It is very common to see items described as “40s does 90s,” meaning an item that was made in the 1990s that has some design details that evoke styling from the 1940s. Have you ever seen an item made in the 40s that was inspired by the 90s?
1890s that is.
I recently came acrossed this 1947 ad for “Tune Togs,” a resort and beachwear line that featured novelty prints. The illustrations dramatized a different song from the “Gay 90s.” This one features the tune “By the Sea.” Did you know that song was that old? Promotional song books were made to advertise the line.
If you have “Tune Togs,” I would love to see photos of them. Post a picture url in comments to share with readers, or email me. The ad was found in Fairchild’s Menswear, their March 1947 issue, which is a publication to the clothing industry. It sure makes me long for the days of summer. Even though I am not much of a shorts person, I could use a warm day or two about now. Of course, I would just complain that I have to put the wool stuff away that I like so much.1940s, vintage ads | Comment (0)
Remember when Old Spice was cool? Somewhere along the road, the brand image sputtered and when I was in high school, everyone thought that whoever wore Old Spice was just an old gramps. Now, the marketing department at Old Spice is striving to make it young, hip and relevant again. With the surge in popularity in men’s body washes and other grooming products, it was time to dust off an old and familiar name and save it from the lower racks of the bargain bin.
While Old Spice tried commercials featuring sports activities and locker room antics, they didn’t hit gold until the Isaiah Mustafa was hired as the Old Spice man. The droll and hilariously larger than life and unquestionably manly, the Old Spice Man was featured in several popular commercials, urging men to drop the “lady scented” body washes.
The Old Spice Man is currently interacting with Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit users by creating video responses to their questions. Here, he answers a question about what happens when two men wearing Old Spice meet.
For more entertainment, visit the Old Spice Youtube channelgrooming products, vintage ads | Comment (0)
1974 was an interesting year for fashion. Simultaneously, it was the golden age of synthetic fabrics and corduroy pants. All factors collided to make it a fashion moment that you are either utterly repulsed or you wax nostalgic over.
I brought this 1974 Jeep CJ/5 ad out of my collection today. It touted a special trim package of Jeep in Blue Jeans.” For a little while, I mulled over the benefits of a denim interior, and ultimately gave it the thumbs up. It may pose issues when sliding onto your seat in the middle of a rain storm that vinyl would never pose. Namely, your seat would stay wet longer. However, there would be many other benefits. It wouldn’t matter if it faded. You could always patch it too. Maybe I never really “read” the ad until now, but quite clearly it states:
Look what the well dressed Jeep CJ/5 is wearing! New Levi’s styled seats with matching fold down top. Made of rugged easy to care for vinyl fabric in absolute authentic styling-right down to the copper rivets!
Talk about a “bait and switch”
This was not the only false denim item being sold in 1974. Levi’s and Lee were clearly in cahoots.
Brawny – That’s the word for these Lee doubleknit jeans and matching shirt-jac. The cut hails from the West. In every detail…And comfort comes from the new non-glitter, snag -resistant doubleknit of 100% Dacron polyester.
Dacron isn’t denim! They sure don’t look like “jeans” to me.
It would seem logical that if something was labelled “denim” than it is made of the heavy cotton fabric popularly known as denim. It not, it is “denim look” or just quite simply “indigo vinyl.” If pants are not denim, but rather polyester, then they are slacks, cords, trousers, or pants, as they have nothing in common aside from a zipper.
I hate to be a stickler for details. Maybe it is because of my checkered past at a small high school where we relished our rare “jean days.” Show me a pair of pants that could be worn on a regular day and you won’t get me to call them jeans, no matter what the marketing department said.
I am going to go put on my gray fleece jeans, considered too “revealing” for school for both boys and girls (figure that one out) and take a jog around the block to try to cool off about this.1970s, 1974, vintage ads | Comment (0)
Today Sansabelt is at the butt of some jokes, portrayed as the fashion detail for folks who are looking for extra room in their drawers at turkey time. Did you know that back in the day, Sansabelt pants were considered pretty fashionable? What, no belt? Are you crazy? In fact, Jaymar offered the feature on their stylish windowpane plaid dacton trousers. There were oodles of celebrity endorsements, including one by Tom Shaw. At the time of this 1974 advertisement, he was the youngest touring professional golfer. In other words, they were pitched as pants for an active lifestyle. Or at least one that including walking, then stopping, then walking, then stopping.
The pants’ “exclusive hidden waistband never ceases to slim him, trim him, keep his shirt tail in and provide an incredible feeling of comfort around the middle.” Brown plaid is not your thing? “Sansabelt Slacks with Dacron polyester come in virtually every cut, color and pattern, each designed to look lavish, yet made to wear and wear.” And wear they do. I have found dozens of examples of the pants that look like the day they came out of the factory.
They were also known as the slacks seen on NBC, not that anyone was squinting at their 12″ black and white searching to see if anyone was wearing a belt.
