All posts in Clothing and History

The Miyuki-zoku in Life & Illustration

IMG_1167(1)

I like to keep a nice selection of coffee table books around. One of my newer books is called “Cool: Style, Sound, and Subversion” (see here). Overall it is a pretty cool book. It covers a lot of subcultures and fairly accurate. It gives a 1-2 page write-up with each subculture including Ivy League Style, Preppy, unfortunately no Trad, and what I am focusing on today is the Miyuki-zoku…kind of.
IMG_1170IMG_1169

What struck me about the the Miyuki-zoku page was the illustrations. I knew that I had seen this image before. It turns out it wasn’t one image, but a few images drawn together. It only took a handful of Google searches to put it all together. I found our friend on the far right in the madras looking Harrington jacket and Chucks in a blog post on Ivy Style. I then spotted the guy in madras shirt over at Put this On.
Japanese Ivy Style

The Miyuki-Zoku, 1964David Marx posted this great photo on Twitter today. Shown above are some members of the Miyuki-zoku, a 1960s Japanese youth movement that revolved around Ivy Style clothes. Somewhat notable: the men are seen wearing short...What was interesting to me about this is that we have photographs being documented in illustrations. I am sure this is fairly common, but seeing it this way just got me thinking about the how cultures and art feed each other. I don’t know where I am going with that other than it is interesting to think about. Before I get too deep let me provide you with links to the articles referenced above so you can read more about The Miyuki-zoku.

Learn more about the Japanese youth movement the Miyuki-zoku:

Ivy Style – The Miyuki-zoku: Japan’s First Ivy Rebels

Put this On – The Miyuki-zoku, 1964

 

Spring Semester 1964

FullSizeRender(21)

There is nothing better than wearing Shetlands, tweed, and the ability to layer. Well there may be at least one thing that is better which is warm weather. While the winter has been great for breaking out cold weather gear I have had my fill and I am over it. However, with the coldest month approaching I can do nothing but dream of warmer days.

Last night I was flipping through an old Wittenberg University yearbook from 1964 (no, this is not the year that I graduated) to get some spring inspiration. There were some cool ivy pics that got me excited for wearing shorts, madras, and white sneakers. It also reminded me that flip-flops & t-shirts have been on the scene for quite a while and that students have always loved kicking off their loafers! Before you start browsing the images below lets let out one collective sigh as we dream of warm weather and that student life.

IMG_6582IMG_6588IMG_6584IMG_6599IMG_6587IMG_6602IMG_6597IMG_6598IMG_6586FullSizeRender(23)

Madison Avenue Does Main Street Ivy

FullSizeRender(24)

Last week I broke out a tweed that I don’t think that I have posted before. It is probably the most ivy looking jacket that I own. It is also not as ivy you might think.
Varsity Town Madisonaire JacketI rarely thrift or buy second-hand clothes these days. It is not because I am too good for it and have all my clothes MTM, but rather it almost never works out for me. I am currently batting about 10%. This jacket however i purchased on a second-had site and (drum roll!) it worked out. The jacket is Varsity Town’s Madisionaire. If this name rings a bell it is probably because Christian at Ivy Style wrote an article about it (Varsity Town’s Madisonaire, 1966).
FullSizeRender(21)
The Madisonaire is a perfect example of heyday Ivy. It has a 3/2 roll, natural shoulders, narrow lapels, swelled edges, and a hook vent. The lapel rolls the way they do in the old movies. It just looks ivy, and while it looks ivy it wasn’t made for the Brooks Brothers or J.Press crowd, but instead was intended for mainstream America. To quote the Ivy Style article, “Either way it’s still Main Street, a wonderful example of commerce at work and the flourishing of the Ivy League Look to men across the nation, who, if they couldn’t get the real deal, could at least get a replica.”
IMG_5596
IMG_5614A few things to take away from this post. One, is that authenticity is tricky. Is this item ivy league or is it a cheap replica? Two, even though your vintage item may have been mid-market in its day its quality may be closer to today’s high-end tailored clothing. Three, repp ties are great, but don’t forget about foulards. They are perfect for tweed.

What are Polo Belts?

Polo Belt

I want to get a leather belt that is thinner than 1.25″. The reason why is that I have grown very accustomed to the thinner front of surcingle belts. I don’t want it to be a dress belt as I plan on wearing it with my 5-pocket cords. This search led me to Sid Mashburn. While looking at their selection of 1″ leather belts I noticed a belt (pictured above) that they referred to as a “polo” belt. I had never heard the term and thought nothing of until I saw a post on polo belts on Red Clay Soul.

