The History of Menswear Told Through NYPL’s Digital Collection

Earlier this year the New York Public Library shared 180,000 prints, maps, manuscripts, and much more in a digital public domain collection for the very first time. In it, we unearthed menswear ads from over one hundred years ago. In this series, we explore them.

Arrow collars & shirts. Saturday evening post, April 12, 1913.


Modern take on classic style at Hugh & Crye


This double spread print advertisement is incredibly timeless. More than one hundred years later, much of men’s dress shirt satisfaction is still based on the same features showcased here: a comfortable fit, durability, quality of materials, and style.

While we were aghast to see the nonchalant fit promise: “fit most men comfortably,” we were equally amazed by the discount “2 for 25 cents.” It’s also of note that shirts and collars are highlighted separately, emphasizing the importance of collars as unique design pieces, capable of dressing a look up or down.

Furthermore, it’s fascinating to see that the classic styles depicted here are still popular today. We at Hugh & Crye have a modern take on the contrast cutaway collar: our Nucky, perfect for wearing before your next tennis match. And, our Logan white tall point looks great during leisurely dog walks. You’ll also notice the striking similarities with our Foxhall white club collar, which is ideal for wearing when catching up with friends over the weekend. It’s true what they say: some things never get old.

What else feels familiar in this ad to you?

The History of Menswear Told Through NYPL’s Digital Collection
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1 Comment

  1. Brian Wohlert May 9, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    The animal and sports "accessories" are still featured in many fashion advertisements. Check out that circulation of 2 million though!

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