24 August 2009

La Chemise Lacoste - 1953 - 1983 - 1996

Lacoste made in France - - A Good Thing

'Gentry' Summer of '53 Announces La Chemise Lacoste

This Lacoste From 1996 And There's A Problem

SAYC Polo Circa 1997

It's The Tail - SAYC Polo

Lacoste Tail 1996

Lacoste Tail In Dorm Room 1983 - - Check Out That Tail?

Click on that Gentry article and you can see this was the Lacoste coming outta the box. I read somewhere the marketing strategy was to give the shirt away to the famous and hope the media would take care of the rest. Early product placement. It worked.

In college I preferred Lacoste over Ralph Lauren. Ralph did have some beautiful colors but I was holding onto tradition...even back then. In the 90's, the Lacoste came back after being AWOL for some time. Available at Nieman Marcus for $75. I pounced. Little did I know...It wasn't long before manufacture moved to Peru and so today the Lacoste label reads, "Made in Peru - Designed in France." Bastards.

They snuck the tail by us too. How much do you save by wacking off a four inch tail? That was so much a part of the shirt. Rene Lacoste was said to have had a back hand like the whip of a crocodile. Of course no one paid attention - - including Gentry Magazine - - and for years most folks called it an alligator. An alligator without a tail from Peru. How depressing.

The other shirt is a yacht club polo made by Outer Banks in the US of A. And it has a tail. So there. As I was giving this some serious thought...I came up with a solution. I'm gonna sew a four inch tail on my Lacoste. And in a contrasting color. I offer the idea to you as well. Take a tail-less polo, say bright green, and sew a four inch tail from a pink polo. An orange polo with a green tail. Navy polo with a yellow tail. Maroon and yellow. Green and blue. White and red. Your school or fraternity colors...whatever. Have fun with it and do me a favor...Will you tell me how you did it? I'm not very crafty.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Outer Banks" used to be sewn in a relatively new brick building in the shadow of our Carolina village, 'bout seven hours drive from Kitty Hawk. (There used to be a joint on Third or Lex somewhere in the mid 30's named Kitty Hawk's, one digresses.) They also subcontracted for Izod, not LaCoste, at one time. Seamstresses were known to abscond with wee embroidered white rimmed green crocodillia. OB's now made in Honduras, or some such. Have a vintage LaCoste knit nightshirt, covers me knees, no tail problem.

Acquired a certified previously owned hardback with dust cover first edition of Hopalong Cassidy's "Armadillo", via Amazon Marketplace, on your glowing recommendation. Enjoy a good western. If disappointed am invoicing you for the cost, I'll absorb the postage the first time, of $0.01.

Ta'er.

longwing said...

It's amazing how much time we waste thinking about polos and oxfords. We used to wear these things while thinking about really important stuff. Like booze and women.

Wessex said...

Love the "Poverty Sucks" poster. We must've had the same collegiate interior designer. My other favotires from the era were:

John Wayne from "The Green Berets": http://www.allposters.com/-sp/John-Wayne-Posters_i847522_.htm

"Justification for Higher Education": http://politicalcritic.com/posters_highereducation.htm

Those were the daze!

M.Lane said...

During a packing/unpacking of my parents' things quite some time ago I found three brand new, vintage Lacoste polos that were given to my Dad by a sales rep back in the 60s. After the "free for celebrities" phase.

They wore like iron and I literally wore them until they fell apart many years later. They were the only good garments I owned in college. They spoiled me. I haven't bought a Lacoste shirt since because when I see them in a store [even the expensive top lable ones, forget the paper thin cheap ones] they just don't measure up. And no tails.

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Last year Lacoste made some "retro" polos with the longer tail and also shorter sleeves. Not sure if they're still producing them.

Anonymous said...

long back flaps - great for airing away butt toots.

Anonymous said...

Is it strange that I actually think the contrasting tail thing is a good idea?

Anonymous said...

In college I preferred Lacoste over Ralph Lauren
why not bean? these days, chances are the same factory in 'china's making all of them anyway...

tintin said...

Tater- Great details on Outer Banks. As always I can depend on you. Although, you may be a little disappointed in me and that book. The only west in it is the Holland Tube Stop and South Kensington. But give it a read. Boyd will make you forget L'Amour.

Longwing- We took a lot of things for granted in college.

Wessex-A friend had the one sheet from, Cafe Flesh with the copy, "They were just a bunch of post nuke war freaks looking for a good time."

