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Recollections

Men's Fashions

 

Recollections

Please click on one of the links below, or scroll down this page.

1.

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

1950s

-  1960s

2.

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

1960s

3.

John Clark
Canada

1950s

-  Teddy Boys

-  Edwardians

4.

Andy Duff
Maryborough, Queensland, Australia

Thanks for the Memories

-  Teddy Boys

-  Music

5.

Bob Henderson
Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

-  Teddy Boys

-  Fashions

6.

John Clark
Canada

1960s

7.

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

Jackson the Tailor

-  Shillinglaws

-  Tailorfit

8.

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

1960

-  1961

-  1966

-  1966

-  1967

-  1971

9.

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

Bonuses

-  Window Models' Suits

-  Alterations

-  Sales

-  Suits

-  Humour

10.

John Gray
Stenhouse, Edinburgh

Jackson the Tailor

Jacket Styles

-  Trousers

-  Payment

11.

David Barrie

Adelaide, South Australia

Tailorfit

12.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Men's Hair Styles

Duck's Arse

13.

Henry (Hank) Kaczynski

Annapolis, Maryland, USA

Men's Hair Styles

Ducktail
-  Flat Top
-  Brush Cut

14.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Men's Hair Styles

Flat Top

15.

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

Gents' Hair Stylist

16.

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

1950s

17.

Keith Miller
Oban, Argyle & Bute, Scotland

1950s

18.

David Ford

Teddy Boys

 

Recollections

1.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh, who wrote:

1950s

"I remember:

- Tony Curtis hair cut with DA score at back

-  Guys' suits had to be made to measure, strictly no off-the- peg, generally they were bought  from Jackson’s in Leith Street, considered by most to be the best.  They usually took on average at least 8 weeks to make.  However, it gave you time to save up the money.

-  The moderate guy's suit was a one piece back, thumb length drape jacket, roll collar, with single link button, trousers 16 inch bottoms.  Popular colours were Silver Grey, Midnight Blue or Charcoal Grey.  If it was Charcoal, then a Scarlet or Mustard waistcoat was worn.

- The extremists went for velvet jacket lapels and 14 inch trouser bottoms, among other embellishments.

-  A white shirt was a must, no colours then, and a tasteful striped tie, then slip on casual shoes to finished your attire off.

- Your top coat was a black gabardine rain coat with patch pockets (collar had to be worn turned up) -  terrible attire for showing up the hard to remove pancake make up your girlfriend wore in those days.

Under the coat was the fashionable Canary Yellow woolen scarf.

In the late 1950s / early 1960s, Munrospun (company near Kemps Corner) ties were very fashionable.  Generally, these had to be coloured either Mustard or Scarlet.  I was lucky.  My sister in-law worked for the company.  I got mine discount so I had every colour."

1960s

"Made-to-measure suits were still on the go, Italian style, very short three button bum freezer jacket, narrow trouser bottoms worn with Cuban heeled zip-up boots, winkle pickers.

High collard button down shirts with cuff link cuffs were a must, worn with narrow tie.

For casual wear, a leather jacket.

Hair style for a short spell was the short Perry Como, then the Beatles long hair came into fashion.

Rain coat was a Packamack, a little black plastic thing that folded into a small envelope."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 22, 2008

 

Recollections

2.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Frank Ferri added:

1960s

"I've just remembered another fashion accessory in the 1960s  -  the 4 peeked hanky in jacket breast pocket.

They were not real handkerchiefs, just a piece of white linen, folded with 4 peeks stapled to a piece of cardboard, embarrassing if your girlfriend pulled it out to borrow it.

I was employed s a salesman for Tailorfit Ltd then and used to make them up for my friends."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 22, 2008

 

Recollections

3.

John Clark

Canada

John Clark wrote:

1950s

"I just have to comment on the notes from Frank Ferri regarding young men's fashions in in the 1950's.  My recollections are a little different.  

In these days there were Teddy Boys and there were Edwardians.  Both names are from the same derivative, but they were so different in so many ways."

Teddy Boys

"Teddy boys were seen as boisterous, sometimes unfriendly, sometimes in large unruly groups, who were not generally accepted too well by the older generation.