I’ve been digging on the polo belts lately.  I love the idea, as well as the culture from which the polo belts originate.  Born in Argentina, they are typically leather belts with color-specific designs woven in to represent a team or a location.  While they’ve been around forever, they were made popular, maybe even mainstream, by royalty:
Polo Belts

Head over to Red Clay Soul for more examples of the polo belt, where to find them, and a few ideas on how to wear them. Read the full post here: Polo Belts by Red Clay Soul

The Past & The Future of the L.L. Bean Anorak

The anorak made its way into the Trad cannon via Ivy Style as documented in the famed book Take Ivy. It was one of the lucky items to transcend the Ivy era and found itself perhaps even more popular among the 70’s prep crowd (The Late 70s Prep Look) . The anorak continues to weave in and out of mainstream popularity, but it has found a home for itself in the world of traditional American clothing. That about sums what I know about the anorak, but luckily for us we have a guest poster Kel Rhoads who knows his stuff and is going to give us a history lesson on the L.L. Bean Anorak (and a sneak peak at their 2017 anorak).

anorak-ivy-style-3LL Bean, established purveyor of traditional clothing, has offered an anorak for over 70 years—although not continuously. For the past several years, if you wanted a traditional Bean anorak, you had to scour the used market. Fortunately, that’s about to change. A new Bean anorak will be released in early 2017. Given our interest in the garment, an LL Bean employee sent us an exclusive photograph of the upcoming model. We’ll show it to you in a bit, but first, let’s put the new anorak in its historical context.

The original “annoraaq” was designed by the Inuit as a heavy, fur-lined, hooded pullover jacket. No openings to the front, with drawstrings at hood, cuffs, and waist, helped the jacket ward off wind, water, and freezing temperatures encountered by polar hunters. The garment was strictly and efficiently functional. As is often the case, the garment’s spartan practicality provided the foundation for its evolution into versatile, and sometimes even fashionable, outerwear—for even the non-polar inclined.
To our knowledge, there have been four previous generations of the Bean anorak, with the 2017 model ushering in the fifth. The first generation served soldiers in WWII and was available into the 1960s as “Bean’s Labrador Parka,” either cotton or 60/40, with a distinctively alien, two-pocketed, low-hem cut. Today these are valued by collectors.
LL Bean Labrador AnorakLL Bean Labrador ParkaThe second generation ushered in “Bean’s Anorak,” which had the familiar modern windbreaker look we recognize today. We suspect the second generation was offered throughout the 1970s and 1980s. They were made of slick, lightweight (2.5 oz./yard) nylon and had parallel seams on the chest. The elastic wrist bands on most of these vintage ‘raks have relaxed and need replacement, but otherwise they are still durable, functional garments—and still the lightest and most packable of any Bean anorak.
beans-anorak
Bean’s third generation was produced in the 1990s and was broadly popular, even earning its own advertising spreads in outdoor magazines. These anoraks were redesigned in softer Supplex nylon with a cotton-y feel, and the seams on the chest evolved into a slenderizing keystone shape. That, along with an elastic waist drawstring, meant wearers could advertise a trim, athletic figure beneath. These were known as the “Mountain Classic Anorak” in solid colors, and the “Alpine Classic” or “Aztec” in flamboyant color-block variants. We aren’t certain if the third generation made it into the 21st century, but there was a many-years-long hiatus where Bean anoraks were no longer offered.
mountain-classic-anorakPopular demand caught up with Bean in 2012, when they reintroduced a fourth variant for just two years. They again called it the “Mountain Classic Anorak,” made of an even softer Supplex than previously. In many ways, however, the 2012 reissued Mountain Classic was more like the second-generation Bean’s Anorak with straight chest seams and vintage leather cord keepers at the hood. Bean also cut the fourth generation model considerably larger in the trunk, yielding a less athletic but comfortably drapey (some say tent-like) shape.
mountain-classic-anorak-2012-2
That brings us to the just-introduced fifth generation Bean anorak, called the “Mountain Classic Color Block Anorak” — although we’ve been assured one color scheme will be a sober black-on-black. Studying the photograph, it appears the anorak has gone back to a slimmer cut, possibly longer, and with a longer chest zipper. Its color-block style harkens back to the “Alpine” and “Aztec” designs of the 1990s, but less rambunctiously so. Bean has also revived their “Sunrise over Katahdin” label (which appeared in 1987) and placed it prominently on the chest. We have no idea how long Bean will offer the new 5th-gen, but we’re told they’ll debut in the Spring of 2017.
ll-bean-anorak-2017Modern windbreaker-style anoraks are favorites of travelers. There’s a cost of having to wriggle into a pullover that gives half the ventilation of a zip-up jacket. But the benefits are many: a streamlined front that doesn’t snag on pack straps, superior weather resistance, a long and lightweight barrier that wards off the grime of public transportation. And then there’s that magnificent kangaroo pocket. For the urban traveler, its great advantage is rapid deployment and concealment of valuables. While others are fumbling with wallets, packs and purses, the anorak’d traveler faces the vending machine, unzips, pays, and stashes change and receipt back into the pocket in seconds. By the time he or she turns away, everything’s zipped and secure, to be sorted out later. Pick-pockets hate anoraks!