Plato once said, “He was a wise man who invented beer.” And we can’t help but agree.
So with Saturday marking the start of that German beer-for-all known as Oktoberfest—your guess is as good as ours why it’s not called Late-Septemberfest—we’re pouring you a hearty swig of visual encouragement from the ever-handsome pantheon of men who could somehow make lager look a bit more luxury.
We wouldn’t endorse all the different elements of carnie style circa 1941, but we’ll go to bat for this gentleman, both for a perfectly utilitarian use of suspenders and pulling off a pith-y hat without looking like, well, a carnie. His pelican is duly impressed.
The gentlemen at the Fine and Dandy Shop dug up this Hart, Schaffner & Marx lookbook from the sepia-toned era. (1914, specifically.) Our favorite from this tableau is the loafer-wearing gentleman in the middle, but take your pick.
We’ve got no complaints against zumba, tesuto or any of the recent legion of unpronounceable fitness routines—but sometimes you just want to lift something heavy—possibly during a montage.
We’ve got just the thing.
Say hello to the Leather Head Medicine Ball, a genuine piece of old school fitness technology. All told, it’s twelve pounds five ounces, just under a foot across, and more than able to make every muscle in your torso ache. Anyone staring down an old school training regimen will be thrilled to find it in their gift pile. The only catch: there are only 20 in the world, so you’d better snap this one up early.
The 70s were a pretty fantastic time for American film, but the style legacy has been a little more mixed.
This shot from the Black Sunday premiere circa 1977 should remind you why. (Cheers to WWD for digging it up.) Between the suede bomber, gloriously billowing pant legs, and omnipresent Italian boots, the disco era is certainly in full swing. That’s Sydney Pollack in the middle, with his shirt unbuttoned to the sternum, according to the custom of the time.
Don’t worry: It’s not steampunk and it’s not Hollywood. In fact, this is a turn of the century diving suit, put together with the best and most imaginative technology of the time.
Obviously we’re not holding our breath to see it pop up on the runway—it looks a bit heavy, for starters—but if anyone was looking to spark an industrial revival, it wouldn’t be a bad place to start. Old machines will always hold a certain fascination, and it’s been a while since anyone properly tapped into it.
Our jones for historical hats is well-documented, but we didn’t realize quite how many gems there were out there.
This wool cap comes from Michigan’s own Stormy Kromer, and boasts a design circa 1903. The upper flap pulls down to cover your ears in particularly brisk moments, but that’s just one of the clever design touches. Our favorite touch is the tie in front, which gives it a turn-of-the-century flair it would be hard to find anywhere else. Best of all, they’re only $30 a pop, making them easy picking for any workwear-minded boutique owners out there.
Although something tells us they won’t be interested in the camo version.
As anyone familiar with New York’s recent cocktail revival can attest, drinks are subject to the same trends as tie width. Last year’s wine bar soon gives way to next year’s cocktail bar…which conveniently serves 1930s-style cocktails.
Of course, no one would be happier than us if the classic Rat Pack mixture made a revival, but at the moment it seems to be best known as the punchline of hilariously-outmoded-cocktail jokes. We may have to wait another decade before this is acceptable behavior again.
We noticed the fine folks at PSFK are going wild for retro packaging, and it got us thinking. An old school box of Wheaties is fine now and then, but what we’d really like to see is a return to form for advertising.
These days, it’s all retouched models and space age backgrounds, but back in the day all you needed was a catchy slogan, a blocky font and a good place to put the sign. Hi-tech meant screenprinting Mary Pickford’s face above a bottle of mouthwash. Nowadays, we’re too overstimulated for blocks of text to make much of an impression, but a simple logo and a simple phrase still carry an impact.
And if your sign looks like 1927, it may make more of an impression than all the models in L.A.
The depression-era gangster is a creature of rare sartorial talents. Colorful without being dapper, image-conscious without being vain, he manages to combine brutality and grace in a way currently only seen in boxers and the occasional NFL lineman.
This illustration, for instance, has a hooligan sporting a mauve-orange combination—pretty daring, especially if you’re lurking in the shadows.
This pic comes from The Lovely Package, a photoblog dedicated to the best in non-Apple packaging. A lot of it is hit or miss, but we couldn’t resist these old school oil boxes. We’ve seen more marketing-heavy products like pomade or snacks packaged this way, but when it trickles down to motor oil, you know something’s finally getting through.
Apparently the Lincoln revival is in full swing. He's already meriting a mini-film festival and apparently there’s a Spielberg bio in the works. Hopefully he can keep it short of Che-length, but the real question is who gets to step into Lincoln’s abnormally large shoes. It’s good news for emancipation-chic, but it remains to see whether the look will get any further than the set.
Then again, we’ve always thought the stovepipe hat was due for a comeback.
Speaking of workwear, we ran across this snap of a West Virginia family circa 1908 that should give you an idea of what it looked like the first time around. For a long time, this was the uniform for hard times.
Selectism is sharing a peek at Engineered Garments’ new Spring collection, and it’s interesting as always. The workwear pioneers have moved on from the chaplin-esque bagginess of last year's spring line to a more modern trim, with a new set of ornate fabrics along for the ride—a few which look like they might be more at home on curtain rods.
But don't worry: they’re still cutting jackets with an eye towards turn-of-the-century steel workers, and they still do it better than anyone else.