A New York firm called Gemsco has recently discovered, to its surprise, that it is using almost as much gold bullion thread to make blazer crests as it used to make officers' braid during World War II. The reason is shown on the gatefold opposite: the crested blazer, the club button and the old school tie that symbolized "belonging" for the clubmen of Victorian England have been taken up by Americans as status symbols for today. The utilitarian blazer becomes a glamorous garment when emblazoned with the crest of the Bahamas Automobile Club or the Spring Valley Hunt and buttoned with crested gilt buttons instead of ordinary brass ones. Other classics are being fitted into the picture: the necktie firm of Harvale, for instance, suddenly finds itself making not only such longtime stand-bys as Harvard's varsity football tie, but new ties with the symbols or the colors of the Baltimore Colts, Myopia Hunt and the Chicago Racquet Club. Even nonjoiners can now wear symbols, since more than 500 business firms, among them Beech Aircraft and the Bigelow-Sanford Carpet Co., have their own company ties. Hats, too, are laden with symbols, thanks to a new cult that collects hat badges indicating the wearer has skied such resorts as Tremblant or Zermatt. Some hats, like Field Trial Gunner Ernest Burton's Tyrolean, tell a whole history, in badges, of a man's sporting activity. And the symbol-wearer's wardrobe goes from head to toe. Bill Talbert's Peal dress slippers, for example, are not only embroidered with his monogram, but with crossed tennis rackets as well.
The ties, inspired by the Victorian Englishmen in the caricatures, are: at left, Chicago Racquet, Myopia Hunt, Groton School; at right, U.S. Golf Association, New York Yacht, Anglers' Club, Carleton Mitchell's own, Fly Club and, hanging below Yale Fence Club boater, Harvard varsity football.