There is only one retail establishment in the world that is able to boast that they had retained the patronage of both Thomas Jefferson and Andy Warhol, and that would be Brooks Brothers.
"Diplomats and prize fighters, dukes and bankers, Cabinet members and theatrical luminaries stroll every day through the ten-story building on Madison Avenue. The sight of Secretary of State Dean Acheson trying on a new overcoat, or Clark Gable testing a new pair of shoes, or the Duke of Windsor undecided between a red or green dressing gown causes scarcely a flurry. The reason is simply that the store itself is a national legend, as noted in its own right as any of its patrons."
The attached five page article lays out the first 132 years of Brooks Brothers. It is printable.
- from Amazon:
Brooks Brothers: Generations of Style, It's About the Clothing
This illustrated column points out a number of interesting historic facts about ties in America; most notably that up until 1865 the preferred form of neck wear in the U.S. was a pre-tied bow that fastened in the back. In the 1920s the United States became the premiere manufacturer of men's neckties - a record that was comfortably held for some time afterword.
Click here to read about the fabric restrictions imposed on
the American fashion world during the Second World war.
Widely remembered as the best dressed man of the Nineteenth Century, Beau Brummell, (né George Bryan Brummell 1778 - 1840), set the standard for male sartorial splendor and as a result, his name
liveth ever more.
The attached men's fashion article was written at a time when American leisure wear was going through it's birth pangs and slovenly attire was on the rise all over the fruited plain; it was thoroughly appropriate for the editors of GENTRY MAGAZINE to print this article which not only examined the clothing philosophy of the Beau but also paid heed as to which actors portrayed him on screen (oddly, there was no mention made whatever as to who the various costume designers were).
"He dressed simply, without ornamentation. What was it then that set him apart so ostentatiously from the crowd? What made him the best dressed man of the century? The answer lies not, as history has decided, in his clothes. It lay entirely in the way he wore them."
A further study of Dandies can be found here...
Fads like ukulele strumming and flagpole sitting have not been seen on college campi since the 1920s - but the undergraduates in 1956 did adopt one fashion element from the Twenties - their father's raccoon coats.
Click here to read about the Ivy League look for 1953.
"The pajama is ascending to glorified heights. Long the black sheep of polite private life, this garment has been elevated to the four hundred...Men are drugging their senses with batik designs in sleeping apparel and inhaling the stimulation of contrasting shades in underclothes."
"What the well-dressed man will wear when going to bed is one of the burning topics of the immediate future...By and large, the thirst for color permeates the accessory field from linen to lingerie. The picture might be said to be complete. Man has achieved his zenith."
Read about a pajama fashion innovation that never quite caught on...