1920s-’40s

Studied Carelessness, 1934

This is what passed for undergraduate nonchalance in 1934: three-piece suits, suspenders, lace-up shoes, topcoats and hats. From the January issue, here’s Esquire‘s take on the studied carelessness of collegiate style. — CC

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From The Archives

Limited-Time Offer! Introducing The Ivy Style Club Tie

Ivy-Style.com just celebrated its eighth birthday and reached 1,500 posts. That’s a lot of topics, contributors, and readers. We figured it was time to bring everyone and everything together symbolically with our very own Ivy Style Club Tie. The project grew out of Ivy Style’s Facebook group at the suggestion of a member. I came

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Intolerance Of The Shoddy And Second-Rate

Today makers of luxury goods, especially autombiles, like to evoke some imagined ideal consumer. He has impeccable, uncompromising taste, they tell you, and you the viewer of the televised or printed message are meant to aspire to be like him. But this 1948 ad for Atkinsons is from another era, and the ad copy is


A Pin Too Far

You probably remember a few years ago, back when Ralph Lauren Rugby was still alive, and neo-preps were wearing collar pins with buttondown collars. The buttons were not fastened, and had sometimes been removed, but those of the old guard found the look an incorrigible affectation. I recall going into the New York J. Press



Esquire’s Academic Clothes Curriculum, 1947

Yesterday Esquire announced that David Granger is out as editor after helming the magazine for nearly 20 years. His replacement is Jay Fielden, who had been overseeing Town & Country. Will Esquire return to the way it was from the ’30s to the ’60s? Not likely. All the more reason to put your subscription money


Comfort And Neatness, 1949

From the September, 1949 issue of Esquire. Subscribe to the digital archives here. From the University of Maine to UCLA, college men spend most of their time pounding the books in class, in the dorm, or in the library with Miss Distraction of 1949. Their keynote is comfort and neatness. The fellow in the window


Saddle Shoes And Kilties, 1941

What do saddle shoes and kilties have in common? They’re both featured in the Laurence Fellows-penned image above from the Esquire archives, and they’re both not on my Christmas list. Regular readers will know my aversion to both footwear atrocities. But then again I dig bit loafers. De gustibus, et cetera, et cetera. Below is


It’s 1940 All Over Again

Chris Sharp found these images in the same Esquire issue featured in our last post: September 1940 (sign up for the archives here.) They should provide further inspiration for any of you who feel stuck in a sartorial rut. The text for the top image described this college man as wearing the color combination of


Weejuns Go With Everything, 1940

This image (another find by comment-leaver Carmelo in the Esquire archives), came with a date but no caption. So I decided to give it one for the headline above. It’s easy to think of penny loafers as a casual shoe since, in the grand footwear scheme of things, they are. But much of the charm


Glad-Time Night In Tigertown, 1942

What to wear with a rep tie and OCBD? How about a plaid tweed jacket and a windowpane vest? There were so many options during the Golden Age Of Ivy, even while there was a war going on. Cheers to Chris Sharp for spotting this 1942 illustration from the Esquire archives, which you can access


Heavy Program, 1946

An encore from Esquire in the year 1946 (head over here to access the archives for a mere $4.99 per month). According to the text, the student on the left has a tweed suit cut in “conventional three-button style and easy lines.” The other fellow “sticks to the regulation two-tone saddle-strap shoes, checked tweed jacket


Tweeds On The Books, 1946

The war was over and the boys were already back in school. This is from the Esquire archives, which recently went online and can be accessed for a mere $4.99 per month. Ivy Style Facebook member and comment leaver “Carmelo” found this image from 1946, which features some of my favorite things: blue buttondown, grey