+  Edited and photographed by Iké Udé, author of Style File. Selected as one of Vanity Fair’s 2009, 2012 and 2015 International Best Dressed Originals.  +

special guest/JOE McGLYNN: talks about his 9th outfit. #9 in eleven acts




What items did you use to compose this particular outfit?
Wool trouser by Chas. Levy & Son, Los Angeles, 1949.
Gabardine shirt by Lowit’s, Hackensack NJ
Allen Edmond’s Ostendo Broadstreet Spectator
A Pioneer Stretchaway belt of hand-finished cowhide. It’s a classic, dark oxblood, 1″ wide which could be 50s to early 60s. (note: the belt is a late entry on my composition list, above, and was added after BR Hubbatrd’s comment about it’s absence).

How did you arrive at the decision to compose such an outfit?
To present a simple, relaxed look from pieces that work together and don’t get in the way of each other.

Did you compose this outfit spontaneously or was it planned ahead of time?

In a scale of 10, how pleased are you with this composition/outfit? 
10- Look at the drape of the straight leg vs. bent leg!

What roles do color, the fit, and integrity of fabric play in this particular outfit?
It’s all about the trousers- the weight, drape and pattern of the wool fabric.  The shirt of light rayon is very comfortable and its pockets are proportioned to the waistline (smaller and higher up) than those of modern shirts.

How soon would you repeat/wear this same outfit again?
I wear this look often, especially spring and summer but only wear these trousers on special occasions.

There is perhaps a spiritual, emotional, intellectual or psychological aspect to what/how we dress. What is your personal experience in relation to this outfit?
I’m wearing pants made for someone who was about to become a star!


(above, detail of McGlynn’s trousers with the evidence of the original owner, the late actor, Rock Hudson)


POSTSCRIPT: (Mr. McGlynn recounts the history of the trousers he wore in this picture).

I was looking for trousers in a Los Angeles vintage clothing store when this $30 pair caught my eye.  The quality and pattern of blue and cream windowpanes made them stand out.  I liked the wide leg (14” at the knee) and 1 7/8” cuff and was quick to try them on. When I felt how they fit and draped, I said “Home Run.” They needed no tailoring at all.

The moment I took them off I saw an illegible ink stamp and another with a Universal Studios barcode over it, then the writing on the right pocket.
Finally I found a label from Chas. Levy & Son, Los Angeles, Mr: Rock Hudson  RC,  Date: 9-13-49  No: 214328

That was the Oh, sh*t moment.

I learned Rock debuted in “Fighter Squadron” 1948 with one line.  A biography of his discoverer Henry Willson reported it took Rock 38 takes to get it right!  He worked uncredited in “Undertow” 1949 and “One Way Street” 1950.  In “I Was A Shoplifter” 1950 he had 3 lines as a department store detective.  He went on to make over 60 films.

I don’t know much about Chas. Levy & Son but read they made suits as early as the twenties for the likes of Tom Mix, Cecil B. DeMille, and “Fatty” Arbuckle.

I welcome any comments or support information.  I’m sure collectors in LA have similar stories.  I just consider it a lucky day and am pleased to wear them without alteration.  Heidi likes to tell me I have the body of a young Rock Hudson.  I’m ok with that ‘cause I sure don’t have his wallet!

Posted in Joe McGlynn | 14 Comments

14 Responses to special guest/JOE McGLYNN: talks about his 9th outfit. #9 in eleven acts

  1. Voon says:

    Holy mackerel!!!! What a find!!!!!! They didn’t know the gem they had in their hands… Well it now belongs to another diamond in the rough!!!! This piece of clothing history is so cool that I’m just like beyond beyond words. Oh sh*t moment indeed!!! If I were going to the cashier to pay for this I wouldn’t know if I coul contain the glee and smug of this score!!! Well done! Doing such justice to the pants and the whole outfit!
    Great photo Ike… Love the colors and backdrop too.

  2. BR Hubbatrd says:

    Just curious what brand typewriter you used to fill in the label?! (Just kidding, of course!!!) This is a spectacular find and an equally notable look. Well put together, clean and casual with a built-in conversation starter!

    It would be interesting to note your belt(s) among the outfit items. As you well know, with the smaller loops of period trousers it’s very difficult to find modern belts that have the correct width but sans large, obnoxious buckles. Definitely an overlooked but integral part of the composition.

    As always, top shelf mate!

    • Joe McGlynn says:

      Thanks BR Hubbard, Underwood-ha ha!! There could be a matching jacket out there and I included the serial # hoping someone searching the web (or who has Chas. Levy’s numbering records) could someday make a connection.

      You’re comment about belts is spot on. I didn’t describe this- a Pioneer Stretchaway belt of hand-finished cowhide. It’s a classic, dark oxblood, 1″ wide which could be 50s to early 60s.

  3. Jen says:

    I think right now Rock Hudson is thinking (from the grave) – Wow! I am so excited that swing dancer Joe McGlynn is wearing my pants! Of all the good luck!

  4. Rachel D. says:

    Yes! I agree with Jen, I think the spirit of Rock Hudson must be quite pleased !
    Looking good Joe !!!

  5. Debbie Aspinwall says:

    LOVE this outfit!! When your uncle was younger (early to late teens) all of his dress clothes came from Lowit’s.

  6. So happy to see the Rock Hudson trousers after hearing about them! 🙂

  7. Breanna says:

    Oh goodness, those trousers really do have some star quality to them! That windowpane, and the drape to them…so great! Well done with the simplicity of the entire outfit, too.

    By the way, I’m trying not to go overboard on admiring the shoes, but damn those spectators are beautiful.

  8. Sarah says:

    That is SO The Dream to find a surprise like that!

  9. Cheryll says:

    SA-AAAH-WEEEEET!! Those trousers are GEORGEOUS!! From your description Joe they are as dreamy to wear as they look in this photograph. I have to say that this and every post of Joe in this series has been an absolute joy to look at and read. The photography has been so beautiful. Joe’s collection is outstanding. But what has really made me savor each installment and eager for the next is Joe’s knowledge and history of the pieces and ensembles he’s put together and then described with such wit, warmth and charm. I do hope to see more of Joe and of course Heidi as well in the not too distant future. A continual pleasure… many thanks to Iké, again and again, for showcasing living history treasures!

  10. Robert says:

    Joe is not the first man to get into Rock Hudson’s pants.

  11. Mary says:

    The look of those Ostendo Broadstreet Spectators emphasizing killer Windowpanes is stratospheric! You wear this so well!

  12. gretchen says:

    The pants are an amazing find! What a great story- and they look great, too. Good going, Joe!

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