アイビースタイル

If you are newer here, and don’t know about Kazuo Hozumi, go here first, then here, then here. (no paywall – everybody feel better?)

Illustrated Ivy is out in English. You can buy it here. Or here.   It is called an illustrated map because it unfolds like one, and without spoilers the design is very smart.  The images are iconic and you are most likely familiar with them already, especially if you read the first paragraph.  Here are some of the best lines:

It all starts with a button-down.  Ivy means button-down shirts and vice versa – that’s almost set in stone.

That’s the first line of the book, and expertise has already been established. Hozumi goes on:

…but don’t wear cufflinks with one – it doesn’t work.

Hozumi interestingly does not come out against pleats and includes them in the canon but does say:

… as a rule for Ivy fashion they must be pipe-ste, trousers.  And that means flat front trousers are perfect.

On jackets:

If your jacket is patterned, your trousers shouldn’t be.

There’s an interesting section on work wear (uniforms, “chore jackets” etc.)

Workwear has nothing to do with Ivy style.  … Don’t worry about how to style it – the functionality itself is what makes it stylish.

In the Hats & Caps section, Hozumi includes the Straw Boater and the Homburg in the canon.  And of course baseball caps.

And he gives us this bit of wisdom, which unfortunately resonates, but I think is coming back around:

Coat, gloves, hat – these things were once a set that formed the essentials of a gentleman’s appearance.  Nowadays, nobody has such an old-fashioned outlook, and that might just be a good thing.

Have a great weekend – JB

9 Comments on "アイビースタイル"

  1. I haven’t read the whole thing, and maybe it has something to do with the Japanese-to-English translations, but those excerpts are so spare, they almost read like poetry. Seriously.

  2. Don’t really get “Japanese Ivy.” Seems kinda silly to me. Apologies.

    • I know, right? Kinda like Mexican pizza. Although, for the most part, the Japanese do a better job of it than we have been lately. But then they fell into the same trap…”updating”.

    • Or Anglicised Roman chant, Americanized by a Canadian composer.

  3. I see green high-top All Stars, and a beret. Amazon sold out quickly.

  4. When a Japanese company owns J. Press, you can bet they know their Ivy better than most.

    Re: pleats, I’m in favor. Half of my dress trousers are pleated and the other half flat front. I like getting one of each style in the same or similar material and color.

  5. @ Merton et al – Check out David Marx articles on this site to learn more. Some pretty interesting cultural history around Japanese Ivy. It’s not unlike the Western “rediscovery” of Aristotle and the Greeks during the middle ages. An outside culture preserved and transmitted something beautiful that the original culture would have lost.

    @ Nevada – Total agree. Glad they bought J Press.

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