For a long time it seemed that only solids or heavy plaids were acceptable when wearing a button down shirt. Stripes were fine as long as they were the university kind. However, there has definitely been a subtle shift towards the late 60s trend for what are generally called awning stripes – deck chair type alternating thicknesses of varied colour – almost a Beach Boys look, but still with an Ivy feel. Gant has been pusing these stripes for a couple of seasons in its Rugger range, showing that there’s a renewed interest in them for mainstream as well. It makes sense – after the plethora of checked shirts in the last few years, that something else must be raked over and brought back to life, even in ‘ironic’ form.
I quite like the awning stripe, it’s been growing on me again. Ticking stripe is another trend from the same era, ironically, a throwback to earlier ivy styles. Particularly popular with Gant and Sero, probably because with stripes, like plaids, cloth patterns could be sold and re-invented each season to stay ahead of the ‘solids’ only makers.
Thirty years ago I wore some vintage Sero versions, and recently picked up a couple in a batch of deadstock Brooks Brothers shirts from Zach at Newton St Vintage. The other day I was watching a rerun of Minder whilst eating breakfast, and noticed that Dennis Waterman was wearing what looked like a Sero – a real 60s number despite the mid-80s date. No surprise really as Waterman was still wearing his Clapham mod gear at that time albeit watered down with Kickers and boot cut jeans.
Sometimes it’s only when you notice that something is no longer around much that you start to think ‘mmm, maybe it’s time to take another look’.