Mind you, there were many many great guys who were Teddy Boys, so the few made a bad name for the many.

Frank states that the tailor of choice was Jacksons of Leith Street.  That may have been the case for the Teddy Boy with the

DA haircut

-  Hollywood blue suit

- trousers that were as tight as 14 inch at the bottom and ballooning out as they went up

-  velvet collars

roll collars (terrible)

and often thick soled shoes.

Edwardians

"In contrast, the Edwardian young men favoured Burtons the Tailors, the most popular being opposite Patrick Thomsons.

They chose the best quality material, and yes it took about 8 weeks to be made. You were measured and fitted exactly to your wish.

-  It was a long jacket with a high lapel cut, which showed only about 5 inches of shirt.

-  It was a full back, no seam and no vent, with four or even five buttons in front. Some went for the velvet collar, but most preferred not.

-  The pants were slim all the way to the top, and depending on the size and girth of the individual, they were usually 16 or 17 inch bottoms.

 The shirt was Italian, and white.

 The tie was silk if possible

There was a waistcoat worn, which was only seen if all the buttons of the jacket were undone, and it would match the jacket perfectly.

The shoes were Italian, and if you held them, you could bend the heel to touch the toe easily.

Many opted for a pocket watch held in the waistcoat pocket, with a gold chain.

-  They also kept quite short haircuts for that time.

Oh yes, they were dandy boys, but they sure knew how to dress.

John Clark, Canada:  October 24, 2008

 

 Recollections

4.

Andy Duff

Maryborough, Queensland, Australia

Andy Duff wrote:

Thanks for the Memories

"Thanks to Frank Ferri.  His notes sure brought back memories."

Teddy Boys

"We were known as Teddy Boys, me being one of them, and of  course to the adults of the day we were trouble makers heading to trouble, and mothers told their daughters to have nothing to do with us.

Mind you, we thought we were the bees knees."

Music

"I was one of he lucky ones.  I had my own record player.  Some of the favorites at the time were:

-  Frankie Lane

-  Johnny Ray (my favorites still)

-  Guy Mitchell

Lonnie Donegan

 to name a few."

Andy Duff, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia:  October 26, 2008

 

  Recollections

5.

Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Bob Henderson wrote:

Teddy Boys

"I have followed with interest the writings on how we looked as teddy boys.  Looking at the photos now, we were in fact very tidy, not at all like today's youngsters.

"What I wore in 1956"  -  Bob Henderson

Bob Henderson at 41 Burdiehouse Avenue, aged 16

©  with acknowledgement to Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh.

In this photo, taken in Summer 1956, I was sixteen, but nearly seventeen.  My mother thought i was doomed to hell and damnation for dressing like this."

Fashions

"You will see the finger tip long drape jacket in Donegal tweed the tight bottomed trousers with the slightly ballooned shape and a three inch cumberband waist, a small pocket at the waist and of course the obligatory white shirt with a 'Slim Jim' tie.

This was taken on the front step of 41 Burdiehouse avenue. I hope this encourages others to send in their photos of this era."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 28, 2008

 

Recollections

6.

John Clark

Canada

John Clark added:

"Much to my dismay, I could not afford to rig myself out in Edwardian dress, so I followed the crowd, albeit not outrageously.  Here is a photograph of me, taken in 1958."

1958

John Clark  -  1958

© John Clark, Newcastle, Ontario, Canada:  November 3, 2008

 

 

Recollections

7.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Frank Ferri, who worked for several men's fashion shops in the 1960s for sending some memories and photos of men's fashions in Edinburgh at that time.

Frank wrote:

Jackson the Taylor

"In my teenage era, we all know that Jackson’s the Tailor of Leith Street among many other was the most popular outlet for bespoke or made-to-measure suits.  No respectable follower of fashion would buy ready-made in those days.

On average, it took about 6 to 8 weeks to have a suite made. And you had to give yourself enough time to save up the money to pay for it.  Made-to-measure was an expensive luxury."

Shillinglaw's

"There were no hire-purchase arrangements then, except Shillinglaws in the Bridges.  They on same block as the now named Balmoral Hotel.  They were very, very expensive and out of our range."