M Lane- Amen. The new ones in the mod 90's had that tissue like quality as well. And I remember in the 80's it was difficult to find the banded short sleeve tennis shirt because the unbanded short sleeve golf shirt was so popular. I took a quick stroll through the Lacoste web site. What a train wreck. All that history and reputation going down the toilettes.

Anon 9:29 I looked. Looks like they're long gone.

Anon 10:29 You could sew witty statements on them like, "Don't Push" or "Don't Pass on Right" or, "Warning! I Brake For Newsstands" or you could flap them after farting.


Anon 10:13- Good idea? It's a brilliant idea. It's big enough for Polo to put an even bigger logo on. Or their name. I see that Lacoste is going for the oversized Croc logo as well.

tintin said...

Anon 10:25 Why not Bean? Because college was 25 years ago. Actually, I did have some Lands' End polos but never went for the Bean 'Casco Bay' polo. I don't remember why.

Anonymous said...

tintin: quality of bean better than the other two, imhop, and no annoying logo.
I am 'one of those' when it comes to logos.

Anonymous said...

I like the page with the old golfing guys in their "Hollywood waist" trousers. There's an interesting little history of the polo shirt on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polo_shirt

I read once about a peculiar shirt that natives of India used in horse/ball games before the Brits picked up on it. No luck with Wikipedia. It may have been a myth. Anyway, it's understandable that they were rugged and heavy, given the abuse, and girly-thin now for the mall stalking masses whose idea of sport is collecting iPhone apps.

-DB

Donaksa said...

I can't believe there were no comments on those tight jeans!

Donaska said...

By the way , I think the extra "flap" idea is brilliant!

Anonymous said...

DB you look great in the background rocking the Eastwood look-a-like!
And as for the jeans....TinTin, are they spandex? saran wrap? or perhaps a banana? ME

Anonymous said...

Tintin,
About the jeans, first thought that popped into my head was did you borrow those jeans from Robert Plant, the ones he used on the set of The Song Remains The Same. Both you and he left, well, NOTHING to the imagination. Not that I am complaining. D

Rick said...

Shop for Authentic Lacoste at Fredericks http://frederickscleveleys.com

ADG said...

Tindon....you just can't get the tri-color tortelini affectation out of your noggin' can you....
a tail-less polo, say bright green, and sew a four inch tail from a pink polo. An orange polo with a green tail. Navy polo with a yellow tail. Maroon and yellow. Green and blue. White and red. Your school or fraternity colors...whatever.

Also bossman-take the sock out of the front of your jeans.

tintin said...

ADG- I'm working on a mood ring in tri colors just for you.

Anonymous said...

Tail? What about that nasty moose knuckle?

Anonymous said...

Vin Draddy brought Lacoste to the United States in the late 40's and married it with his Izod brand as a favor to Rene Lacoste who was struggling with his sportswear label. In order to promote this new knit shirt, Mr. Draddy started giving the shirts out to his friends, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, the Duke of Windsor. The crocodile caught on and became a staple of the country club crowd. During the tenure of Izod Lacoste the product was always designed in the US and manufactured in France and in later years, elsewhere. That is why Izod Lacoste always represented classic American preppy, with the signature long tail. Mr. Draddy sold Izod Lacoste to General Mills in the mid 80's and by late '87 the cereal giant had begun to source the Crocodile shirt all over the world, cheapening the quality. By '91 the brand was dead and Phillips Van Huesen (who had bought the label from General Mills) sold the rights to distribute the Lacoste crocodile back to the parent French company. Mr. Draddy had a lifetime licensing agreement with Rene Lacoste.

In the mid 90's Lacoste re-entered the US market but the product always lacked the northeast preppy aesthetic that the Izod Lacoste brand captured so well. That is why you weren't able to find the 4" tail on the French or Peruvian shirts. While they sold a lot of solid shirts the rest of the collection was a train wreck and resembled the clothes of a dj at a nightclub, not that of a 3rd generation member of a country club.

tintin said...

Anon 13 Oct-
In the words of the man on the ground at Clint Eastwood's feet in High Plain's Drifter, "...Who are You?!"

Anonymous said...

a lover and creator of classic american sportswear and clothing.

tintin said...

I'd say so. Thank you for your comment and insight. Did I just buy a sweater from you?

Anonymous said...

at retail? no, that was not me.

Anonymous said...

Check out that bulge!