Category Archives: Clothing

Sports Illustrated – September 27, 1954

Greetings! As a possibly permanent change of pace, I’ve decided to take a single issue of a periodical of the dim and misty past and have at it all in one go. Today’s lucky target of nostalgia is the September 27th 1954 edition of Sports Illustrated. That was the first year for this noble magazine veteran and this was lucky issue #7. Let’s dive in and look at the interesting part, the adverts, and ignore all that pesky content about sports!

It’s easy in today’s bare-headed culture to forget that 50 years ago hats were pretty damn important and a part of every smart-looking young man’s wardrobe. This smart green Black Forest hat has a band as wide as a weasel’s face. No doubt that was the height of fashion at the time. These suckers top out at $20 in 1954. Accounting for inflation that’s a $150 hat! That’s one salty weasel-band hat!

From Classic Ads – Clothing

This ad admonishes us to ask for genuine G.E. tubes the next time we have our televisions repaired. Do they even HAVE TV repairmen anymore? Regardless, if they do then I hope they use G.E. tubes. They really put a wallop in your tired TV picture. When’s the last time you walloped something?

From Classic Ads – Communications

These people are obviously of the monied class so of course they arrived at this fancy dinner in a Cadillac. You’d have to have a lot of money to drive a car the size of a commercial fishing vessel. Bubba-Gump’s shrimpin’ boat was smaller than this car. Her jewels by Van Cleef and Arpela. Wrap by Anthony Biotta. Car by Cadillac. All 22 feet of it.

From Classic Ads – Automotive

Old Spice – For Men. As if you had to make THAT clear. Any woman who would consider wearing Old Spice probably drives a shrimpin’ boat and gives not a whit of a care about how she smells.

From Classic Ads – Personal Grooming

Ending on a supremely manly note, Early Times is every ounce a Man’s Whisky. These people know about horses so they must know about good whisky, right? Though one must admit that with that rather pallid yellow color one can’t help but wonder if the whisky doesn’t start out as a byproduct of the horse…

From Classic Ads – Food And Drink

And that’s what advertising was like in 1954. Anybody wanting a 1954 copy of SI can have it at cost now that I’m done with it.

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Early 70s Fashion Free-for-all

It’s almost too easy to take pot-shots at seventy’s fashions but I’ll do it anyway. Imagine, if you will, a world in which it’s cool to wear all-denim outfits. Is this what you imagined?

1973 Denim Live-Ins

1973 Denim Live-Ins

One one hand, I regret that male fashions have become so drab and plastic. On the other hand, I can’t help but think that if THIS is what male self-expression in the area of fashion looks like then maybe we’re better off being drab?

1973 Sears Shirts

1973 Sears Shirts

And who approved these color choices?

1972 Sears Slacks

1972 Sears Slacks

And the shoes are to die for. Or… well, at least you’ll want to die.

1973 Johnston and Murphy

1973 Johnston and Murphy

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Levi’s Panatela Slacks – not $lacks [1973]

Today’s post makes me absolutely weep with nostalgia. I yearn so much to go back to the days when the clothes featured in this ad were not only acceptable but in fact in vogue. Now that you’ve had your monthly dose of sarcasm, I bring you Panatela Slacks.

1973 Levi's Panatela Slacks

1973 Levi's Panatela Slacks

Ad Text:

The people who’ve been selling you slacks have been pulling your leg. They would have you believe that a fine pair of slacks always carries a fine price tag. “Fine slacks,” they intone, “show meticulous – and therefore expensive – attention to detail. Pockets lie flat. Patterns match nicely at the seams. Proper stitches are in their proper places. And the rich fabric drapes comfortably on the human form.”

We agree. And we don’t agree. You can certainly tell a fine pair of slacks by how well they’re made. But not by how much they cost! Levi’s Pantela Slacks are priced on a trifle above your average work-around-the-yard pants. Which puts their price six triples below your average work-around-the-office pants.

Yet despite their sensible cost (around $12 to $22, instead of $30 to heaven knows what), the economy of Levi’s Panatela Slacks is noticeable only to your wallet.

Upon close examination, one sees that pockets lie flat; patterns match; stitches are perfect; and the fabric drapes comfortably, naturally and handsomely on your human form. Sometime soon, visit a men’s store and try on a pair of Panatela Slacks. See if you can tell any difference between our Slacks and their $lacks. Other than the $. We’re all but certain that you’ll walk out owning a pair of Panatela Slacks. Because legs were made to be fitted. Not pulled.

Putting aside the absolute atrocity of the product being sold here by today’s standards of fashion, the text of this ad strikes me very favorably. It’s articulate and detailed and fairly convincing. Not to mention, I dig anything that a guy with a mustache like that wants to sell me.

PS: I can’t deny that those slacks with the dollar bills on them really rock my world. I wonder if they come in that king of fabrics, polyester. Wow!

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