02 March 2012

Nothing New Under The Sun

The older I get, the more outright obnoxious I tend to find most men's designer clothing. With women's  clothes, there is an endless variety if exploration of shape, color, proportion and even asymmetry allowed that will keep things at least interesting and at best downright artistic. In men's clothes, however, "design" is frequently little more than stealing, re-packaging and marketing. I like to poke fun at phrases like "well curated authentic heritage Americana" when discussing 19th century poor peoples clothes being sold as high design, but a close second is "classic with a twist", or worse "preppy with a twist" when used to describe proper menswear made disproportionately small or worse, some kind of f*cked up. Alas, there is nothing new under the sun...
Note the penny loafer sandal (?!?!) by  none other than Bass, purveyor of the rule book thumping Weejun itself, in 1967, the very height of the heyday of true Prep/Ivy/Trad style. Even the veritable "with a twist" turns out to be stolen goods.

When we reach the point of there being nothing new under the sun, it may just be that the best new things are in fact old things.

7 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Okay, those sandals are just wrong.

cpd said...

They don't make those sandals anymore do they? I tempted to see what they look like in real life...

Anonymous said...

I had a pair of these Weejun sandals in 1967...I was a senior in high school. The rest of my wardrobe consisted on John Meyer of Norwich and Villager. I wish I could find a pair of Weejun loafers today, like the ones I had then. Love your blog.

joseph moss said...

Just got a mint Woolrich parka at my local Vintage shop for $65. The updated McNairy version runs for $500! Aside from an alteration on the pocket and a different color, its essentially the same jacket. Giuseppe couldn't be more right.

Tailor Dan said...

Never been a sandal wearing chap except when on holiday. But then again I am very much in the seasons of southern england which are tepid at best.

Repackaging. Oh well.

Carmine Leopold van Duesenberg said...

By the by, Do you know any Blogs on 19th century poor people clothes? i'd like to deepen my knowledge on the subject, But anyone slightly interested in menswear Seems to go all beau brummel 1910 saville row.

Anonymous said...

A little context on the penny loafer sandal: in the late Sixties, preps, aping their bohemian sandal-wearing brethren, began cutting out the backs and fronts of their loafers for DIY sandals. Like the practice of wrapping torn Weejuns with duct tape that came about in the seventies and eighties, it was a form of got-to-hell anti-chic.