eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Glad you enjoyed it Dr. Peter.

I love how fun and approachable they make prep and trad look, and I think that's the goal.

One conclusion I've reached recently is that most sleek shoes don't work that well in my wardrobe and are a bit overrated.

I started off buying chunky footwear, bought a couple sleek pairs, and now I'm back where I started.
I feel your pain, my friend. Even with the many, many pairs of shoes I have culled from the collection and passed on over the past several years, I still have a lot of shoes/boots that see virtually no wear time (worn perhaps one or two times in a year), while a bakers dozen pair of Alden's, Lucchese's, Quoddy Trails and Rancourts get all the wear time. The easiest way to handle this dilemma is to simply consider it a cycle of life and accept it! LOL. ;)
 

TKI67

Advanced Member
Not sure where to post this, so here it is. From a blog post "Tailoring for younger guys"


That was a wonderful article, and frankly the iPhone photography at the end was better put together than most PRL ads. I love those guys' style, even the tie dyed pants. The brown 3/2 suit with the white pocket square, crested tie, and Weejuns was like a time machine to 1965, and the ubiquitous white socks were just plain fun, setting the Wayback machine for the late fifties and early sixties. Thanks!
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
That Herringbone weave jacket is such a handsome Tweed.... it seems a pity that those nefarious young women insist on undressing that poor, young, innocent with their 'hungry' eyes! Mamas, it's a cruel world out there..."don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys" or the boy toys of nefarious young females! LOL. ;)
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
That Herringbone weave jacket is such a handsome Tweed.... it seems a pity that those nefarious young women insist on undressing that poor, young, innocent with their 'hungry' eyes! Mamas, it's a cruel world out there..."don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys" or the boy toys of nefarious young females! LOL. ;)
Funny, I thought about cross-posting it in the Tweed thread. I've mentioned it before, but it is amazing how popular a pattern herringbone was from the '30s-'60s. You almost can't watch a movie from that era without running into it on several men. I, too, was uncomfortable with how the women were objectifying that man - he has brains, feelings, emotions; he's a full person; he's not just a play thing for women.
 

drpeter

Super Member
I agree with Sarge. I love being objectified now and then, LOL.

Moreover, the looks on the faces of those women weren't objectifying, they were adoring. How could it be otherwise, at the peak of masculine domination, mid-century? Women were always hoping to attract the attention of a suitable partner who would be a loving provider and help her to raise a family. It was later that their (and men's) consciousness was raised. By that time everyone was into long hair, flowers, bra-burning and tie-dyed ensembles.
 
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Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
I agree with Sarge. I love being objectified now and then, LOL.

Moreover, the looks on the faces of those women weren't objectifying, they were adoring. How could it be otherwise, at the peak of masculine domination, mid-century? Women were always hoping to attract the attention of a suitable partner who would be a loving provider and help her to raise a family. It was later that their (and men's) consciousness was raised. By that time everyone was into long hair,flowers, bra-burning and tie-dyed ensembles.
Was there then. The day I was transferred from Ft. Ord to Presidio San Francisco was a revelation. It was SF's normal cloudy chill and the fashion of the moment was braless tight sweaters. I was a geographical widower (the wife was still in school) and 24 years old. Wow!
 

drpeter

Super Member
I thought of that possibility, but their faces struck me as a bit too mature for the high school age group. But you could be right, it is hard to tell. The legend below the images with words like Fraternity Prep and Young Businessmen might suggest otherwise.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Agreed, that caught my attention too. Americans were smaller overall back then, but that can't explain it all. Could it be an ad for high school kids?
I thought of that possibility, but their faces struck me as a bit too mature for the high school age group. But you could be right, it is hard to tell. The legend below the images with words like Fraternity Prep and Young Businessmen might suggest otherwise.
Being a contrarian here...I think those ads are targeted for college age men and the reason we herein cannot see that is that so many of us are so far beyond that age, we just can't remember how young we may have looked at that age! As Cormac McCarthy tried to tell us..."This is no country for old men." :(;)
 

drpeter

Super Member
Very true, Eagle. When I taught at my university, each year, I felt the new freshmen and freshwomen were getting younger and younger. Of course, I knew they were mostly around 18 years of age, but I was getting older and older, LOL.

BTW, I love Cormac McCarthy's wonderful, poetic writing, but that great title was borrowed from Yeats' famous poem Sailing to Byzantium. Nothing wrong with that, it is quite common. And that's a terrific poem too from which phrases have been lifted, interestingly enough, for book titles. For instance, Philip Roth's The Dying Animal. The other great Yeats poem, The Second Coming, has also been the source of book titles: Slouching Towards Bethlehem (Joan Didion) Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe).

And now I have to go look for my Captive Bolt pistol -- where did I leave it? Maybe the Coen Brothers lifted it from me...
 

delicious_scent

Super Member
I feel your pain, my friend. Even with the many, many pairs of shoes I have culled from the collection and passed on over the past several years, I still have a lot of shoes/boots that see virtually no wear time (worn perhaps one or two times in a year), while a bakers dozen pair of Alden's, Lucchese's, Quoddy Trails and Rancourts get all the wear time. The easiest way to handle this dilemma is to simply consider it a cycle of life and accept it! LOL. ;)
Good advice eagle. It's part of the fun and discovery of one's sense of style.

