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Big-spending war babies

Four million boys born during World War II are the new target of the men's wear industry

As John Jeffrey (at the left) and four million other teen-age boys get ready to go back to school next month, they're in for a big surprise—the red-carpet treatment at the clothing store. For the merchants of the land have realized that John Jeffrey and his 14-to-18-year-old male classmates (he has an equal number of female classmates), the enormous crop of war babies born from 1940 to 1945, are their biggest pool of new customers. There will be 50% more of them trooping into the nation's high schools next month than in September 1940, and they represent a $410 million market. No longer is the teen-ager the in-between, forced to shop either in too-young prep shops or in university departments which are often too expensive. This new fair-haired boy seems determined to be as well dressed as his fair female classmates. From Beverly Hills, where these pictures were taken, to Bangor, stores are offering clothes cut to his stature, both economically and physically.

To conform to his youthful slimness, his suit now comes with a seven-inch drop from jacket to waist (size 40 suit has 33-inch trousers instead of the five-inch difference standard in men's suits). He wears his trousers on his hips—they're cut to fit there. He wants a good $50 suit, a good $35 sport jacket. He lives in sport shirts and has a liking for dark patterns. His favorite dress shirt has a tab collar. He prefers ties with foulard patterns, belts with ribbon stripes, buck shoes or Norwegian mocs. He's a car bug, and his favorite outer garment is a car coat with rainproof shell, a warm lining. He collects sweaters like Pat Boone records, and his ducktail has been trimmed to a crew cut. As evidenced by the boys and girls from Beverly Hills High, this grown-up bunch of war babies is the best-dressed group of teen-agers yet.

Student body president John Jeffrey's gray suit ($49.50, Gordon) is a blend of Orion and worsted. Its slim cut, like the tab-collar shirt ($7.50, Gant), is a schoolboy favorite.

Tennis player Ray Warren studies with Alison Pink. His string-color sweater ($18, Activair) is a copy of an Irish hand-knit, an example of the individual sweaters the boys collect.

Campus beauty Phillis Fenton admires Jeff Ellis' suit of tan fall-weight ribbed cotton ($50, Cricketeer), lined with madras, and his checked gingham shirt ($8, Sero of New Haven).

Ice-cream party is greeted by Anita Alberts and Joel Sax. Treating Alison Pink and Sunny Tomblin (standing) at Wil Wright's is a sport-jacketed trio: Dave Saffren in diagonal tweed trimmed with leather ($35, McGregor), Ray Warren in striped tweed with hacking pockets ($45, Chester Laurie), Jerry Sax in red-striped navy blazer ($35, Varsity-Town). Reis ties.

Inner comfort is shown by Joel Sax, whose blue poplin car coat ($50, Zero King) has a red flannel lining, and Ray Warren, whose poplin coat ($40, McGregor) has Verel fleece lining.

Corvette crew gets road-ready after school in car coat and sweater. Ray Warren's coat ($26, McGregor) is of wide-wale cotton, lined with loden cloth. Jeff Ellis' sweater is a bulky white wool cardigan ($25, Forstmann) which has leather buttons and suede trim on pockets. Both garments have leather patches on the sleeves.

Tuned in at the track, Fred Ilfeld, scholastic and tennis star, wears another collector's sweater, the Thunderhead ($16, Catalina), of tan Orion and wool with an Orion fleece-lined hood.

Apple-red shirts are new patterned Oxford button-downs. Conrad Baumgartner's has a small foulard print ($6, McGregor) and John Jeffrey's has an all-over Paisley pattern ($6, Arrow).

Natatorium at Beverly Hills High has an Olympic pool which converts to a basketball court—part of the school's superb athletic plant. Swim Star Jerry Sax wears a wool cardigan sweater ($25, Jantzen) with pewter buttons.

Trophy admirer Conrad Baumgartner wears another practical student suit—a Dacron-cotton whipcord ($60, Stanley Blacker) with leather piping, side vents.

Quartet of students—the Sax twins, Conrad Baumgartner (left) and John Jeffrey—wear the best new shirt of fall ($7, Jantzen). It's a cotton knit pullover with a foulard pattern and button-down collar.