DENIM DIARIES: BING’S DENIM TUXEDO

BING

“How about this one?”
I grab a shirt off the rack to my left.
“This is a great shirt — pearl snaps with a curved back yoke.”
He shakes his head.
“Not a western. She doesn’t like those.”

I frowned. “Well what about a one-pocket chambray? No yokes, no snaps — just shirt!”
“She wouldn’t let me wear denim on denim.”

“Well technically, this is Chambray; so it’s like denim’s cousin. Can she find it in her heart to let you wear denim on denim’s cousin?”
“I don’t think so.”

“Has she ever seen a photo of Bing Crosby wearing his Canadian tuxedo? He was a stud and so are you — so get this denim shirt anyways and I promise she’ll come ’round.”

BINGCROSBYOLDRSISTR

To all who doubt the manly appeal of  jeans on jeans on jeans, allow me to wax poetic on the sartorial choices of Mr. Bing Crosby.

Before Paul Newman donned the chambray chore coat as prisoner in Cool Hand Luke, before Marlon Brando’s pants in On the Waterfront and The Wild One made girls weak in the knees, before Brooke Shields made Calvins seem cool and boys feel hot under the collar, before the onslaught of designer denim with bejeweled back pockets, before the cult of japanese selvedge and blogs dedicated to Friday Fades — in essence, before jeans could be worn anytime, anywhere —  Bing sure tried.

After being denied entry into a Canadian hotel on account of his denim dungarees, Bing notified the folks at Levi’s, who then set to work crafting for the crooner one custom tuxedo, made entirely in denim. A large leather patch sewn onto the inside of the jacket proclaimed the garment and it’s wearer worthy of entry into even the finest of establishments.

BINGCROSBYOLDRSISTR

BINGCROSBYLEVIS

That was 1951. This spring Levi’s Vintage Clothing has re-produced Bing’s seminal jacket for consumer purchase. Limited to a quantity of 200, they’re strictly for denim die-hards. Tell your girlfriend, then take a cue from Bing and wear denim on denim whenever you damn well please.