sort out all at once, but I thought maybe 25 years in, there's been a bit of time to digest it all. :)
 
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Fading Fast

Connoisseur
Despite my snarky comment earlier, I will say one thing about the clothes I bought and wore in the 90's. They were all either a size too big, or were cut to look that way. Everyone wore their clothes a lot baggier and looser fitting in the 90's. I am a definite "medium", and yet I have several large-sized items (e.g. sweaters) in my closet that I bought in the 90's. Occasionally I'll go to wear one and I get incredulous that I would have bought something that fit me so poorly. As in, man this is huge! I really just need to get rid of that stuff.
I am a medium (15 / 34, 40 inch chest) period, full stop. That is my size in any universe where medium means medium. I had to give away several BB and Polo medium OCBD (not the ones that were sized by neck and sleeve length, the more casual ones that go by S, M, L, XL sizing) from the '90s that were clearly cut dramatically larger than mediums had been cut in the '80s or the 2000s.

It wasn't that I bought size large, it's that mediums were being cut like large sizes in the '90s and I didn't adjust and buy small sizes (although, the sleeves and body length would probably have been too short in the smalls). Also, I didn't have the clothes knowledge I have today (in part because of this forum) to think about all these size / fit facets.

Even the trad brands succumbed to the "large" sizing of its fits and cuts in the '90s, the same way they are to varying extent succumbing to the skinny fits and cuts of today.
 

Taliesin

Super Member
In the 90"s I wore exactly what I wear now except most of it was PRL. I have, over the years replaced most of the PRL OCBD shirts with those from BB & Press in the same colors.
Ditto for me. My PRL stuff in the mid to late 1990s was good - Hickey Freeman-produced suits, excellent OCBDs with nice collars, etc. I also bought my shoes from the Johnston & Murphy Crown Aristocraft line back then. They were made in USA and pretty good. Most of my PRL items are long gone now, but I still have and wear a few of the ties and they look entirely normal.

As to what I wore casually in the 1990s, long gone and best forgotten, except for a denim RRL jacket I still have that's very nice. It's thigh length, not like a jean jacket.

Anyone want to fess up to having worn a J. Crew "Barn Jacket", especially in mustard yellow?
 

Duvel

Connoisseur
J. Crew was definitely a preppy-ish go-to label in the '90s. I had the barn jacket as well as a rather oversized brown cord jacket that was some kind of hybrid of overcoat and sport coat. I loved them both but they were definitely of the time and would look terrible today.

Ditto for me. My PRL stuff in the mid to late 1990s was good - Hickey Freeman-produced suits, excellent OCBDs with nice collars, etc. I also bought my shoes from the Johnston & Murphy Crown Aristocraft line back then. They were made in USA and pretty good. Most of my PRL items are long gone now, but I still have and wear a few of the ties and they look entirely normal.

As to what I wore casually in the 1990s, long gone and best forgotten, except for a denim RRL jacket I still have that's very nice. It's thigh length, not like a jean jacket.

Anyone want to fess up to having worn a J. Crew "Barn Jacket", especially in mustard yellow?
 

Tempest

Honors Member
J. Crew did have a great color palate back then. They also made some decent button fly chinos. Actually, they had the 9 to 11" inseam shorts and a de rigeur anorak pullover thing.
I recall the inverted stripe shirts, where the background would be light blue, or sometimes pink, with widely spaced white stripes being popular.
I believe this is the era when the Gap, BR , etc. started selling ties too.
 

Duvel

Connoisseur
YES! Even up to as late as about 2009, they were putting some great button-fly chinos on the shelf. I loved their officer chinos, which came with a really decent higher mid-rise, a full cut throughout, and a few other decent details. Uncuffed, but the cut was good enough that, in my opinion, they looked fine that way. The material was very heavy too, and kind of rough, so they were a great casual chino that went well with Shetlands and so on. I've written to J. Crew a few times about bringing them back. I had four or five pairs in different colors, and they all gave up the ghost about a year ago.

J. Crew did have a great color palate back then. They also made some decent button fly chinos. Actually, they had the 9 to 11" inseam shorts and a de rigeur anorak pullover thing.
I recall the inverted stripe shirts, where the background would be light blue, or sometimes pink, with widely spaced white stripes being popular.
I believe this is the era when the Gap, BR , etc. started selling ties too.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
YES! Even up to as late as about 2009, they were putting some great button-fly chinos on the shelf. I loved their officer chinos, which came with a really decent higher mid-rise, a full cut throughout, and a few other decent details. Uncuffed, but the cut was good enough that, in my opinion, they looked fine that way. The material was very heavy too, and kind of rough, so they were a great casual chino that went well with Shetlands and so on. I've written to J. Crew a few times about bringing them back. I had four or five pairs in different colors, and they all gave up the ghost about a year ago.
+1, as a big fan of button fly pants, I am familiar with the pants of which you speak and had several pairs in my closet as well. I was really, really happy that the recent ivory jeans (pictures posted in the January Acquisition thread) - from J.Crew - had a button fly.

I respect your efforts, but J.Crew seems to be driving hard to the skinny, low-rise hoop, so it might be a tough road. That said, they do do some slightly less trendy, more vintage items in their Wallace and Barnes line. I even have my eye on a (hold your breath) single pleat W&B kinda dress pants:

https://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/WallaceBarnes/PRDOVR~B4409/B4409.jsp

Just waiting for a good sale.
 

Tilton

Advanced Member
Tried once before but the thread derailed, so I thought I'd try again, now that it's been 25 years since the 90s started. :)

Who were the taste makers?

What new items entered the look?

A few thoughts:



What you just posted is actually the uniform of mid-to-late 2000's east coast frat boys rather than a trad 90's get-up.
 

katon

Super Member
What you just posted is actually the uniform of mid-to-late 2000's east coast frat boys rather than a trad 90's get-up.

Plain fleece rather than patterned, maybe? Just the jackets? Patagonia, at least, was common enough on Ivy League campuses in the 90s that people were comfortable making jokes about it. :)


(1992)

L.L. Bean was selling the patterned fleece around then, too:


(1992)

The Carhartts are a little harder to track... Apparently it was common at Dartmouth by 2000, but the origins are a bit murky. The article pegs it to the same "Carhartt-eco-mug-carabiner" type folks Disaffected Prep mentioned knowing at Bowdoin. So maybe it was more of a 2000s thing? Not entirely out of left field -- again going back to the well, L.L. Bean has sold brown duck coats and duffel bags before, I'm just not sure that the trousers ever "left the woods" before the 90s.
 

katon

Super Member
Trad probably has more in common with the 1890s than the 1990s.
That was actually a very interesting period for Trad. The origins of the look are really around that period, as extinct Trad clothiers like Browning King and Rogers Peet competed with Brooks Brothers to prove to the Gilded Age world that ready-made clothes didn't have to be poor quality, and that industrialized style could turn anyone into an off-the-rack English gentleman. :)
 
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