Botany 500 suits have been around for over 100 years. You’ve seen it dozens of times without realizing you were looking at it.
This American classic has dressed game show hosts and television personalities for decades. Dick Van Dyke, Rod Sterling, Richard Dawson, and your father identify only a few of the celebrities who made the Botany 500 a household name.
Apart from men’s apparel, they also provided and designed the wardrobes for a large number of television shows and movies throughout the 70’s. Manufactured in a Philadelphia factory, the long years of proven, quality craftsmanship have made this designer an American fashion industry icon.
Wide lapels, double-knit, broad shoulders, and flap pockets define these vintage suits. Never straying too far left or right, these suits offered a conservative look that was appropriate for American businessmen recovering from the Depression. Television show hosts in the 1970’s and 1980’s embodied this style. To complete your timeless look, consider purchasing some of their wide shoe collection, men’s outerwear, or accessories that greatly accent their suits.
Botany 500 Suits Example
This picture features a two button tweed Botany 500 suit. It is a purely vintage look, and would not be seen in modern day offices or modern day occasions.
However, if you’re looking to go with a more retro look or have been thinking about becoming a hipster, this type of jacket may be something you want to add to your wardrobe.
Botany 500’s generally consist of wool or wool and polyester mixes. You might occasionally stumble upon a silk and wool blend – the swankier side of a conservative brand. Make sure the retailer from whom you purchase your suit knows the difference in material before making your bid or purchase.
Most of these suits have classic colors – blues, grays, browns, and blacks. Occasionally you might find some windowpanes, a plaid coat, or some pinstripes, creating a little bit of diversity.
These suits are no longer produced so any Botany 500 item you purchase will be used. Prices will greatly vary as a function of upkeep, quality, and model. If you’re in the market for a classic American look, you can find incredibly cheap prices on eBay, or Amazon, but ensure that they provide a minimum of 5 pictures from different angles.
Some might consider the Botany 500 antiquated, boxy, or no longer relevant, but don’t count them out. If you find a suit that fits, you can sport a dapper look and put those hundreds right back into your wallet or into a pair of matching shoes. This suit can make a great addition to anyone’s vintage suit collection.