Archive for February, 2009

Mr. “T’

Esquire’s Trim New Look Take Over

Esquire magazine 1940

A fashion tornado has swept the country ever since Esquire’s premier showing last month of the new Mr. T fashions that will dominate your wardrobe from now on. Here’s exclusive chapter #2.



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Esquire menswear magazine’s fashion spread on top shorts for the summer of 1956.


Esquire 1956 shorts

The shorts story is longer than ever before, in terms of style and fabrics. Ever since Esquire made the first break ( in the March, 1953, issue ) the fashion has taken off and now is winning in a breeze.  Time was you could find one store in town had a pair in grey flannel.  Now look them over: in cotton, pleatless front; India madras; short cords for action, wash and wear; blend fabric in stripes.


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Beginnings of Some

Famous Overcoat Fashions



Lord Raglan’s Design

Opposite of Lord Chesterield’s fitted coat

The Raglan.  Originally the coat tailored for Lord Raglan was a tweed wrap which kept off the foggy chill while its wearer was shooting grouse.  What remained of the basic style was the Raglan Shoulder which was a marked departure from the set-in type.  It is still a favorite among men who want a more casual look in their overcoats.


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Emotional as well as economic changes often create the need for a change in fashion, and the textile world must be ready with the cloth.

The overcoat styles which are classified within the industry today as staples had their origin in circumstances which vary in many respects but have the common bond of functional need.  Demonstrating the philosophy that as the world changes in manner or in mood, fabrics must change.  We illustrate several instances wherein a new set of conditions created both the opportunity and the necessity for overcoats which are commonly worn today … but were novel departures at the time of their conception.


The Polo Coat. So far as written record reaches, it is believed that the soft, fine underhair of the camel was used to weave warm and luxurious cloths for the Tartar and Mongolian chiefs. Merchants whose caravans traveled through the passes of India to the north brought back lengths of the precious cloth for use by Indian potentates. Many centuries later, when British cavalry officers in India took up polo to while away their tedious stay, they became acquainted with camel’s hair cloth and discovered that it made up into an excellent lightweight yet warm wrap for wear between chukkers or after the strenuous game.


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“So this fellow gave you the look?” — 

–“At his age it was more of a blink.” 

Clifford Clenk

W. Clifford Klenk and his wife, Hope, in a photograph by Slim Aarons  –from the book “A Privileged Life.”



April 1968: Mr and Mrs Donald Lease with their Rolls Royce and two pet dogs outside their home in Palm Beach, Florida.  –Photo by Slim Aarons


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Esquire, 1933. Laurence Fellows


Laurence Fellows (1885-1964)

An iconic illustrator and advertising artist, born in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, Fellows attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and continued his studies in England and France.  His work appeared in Judge, Life, Vanity Fair, Apparel Arts, and Esquire.  At the start of the century he lived and worked in Philadelphia.  One of the true masters of of menswear illustrators, along with Leslie Saalburg.  Do yourself a favor and pick-up a copy of Men in Style: Golden Age of Fashion from “Esquire”.


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“If you’re going to wear madras, you don’t want to wear something that looks like your grandfather’s,” said Thom Browne. ”Actually, your grandfather’s madras would be cool,” he amended. ”It’s your father’s that you don’t want.”

”Preppy looks so cool when it looks effortless,” Mr. Browne said, ”but when it looks contrived, there’s nothing worse.”



After Six formal jacket and taffeta bow tie & Palm Beach madras patchwork (in)formal suit –from GQ magazine, 1973 (Image via Black Tie Guide)




Actor and film critic Rex Reed relaxes in a wicker chair on Great Harbour Cay, in the Bahamas.  Photo by the legendary photographer Slim Aarons, 1973.



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