The GANT Yale Co-Op Shirt
There are some things I see that make me feel so nostalgic. I’m a bit of a romantic and have to admit, I do love looking back in time. I start daydreaming and off I go into my own world, mixing in the history with my own imagination. I have so much sent to me for The Man Has Style, with anything that refers to times gone by grabbing my attention and more often than not inspiring me to share.
The GANT Yale Co-op Shirt takes me back to the 1960s. Now I wasn’t around during this time, however it still resonates with me. The Yale Co-op shirt was born in 1949 and has a wealth of history. It is great to see GANT have reissued the original designs from the 1960s collection of their Yale Co-op collection.
Student and Professors of Yale on Campus
The social hub of the campus was the Yale Co-op. It was a store where you could buy everything you might need. Think books, toiletries and even clothing. It was back in the 1960s that GANT made an exclusive shirt collection for this Co-op with Yale and GANT’s hometown, New Haven, seeing the shirt become a huge hit. Now GANT has now reissued this collection. “It’s been over 60 years ago since GANT revolutionised the Oxford shirt with great inventions such as the locker loop and the back collar button, and we still admire the impact those inventions had on American Sportswear”, said GANT’s Creative Director Christopher Bastin. The collection has been recreated under an official agreement with Yale University’s Office of Marketing and Trademark Licensing.
The campaign images are all shot on campus with students and professors on campus at Yale. I love this! While I love my polished campaign images (so, so much!), I also love to see a more down to earth approach at times, if it fits, with a collection. And of course, this is the collection it works so well for.
The collar on the GANT shirt was popular for the button-down collar. This feature was designed for when playing polo to keep the collars from getting into your face and originally a British innovation. While the style was loved in the early ‘5os, GANT introduced the button-down collar on a larger scale to the US market. What made it even more popular was the famous roll and casual look, achieved by having a non-fused collar.
The Little Transformations
Detailing plays a big part when creating a garment that is going to be remembered. GANT created a series of innovative tailoring features. So how did they transform a simple shirt into a shirt that had the end user in mind in the design process in more than just fit? The creation of the loop was important as it allowed you to keep your shirt wrinkle free by hanging your shirt by the hook in your sports locker. Easy and fuss free. The story is told that in the 60s the loop was removed when a Yale guy was taken, with his partner wearing his college scarf. Freedom of movement was important and the box pleat below the collar allowed this. Of course, the neck button at the back of the collar ensured the tie and collar stayed in place.
Consistency Mixed with New Additions
Each season the Yale Co-op shirt has six new styles along with it’s 16 styles it runs each collection. Fabric is important, with the basic shirt made from a semi-lightweight Archive Oxford cloth in 100% cotton. You’ll find it in solids, banker stripes and checks. You are not stuck with one fit either with a Regular Fit and Fitted style. Men are always telling me how they get frustrated when there is only one fit in a shirt from a brand, so having the basics in more than one fit is important.
To view the Yale Co-op collection – www.gant.com/men/clothing/yale-co-op
Words by Sarah Crawford, Editor, The Man Has Style
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