Gentlemen's Attire

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The subject of "Gentleman's Attire" came up on a music message board yesterday. We were discussing the introduction of Doo-wop, into the UK. As always the conversations digressed into a wider subject of popular music in the UK in the fifties.
I related the following personal experiences,
.

The trad jazz bands did the tour of the London suburban jazz clubs and some further North in the mid to late fifties, early sixties.

One venue was the hotel on Eel Pie Island in Twickenham, I remember seeing Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball, Mick Mulligan, Alex Welsh etc., there in different weeks on a Saturday night. They also had a "big band" on I think on some Sunday nights.

But I became a "modernist" in 1959 at nineteen and left the trad scene behind, no not one of those 'erberts who wore fur trimmed hooded parkas, those were "mods." We wore Italian box style jackets, (mine was a shadow striped grey), slim trousers, button down shirts with straight knitted ties, plus of course the chisel toed highly polished shoes. The girls wore black pencil skirts, with a wide belt, black stockings. stilettos and curiously, white make up and wore their hair short. By then my nineteen year-old girlfriend (and future wife) and I had moved into a flat in Soho and had joined Ronnie Scott's first club, (it cost us 7/6d each to join, it's over £300 now). We were down there most week-day evenings as it was free admission to members then and it was warmer than our flat! So we were "part of the scene," (which was a lot tamer than some would now have you believe).


Another contributor read my post and said it was very visually descripted and provided this photograph taken outside the Flamingo around that time.

gettyimages-829655672-2048x2048.jpg
 
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I think Ben Sherman still make them.
I've a couple of dozen Ben Sherman's both short and long sleeve, I've bought since the eighties, all button-down collars, though strangely, in some years they made none. Haven't bought any for ten years as the quality has gone down and the prices up. But those I have are in excellent condition and "will see me out."
 
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How popular are Plaid Shorts?



Golfers wear them a lot, particularly in the USA.

Not so much in the UK.

Many regular golfers like myself tend not to wear expensive gear that you wouldn't wear at any other time. Some wear plain coloured shorts if it is really warm. You can occasionally during a round spend some time looking for your ball or that of one of your partners. Once you get off the fairway, you can be looking in nettles or brambles, which can ruin your clothes.
Like many others I buy my golf clothes from Sports Direct, or other discount sports stores. A Dunlop golf shirt is less than £20, you could pay £50 in a golf club pro shop for one by Under Armour or Cutter and Buck. Chinos are prety common rather than expensive golf trousers. However, we do tend to buy quality wet weather gear and golf clubs.

It amused me several years ago, a detective drama series, Midsomer Murders I think, had an episode about a murder on a golf course. It was highly amusing the clothes in which the TV production company dressed the actors who played golfers in this episode.
They were as colourful as the extras in the Trolley Song scene, in the film "Meet Me in St Louis."
Another incident amused me. Some professional golfers are dressed by their sponsors in some rather colourful gear. The Late Payne Stewart, used to wear golf gear in the colours of the nearest NFL football team, who sponsored him.

For example, these are the colours of the Miami Dolphins.

Payne-Stewart-1991.jpg



Another is Ricky Fowler who wears a lot of orange.

When he wasn't as well known a few years ago. I and a friend came off our course and when we got to the bar a major golf championship was on the TV. We asked who was leading. One of those watching said "Some idiot from B&Q."


rickie-fowler-27-september-2010.jpg

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Here's one of me, fifty years ago in in the garden of our house, in a sweater my wife knitted. This is in Marford, when I was working in Wrexham.
The farm behind our garden stretched to the main road, between Chester and Wrexham. The farm is long gone. It's all houses now.

img009.jpg
 

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