Over the course of the next week, I’ll be revisiting a few of my favorite archival posts. This story was originally published on Feb. 26, 2018.
When the George Master Garment Corp issued its catalogs for monogrammed work uniforms “for every industry” (and for hometown bowling teams, too), it was akin in the blue collar world to the latest runway extravaganza for the high-fashion universe.
Of course, what’s wrong with this picture is that it includes no people of color or other genders. But generic white was the color of the “American dream” in 1951 when this catalog was published.
Everyone looked snappy in a military sort of way. The uniforms and the logo badges and patches were designed to have the same effect—esprit de corps, and a sense that these were authorized personnel. There are still professional work uniforms—if you call T-shirts, hoodies and parkas uniforms. But the days of these snazzy, well-tailored official genres are virtually gone. Hey, even the police wear baseball caps these days.