Thursday, October 26, 2017

Men's Coats and Jackets from the 1960s

Governor William Scranton (Yale President Kingman Brewster on Right) - Photos by Salt Water New England



Director Elia Kazan (A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront)

Mark Van Doren, Poet, Columbia Professor

Middlebury Hunt Club

On the Streets of New Haven

Naturalist Edwin Way Teale

Choate Headmaster Seymour St. John

The Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Chaplain, Yale University

Bing Crosby's Brother, Without His Monkey

  Arthur Miller

Ralph Nader

Men From the .....

...John Birch Society, New Haven

Crew Coach

The Photographer, Father in His Corduroy Coat

29 comments:

  1. What had happened to us?

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    1. I agree with your comment anonymous. I have often sadly wondered the same thing- "What happened to us?" SWNE- I love your archived photographs!

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    2. That is the question to end all questions.

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  2. I agree with you; I often wonder the same thing.

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  3. Indeed, what has happened to us?

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  4. What happened to us? McDonalds, Taco Bell, Walmart, shopping malls, television and the internet.

    They are all responsible for a dumbed down, consumerist culture that despises tradition, quality and style as elitist and even racist.

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    1. "...a dumbed down, consumerist culture that despises tradition, quality, and style as elitist and even racist."

      How true this is! I agree with you about that but I disagree with the root cause. I think it's a loss of a collective memory of what it means to fight, struggle, and work really, really hard.

      Here is an example: The greatest generation is all but gone and with that comes their ability to speak about what they went through in WWII. And as my (greatest generation) grandfather used to say...after fighting in the Pacific theater you worked towards contentment, not what's next or new. You know what really matters when you're about to lose it all." Struggles refine people and at the end wisdom is the prize. This is a sweeping generalization and I'm sure we can find lots of anecdotes where this is not true, but an entire generation of men and women struggled through the great depression and a great war and their knowledge and wisdom and the society that they built was born of those circumstances. We are several generations removed from a major grounding struggle against clear right and wrong. The values are mixed up, the lines are shifting constantly.

      You still see this in individuals who have gone and fought the dragon, you see this in the children of immigrants who have come through hell to give their kids lives here that were better than where they were from, but for the majority of us that's not asked of us or encouraged of us and more and more I see that when people do wade into those fights there's no one there on the sidelines giving them the wisdom and encouragement they need while letting them fail if necessary.

      I'm an older millennial and I see this from my peers all the time. I'm grateful that my parents had the wisdom to let me flail and fail instead of always rescuing me and that I had good grandparents who passed down excellent family values and spoke candidly about the way they ran their lives, finances, and homes so that we would know the how AND the why.

      Goodness...this turned into a bit of a novel! But that's my theory on why society has shifted.

      - ER

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    2. Nice to be in good company here. I'm a boomer with parents of the "greatest generation" (now in their 90's and pretty frail). I've said this before here, but I am glad I grew up when I did and how I did. I will not follow the slovenly herd and will continue to hold to my values and traditions until the day I take my last breath. Pictures do speak thousands of words, and, yes...look what happened to us. Egad!

      Jacqueline

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    3. Another Boomer here and I agree with you all. We live in a disposable society where quality is no longer important. Never mind what that does to the environment. Oh, and never mind the subject of taste(both senses).

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    4. Here here! Indeed! ARH

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    5. Oh, but you are mistaken, my friend.
      With the click of a mouse I can buy quality like my grandfather never saw, and style that would make my ancestors revel. I can also travel to London, or Paris, and walk into stores that would smother you in the finest cashmere, and bespoke you to death, with understated elegance that would make you cry. However, I can do this because I am lucky enough to to have a mid-six figures income, and plenty of family wealth...

      You ask, what happened to us? Well, "we" (not me personally, I suppose) grew poorer. Income inequality in the US is as bad as before the '29 depression--the time of the so-called American robber barons. How are regular Americans supposed to afford a few adequate suits to wear to work if a mere Brooks suit goes for a month's rent in New England?

      (An aside: appreciating tradition is not racist unless the tradition is racist itself. Do not assign victimhood where none is warranted... And check your privilege.)

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    6. Wow! Well said Anon 10/27 @8:44 am (ER). I'm also a boomer who had the same grandparents. Parents...not so much, but I did have other relatives who lived those same lives and taught those same values to us kids...taught by having informal conversations with us around a dinner table, taught them by example and living them in their day to day lives. We girls were dressed in dresses and nice shoes and socks to go to church every Sunday. We hated it at the time, but I value those memories now. I agree that they were the Greatest Generation who did their duty and did not expect fanfare or special privileges upon their return home. They got on with their lives and did their best to try to find some measure of peace and live a life of contentment and raise their families as best they could. Very well said, Anon. I've read and re-read your post and enjoy it more each time. Yes, what happened to us, indeed?

