About a week ago, I was in a Yardbirds kinda mood which generated a discussion on Eric Clapton's suit on the cover of the Five Live Yardbirds LP. Nick Rossi, of the always excellent and detail-oriented A Modernist blog, pointed out the front button situation on Clapton's jacket. He then brought this photo to everyone's attention:
|From Magic Mac, my favorite source of 1960s images!|
Alright, alright, now let's get to the business at hand. Can we all agree that out of all the early Yardbirds, Eric Clapton was the one pushing the Ivy look the most? Short college-boy haircuts, thin ties, tab-collar shirts... what with his love of blues, this kid was a downright Americophile! Now, let's focus in a bit more on the detail A Modernist was pointing out:
Yup, Clapton's wearing a sharp 2-button jacket!
Notice how the button stance lands in the center of the jacket, not too low? See the way the jacket flares out from the bottom? Most 1960s jackets I used to find in thrift shops tended to be 2-buttoned with the lower stance. Nothing wrong with that and some of my less-Mod, more vintage-oriented friends wear them and they look nice! But, for me, I'm into the higher cut of the jackets, like Clapton's here.
And as was pointed out on that discussion, the jacket here reflects more of a Continental look, as opposed to American Ivy, based on the lapel size, 2-button front, and cut of the jacket. It would seem that Clapton had some international tastes at the time.
So, there you have it... something to think about next time you're taking your ideas to a tailor. If done well, a 2-button look can come off super-sharp and probably turn the heads of all those Merc-suit wearing Mods at your local soul club!
(Shh! Ignore the fastening of that bottom button!)