Attention To Details: American Style Goes Global

The current issue of Details devotes its style section to home-grown looks, saying that American style is a rapidly growing global trend. Writes the magazine:

Classic American style is dominating fashion these days. What started as a domestic revival has snowballed into a worldwide movement — well-dressed guys from Antwerp to Tokyo have suddenly traded in their skinny black suits for navy blazers, slim khakis, and, yes, polo shirts.

The magazine includes pages devoted to three classic style archetypes, only one of which is relevant to us here. The prep page mentions Ivy-Style as required digital reading, along with fellow blogs Heavy Tweed Jacket, The Trad, All Plaidout and Unabashedly Prep. If you’d have told me in 1985 that 25 years later I’d be mentioned in a magazine alongside Michael J. Fox as Alex P. Keaton, let’s just say I would’ve been a trifle suspect.

The page also mentions “Take Ivy,” and for clothes includes Bass Weejuns and the Gant varsity jacket we posted about previously. Related pages are devoted to khaki shorts and oxford-cloth button-down shirts.

Though the image in the lower left of the prep page is of Alex Keaton from the sitcom “Family Ties,” the copy references another fictional character. Writes Details:

The uniform once associated with the New England elite has gone global — and modern. With fashion designers both here and abroad riffing on boarding-school basics, it’s never been cooler to channel Holden Caulfield.

You know, I only got around to reading “Catcher in the Rye” last summer. Man, I wanted to smack that kid. He actually reminded me of some of the curmudgeonly trolls on the men’s fashion forums — just complain, complain, complain all the time. Nothing wrong with him, he’s not the phony, it’s everyone else who’s the phony.

I’m not surprised that high school students today think Holden Caulfield’s a whiny brat and can’t relate to him. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

16 Comments on "Attention To Details: American Style Goes Global"

  1. Add anything by Ayn Rand to the list of “best read when still a clueless high school student.” 😉

  2. Christian | June 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm |

    I think Rand is more of a college thing. I had a college buddy who went on and on about her.

    I’ve managed to resist temptation.

  3. It’s Ayn as in “Swine”.

  4. Complain, complain, complain — reminds me of someone I sat next to for dinner at my downtown club earlier this year. The appetizer wasn’t authentic, the soup wasn’t hot enough, the meat was undercooked, it’s too easy to get on the wine committee these days — yes, I just wanted to smack him. Have another drink and start enjoying yourself. Life is more fun that way.

  5. Just a note on the feature.

    The worldwide demand for American style is very real for Wm. J. Mills & Co. Fully 50% of the retail stores that carry our bags are found in foreign countries, with Stores in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea it also looks like the Pacific rim is where that demand runs the hottest.

  6. Details annoys me. “Any prepster worth his weight in brass buttons should own Take Ivy, the definitive document of classic Ivy League style.” Nobody would have ever said that a few months ago. And the rerelease is still not available until late summer. The only way to own Take Ivy right now would be to pay big bucks for the original. So Details is telling me that unless I already own Take Ivy, which I would have had to pay $1,000 for, I am not a real Ivy/Prep/Trad guy. That’s a bunch of bull.

  7. Dave: I’m sorry to hear you’re annoyed by Details. If it will make you feel better, I can send you an authentic, handwritten sticky note labeled “Real Ivy/Prep/Trad Guy.”

    All the Details-reading poseurs will die with jealousy.

  8. Could you write it in Japanese? That would make me feel GREAT!

  9. “…Nothing wrong with him, he’s not the phony, it’s everyone else who’s the phony….” Well put…and to me, your observation characterizes J.D. Salinger as well.

  10. The working button holes with the r/w/b ribbon are a bit parvenue and showy yeah? Especially for an off the peg blazer. Personally I think that shirt/tie combination is ugly as hell….

    Hopefully the readers of this piece will actually check out some of the websites listed and perhaps learn a little better than the junk they put in that magazine. Branding be damned, but there’s nary a one listed that I would normally associate with the so-called Ivy League aesthetic.

    Having lived in NY for some time and seen a many trends come and go I only hope that the Armani Exchange and American Apparel, et al crowd won’t soon be swamping Madison Avenue in the 40’s.

    Nonetheless, kudos on the nod from a major publication.

  11. Also, could please post something perhaps imploring men to actually start the day off with their top shirt buttons fastened and their tie knots to the neck?

    Ideally you’ll soon have a lot of newish readers with the magazine article. You have to golden opportunity to stop these half-assed tie attempts before it gets out of hand.

    An emphasis on how inappropriate flip-flops are with the aforementioned tie/blazer (and probably ripped jeans) would be in good order as well.


  12. I hope this finds you doing well. It was great to see your site mentioned in Details magazine. Your blog is one of my favorites out there. Have a fantastic weekend.

  13. I too only got around to reading Catcher in the Rye recently and I loved it. I agree with Dave on the Take Ivy part. It’s ridiculous to act like any and every Tradly/Preppy person should own Take Ivy. Though, I will be much more inclined to agree with them once the much cheaper, English version comes out.

  14. I always love the way that people who like the Ivy Style complain that no one dresses well these days, but when a magazine promotes the style they like, many of them will complain about how it is done. Shouldn’t everyone just relax and appreciate the fact that the styles they like are popular and readily available, if only for a brief period.

    P.S. Before discovering the internet world of Ivy/Trad, I had never heard of Take Ivy either, but if Details wants to promote the re-release, I don’t care. I’m still not going to buy a copy. I can find plenty of pictures of 50’s college boys on my own.

  15. Please forward any photos of ’50s college guys you find that won’t get me reprimanded from LIFE Magazine.

  16. I don’t mean to by cynical, but I’m glad to see the US is exporting SOMETHING. (Well, something other than Country music.)

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