I cannot swagger out in these shirts

Whilst working at the public relations department of Levi Strauss, a Mr. Art Roth received the following letter from Cary Grant in 1958. In it, Grant thanks Roth for the shirts delivered to his home and then politely makes it known that the designs are far too offbeat for his conservative tastes.

A great letter, brought to my attention by Lawrence Levi.



June 6, 1958

Dear Art Roth:

It’s about time you were thanked for those four Western shirts that greeted my return from another recent trip to Europe: if they had not been buried under the usual mess of accumulated trivia that demanded immediate attention, your kindness would have been acknowledged days ago. Still, I am once again grateful to you, as you must know. The shirts are, for a conservative such as myself, rather, rather….if you dig me….and I’m not at all sure if I can swagger out in gold-threaded finery. I shall await a braver mood.

My temerity is at a low ebb today, but I venture to ask that you let me know if Levi Strauss ever evolve a line of absolutely plain un-checked, un-metal-threaded, absolutely solid-colored shirts…no matter what the colors: I will rush to the nearest shop.

You have my happy and grateful thought, Art Roth; when are you and I going to meet?


Cary Grant.