Tailorfit

"Then, along came Tailorfit the gents' tailors who started giving credit to Joe average.  This was a Leeds company that had branches in Great Junction Street in  Leith, Tollcross, Nicolson Street, Portobello and Musselburgh, plus other major cities."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  November 6, 2009

Recollections

8.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Frank Ferri for sending the comments and photos below.  All the photos, except the first, are of Frank.

These photos show some of the  Edinburgh fashions from 1960 to 1971.

Frank wrote:

1960

Tailorfit, Great Junction St, Leith

Jackie Williamson (Assistant Manager) and Jessie Cairns (Cashier)

I was First Sales* in that shop, measuring up for suits etc,

The business is now McKenzie & Miller, Funeral Directors.  The irony of this did not escape me.

*  Frank tells me that in smaller branches 'First Sales' was the equivalent of 'Assistant Manager'.

Edinburgh Fashions  -  Jackie Williamson and Jessie, Cairns Tailorfit, Leith  -  1960 ©

1961

Princes St Gardens

This was a typical style for the time.

Note the winkle picker shoes.

Edinburgh Fashions  -  Frank Ferri in Princes Street Gardens, 1961 ©

1966

Tailorfit, Nicolson Street Branch.

I was Assistant Manager here, after working in:

-  Tailorfit, Leith Street (near Jeromes) then

Tailorfit, Great Junction Street.

Note the fashionable, false three point hankie.
It
was attaché to a piece of cardboard.

Sadly, I can’t remember my wee assistant’s name.

   Edinburgh Fashions  -  Frank Ferri and assistant, 1966 ©

1966

Princes St Gardens

A little more casual, not much

Edinburgh Fashions  -  Frank Ferri in Princes Street Gardens, 1966 ©

1967

Newhaven harbour.

Italian style midnight blue, mohair, 'bum freezer' short jacket and narrow tie

Gone is the Tony Curtis hair of the 1950s.
Perry Como or Jerry Lewis was now in fashion.

Edinburgh Fashions  -  Frank Ferri at Newhaven Harbour, 1967 ©

1971

Just west of Newhaven harbour

My hair is now longer.

Fitted jackets with double-vent are now fashionable, with broad ties, mandatory silk hankie in breast pocket and ankle boots.

Edinburgh Fashions  -  Frank Ferri to the west of Newhaven Harbour, 1971 ©

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  November 6, 2009

Recollections

9.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Frank Ferri for writing again and telling me more about his work in Edinburgh tailors' shops in the 1960s.

Frank wrote:

Bonuses

"At Tailorfit, in the early 1960s, sales staff were paid bonuses (called spiffs) on selling slow-moving or outdated stock, anything from a shilling to 2/6d (12.5p)."

Window Models' Suits

"The best bonus was 7/6d (37.5p) for selling window models' suits, e.g. those suits that had been on display in the window for a while.

The downside of window models' suits was the clothes were made for the standard mannequin size, usually a 38 chest and 31 trouser length.  The upside was no matter what the value of the suit, whether it be £10 or £20 they all sold at £7 .19. 6d (£7.975)

My move on these was to pull the customer aside and with a degree of false confidentiality.  I would ask if they would like two suits for the price of one. their eyes would light up.  This bait was taken often, so I would earn 15/- (75p)."

Alterations

"The suits rarely fitted customers, but we did have a good casual tailor.  He did alterations for us, but unfortunately the costs of alterations were passed on to the customer.

Another source of increasing income was shortening trousers. I became a dab hand at that, cutting out the casual tailor by doing the alteration myself, for which 7/6 was charged.   I had an agreement with the manager that I gave 2/6 for each alteration to the shop tea break fund, and I kept the rest.

It has been suggested and rumoured that I on occasion, sold long trousers on purpose.  NO COMMENT.

Sales

"The sales business could have its unscrupulous moments.

Scam 1:  Some guys would come thinking they had bigger chests than in fact they did.  They'd try on their size, lets say a size 38" jacket and they'd say, "Naw, its a bit tight."  So you would suggest a 1/2 size bigger. (We did not stock 1/2 sizes .)

