Search Results for david caplan

New Year, Regular Clothes: Introducing Office Hours With Professor Caplan

Professor David Caplan’s recent articles were met with a warm reception, and so Ivy Style is honored to kick off the new year with a regular column for the tweedy professor. Aptly entitled Office Hours, Caplan will  use it to continue exploring the intersection between traditional clothing and American culture past and present. * *


Office Hours: No Room For Squares

Lyndon Baines Johnson was not known for his fashion sense, but when the White House invited him to meet with President Truman, the Congressman prepared for the occasion like a dandy. “The first thing he did,” an aide remembered, “was to go out and get his hair cut and his nails manicured.” Next Johnson bought


Office Hours: A Shoeshine Before The Semester

I recently took a pair of brogues to the cobbler for a shine, one of the little rituals, half preparation, half procrastination, that I find myself performing as a new semester draws near. Of course, we are not living in normal times. Because of COVID-19, I am again teaching my classes online, which means my


Office Hours: A Poet Of Cloth

John Koethe’s poem, “Sartor Resartus,” recalls his education in clothes. Composed several decades after the fact, it longingly remembers hallmarks of the Ivy style, “The perfect khaki pants, the madras shirts, cordovan Florsheim / Shoes,” and namechecks beloved stores, both those that survived changes in fashion and those that did not: Style was the point—a


Edward Said, Cut From A Different Cloth

David Caplan, the Charles M. Weis Professor of English at Ohio Wesleyan, has brought us several delightful articles recently. His latest is on the scholar who bequeathed to Tradsville the infamous anecdote about arrivistes at Princeton fraying their OCBDs with sandpaper in order to fit in with the Old Money preppies. Ivy Style is also


Word On The Street: Poets On Brooks Brothers

It is remarkable how many references to Brooks Brothers appear in discussions of mid-century American poetry, most of them critical. As the discipline of creative writing grew, more poets found work in the academy. Critics of this new system and the poetry it produced liked to describe these poet-professors as dressed in Brooks Brothers, a


On Professorial Style

Several years ago I called my brother for his advice about which ties would work best with different outfits. I was a graduate student preparing for one of my first academic conferences and wanted to make a good impression on the scholars I would meet. My brother, a lawyer, patiently answered several of my questions


Sartorial Confessions Of An English Professor

I like to teach the essays that the poet Donald Hall wrote in his eighties, beautiful, moving and often funny reflections on literature, aging, and mortality. Before leaving academia, Hall worked as an English professor at the University of Michigan. One summer he retrieved his mail at the department, dressed (as he recounts) in “plastic