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A soupçon of nostalgia: I often feel that the classic three-button jacket of the sixties for suits and sportcoats should not have faded away from haberdasheries and clothing shops. I'm referring to the full three-button silhouette with lapels rolled beautifully from the inflection point just above the top button, and not the 3-roll-2 jacket (also very handsome) most closely associated with Trad or Ivy style. The classic three-button jacket did make a comeback of sorts in the mid-nineties, when shops and even mail-order businesses like Lands' End offered this model. But then it went away, and most ready-made suits and sports jackets now are two button, with occasional designer items that go for the three button style. Perhaps one can expect another return of this model, who knows?
 

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Thanks @WatchmanJimG , I suspected as much! Fortunately, I'm slim and of average height and build. I possess more three button and 3-roll-2 suits and jackets than I do two button ones, and I regularly receive positive comments and compliments about them -- either I'm fortunate, or I discovered the style that best suited me, or a bit of both, LOL. For big or overweight men, I imagine a well-cut double-breasted jacket, worn buttoned, might perhaps be more appropriate. But your point is well taken: The trouble is that there is so much material in big jackets (whether single- or double-breasted) that the quarters tend to billow and flap about like sails. DB models are supposed to be kept buttoned most of the time (unless one is sitting down), so they may flap around less. Just a few thoughts...
 

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Based on my experience collecting military uniforms from the WW2 era I can tell you that the overwhelming majority of coats range from 34-38; however, the occasional larger example is noted. One would think the coat in the advertisement could at least be had in Size 42 . . .
I have a question for you, @WatchmanJimG. I too have a small collection of US Army and Marine uniforms, from the fifties and sixties and a few more from modern times. I know that wearing field jackets like the M-43, M-51 or M-65 are pretty much OK even if one has not served in the US Military (I've only served in a paramilitary outfit in India, ages ago). When it comes to uniform jackets (the dressier ones usually worn with a shirt and tie, with four brass buttons for the front closure), are there any rules, and if so, what are they? I wonder if one could wear them like the field jackets, provided there are no decorations, medals or regimental flashes and shoulder titles on them (the last two are British/Indian terms, I'm not sure what these are called in the US), other than the brass buttons. They are lovely-looking jackets and go well with a nice pair of khakis or even flannel slacks. I apologize in advance if my question offends anyone, I know such topics are sensitive one, and I seek an answer out of great respect for these uniforms and the military branches they represent. Thanks for any information you might have.
 

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There are conflicting opinions on this subject, and many believe that one somehow commits a crime by wearing military uniform items casually. In the majority of instances this is either patently false or unlikely to be prosecuted so I wouldn't worry so much about that. However, in my view wearing a dress uniform coat is a risky style move that not everyone can pull off. If you're comfortable with the way it looks on you that's all that really matters. This has certainly been done before, and in my opinion whether one has served in the military is irrelevant as these items are readily available to the public.
Thanks very much indeed for your opinion on this matter. I think I'll test it out with friends and see what they think -- I do have a couple of friends of my age who actually served in the Army in Vietnam, and another younger friend, very close to me, who was a helicopter pilot for the US Navy during the first Gulf War, and who now flies for a Medical Emergency Flight company here in Wisconsin. On occasion, I do wear a US Navy issue peacoat I have, a beautiful American-made dark blue coat of thick wool. It has brass buttons with the US insignia/coat of arms on them. There are no other badges or flashes on it. No one has objected so far when I have worn this. Most people don't really notice the Service Issue buttons, and if they do, they seem to be OK with it. Thanks again, Jim.
 

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At first blush the thought of a polyester blend is repugnant, but during my school years I worked in mens' retail with a veteran of the Western NY clothing scene who regaled me with stories of the Hart Schaffner & Marx "Viracle" suit, which was constructed at least partially of synthetic fibers. He claimed it was an excellent product that served him well over many years. Then again, I imagine it was discontinued for a reason.
I, too, had a bias against polyester for all the usual reasons. But lately, when other aspects of a blended garment -- cut, color, pattern, or hand -- are attractive, I've picked it up, especially while thrifting, when the cost of the garment is very small. I have OCBDs that have some amount of polyester fibre blended with cotton, and the ones I pick are the ones with more cotton than polyester. I have wool/poly blend trousers, which are very durable and comfortable in all seasons.

The mention of mohair (wool from the Angora goat) in this thread reminded me of another fabric that is both luxurious and elegant, and quite functional when blended with wool -- I'm thinking of silk. Silk shirts were often regarded as fine apparel. In the Bond books, 007 does sport cream-coloured silk shirts with his dark blue tropical worsted suits, a lovely combination. What's more, silk blended with wool makes a fine suiting that is especially appropriate for summer wear, even in oppressively hot climes. In tropical places like Malaya and India, tussore silk suits were once common, especially in the colonial period. Tussore silk is widely produced in India and is still used for saris, kurtas and other kinds of Indian clothing. A tussore-wool blend might be a decent alternative to wool/poly blends, but perhaps the cost might be high.
 

