1920s-’40s


College Miscellany

Above: University of Pennsylvania, 1949. Below: MIT, 1956 (click images for hi-res version): Harvard Divinity School, 1955: Two from the University of Illinois, 1956: Brown, 1938: Tailgate party at Amherst, 1958: St. John’s, 1940:


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


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:


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


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


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.


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


Prep Rally

Ah, the halcyon days at an all-male prep school, mid-century. Here we have two future lawyers shining their shoes while debating the merits of the various Ivies. The Hill School in Pottstown, PA, 1942. Argyle socks and cuffed flannels: Pants so short they go up to your knees when you cross your legs. The Hotchkiss


Give Ivy

All of Tradsville is abuzz with “Take Ivy,” the Japanese photo book featuring candid shots of Princeton students in the late ’60s. Recently a copy of the rare tome sold on American eBay for $1,500. Then The Trad scored one on Japanese eBay for 1/10th that, promising to present scans of the entire book for


Joe College

J.C. Leyendecker’s first initials stand for Joseph Christian, but they might as well stand for Joe College. In a career spanning from 1900 until World War II, the American illustrator painted 300 covers for the Saturday Evening Post, as well as advertisements for products like Kuppenheimer Clothes and Interwoven Socks, that featured Harvard Rowers, Princeton


Andre 1935

Along with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Andre Benjamin has plummeted from Andre 3000 to Andre 1935. The pop fop’s new clothing collection, called Benjamin Bixby, drinks from the same well (or Gatorade cooler) as Ralph Lauren’s latest Rugby collection, with inspiration from vintage college football. “The collection was inspired by Ivy League athletics of