Torque designs direct mail program for photographer Michael O'Shea

Piping hot from the Torque design ovens comes this project for local photographer Michael O'Shea. While Michael's depth of experience extends to a wide variety of subject matter, his specialty is portraiture. A former stock broker, Michael left the corporate world in the late 1980s to pursue his passion for photography.

When Michael and I first sat down to discuss his marketing needs I got a laugh when he described his existing self-promotion strategy as one of 'binge marketing.' Reader's may be familiar with this type of behaviour, where long periods of inactivity are punctuated by intensive and often frantic advertising initiatives -- almost always brought about by inevitable business slowdowns.

The detachable shirt cuff. Why you had to arise by 4:00 a.m. to be dressed by 8:00 a.m.

Getting dressed for work before 1930 was a daunting prospect. Studs and buttons. Sock garters and trouser braces. Collars and cuffs. Ties to tie and cravats to fuss over. Stick pins and pocket squares... and that's just for men!

Here's a delightful selection of cuffs I've owned. One attached these cuffs by using one or two buttons or a cufflink to the shirtsleeves. As detachable cuffs tended to move around a lot you could then attach a 'cuff holder' which is a spring loaded metal gizmo to stabilize this movement.

The reason behind having detachable cuffs (and collars) was that these were the areas that wore out or were soiled first. By replacing the cuffs and collars, rather than the whole shirt, you could extend its life considerably. Yes, our forefathers knew how to economize. 

By the 1940s nearly all shirts came with attached collars and cuffs. While some makers were still manufacturing detachable cuffs and collars into the 1950s, by the 1960s they were a relic of a bygone age.