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Etutee’s Esquire and Apparel Arts Scans and Commentaries


July 1, 2013 by Ville Raivio

The year 2005 brought a small revolution. A member of The London Lounge style forum named Etutee began scanning old Apparel Arts and Esquire magazines to share with the rest of the Internet. Launched in 1931, Apparel Arts was the definite American trade magazine for menswear buyers and retailers. The publication presented the latest trends among the well-heeled, with trend reports from smart holiday resorts and royal visits from the Duke of Windsor, a noted arbiter of men’s dress. As a trade publication, AA targeted the insiders of the industry with advice on business practices and customer service, but its content also appealed to customers who often snatched copies from retailers, with or without permission. Publishers took note and followed suit with Esquire, launched in 1933, the first American men’s lifestyle magazine.

Fashion was a definite content on both magazines, with illustrations from artists such as L. Fellows, which offered plentiful fashion prints as both inspiration and catalogue of changing styles. With Esquire, the images were dissected by a snarky editorial tone that divulged the fabrics, weaves, cuts and details of those depicted. Following both AA and Esquire allowed the dedicated man of fashion to remain in pace with coming changes and innovations. AA presented coming trends before a new season arrived. With no mobile phones or fax machines available, having the right set of magazines allowed retailers to re-stock items of interest or buy new pieces to satisfy fads, such as Fair Isle jumpers the Duke of Windsor presented. Times changed and tailored apparel were slowly replaced by sportswear, and both magazines lost their way. Esquire turned into a lad’s mag, Apparel Arts became GQ in 1957. Some style buffs saved copies of the originals, and here’s where Etutee comes forth.

I’m calling his work on The London Lounge a small revolution because Apparel Arts copies are rare and expensive. While Esquire copies can be found with good prices and in larger numbers, and some of their illustrations have been re-published in Men in Style, AA magazines are scarce, with most copies already in collectors’ hands. Etutee, with help from other LL members, has scanned over one hundred style prints and typed down the original descriptions, so the 1930’s to 1950’s content has been available for more or less obsessed menswear enthusiasts for several years now. Some of the linked pictures have vanished now, more than half remain.

Instead of disappearing entirely or remaining on the bookshelves of the limited few, the knowledge and inspiration live on. I found the texts today and praise the content fascinating. Besides the scans and re-typed texts, Etutee has also supplied commentary on most prints and texts, spending hundreds of hours to this body of work over the course of three years. All this without a single penny exchanging hands. The texts do require registering on the forum, but the content is pure gold. Here’s to Etutee: you are missed.

Scans and commantaries divided into several sections:

Vol. I No. I


Vol. I No. II


Vol. I No. III


Vol. I No. IV – Summer Resort Guide


Vol. I No. V – Summer Resort Guide II


Vol. I. No VI – Concerning shoes


Vol. I No. VII – Duke of Windsor


Vol. I No. VIII – Fall&Winter Styles


Vol. II No. I – University Styles


Vol. II No. II – Formalwear


Vol. II No. III – Late Winter/Spring Items


Vol. II No. IV – Spring/Summer


Vol. II No. V – Drape/Summer Suit Styles


Vol. II No. VI – Out of Town Clothes


Vol. III No. I – Formal Daywear/Unique Suits


Vol. III No. II – Summer Comprehensive Guide


Vol. IV No. I – Footwear


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Only a beautiful life is worth living.

"If John Bull turns around to look at you, you are not well dressed; but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable".
~ Beau Brummell