So I just started this blog, and I know I should probably be plastering it with photos of three-patch-pocket jackets with spalla camicia shoulders, cashmere knit ties, etc, but I wanted to talk about something important. Probably the main thing that got me into clothes. And that thing is Bruce Springsteen. Specifically, his jeans.
When I was 16, long before I thought I’d ever be caught dead in a sport coat, I wanted to be Bruce Springsteen, and while this may have motivated other guys to learn to play guitar, it set me on a quest to find the most Boss pair of jeans I could find. I had the hair (then), I was working on the beard, but I needed the jeans.
I noticed in a color photo in the Live 1975-1985 boxset that his Levis had an orange tag, and the hunt for those orange tag, slightly bootcut, perfectly faded Levis 517 led me to vintage denim, which led to vintage tailoring, which led me to tailoring in general.
My tastes have changed, but I still love a good pair of no-frills, beat up Levis.
Even today, when everyone has a “heritage” line and everyone has an “archive” to look to for so-called inspiration, it’s still refreshing to see real historical continuity in clothing, and inspiration that riffs but does not copy. Consider this 1960s Paul Stuart jacket I found (and sold) recently:
Yes, it’s pure Ivy League, but it also isn’t hard to see in this jacket the origins of Phineas Cole, namely in the orange/rust color and the green pane.
Especially in vintage hunting, it is always nice to find something that pushes the boundaries of conservatism without overstepping them. It also points to the steadfast nature of the Paul Stuart look. They are still putting out clothes that appeal to conservative dressers who seek something with a little more color than what can be found at Brooks Brothers.