I am just glad that Tom Shaw was a relatively conservative dresser. At the time, plaid pants were a little more de reguer than they are in 2010. I am not sure if you remember my post about 40s golder Tommy Goodwin and his fashion choices that kind of creep some folks out. (Click to see purely at your own risk).1970s, 1974, sports, vintage ads | Comments (3)
As a teenager, I became a student of early photography. I enjoyed watching documetaries anbout it, and sitting at the library going through photo books. There was a lot of early “trick photography” made possible by the extended exposure times. You could create “ghosts” by moving the person every few seconds or so. Occasionally, a mistake would happen in the modern photo lab and you would get pictures run together. It doesn’t happen now with digital, but sometimes with 110 or even 35 mm film, you got someone who was asleep at the switch or you just didn’t advance the film far enough and got an overlap. Sometimes, the snap shooter could try to convince you that you are really seeing something wonderful and intentional.
Why am I even talking about this? There is a very disturbing 1947 suit advertisement I came across and I am just trying to figure out the purpose/inspiration behind it. It reminds me of a particularly creepy multiple exposure.
I don’t know what it is that creeps me out the most. Maybe it is not really the three headed multi exposure but the haughty glare this young man has on his face. He seems to say, “How dare you disturb me, a pox on you!” Maybe he is a vampire. Shame on me for “judging” someone who I don’t know, and may have never existed in the first place.
I understand that the advertiser is attempting to illustrate that the satin rayon lining comes in three wonderful colors – navy, black, and brown (woohoo!), but even to the trade, I could imagine that they would have inadvertantly scared people away from their booth at the trade show. Of course, the exception is if it was a booth for the National Vertigo Sufferers Association, they were enticing someone to try illicit drugs.
Maybe I am oversensitive or just have an overactive imagination, but if I was a child in 1947 and got ahold of this, I would have had nightmares for sure (worse than clown dreams).1940s, vintage ads | Comment (0)
It’s 1974 week, everybody! In honor of SOMEONE’S birthday (The VintageGent-ette), the Daily will bring you all sorts of retro goodness from the 4th year of the Decade of the Creepy Moustache.
Ah, Paris! The lone accordian player on the street corner. Baguettes. Red geraniums on a wrought iron balcony. Mimes. LOTS of mimes. Forget the Italian suit; no man’s wardrobe would be complete without the French style shirt. But, as the Arrow ad contests, the shirt is not merely French, the reason for wearing it is VERY French too. Does that mean the wearer suddenly decide that Marcel Marceau is a genius and started eating pom frites? This ad appeared in current events and men’s magazines in 1974.
Luckily, the folks at Arrow decide to clue us in on exactly what this all means. And it has nothing to do with mimes. Just read the fine print, Monsieur and Madame:
Is Arrow implying that the shirt was created by women so they could determine if a man was arm candy material or not? Just take away all the amply cut windowpane plaid blazers to check out what one is really advertising? But what if the gentleman is not slim and trim but rather round and um…untrim? Do ladies still want to see the “shape of a man’s body?” In the 70s, arm holes were smaller and shirts and jackets were more fitted in the shoulders than their modern counterparts. Overall, I think that it is a smart looking albeit basic shirt…relatively speaking…but the ad description is a hoot. I am sure if I went to France and interviewed 100 men I would get a few guys spitting their French Roast out their nose if I asked them “If every Frenchman wears shirts cut to show their shape.”
But is that why “American Men Look So Good?” Then why not call the shirt “American Style.” Ah, but one has to make a blue button down shirt sound a bit more exotic than that. Or maybe this shirt is put away, and in a couple of years, this guy gains some weight so he wears it unbuttoned and dons the latest fashion accessory – a disco chain.1970s, vintage ads | Comment (1)
There are so many slogans for products these days that tout their greenness and wonderfulness, I almost long to be told how awful something is…so awful that I just may want to try it. Before all of those freshmint and cinnamon flavors for the “kid in you,” Listerine was an antiseptic tasting substance that made you wonder why you gargled with it in the first place. The marketing geniuses decided to capitalize on it and tag it with the slogan, “It’s got the taste people hate…twice a day!”
Academy Award winning actor and narrator extraordinaire Morgan Freeman stars in this spot for Listerine, long even before the days of playing a bathing Vampire on “The Electric Company.” Yes. You read that right.
Of course, you have probably completely ignored that last bit and wonder what’s the deal with a bathing Vampire? Apparently, vampires enjoy bathing in their caskets due to heat retention. It is much warmer in there than running across the hall and properly bathing in the bathroom. Besides, there are too many lights in there.
Surely, this influenced Freeman’s decision to join the cast of the film Clean and Sober. He probably felt it was a bait and switch, as the film was not about “that” kind of clean. Luckily for all of us, Mr. Freeman started choosing roles regardless of level of personal hygiene products and has played a variety of entertaining and career defining roles.
What is your favorite “Before They were Famous” moments?commercials, grooming products, oscars, stay healthy, vintage ads | Comment (0)
I remember my brother and I staying home with a babysitter while mom and dad went Christmas shopping. We had a really cool babysitter named Renee. We would play games and record radio shows on our tape players. We played “Truth or Dare” and one of the silly dares was to walk outside in the snow without any coat on and yell, “I LOVE NORELCO!” for all to hear. Why? Maybe we heard that slogan on a commercial. We thought it was a funny thing to say, at least when you were five and eight years old.
