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The 1950s Suit

David Conwill

Call Me a Cab
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2,853
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Bennington, VT 05201
Mario said:
mallory_06_25_10.jpg

Wow, that is a great looking suit. It reminds me of Jimmy Stewart's costuming in Anatomy of a Murder, which is where I draw a lot of my sartorial inspiration:

AnatomyofaMurder.jpg


-Dave
 

repeatclicks

Practically Family
Messages
606
LuckyKat said:
There are some early 50s suits that have some style, but mostly, it is all wrong & they will never match up to a 30's or 40's suit...plus, nothing can beat the huge peak lapels of the 40s, especially when its double breasted!

Some noses are bigger than others mate. ;)
 

Picard1138

One of the Regulars
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229
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Philadelphia
scotrace said:
Note that JFK is carrying a hat. A sop to the hatter's union. Is Ike following his lead? Eisenhower was determined to be courteous to the incoming President, having been horribly snubbed by Truman.
I love that JFK used his jacket pockets as a sort of "what to do with my hands" prop. It detracts attention from his usually obvious bad-back stiffness. One wonders if it was a studied move.


JFK was actually hiding a small cigar in his left jacket pocket - most likely his favorite, Cuban H. Upmann petit coronas. He would smoke them on the plane, then hold it in his left pocket so as not to be photographed with it in public. You can see this in other Air Force One photos at the time, and it's mentioned in interviews with people who were around him. Apparently he would burn a bunch of holes into that pocket, and some wondered why they didn't line it with asbestos.

Anyway, back to 50s suits; I'm very fond of the Cary Grant "North By Northwest" wardrobe as well. I also like the medium-thin ties of the late 50s era, which gave way to the thin ties of the 1960s. However, they are somewhat unimaginative with just a plain white shirt, and no pocket square. It works well though.

I would also like to pose the question: how close is the modern 2010 suit to the suit of the late 1950s? Judging from "North By Northwest" alone, the notch lapel sizes seem to be about the same as are fashionable today, as does the fit of the jacket and European cut trousers. The fabric patterns are vastly different of course, but the cut appears to be very similar ("Mad Men" thin lapel frenzy aside).

-Max
 
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11,580
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Covina, Califonia 91722
Picard1138 said:
JFK was actually hiding a small cigar in his left jacket pocket - most likely his favorite, Cuban H. Upmann petit coronas. He would smoke them on the plane, then hold it in his left pocket so as not to be photographed with it in public. You can see this in other Air Force One photos at the time, and it's mentioned in interviews with people who were around him. Apparently he would burn a bunch of holes into that pocket, and some wondered why they didn't line it with asbestos. -Max

:eek:fftopic:
The story is he had a number of people buy as many of these cigars as possible before he signed the Cuban embargo/ They were Cuban cigars.
 

Mario

I'll Lock Up
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4,664
Location
Little Istanbul, Berlin, Germany
davidraphael said:
That is an incredible suit. Is it wool?
Does the cut/design have a name?

Thank you. :)

Yes, it's wool but I have no idea if there is a particular name to the cut and/or design. It's still my favorite suit at the moment. I really love the color of the herringbone weave.
 

VitaminG

One of the Regulars
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272
Location
Toowoomba, Australia
were they using wool/poly blends in the 50s? A recent thrift store find seems (to me) to tick a lot of the boxes for a 50s suit mentioned in this thread. It even looks a bit like the North By Northwest suit. Australian made; boxy 3 button jacket - I was thinking I might have to take in the waist but after seeing Cary's suit I think it can stay ;); wide but not ridiculous lapels; fairly high waisted, at least compared to my modern suits; no cuffs on the pants. The label suggests the maker was called "Aussie Male".

How hard is it to date these suits and is it possible that it is a more recent suit made in a vintage style? I suppose I'll have to arrange a photo so you experts can appraise it. With my eye for detail, it's probably 6 months old! ;) :D I can't complain for $18 though
 

AlSailor

New in Town
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18
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Mario said:
Thank you. :)

Yes, it's wool but I have no idea if there is a particular name to the cut and/or design. It's still my favorite suit at the moment. I really love the color of the herringbone weave.

Looks like an American 3-roll-2 sack suit.
 

Mario

I'll Lock Up
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4,664
Location
Little Istanbul, Berlin, Germany
AlSailor said:
Looks like an American 3-roll-2 sack suit.

You're absolutely right about the 3-roll-2 as the interior side of the jacket's top buttonhole is neatly finished while the outside was left unfinished. About the sack part...I don't know. There's definitely a discernible bit of taper to the waist. Still it has 1950's written all over it.
 

cotillion

New in Town
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34
Location
California
Hello All,

I have just discovered this forum as I am about to graduate University this December and I have been reconstructing my wardrobe for a more mature and gentlemanly look. I have always liked vintage looks like the 1930s with fedora and such for play but I am looking now to acquire some subtle good suits for job interviews and work.

I have always liked Cary Grant's look in North by Northwest and to me that type of gray very much epitomizes the conservative yet still classy and stylish look for job interviews.

I read on a site that it was by Kilgour and was lightweight wool but does anyone have more information on the fabric (particularly that shade of grey) on that suit? If I wanted that shade would I have to get it from Kilgour (which is definitely beyond my range as I believe they are high end bespoke tailors in London)?

Also I very much like the collar and style of his white shirt. Can anyone tell where to find a shirt that would be style exactly?


Thank you in advance for any tips. Great information on this forum.
 

avedwards

Call Me a Cab
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2,425
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London and Midlands, UK
You don't have to go to Kilgour unless you want a 100% identical suit. The shade of grey isn't exactly an unusual shade, it's a fairly ordinery but versatile mid-grey. If you can find a made to measure tailor near you show him pictures of Grant's suit and ask one like it. The reason I would go made to measure and not off the rack is because part of what makes the suit look so good on Grant is that it fits so perfectly.

As for the shirt, it's a point collar with double/French cuffs. Very popular throughout the 30s, 40s and 50s I believe. These are difficult to find these days as they aren't in fashion. A made to measure shirt company such as the Saville Row Shirt Company could make these for a reasonable price.
 

Tomasso

Incurably Addicted
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13,719
Location
USA
The North by Northwest Suit

The fabric was a 14oz worsted; blue with a charcoal background in a PoW check. Lovely fabric but I wouldn't consider it interview material.




northbynorthwestzoom.png
 

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