The self-outing of another anglo trad

Andersen

New Member
This post is occassioned by the recent posts from Russell Street, ChrisH and one or two others , Americans I presume, expressing wonderment that there are some Brits who go in for the trad look.
My story begins as a shy and nerdy youth in Edinburgh in the 50s. I spent my leisure hours such as they were trying to reproduce, entirely without success, the sounds of Errol Garner and Oscar Peterson on the piano. My only other interest, since I played in sports teams only at times of severe flu epidemics, was clothes. Trying to get stylish clothes in Edinburgh in the 1950s was a constant trial of hope over experience. I poured over Esquire and Playboy magazines ( I was probably the only kid in Britain who bought Playboy for the adverts). These ads for Botany 500, Cricketeer, Sero, Pedwin, and other long bust names together with the latest Blue Note record covers and American films were gimpses in to an impossible world of glamour for me. Miles Davis the MJQ and many others seemed impossibly sophisticated in their tweedy, button-downed personas before 60s psychedelia took hold and everthing was ruined forever.
When I could bear my lust no longer I would go for relief to Austins in Shaftesbury Avenue and got to know John Simon in his various reincarnations including the Brewer street shop and the Ivy Shop in Richmond. Many shirts fom Sero, Hathaway and others were acquired along with three button rolled to two sack jackets.
Eventually my education finished after a fashion I moved to London, got a job and in the fullness of time became marginally less hard-up. By the time I was in my forties I was acquiring Anderson and Sheppard suits stock orders at Coles,Edward Green and others, with the occasional Charvet items thrown in.
Now I am retired, moving in to the second half of my sixtieth decade and spend a lot of my time staring into space.I have a guilty secret however. When my wife goes out and I am sure I have the place to myself for a couple of hours, I dress in a grey herringbone undarted jacket with narrow swelled edge lapels, a faded pink BB button down ,repp tie, narrow unpleated cuffed grey pants held up with a surcicle belt, ribbed socks and beatup unlined BB/Alden loafers. I put on Gerry Mulligan quartet records (on vinyl natch). ( I saw the Gerry Mulligan/Bob Brookmeyer quartet in the Usher Hall Edinburgh on April 30th 1957. I was just eighteen and seeing them in their sack suits and loafers was so cool I thought I had died and gone to heaven). Anyway after a while I take it all off and put it away so that no-one ever sees any evidence of my secret and shameful activity. I then resume my space staring activities.
I can confess all this in the intimacy of this forum because nobody much reads my posts, which is pretty much in conformity with the rest of my life.

Stephen

"Older men should dress in the style of their prime"



A and S
 

mpcsb

Inactive User
Anderson,
Thanks very much for sharing you story. Glad you here and posting. I had no idea until very recently that trad was worn anywhere except the US (well Japan maybe but in England - never). There is such a tradition of borrowing from you Brits that it suprises this Yank that you would do the same. Not because you are better, but because your traditions as so many, varied and honored.
Anyway, thanks again.
Cheers

Edited for spelling - as ever - sigh.
 

Doctor Damage

Connoisseur
Of course, one could indulge in all sorts of 'coming out' jokes, but...nice to see you have an interest in American trad. Why not wear the stuff when you go out? Why the secret shame?

Surely you're old enough that you should be able to wear almost anything you want, in public, without consequences?

DocD
 

tweedchap

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Very cool post, Anderson! I'll follow with my own this evening; I have to go and lecture now. But why not wear what you like in public?
 

Russell Street

Senior Member
Bless you Andersen!

A kindred spirit.
I'm not sure about the others (Trimmer & Co. - Nothing wrong with them, but they like buses a bit too much for me), but you & Chris H. are just the company I was hoping to find here.
I must sort out my email address - I used my wife's to sign up to this forum and if she knew what I got up to in here she might have a conversation with me about it. She thinks I'm in here reading Auchincloss.
I like it that we are all of a similar vintage, although I suspect I am the youngest of the group. I've just turned 56 and have been 'Trad' since 21. So that's 35 years since I took that walk up Richmond Hill little knowing what I would accidentally find.
Very good to hear from you - Do please stay in touch.

Russell
 

Trimmer

Super Member
Originally posted by Andersen

I can confess all this in the intimacy of this forum because nobody much reads my posts, which is pretty much in conformity with the rest of my life.

quote]

I was sorry to read this. You tell such a good story. I am not an American trad man myself but its sounds like you have a great look.

Trimmer
 

Hugh Morrison

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
A most evocative post Mr Andersen. I could almost hear Chet Baker playing 'Let's Get Lost' in the background.

I really do think the 50s was our golden age, but in a way I'm glad I didn't live through it as I would have had to see it all turn to crap around 1967 or so. (I was born in '71).

