Dr.Watson

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
352
United States
South Carolina
Columbia
I posted some Walker Percy pictures a while back; here are some of his friend and fellow author, Shelby Foote. Foote did not dress as reliably "Ivy League" as the aristocratic Percy (there are some pictures of him wearing loud 70s type things), but he overall tended towards more traditional clothes.
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Fading Fast

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10,129
United States
New York
NY
View attachment 46707

Sigh! Does anyone dress like this anymore?
Did you cross post to the Vespa thread? :)

Up until the '90s, I'd say that kid's look was a very well-done version of a lot of young men's (and, really, men of all ages) go-to not-wearing-a-suit "dress up" outfit.

My parents knew next to nothing about men's clothing and we lived in lower-to-middle-income town, but growing up in the '70s, every year, my mom took me to Robert Hall (an early discount warehouse-style mens and boys clothing store) to get a navy blazer, grey dress trousers and a dress shirt so that I had a "nice" outfit for "dress-up" occasions (weddings, funerals, relatives coming over or dinner out at something above a pizza parlor).

And almost all the boys in the neighborhood had that same one "dress-up" outfit. Even as an adult, as just noted, way into the '90s, it was still a pretty standard men's outfit for "nice" events that didn't call for a suit.

Now, most of those "nice" events don't even call for a sport coat and dress trousers. But when someone tries; often times (unless they are a fan of clothes), they wear some not-well-tailored sport coat (navy or not) and maybe/maybe not dress trousers that don't really work as I think men (especially under 40) are just losing the knowledge of how to dress.

In a way, that basic formula - navy blazer, grey trousers, white or blue shirt and tie - was a safe way for boys and men who didn't know about clothes to "dress up."
 

drpeter

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
465
United States
Wisconsin
Stevens Point
Did you cross post to the Vespa thread? :)

Up until the '90s, I'd say that kid's look was a very well-done version of a lot of young men's (and, really, men of all ages) go-to not-wearing-a-suit "dress up" outfit.

My parents knew next to nothing about men's clothing and we lived in lower-to-middle-income town, but growing up in the '70s, every year, my mom took me to Robert Hall (an early discount warehouse-style mens and boys clothing store) to get a navy blazer, grey dress trousers and a dress shirt so that I had a "nice" outfit for "dress-up" occasions (weddings, funerals, relatives coming over or dinner out at something above a pizza parlor).

And almost all the boys in the neighborhood had that same one "dress-up" outfit. Even as an adult, as just noted, way into the '90s, it was still a pretty standard men's outfit for "nice" events that didn't call for a suit.

Now, most of those "nice" events don't even call for a sport coat and dress trousers. But when someone tries; often times (unless they are a fan of clothes), they wear some not-well-tailored sport coat (navy or not) and maybe/maybe not dress trousers that don't really work as I think men (especially under 40) are just losing the knowledge of how to dress.

In a way, that basic formula - navy blazer, grey trousers, white or blue shirt and tie - was a safe way for boys and men who didn't know about clothes to "dress up."
All of this makes good sense, and I find it surprising (and touching in some ways) that in America, it is the women -- mothers first, then girlfriends and wives -- who take on the responsibility of dressing their children, and even their husbands. Having been raised in a different culture, where fathers took on this responsibility to teach their children, especially the boys, how to dress, I was amazed that paternal interest in dressing at least their young sons was simply absent. LOL, no one in this country would think twice about a woman shopping in the male clothing section of a store, but if a man were to shop in the woman's section, a few eyebrows might well be raised!
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
10,129
United States
New York
NY
All of this makes good sense, and I find it surprising (and touching in some ways) that in America, it is the women -- mothers first, then girlfriends and wives -- who take on the responsibility of dressing their children, and even their husbands. Having been raised in a different culture, where fathers took on this responsibility to teach their children, especially the boys, how to dress, I was amazed that paternal interest in dressing at least their young sons was simply absent. LOL, no one in this country would think twice about a woman shopping in the male clothing section of a store, but if a man were to shop in the woman's section, a few eyebrows might well be raised!
As you note, cultural differences. I've read many posts and stories about fathers in America taking their sons to Brooks Brothers or similar stores and "educating" them in the ways of dressing, but in my lower-to-middle-class town, moms took their sons to discount stores (and the Army Navy shop) and bought them clothes.

I have no memories of my dad taking me shopping or teaching me about clothes other than an off-hand generic comment at most, like, "you'll need a sport coat for the funeral today." He was not much on explanations for anything.

I have a feeling the Brooks-Brothers going father-son combo was a different subculture.