You would select another jacket of the same size, slip it on the customer, putting you hands into the arm pits giving them a good tug and say with conviction, "You were right sir, the extra 1/2 makes a big difference to the hang.  Sale made.  Off they'd go, happy.

Scam 2:  An awkward customer brings his tailor-made suits back with complaints about this and that. If he was right, the suit was marked with French chalk to show where alterations were to be made and the suit was sent back.  If the customer was being frivolous, you still marked it off, told the customer to come back in a week, but the suit was never altered, when the customer had gone, you wiped off the chalk marks, gave it a press and hung it up for a week

Invariably this piece psychology worked.. Needless to say, I have had little or no trouble with sales personnel myself. I know all the tricks."

Suits

"In the early 60s,  you could not buy light-weight and pastel coloured suits (pale blue, pale green, fawn) or pebble dash sports jackets and putty coloured raglin raincoats.

The nation was still in post-war frame of mind and suit colours were relatively stayed, unlike in America and Italy and in the movies, where I'd seen more varied colours. I suggested to the area manager we should review this.

At first he was reluctant, saying, 'We don't get the weather here for that kind of garment.' I won him round and immodestly claim the title of the person who influenced this move in Edinburgh although there will be others who will claim it.

Humour

"That camel coat suits you sir.  They are just in, latest fashion,.  In fact, I ironed out the humps myself this morning."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  November 13, 2009

Recollections

10.

John Gray

Stenhouse, Edinburgh

John Gray wrote:

Jackson the Tailor

Jacket styles

"I worked in Jackson the Tailors at about the start of the 1970s.

My recollections of the fashion then are that centre vents on jackets were out.  You had to have side vents.  In some extreme cases, I remember guys ordering 15-inch side vents, virtually up the whole side of the jacket.

Therethere was also the ticket-pocket phase. Usually, you had one above the main pocket, but I remember guys getting two or three ticket pockets per side.

Then, there was the cuff buttons, usually 1, 2 or 3.  Somee guys got 10 or 12 per side!!"

Trousers

"Trousers, then, were the Oxford Bags,  twelve to fifteen inches wide at knee and bottom with a four or five inch wide waistband with a double row of buttons.

The  inside lining of the jacket was sometimes ordered with vivid pink or suchlike, or a gaudy Paisley pattern, just to stick out from the crowd.

The most popular material was the Prince of Wales check The guys who generally ordered these were what I would call 'wide boys', not to be messed with!!"

Payment

"You could pay your suit, 33% up front then the rest payable before your suit arrived.  I remember loads of guys trekking up to the shop every Saturday to pay another couple of quidunlike today's society where they pay nothing up front, get their goods and then start paying.

Oh, for a return to the good old days!"

John Gray, Stenhouse, Edinburgh:  November 13, 2009

Recollections

11.

David Barrie

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Thank you to David Barrie for posting this message in the EdinPhoto guest book.

David wrote:

Tailorfit

"I remember the Tailorfit advertising slogan:

' TAILORFIT, CREDIT WITH DIGNITY ''

This was the only way us lads could buy our suits back then.

I think the shop changed is name in the early-1960s to B Hyam's.  I remember working as a Saturday Assistant in their other store at the top of Leith Street just up from Jeromes."

David Barrie, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia:
.  Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:  Nov 15, 2009

Recollections

12.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds who wrote:

Men's Hair Styles

"I remember a men's hair style, called a 'duck's arse'.

The hair on the back and sides of the head was left long and swept across towards the back centre where, with the assistance of a liberal dose of Brylcream, it remained, aspiring to the admiration of the opposite sex.

It was the antithesis of the 'short back and sides' which was the wartime standard haircut at Canonmills' barbers in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

It possibly represented a reaction to post-war austerity and the regimentation with which we had grown up as 'war babies'.  It may even have been modelled on some American style."

My Father's Reaction

"Having spent several years during the was,  exiled in Germany from his comfortable desk at an Insurance company in Charlotte Square, my Father, on returning from the war, had no time for fashions such as these.