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  5. Love the B&W. I hardly wear a coat anymore, lighter more versatile materials & styles with less bulk help with slipping in and out of outerwear; more adaptible to crazy changes in weather. I do admire traditional styles - nothing beats the look of a nice reefer or a Harris overcoat. However despite bulk, I doubt if I will ever part from my amazing waxed cotton field jacket - the practicality & high functionality of it, ergonomically correct in every way, and not bad looking either.

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  6. Great subject for a post. All beautiful coats.

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  7. Wow, not a single "running shoe" in sight--how nice.
    What a variety of coats. Love the hats and TIES!
    Suzanne

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    1. Indeed--no "running shoes," which look like life rafts for feet.

      Jacqueline

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  8. Anyone have any idea of what coat the gentleman with the things around his neck is wearing above the caption "Crew Coach"?

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  9. Don't even get me started on people wearing gym clothes everywhere. I would be proud too if I were young and fit. But think how great they would look in real clothes.

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  10. I can only surmise that my father, a coat-wearing Eisenhower Republican, would have been appalled at the views held by the John Birch Society. He would be even more disturbed by the crassness and vitriol evident in today's culture wars. As a member of the "Greatest Generation", he came home from war looking forward only to a peaceful and productive life. His dress was always functional, never an attempt to bring attention to himself. Far more important than clothes was his daily routine, suit up, show up, make the best of each day, treat everyone with respect, keep a sense of humor. It served him well. Every one of the photos here could have been my father.

    Years ago, there was a box in a closet that held photos taken during wartime. One showed my father, an aide-de-camp to a commanding general, shaking hands with Eisenhower somewhere in France. My mother threw the entire box out after my father died. As regretful as I am, her act would not have bothered my father in the least.

    MGC

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  11. Of the same or similar style in the coat closet: Chesterfield, Brooks navy blue cashmere top coat, covert coat, 2 Burberry gabardine raincoats (dark & light tan), Bean Warden Coat, Beretta Barbour-style (no waxing required), Barbour quilted, Bean Duck jacket, A-2 aviator jacket, Baracuta G-9 (and foulies, puffies, hard & soft shells). It may be time for a Goodwill drop-off...

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  12. That's quite a juxtaposition of images: Ralph Nader and Men from the John Birch Society, with both dressing well.

    Aiken

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  13. It gets worse. Pakeman Catto & Carter have closed.

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  14. They may have had sharp suits, but the notion that these guys were part of a "Greatest Generation" is a self-serving fantasy for those who find their conformity somehow nostalgic. Today's volunteer American military likely has less shirkers, deserters, and looters than the draftees who were pressed into service during World War II. A tiny minority of those in power during that generation did not sponsor or condone institutional or informal discrimination in education, housing, and employment opportunities, a legacy that still haunts us. The inconvenient truth is that the Red Army won the war in Europe and without the atomic bomb (and a late declaration of war by the Soviet Union against Japan), the war in East Asia would have probably ground into a bloody stalemate.

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    1. "Today's volunteer American military likely has less shirkers, deserters, and looters than the draftees who were pressed into service during World War II."

      Today: "Approximately 71% of the 34 million 17-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. would not qualify for military service because of reasons related to health, physical appearance and educational background, according to the Pentagon."

      http://time.com/2938158/youth-fail-to-qualify-military-service/

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  15. It was not only "those in power" that did not condone racism. There was a broadmindedness among our parents and parents of our friends, those who would now be 90 years of age or older. They lifted progeams like "Head Start" off the ground, were first to hire minorities to corporate positions, and encouraged their children to join the Peace Corps. They often sacrificed to educate their children. Some served in two wars, WW2 and Korea. Of course there are fewer "shirkers" in the volunteer army now than were found among the 16 million who wore a uniform during WW2. That's an apples to oranges comparison.

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  16. Jesus, people, it's a post about classic coats featuring beautiful black and white photographs. Relax. Mix yourselves a cocktail and put your feet up. Between everyone scuttling around trying to get their political digs in, or posting links to TIME magazine like God's hall monitor, you're missing a great fall Saturday.

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    1. Thanks, but I don't drink. Perhaps you can post using your real name since you feel the need to dictate the direction of the conversation. I do know you're not Jesus, so...

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  17. Clothes are and will always be inextricably tied to culture. That's what makes them interesting and the subject of so many studies at major universities and museums throughout the world. How we react to clothes tells as much about ourselves as the people we observe. Scroll down through past posts and see which subject generates the most comments. Having said that, I'm going to pour myself a drink and think about replacing my pheasant belt which no longer fits.

    MGC

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  18. Concerning the "uniformity" of the suit wearing men shown, I drove by a popular spot for young people (and those no longer young but dressing it), and it was a sea of denim, black and grey: jeans, tees, sweats, hoodies.

    NCJack

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