Friday, 23 January 2009

Tailors to Trust


The past is like a foreign country - their currency's worth a lot more. They don't do things differently there, though. Leafing through some ancient magazines (how old does something be before you 'leaf' through it rather than 'flicking'? Got to be at least twenty years, I think) a while back turned up any number of adverts for the sort of gruff, practical, Suez-era clobber you'd buy from a respected 'gent's outfitters', hawked in treble-starched prose it's impossible to read without imagining it being barked at you by a retired naval commander who's seen a fair bit of action in the South Seas in his time and therefore clearly knows what's best for your trousers. Try this, for the Swift zip-fly:

"A Swift exclusive self-locking zip-fastener ensures complete masculine piece-of-mind, since its self-springing lock safeguards against any accidental opening. Research and experiment produced this guaranteed new trouser-fly fastener with the absolute security of closure."

It's all there - the bluff, clipped, 'Now, here's the matter in hand' tone, the forthright yet still coyly euphemistic anatomical references, the invocation of the white heat of sartorial technology. All that's missing is a pretend chemical band name like Ziplax or Fastenol bunged in somewhere.

All so different to our sophisticated advertising world now, of course. Except: well, no, it isn't. You'll find stuff almost exactly like the above in most newspapers, whether for mad commemorative plates (you'd thing commemorating things with plates would have been the first activity to go under Wilson's Swinging Junta), shoes whose chief selling point seems to be that you can bend them in half with one hand, and comically cheap trousers, as Radcliffe and Maconie highlighted on their radio show the other night, with a great ramble through an ad in the Sun for five pairs of leisure slacks (in charcoal, navy and 'lovat') for £29.98 all in, featuring frog-mouth pockets with coin-resistant linings. We may scoff, but any delusions about our modern 'sophisticated' age should be knocked on the head right now .The days of Chilprufe thermal undergarments will never go away.

4 comments:

A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

I completely adore the Manly. Never has a "MAN's garment" looked so womanly. But it can't be, because it's a Manly.

I am now feeling a waft of female nostalgia for those late 80s Sunday supplement adverts for kaftans and sundresses, as modelled by a grinning Linda Lusardi, all of which were made of what looked like 50 yards of gathered tent canvas in colours like "Aqua" and "Ecru".

Phil Norman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aldrin james said...

Tailors have a very unique style in making mans clothes. I find it very artistic and very unique. I love this article about tailors.

Tailors Los Angeles

Richmonde said...

I miss "ecru". I used to wear ecru tights. I wanted a picture of an old Pakamac just to remember what they looked like. I discovered there are some odd rainwear fans out there.