And yes, I do like my buses as Russell points out, but only TRAD buses! :D

'The casual idea is the triumph of misguided egalitarianism. By playing to the desire to seem non-judgmental, the Slob has succeeded in forcing his tastes on the world at large (because to object to inappropriate dress would be judgmental)'- Patrick07690
 

Brideshead

Senior Member
quote:Originally posted by Trimmer

Originally posted by Andersen

I can confess all this in the intimacy of this forum because nobody much reads my posts, which is pretty much in conformity with the rest of my life.

quote]

I was sorry to read this. You tell such a good story. I am not an American trad man myself but its sounds like you have a great look.

Trimmer
Nor do I go for an undiluted diet of American Trad, although the 'modernist' philosophy the Ivy Shop proposed back in the late 60s has always driven my look. What we all share, I think on this forum is a basic princple that WE decide how we want to dress - no-one dictates or unduly influences our choice:D
 

Rich

Super Member
I remember being fascinated by the suits worn by the MJQ when I saw them on stage in the early sixties. This was about the time the so-called 'Ivy League' sanforized button-down shirts started to appear in Europe. Now I think of it there was a definite, but fleeting, Trad trend among jazz lovers, inspired in part by the photos we saw on the LP sleeves. Nice to know that someone has remained faithful - we only love once.
 

Russell Street

Senior Member
Well I'm loving this!

I found the clothes then the music.
'The look' drove me to seek it out and to discover so many other things on the way - films, jazz, food, Cape Cod, etc.
Apart from my family, ALL the pleasures of my adult life have come from my fascination with Ivy style.
If I hadn't been in Boston shopping I'd never have gone down to the Cape or the Islands...
If I hadn't been going to Freeport to visit Bean's I'd never have stayed in a log cabin by Lake Sebago...
I'd never tasted lobster before I went to these locations...
I had no interest in music (And what a solace I was missing!) before I made the Ivy / Modern Jazz connection and found music that moved me like nothing before (I was always bored by pop & classical).
And it was all always there waiting for me!
All I had to do was to wander around Richmond in my boredom and then talk a walk up Richmond Hill, purely to stretch my legs, and there it all was!
No more clothes from Simpsons & Austin Reed, no more boring shoes from Church.
And look how cool the guys in the shop were!
And look at those 'Skinheads' in there nodding at me & calling me 'Mate' everytime they spoke!
Surely I was the coolest trainee Accountant ever!
I was born in 1950, but my life started in 1971!

I'm an old fool.

Russell
 

mpcsb

Inactive User
quote:Originally posted by Russell Street

I was born in 1950, but my life started in 1971!

I'm an old fool.

Russell

Not SO old, born 1955 but even my diapers (same as nappies I think) were oxford cloth - LOL
Cheers
 

Hugh Morrison

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Trad's Army - very good. Actually the late John Le Mesurier always looked good, and had the sort of hairdo I've tried to describe in the 'slicked back hair' thread.

'The casual idea is the triumph of misguided egalitarianism. By playing to the desire to seem non-judgmental, the Slob has succeeded in forcing his tastes on the world at large (because to object to inappropriate dress would be judgmental)'- Patrick07690
 

Hugh Morrison

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Would the Trad's Army meet in an Andersen shelter?

Sorry. :D



'The casual idea is the triumph of misguided egalitarianism. By playing to the desire to seem non-judgmental, the Slob has succeeded in forcing his tastes on the world at large (because to object to inappropriate dress would be judgmental)'- Patrick07690
 

Russell Street

Senior Member
I love getting older!

On his birthday my father used to happily sing 'Roll on 60, roll on the grave!' (I think the song was of his own composition - We all know how creative accountants can be.)

Although I'm not that tired of life yet, I do share his '**** it' attitude. (Actually '****' was never a word I ever heard my father use... Not like me - some days I say little else!)

Russell
 

Hugh Morrison

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
quote:Originally posted by Vettriano man

quote:Originally posted by Hugh Morrison

Would the Trad's Army meet in an Andersen shelter?
...oh very droll, Private Pike, go home to your mother for tea!

Sorry Uncle Arthur...come to think of it there was a Morrison shelter as well wasn't there - sort of wire cage thing used indoors.

'The casual idea is the triumph of misguided egalitarianism. By playing to the desire to seem non-judgmental, the Slob has succeeded in forcing his tastes on the world at large (because to object to inappropriate dress would be judgmental)'- Patrick07690
 

Russell Street

Senior Member
Terribly sorry V. M., being new to all this I stupidly forgot that you, Hugh & Trimmer would be able to read my silly comment about buses.
I promise no offence was intended.
Everything I say is a bit... you know.

Still on for lunch with the English Ask Andy team?
Could I sit between Chris H. & Mr. Andersen, please?
I like a bit of fish sometimes - If I'm not paying could we go to Wiltons? (If I am paying then Wheelers would suit me just fine.)
Oh and can it be lunch, not dinner?
You wouldn't believe how early I'd like to go to bed if only my wife would allow me.

Russell
 
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