An Amazing Tom Round Up

Once again, The Amazing Tom provides a round-up of Ivy-relevant articles for us.

Up first is this article in the Wall Street Journal about mixing patterns. I have a simple rule for myself, DON’T. Unless it is a tie. Then, never stripes with stripes. Some people pull it off, I am not amongst them. In fact, most of the time I only wear one thing that even has a pattern to it. And where I really struggle is suit/sportcoat pattern applied next to a tie.

Next, this article from The NY Times about how flaunting your status has become subtle. It is brilliant in that… it’s Ivy. It could be argued that Ivy was a subtle way of flaunting status during the hey. Right? Reasonable car, reasonable briefcase, but a closet full of things that are not necessarily the most comfortable all the time, but you wear them to show people who you are. And who you were, in the hey, was a college student at an Ivy League school. Status, ahem. The article also has this fantastic quote from Bunny Mellon that, yeah, is Ivy. “Nothing should be noticed.”

And finally, again from the NY Times, a photographic retrospective of Tony Bennett’s style. There’s not a stitch of Ivy in it, but it is Tony Bennett so who cares?

17 Comments on "An Amazing Tom Round Up"

  1. 2d article links to the 1st, I believe.

  2. I offer a revised description of article #2

    It’s about a bunch of silly people and their obsession with swirls of paint.

    First, like short sleeve dress shirts, the Loch Ness monster, and gold pots at the end of rainbows, there is no such thing as a dress sneaker. Second, paying more for value is not conspicuous consumption, it is an investment in your armor. Lastly, and this is sincere from a guy with more than 200 ties, at some point the ridiculousness of it all becomes apparent to those who know better, so while it might be nice to have a net worth that would enable one to buy a $32k coat, why?

    If the answer is, because you can, then you and I are in the same category of ridiculous.

  3. Charlottesville | July 26, 2023 at 10:33 am |

    I for one am a happy pattern mixer, at least as far wearing a striped tie with a Prince-of-Wales sport coat, a Liberty print or madras tie with a seersucker suit, or a paisley ancient madder tie with tweeds. However, I would draw the line at combining a patchwork madras coat and seersucker trousers, which I have seen on occasion.

    As for the NYT article, I could not have said it better than Chris. $1,600 sneakers and vicuña coats that cost as much as a Toyota strike me as silly. One can buy high quality clothing for a small fraction of those prices; just check out J. Press and O’Connell’s, even at full price, and especially during the current sales. Shell cordovan dress shoes from Alden are half the price of the Berluti sneakers.

    Ivy is not only inconspicuous, it is comfortable, practical and durable. Dressing to impress the cognoscenti by wearing nondescript five-figure ball caps, hoodies and sneakers seems to me as vulgar as the designer logos and pavé diamond Rolexes that they supposedly have replaced. Regrettably, I have neither old money nor new money, but I think that understatement and practicality are sound values for anyone.

    • Preach it, brother.

    • @Charlottesville:

      You’re correct, sir. The New York Times article about flaunting wealth is ridiculous.

      I’m reminded of the Seinfeld episode where H.E. Pennypacker is told that the asking price of a Manhattan condo is $1.5 million dollars. his reply is “$1.5 million, I spend that much on aftershave!”

    • NaturalShoulder | July 26, 2023 at 10:13 pm |

      “Ivy is not only inconspicuous, it is comfortable, practical and durable.” Truer words have never been spoken on this forum.

    • G. Ellery Cobbold | July 26, 2023 at 11:19 pm |


      • Charlottesville | July 27, 2023 at 12:07 pm |

        Bop, Mitchell, Natural Shoulder and G. Ellery – Many thanks for the chorus of approval, gentlemen. As those of us who have long been in the Ivy fold know, well-made, timeless clothing is a far better value than chasing fads. What could be more practical than suits, sport coats and shoes that last for decades? And the amazing thing is they still get complements from strangers. Long live Ivy.

  4. Old School | July 26, 2023 at 11:59 am |

    Re: Bunny Mellon…

    “To be truly elegant, one should not be noticed”
    Beau Brummell

  5. Tweedy Prof | July 26, 2023 at 12:14 pm |

    Link to the NYT article for those who find paywalls objectionable:

  6. MacMcConnell | July 26, 2023 at 1:19 pm |

    Old School
    “To be truly elegant, one should not be noticed”
    Beau Brummell

    In this day and age of bad taste, to dress Ivy is to be noticed.

  7. I have only one mixed pattern combo that works. It’s pretty simple, so I intend to build a couple of other outfits, variations on that same basic theme. The difficult part these days is finding the components.

  8. whiskeydent | July 27, 2023 at 3:20 pm |

    I can’t remember where I got this approach, but it has really worked for me.

    The first step in wearing a striped tie with a plaid jacket is to assess the scales. The more similar they are in size, the more they will compete and clash. You want the difference in scales to be pretty distinct.

    The next step is the boldness of the colors. You can wear a strong regimental tie — an Argyll and Sutherland for example — with a subdued gray glenn plaid quite easily.

    For extra credit, match the strongest color in your tie to a minor color or perhaps a deco plaid in your jacket. That will tie (ahem) the whole thing together.

    • John Burton | July 27, 2023 at 4:09 pm |


    • John Burton | July 27, 2023 at 4:09 pm |

      I can’t do it, but genius.

      • whiskeydent | July 27, 2023 at 4:27 pm |

        I bet the sales guys at J. Press could show you the way with their ties and jackets for examples. First though, you should ask G. Bruce if I’m full of it. He is the master of plaid/stripe/color strength, but he of course does it in a subtler, more sophisticated way than I described.

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