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Tag: Regimental Ties

Old Is New Again

Apparently TIME magazine has a public archive of old articles on their website and it was fun searching through them for familiar topics:

The Call of the Wilderness

Manhattanites in plaid flannel shirts and crepe-soled leather boots are hiking down Fifth Avenue. Students in goose-down vests and baggy sweatpants are trekking through Harvard Square. Dudes in lumber jackets are hanging out in Beverly Hills. Few of these folks have a clue how to swing a fly rod or an ax. But they do know that outdoor gear designed for the backwoods has come in from the cold for wear everywhere.

That was written in 1976, but reads like it could have been from yesterday.

Here Comes the Preppie Look, written in 1980. The quote from the Cable Car Clothiers manager is great.

Out with the baggy jeans, the chinoiserie, the gypsy queen regalia. In with the snappy blue blazers and tweed hacking jackets, button-down Oxford-cloth shirts and Shetland sweaters, khaki slacks and tartan skirts. This summer and fall, the fashion-conscious woman will be wearing exactly what the fashion-unconscious woman has been wearing for decades. It is currently labeled the Preppie Look, though the style has also been known as Ivy League, Town and Country, Brooks Brothers or—in England —County. Mother would approve…

…The vogue is not tied to any individual designer. Indeed, in some ways it represents a rebellion against duds that bear big-name labels. Says Armond Suacci, manager of Cable Car Clothiers in San Francisco: “Preppie people do not need designers because they already have taste in clothing.”

A Ralph Lauren piece from 1986 – Selling a Dream of Elegance and the Good Life. He was on the cover of that issue.

Fashion Designer Ralph Lauren grew up a long way from all the things he really admired: hand-tailored clothes, manor houses, sports cars, fine horses and manicured lawns. But call it a yearning process: as an outsider to that world, Bronx-born Lauren dreamed up his own brand of gentility and style. Now he has managed to create an image and a company that have nearly cornered the market for supplying today’s would-be Gatsbys. Shunning hipness and flamboyance, Lauren cultivates the up-and-coming customer’s appreciation for things and dreams that last.

A profile on L.L. Bean (the man himself) in 1962 – What No One Else Has As Good As

Wives v. Boots. Founder and autocratic boss of this Down-East Abercrombie & Fitch is L. L. (for Leon Leonwood) Bean, 90, a crusty Yankee who is more woodsman than businessman. Bean still works vigorously each day in a glassed-in office amidst the production line, is proud of the fact that he has bagged 35 deer in his lifetime. (“That’s a lot of deer, son. You can get only one a year, you know.”) He personally edits each entry in the Bean mail-order catalogue, and his spare, disarming style has been used in advertising textbooks as exemplary of what direct-mail selling should be. Sample: “Most hunters and fishermen smoke. For a long time we searched for an outstanding pipe. This pipe is the result.”

Some other interesting pieces:
The Brick-Red Look
Back to Braces
The Regimental Tie

Untipped Ties

Outside of the custom market and not counting seven folds, untipped ties are pretty uncommon to find and even Drake’s only sells a few in a raw silk variety. There is no real benefit – however, on some types of silk I’ve found that they have a habit of becoming easily bent or curled at the tip and it’s something that you’ll either think is charming or infuriating.

Untipped regimental ties sold under a Hartford name, which seems to be some obscure line from Europe. Made in Italy, they’re pretty decent and have a sturdy lining.

I intend on having some new ones made for me this next year, and will report back later.

Ben Silver’s Regimental Ties

Ben Silver just sent out a wonderful catalog for their large selection of regimental ties. Not only are they the only retailer that does that sort of thing anymore, they’re also one of the few companies in the United States that sell true regimentals where the stripes go down in the direction from the left shoulder down to the right across the heart.

This style originated in England from military associations (and later by school groups) – when the Americans came along, we then reversed the direction of the stripes to go the opposite way. The exact reason why this was done is unknown, but one could assume that it was out of respect or maybe just to look different.

Ben Silver’s striped ties are a perfect 3 1/4 inches in width, not too wide and not too narrow.

On the left, my favorite navy and maroon pattern as worn by the Guards Brigade. “The Household Brigade, organized in 1660 under King Charles II. Composed of Household Cavalry together with regiments of Foot Guards. Regiments entrusted with the privileged task of guarding the Sovereign.” I will stick with my Americanized versions however.

ben_silver_ties_4 Read more

The Regimental Tie

My first real tie was a vintage Paul Stuart regimental in the classic red and navy stripe pattern, which I happened to come across again this last weekend when organizing a few old boxes. Pictured below on the left, I remember wearing this thing almost daily and it went through a lot with me as if it were a close friend. The edges and tip are now frayed, and dyes from the silk will rub off into your hands and shirt if handled too much. Long since retired, it was somehow spared the fate of a trash can which is really where it belongs.

The tie’s particular pattern left a lasting impression on me though, and to this day it’s still my favorite.

Regimental Stripe Tie - Paul Stuart and Polo Ralph Lauren
Regimental Stripe Tie - Paul Stuart and Polo Ralph Lauren
Regimental Stripe Tie - Paul Stuart and Polo Ralph Lauren

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