Jul 8, 2010
Good morning, Troy Donahue fans and others! I was genuinely moved at the outpouring of nostalgia yesterday toward our gone-but-not-forgotten Sixties idol, as well as flattered at the many comments acknowledging my eerie resemblance to same.
Some think I more closely resemble Tab Hunter...
Tab was really just a Troy clone, despite having preceded him by nearly ten years; please don't argue with me.
Of course there's the more obvious choice:
But despite those highlights, Barbra was a brunette. As was this man, without whom you would not be reading this today...
My Dad, Phillip!
But let's get to the matter at hand: men's vintage patterns.
Two words: Fear Not!
The best way to cultivate a classic Troy Donahue look is to get yourself to eBay or Etsy and pick up some vintage Sixties patterns. These generally cost around $5; anything less is a bargain.
We are not talking about those bell-bottomed, flower-power, Greg Brady-esque men's patterns from the late Sixties and early Seventies that are everywhere and usually uncut (gee, I wonder why...). Those are also fun, don't get me wrong; I've used many of them. But to look like Troy at his peak you need to dig back a little farther, to the early-to-mid Sixties, when men still dressed like they did in the Eisenhower era.
The silhouette was lean, the colors/patterns decidedly conservative, the overall appearance somewhat "square." This looks better than ever today, when most men are wearing their jeans just above their knees.
Here are some fantastic patterns for sale on Etsy only yesterday. They all have received the coveted Male Pattern Boldness Seal of Approval. You go by neck and chest size for a shirt, waist size for pants.
Have you noticed that these pattern envelopes all feature a tall, square-jawed blonde? Why do you think? Troy Donahue, of course!
You can use a more contemporary pattern to create the early Sixties look -- as I did to make my cabana set -- if you use traditional fabrics. These include, for summer, seersucker, poplin, and madras. Stay away from pre-washed denim and DayGlo knits. Keep the lines straight and the pant legs narrow.
You may also find this earlier posting, "In Search of Vintage Patterns," to be helpful.
Honestly, isn't that a nicer way to look that this?
If you have any questions about sewing with vintage men's patterns, please ask. I encourage you to give it a try; you have nothing to lose but your husband.
Do it for Troy!