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I stumbled across this illustration - a Coke ad from 1957 - and thought it would be neat to attempt to get a thread going on illustrations of Ivy clothes (kinda like what Flanderian is doing with Vintage Esquire illustrations over on the other side of the house).

And, if not, this one with its OCBD, ski and V-neck sweaters, khakis, argyle socks and Weejuns is fun just by itself. Also, clearly, Coke wanted to position itself as cool, so this is more evidence that the cool kids of the '50s were dressing in Ivy.

Many years ago, I dated a blonde who said a black turtleneck is a blonde's best friend - no argument from me.

View attachment 26840
I think the color red also suits blondes very well. When it comes to colors, the most striking look I have seen is not from clothes, but from the body: A redhead with green eyes. Not all that common, and perhaps stunning for that very reason.
 

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I think you may have meant tussar silk rather than tussore. Tussar silk is silk made from silk worm cocoons collected in the wild rather than from cultivated worms that are raised on an exclusive diet of mulberry leaves. The silk that results is as lustrous as that from cultivation, but it has more texture (I.e., irregularities) which give cloth woven from the processed filament a less uniform, but more interesting texture for which it is prized. But due to those irregularities, I question whether spinning it in combination with wool fiber would result in yarn desirable for suiting.

I have had suits made from silk and wool tropical weight blends. And while the performance of the cloth in shedding wrinkles was indeed very similar to wool/poly, silk is actually a surprisingly warm filament. Of itself, a silk suit is not particularly cool. (Though you may look so wearing one! ;)) Other than linen or cotton, the coolest cloth I've experienced for hot conditions is very high quality tropical weight worsted. It's as comfortable as similar wool/poly, holds its press as well, but beats it all to heck for durability.

Reports from individuals in whom I have confidence have assured me that fine quality wool fresco is even cooler than tropical worsted, but I've not had the opportunity to enjoy any.
Yes, I knew that the contemporary spelling is tussar, but the old (colonial, perhaps?) style of spelling had the word spelled the way I did. I suppose I'm old enough to sport the occasional anachronism, and it might reveal my own colonial background, LOL. But wait, there's more! Tussah, and even tusseh. Here are some variants:


I've never worn a suit made of wool and silk, although I have a couple of summer sports jackets made of silk (perhaps one with silk and linen). They seem comfortable enough to me in Wisconsin summers, but perhaps in a warmer clime they might become a bit oppressive. I agree that a fine tropical worsted is very good, and fresco (which I have never worn) might be even better.
 

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I believe Mr. Bruce Springsteen would agree with you.
I would be deeply honoured if Mr Springsteen agreed with me. That said, I'll reveal my ignorance of modern popular music (that is, anything after the Beatles, Dexter Gordon and Nat King Cole), and humbly ask if Mr Springsteen expressed admiration for green-eyed redheads (or blondes wearing red) in one of his compositions.
 

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Given the disrespect with which the airlines treat passengers, why wouldn't they return the 'favor'?
I thought people used to dress well in airplanes out of respect for each other, not for the airlines. Besides, most of the people inside the airplane are fellow travellers, aren't they? So, from that perspective, those who dress poorly might not be showing the disrespect they intend to the right audience, except perhaps a few flight attendants. And I rather like most flight attendants who are trying to do a difficult job with composure and consideration -- for the most part, I'm sure there are exceptions. Anyway, I haven't flown in years, so I may be wrong on all this.
 

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In today's airliners, and I fly rather regularly, one can only attempt to be as comfortable as possible. Even in Business Class things are not what they were only five or six years ago. I'm not a terribly big guy but the last time I flew to Italy, when I tried to recline the BizClas seat so I could sleep, my shoulders didn't fit between the sides of the seat! We fly in the equivalent of pajamas out of desperation, IMO.
Well said! That is one airlines policy that I really have trouble with -- the shrinking seats. I am smaller than average for an American (5'-8", 150 lbs) and I have an extraordinarily hard time fitting into economy class seats. Besides, I have some neuropathy in my feet that prevents me from sitting for long in those seats. If I have to fly again, I will probably have to go Business Class. Or at least, that was my plan until I read your message about the shrinking BizClass seats, @Oldsarge!

The positive side: I travelled all over the world in my youth and middle age, so I don't see any urgent reason to light off to distant parts. Also, since I am retired, I don't need to go to scientific (or any other) meetings, so any travel I do is strictly for fun. In my youth, a lot of travelling was in trains and ships, both very civilized and relatively comfortable ways of travelling. It's nice to spend time getting to your destination because the journey is important. (The Greek poet CP Cavafy has a great poem about this called Ithaca). I fantasize especially about sea journeys -- I have always loved the sea, grew up near tropical coasts, and have never had a seasick day despite ocean crossings in the Indian Ocean and sailing around the Galapagos in the Pacific.
 

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^

Ah, for the days when they let you wander around right on the Tarmac, with no security and whirring propeller blades ready to cut your face off.
And when the plane takes off, you could saunter through the fog, and say to your friend, "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship". Zut alors!

 
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