1959 – Van Heusen Men’s Shirts

He swears it's wash and wear

We continue our look at mid-century men with this 1959 Van Heusen ad for men’s white cotton shirts. Not much has changed in the white cotton shirt department since this ad was published in the April issue of Good Housekeeping. Men are still wearing white shirts and ties. The look hasn’t gone away, but obviously the frequency of wearing them has changed dramatically. Standards have changed through the decades and thankfully in 2022, a well dressed man is simply someone who does not look sloppy.

It’s election season here in the US and candidates are making their pitch on news interviews and campaign rallies. I find it interesting to see how they dress. Many are simply wearing a fleece jacket with a campaign logo. No one cares if a man doesn’t wear a tie, or a woman doesn’t wear a dress. Regardless of attire, if they look good, they can look professional.

Gubernatorial Candidates in Fleece Jackets

The advertisers who put together the Van Heusen ad did so with wives in mind.

Van Heusen Ad – Good Housekeeping April 1959

In 1959, automatic washers and dryers were common, but not everyone was confident about how clothing should be washed. Labeling something as “wash and wear” meant that they could be put in the washer and dryer and ironing was not necessary.

Tailored by the folks who just about invented wash and wear.

According to the ad, the cost of this wash and wear white shirt was $5.00. Today you can pick on up for about $35.00.

Van Heusen Dress Shirts and Macys

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