My current dilemma is trying to find a pair of tassel loafers that won't murder my feet.
That was a wonderful article, and frankly the iPhone photography at the end was better put together than most PRL ads. I love those guys' style, even the tie dyed pants. The brown 3/2 suit with the white pocket square, crested tie, and Weejuns was like a time machine to 1965, and the ubiquitous white socks were just plain fun, setting the Wayback machine for the late fifties and early sixties. Thanks!
Glad you enjoyed it TK.

I admit it adds a cool factor for me to know that this has a bit of 'authenticity' to it, because I can see myself wearing a lot of the outfits today.

It has me wanting a dark, subdued madras jacket and some fair isle sweaters. Ahem, and another raglan coat.
 

drpeter

Super Member
I can't help but notice the implications of the first sentence in this advert: That for people, as for products, good taste is largely a matter of heritage. It is a surprising statement to make in America, where people invent and reinvent lives, where they come to abandon a first life elsewhere, one that may not have worked out well for all sorts of reasons. Contrary to Fitzgerald's famous dictum, there are second acts in American lives.

In this country, of all places, it should be clear that good taste is not simply a matter of heritage, of background and family history. That may have been true in the old countries with all the distinctions of class and caste. But of all the things that could be driven by social class, or family history, isn't good taste the one thing that actually can be cultivated?

I spent my career teaching what good taste is in all sorts of things related to what some might call the life of the mind. To recognize good poetry or fiction, good cinema, good art or opera, even good theory and experiment in science or a good proof in mathematics -- all of these are conditional on the development of good taste, and the way to that good taste is emphatically through learning and study, not through the possession of heritage, or pedigree over which one has no control -- none of us chose our parents or families or ancestry. Those were all the accidents of birth.

Imagine being born with a good taste for bourbon or scotch, handed down to one through the exclusive mechanisms of heritage! If one sips enough of an Islay malt, say Laphroaig or Lagavulin (or even those nameless malts that Scottish tavern-keepers store in stone jars in a back room, which they will pour for you if they like the cut of your jib) one can begin to develop a taste for the stuff. And one can also learn the regional differences, say between Islay and Speyside malts. A lot of people, on first sipping a single malt, will wrinkle their noses and say it tastes too smoky, that it's awful! It's a cultivated taste, and the operative word here is cultivated. It can be learned, if you wish. It is not something that your heritage bequeaths to you as part of some exclusive patrimony.

I knew absolutely nothing about bourbon until I went to Michigan to do a postdoc with a great mentor, who not only worked with me on experiments in cognitive psychology, but also on the different qualities of the great whiskies of Kentucky and Tennessee. He was from Georgia, and a fancier of Kentucky bourbons and of Tennessee whiskey, if that's the right phrase. He taught me, a fellow from the other side of the world, about things like the fine differences between Dickel No. 8 and Dickel No. 12. So I began to develop a taste in these whiskies. But these days, I drink tea, and that too is a complex beverage where taste is something that develops over time.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
In the 1800s, most Americans were farmers, so who had time for being snooty? But by the middle of the 20th century, from what I've read (you're a PhD, I'm just a guy who reads a bunch, happy to defer to you), there was a "class" of people - like Astor's 400 (the number who could fit in the senior Mrs. Astor's ballroom) or Philadelphia's "Mainline" society or the Boston "Brahmins -" that claimed some sorta "upper class" status, in part, as many said they were descendent of those who came over on the Mayflower (or at least a long time ago) and where, mainly, WASPs.

You read about this "upper class" in period books and newspaper all the time and see it in the era's movies. It definitely had "status" for a time (the changes in the late 1960s broke much of that down). To be sure, it was never as strong (again, based on my amateur reading) as the class structure in Europe, but it did exist to some extent in America.

So, I could see how a liquor company would try to glam on to that "status" in the middle of the 20th century to gain some cachet and help its sales with America's growing middle class who was taking some of its taste clues from the aforementioned upper class.
 

drpeter

Super Member
I agree broadly with the history you present, but that upper class you mention had two other things in addition to the kind of glamour that comes with part of being a regional aristocracy: Wealth and power. I understand this very well because the social class (actually caste) that I was born into in the old country, a martial aristocracy, had these two things in abundance -- and still do, to some extent at least, although much of the wealth was lost. I also understand this situation in our country because my ex-wife came from a wealthy New England family of WASPs, although she, like me, did not share in the establishment/conservative views of her parents' generation. So I have seen the ruling class up close, LOL, and I find their attitudes and takes on things quite interesting.

However, the WASPs have almost always been in control of the country's business and politics, and although the sixties were a challenge, I don't think the power they wielded was ever really broken down. Once the sixties were over, the establishment retained much of its wealth and power. A snapshot of Congress at almost any point between 1970 and now will reveal that most of the House reps were and are fairly wealthy, and almost all of the Senators were and are very wealthy. Although things have changed in the last decade, for most of that period I mentioned above, Congress was also predominantly drawn from the WASP class. And now, we are seeing the destruction of the middle class, and its slide toward the poorer working class, in an economy that is exceedingly split with more and more wealth being concentrated in a smaller and smaller percentage of the population.

Anyway, your idea about the liquor company riding the coattails of the upper class is well taken. It's just that it struck me as anachronistic in a society which, at least mid-century, claimed to be classless and egalitarian, the great and unique experiment in democracy. I think as a country, there is a general hankering after the privilege and power of the upper classes. In the latest Atlantic, there is a wonderful article by Caitlin Flanagan, herself a former teacher in one, about private schools in a democracy. It delves into this yearning for aristocracy, and where things stand now. It makes illuminating reading:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/04/private-schools-are-indefensible/618078/
 
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