I remember the Norelco Santa commercials, but had no idea they kept remaking it over the years. For your enjoyment, here is three decades of Santa
Norelco Santa from the 1960s. The commercial was stop motion claymation, produced in the CBS studios.
Here is Santa, as he appeared in 1978.
Here comes Santa Claus….1994 style.
There is one more Santa that I think I remember. He had a pointy hat and looked like he was made of gumdrop material, but perhaps that was for another product. If anyone finds that one, point me in that direction. Have you or a loved one ever went on a razor spending spree for the holidays?
Merry Christmas from all of us at VintageGent’s Menswear Daily.1960s, 1970s, 1990s, grooming products, vintage ads | Comments (3)
Socks are something that are sorely neglected today. I don’t mean “today” literally. It is obviously the middle of summer so a lot of you are not wearing socks everyday. I meant, in general. Flashback to 1947, where hosiery ads (a.k.a. sock ads) were evenly sprinkled throughout the March 1947 Fairchild Men’s Wear Magazine (A trade publication to the industry). The argyle numbers, above, were being touted for the outdoors inspiration in their patterns and colors. They were retailing at $2.00 per pair. Sounds pretty reasonable for fine Australian wool, right?
Adjusted for inflation, men expected to pay approximately $21.03 for a pair if you converted into today’s money. A lot of you would say that was quite pricey, when you can make your way over to the mall and buy some for $1.99 on the clearance rack and scoff at how the $9.00 socks are the result of price gouging. The fact of the matter is, socks were just made a heck of a lot better. In fact, people used to repair their socks. When proper ladies and gentleman want to swear, but are not angry enough to forget their matters, they say “Darn It,” to this very day. So it is actually a very positive statement versus merely being a euphemisn for something far less polite.
Even though socks were more cared for back then, apparently they were still a cause for unrest. This ad from Westminster Ltd. was a little puzzling. The slogan was “You’re Asking for a Good Sock…”
The message is simple enough. What is a little puzzling is the whole scene that is playing out in the restaurant.
We have a waiter that is looking either a little peeved that the gentleman left a rotten tip or is a little snooty. The man looks really angry or embarrassed about something. The young lady appears to be looking at you, maybe to motion over to you to intervene, or to sort of apologize for what has just happened? What does this have to do with socks? Maybe I have it all wrong, and the waiter can’t believe the man lights up a cigar in this white table-clothed establishment. However, the man is so uncomfortable because he is wearing socks are too tight, and his toes are poling through the holes, that he can’t help but act on it.
This ad was directed towards the “industry:” clothing stores and boutiques, manufacturers, and others in the trade. Therefore, I am wondering if I am missing the joke or the reference, not being a post-war textile manufacturer, or perhaps this is something that will make perfect sense when I have a eureka moment at 2 A.M.
Sometimes I just think too much…
Until Next Time….
1940s, fashion history, vintage ads | Comments (4)
Quite some time ago, I wrote about Z. Cavaricci pants. Let’s take a trip back in time, shall we?
I had a bad flashback today. I read an article that mentioned Z. Cavariccis. For those that want to forget, Z. Cavaricci created a men’s style in pants that in the late 80s to early 90s. Many a young man who I knew wore them. I am asking whoever made themselves in charge of looking at influences from the 80s to overlook this one when designing next season’s clothing.
They were high waisted like tux pants, but the belt loops were a bit lower, at the natural waist. The legs were pleated, and what made them veer way off the track of a classic trouser, was that they featured a deep “v” front yoke. It caused the legs of the pants, because they were pleated but flat acrossed the stomach and groin area, to pleat out even farther. On the tall, gangly, and knobby kneed gent, it was actually flattering because the pleats laid right and it made his legs look more proportional. You noticed the guy’s overall ensemble.
But on everyone else…it was “Here comes pants.”
If you were stocky, or were fit but were more muscular of leg, the pleated legs brought a strange adaptation of puffed out harem pants to mind or made one look bowlegged. Of course, this was overcontrasted by the virtually flat triangular yoke covering the stomach to the top of the groin area, appearing like a virtual “directional arrow” towards something that I am sure the designer could not have realized, or the joke was on the wearer that their whole…um… “area”… was being pointed to. The finishing touch was to buy them long and cuff them.
The rear of the pants had little style, most of the budget had been put into the front.I have no photo to show you. I could not find one anywhere. So you may just have to take my word for it!
Well, flash forward to this week, when an alert reader sent me the following image:
The shirt is hiding just how high the waist band is on the man, trust me. There is a distinct possibility that I am remembering them in a far more heinous light than they actually were. After all, they were tumbled around in my distant memory, most likely hopped on by Q-bert and pummeled by a few 1980s professional wrestlers I recall from sitting like a pretzel on the living room floor. Those guys are really heavy and I wouldn’t want to whack them in their center of gravity. All of these years, they have been tripping around in my cob webby mind each time I sleep or stand. Those pants would surely be flattened or severely mangled by now. I will go with “theory B,” a model of perfect proportions just is able to carry off the look more so than pre-growth spurt teenage boys.1980s, 1990s, cavaricci, vintage ads | Comments (16)