Sunday, March 1, 2009

Right At Home...WIW

The September 1940-dated Kaufmann tweed suit I wore today would be right at home in the Mont. Ward catalog in my last post.

1930s 'Adam' ("the first name in hats") fedora.

When this suit was bought back in September of 1940, the blitz of London had just begun (September 7). Hitler announced on September 17, 1940 that the planned invasion of England (Operation Sealion) was postponed.
The United States had not yet joined in the fighting and hadn't even started its 'Lend-Lease' program with England, Russia, China and other allies.

This suit was born in unsettled times.

Patch pockets, an unusual (for 1940) single short vent, the working faux bottom vest button, lapels that roll to the center button: all trademarks of a well made suit, this time from 1940-- the end of the great pre-war suits.

1 comment:

Patrick Henry said...

Just discovered your blog and spent 2-3 hours going through all your posts. Great stuff!

I was much more into vintage clothes in HS and college; sadly, I offloaded most of the things I had (well, much of it was either too big (suits, jackets) or stained (ties), so perhaps not such a loss). I still like the retro style, and you have inspired me to whip out my only 40s-era tie and wear it tomorrow.

Unlike you, I was more into the 60s, and I still have a few skinny ties, but I can't wear them now (they don't go with my modern jackets, and perhaps I am too big around the waist to wear them anymore, though I'm making progress on that). I would love to get some ties from the 40s or 50s, but I have the feeling that I'd have better luck with eBay or other on-line sources than any local thrift store (though my area is blessed with some really good ones). If you shop on-line, where do you go?

I did get a great Frank Lloyd Wright design tie here (Eclipsing Circles in blue); you may like some of them. You can also find FLW design ties here (more designs, but $2 to $12 more expensive). (No, I don't have any financial interest in either of the sites or FLW's estate.)

As I'm sure you know, the reason men's ties are longer now than they were in the past is that men generally wear their pants at their waists, rather than at their hips; also, without a vest, the tie needs to hang down lower. You can make up for (some) of that by tying a modern tie in a Windsor knot.

Thanks for the tip on George clothes at Wal-Mart. I'll give them a try. Also, if I find any vintage ties I like (I'm very fussy about my ties), I will no longer reject out-of-hand anything that's not silk. You've convinced me to give other materials another shot.

Thank you also for explaining why my modern jackets bunch up so unpleasantly when I raise my arms. If I can ever afford bespoke clothes again, I will definitely get small armholes.

In the past year or so, I have become convinced that the pinnacle for men's clothing was the 1930s. (Even if you go a couple of decades in either direction you'll find pretty good styles, too.) One of the best "places" to enjoy clothing from that era other than period films is the Jeeves and Wooster series. Hugh Laurie got to wear the nicest clothes and hats! The styles have inspired me; I hope to be able to emulate them soon. Your local library may have the DVDs; Netflix does as well, and you can always buy them (I did).

I love your burgundy shoes! The color is fantastic. Are they new or vintage?

Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading more.

P.S.: I scored 100% on the Atomic Fleck quiz!


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