He presumably wondered why he had bothered to fight at all, if that was what society's inheritance turned out to be.  I was once sent back to the barbers in Canonmills by my Father to have a 'trendy' (ie unasked for) hairstyle reworked as 'short back and sides please'."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  December 13, 2009

 Recollections

13.

Henry (Hank) Kaczynski

Annapolis, Maryland, USA

Thank you to Henry (Hank) Kaczynski  who replied to the final paragraph of Allan Dodd's comments in 'Men's Hair Styles'  (12 above).

Hank wrote:

Men's Hair Styles

"The 'Duck's Arse' haircut did originate in the USA but we called it 'The Ducktail'.

Teenagers were less profane those days. James Dean and early Brando movies created the motorcycle jacket fad and haircuts like the Ducktail. The musical 'Grease' epitomizes that ere.  That movie has several characters with the haircut.

'Greasers' were the bad boys and 'Preppies' the clean cut boys that parents wanted their daughters to date. The Preppies had  short hair styles like the 'Flat top' or 'Brush cut'. These styles didn't catch on in the UK in the early-1960s, so it was pretty easy spotting the Yanks from RAF Kirknewton and American tourists."

Henry (Hank) Kaczynski, Annapolis, Maryland, USADecember 13, 2009

 Recollections

14.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds who replied:

Flat Top Hair Style

"There were several pupils at Heriot's who sported 'flat-tops' as early as 1958, but to my recollection the Headmaster banned them in the same spirit as he banned luminous socks around that time."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  December 13, 2009

Recollections

15.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Frank Ferri who wrote again:

Frank wrote:

Gents' Hair Stylist

"Edinburgh, in the 1950s, had only one hair stylist, as opposed to the everyday barber.  That was Bob's in the West Port, a Polish gentleman.

He was a 'must' for those seeking a genuine Tony Curtis with DA.  He also did crew cuts, using a large wide comb with a spirit level. Does anyone remember this?

He later moved to Brougham Street, Tollcross, and was still there in the late-1970s, his son having taken over 

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  April 26, 2010

Recollections

16.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Frank Ferri added:

Drape Suits

"Here is a photo of my brother, Ian Ferri, in drape suit and Tony Curtis hair cut, with his friend Charlie Burns (now deceased).

The photo was probably taken in Tenant Street, Leith, in 1955."

    Ian Ferri and Charlie Burns, dressed in 1950s fashions ©

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  May 9, 2011

 

Recollections

17

Keith Miller

Oban, Argyle & Bute, Scotland

Writing about fashions at the Pied Piper Café in Charlotte Street, Keith Miller wrote:

Mid-1960s

"I spent time - maybe too much time - in the Pied Piper, downstairs in the great melting pot of mods, faces and fashionistas from Edinburgh's vibrant club scene of the early/mid-1960s.  I think the Pied P was at it's trendsetters peak around 1966.

I have fond memories, as the explosive mod fashions from Carnaby Street hit the provinces and began to eclipse the established 'scene':

- High collared polka dot or paisley shirts, tab collars, bell bottomed jeans, when all around were drainpipes, high-heeled zip sided boots, crew necked striped t-shirts, shiny black plastic oilskin coats ... and that was the guys.

 Girls in the Mary Quant mode.

I think most of the 'Pied P' clientele in the mid-1960s were probably in their mid-teens and effectively excluded from the pub scene, which gave the place such energy and atmosphere."

Later-1960s

"And the music!  - Small Faces, Chris Farlow, etc.  It was great while it lasted, but I think it was a short interlude  -  maybe 18 months or so  -  before fashions rolled towards the hippy era and the summers of love of the later-1960s."

Keith Miller, Oban, Argyle & Bute, Scotland:  September 4, 2011

 

Recollections

18.

David Ford

Thank you to David Ford who wrote:

Teddy Boys

"The mention of Teddy Boys reminded me of meeting Boko, the leader of the Valdar Gang.  Blackie, another great friend of mine, knew him through various nefarious dealings.

He turned out to be a really nice guy and bought me a milkshake in the Valdar Café.  I ended up a fringe member of the gang.  They called me Wee Davie, Blackie's sidekick"

David Ford, April 3, 2012

 

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A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks