1920s-’40s

bb34

Sailing New Seas: Brooks Brothers In Newport & Palm Beach

You may have received an email from Brooks Brothers recently that made a passing references to the company’s first stores outside of New York. It was enough for me to stop and take notice, because those other locations were not other bastions of the eastern establishment, such as Boston, Philadelphia or Washington, DC, but the


gatsby-stills02

Brooks Outfitted Gatsby Cast

Today Brooks Brothers announced that it was the official clothier of Baz Luhrmann’s “Great Gatsby” adaptation, which opens December 25. Under the direction of costume designer Catherine Martin, Brooks created more than 500 outfits for the male principals and extras. Women’s Wear Daily has an ungated feature on the collaboration complete with slideshow. Below is



bulldog

Golden Years: Anything Goes in New Haven

Last night the Broadway revival of “Anything Goes,” which had received nine Tony nominations, ended up winning three. As I watched, I couldn’t help but remember one of the great historical anecdotes of J. Press: The time my grandfather Jacobi helped the musical’s composer Cole Porter evade the New Haven police. During a 1912 football


chou-bio

Gommy, Forgotten Campus Shop of Penn and Princeton

Recently I purchased a 1926 yearbook for my alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, and was pleasantly surprised to see a Brooks Brothers advertisement on the first page of the ad section. Flipping through, I also discovered ads for a few local establishments, including a campus menswear shop called Gommy. It seemed like Gommy may


bshirt

The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt

For Ivy Style’s 300th post, London-based contributor Rebecca C. Tuite examines the most important piece of literature about The Ivy League Look’s most important brand. There is little doubt that Mary Mccarthy’s short story “The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt” is now probably more famous for its punchy title — a dream for the


Princeton Crew, 1948-50

This is a 20-minute clip, so watch it over lunch if you’re the kind of poor schlub who eats lunch at his desk. And if you’re at home, pour yourself a drink and get comfortable. Love the towel worn as a scarf in the opening. Great chinos and sweaters in action at 2:28. Jackets and


repptie-1

Perfect Form: The Best Dressed Golfer of 1936

AldenPyle of Andy’s Trad Forum, one of the most diligent ransackers of the LIFE archives, recently dug up some photos of the 1936 National Amateur Golf Championship at the Garden City Golf Club. The winner was John W. Fischer, who took the cup not only for his fine form on the fairway, but for being




deidre-bio-new

Leading Men: The Princetonians

When it comes to starting fashion trends, there’s Princeton and then there’s every other school. From the three-button suit to its namesake haircut, Princeton has popularized such menswear staples as Norfolk jackets, raccoon coats, tweed sport coats, rep ties, spectator shoes, khaki pants and Shetland sweaters. Princeton’s sartorial influence has been dulled by time, but


c2

Raccoon Season

Historically, Ivy style has always championed durability and functionality. Nowhere is this truer than in the realm of outerwear, where such weathered classics as the toggle coat and balmacaan remain viable and timeless. However, at certain vivacious moments in the style’s history, discerning collegiate sartorialists have exchanged the reliable for the resplendent, the austere for


jfk-2

A LIFE in Brief: The Kennedy Clan

On newsstands now is one of those book-like magazines LIFE puts out when someone important dies — in this case, Edward Kennedy. “The Kennedys: End of a Dynasty” provides plenty of photos and family history for those who don’t want to wade through a full biography. I especially liked this photo of JFK from 1946.


varsity-1

Vintage Varsity

Varsity-inspired items from RL’s Rugby line fit in well at last Sunday’s 25th annual Gatsby Summer Afternoon. Of all the vintage events wacky Californians put on, this one is by far the most spectacular. Held at the Dunsmuir House, an estate in the Oakland Hills, the event features music and dancing, vintage cars, and a




springbreak-lead

Bermuda Short

In celebration of Spring Break, I wrote a shortie on the origins of the Great Escape for the blog at Ralph Lauren’s Rugby.com. Seems the tradition of students going somewhere tropical over Easter began in 1935 when The Bermuda Athletic Association invited some Ivy League rugby teams down for a friendly tournament. By the ’50s


c1

Hold That Tiger

Our last two posts revolved around Princeton and the Roaring Twenties. Now we combine the two with images from a Charleston-themed party held at Princeton in 1949. Arriving fashionably late in dad’s coonskin coat:


raccoon-edit

Campus Capers

Note: This post includes audio files that are not set to play automatically. If they do, and you don’t want them to, please adjust your browser preferences. Reading the lyrics to “The Ivy League Look” in our last post reminded me of the words to another college tune from a generation earlier: Harry Reser‘s “He


langrock

Classic ‘Rock

It’s long been said that Yankee frugality dictates that men hang on to their clothes, repair them as necessary, and pass them on to their progeny. Somehow, I got hold of one when the owner wasn’t looking. It bears witness to the values of Ivy style: quality, smartness, practicality, longevity, thrift, stability. Custom made in


c

Frat Pack

College fraternities of the past offered male bonding in a stylish setting. The photo above, plus the two below, are from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, 1949. Click images to go to the hi-res version.


fitzgeraldf

Building Character

Though he never graduated, F. Scott Fitzgerald attended Princeton and remained ever loyal to his alma mater. So loyal that while most of his characters attend an Ivy League college, Fitzgerald specifically sent his most autobiographical protagonist to Princeton. In the wake of the new film “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” which is based