1950s

aldenlongwing

Cold War-Era Spy Shoelace Signaling

Here’s a bit of trivia that makes for a fitting follow-up to Richard Press’ column about George HW Bush. In addition to being a Yale man, Bush also headed the CIA, and those two institutions are closely knit. Well, back in the 1950s, those Ivy-clad operatives learned special ways of tying the laces on their

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tiecrafters

Narrow, Widen And Clean Your Ties With Tiecrafters

I like my ties a bit on the narrow side — say 3-3.25 inches. Just enough to convey an Ivy heyday vibe without being the guy who walks into the room and makes everyone think, “Here comes Skinny Tie Guy.” That’s why even when I was in California I sent my ties to New York

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From The Archives

navy-white

Raising the Bar: An Appreciation of the Bar Stripe Necktie

Frequent comment-leaver Old School offers this appreciation of the bar stripe necktie, also known as Brooks Brothers’ #3 stripe. It all started in my freshman year in college in 1961. My French professor was an Englishman who came to school every day in a black suit, white broadcloth shirt, and a bar stripe necktie —

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har7

Heyday Harvard

While researching the Harvard dorm rooms post for Masculine Interiors last week, I came across some student shots from the late ’40s up to 1960 or so. Note filthy sneakers in top image. — CC  


Princetonian19520218-01_1_4-700w-call-651-2206-2964-2740

From The Ashtray Of History: Vintage Campus Cigarette Ads

In my junior year of college my dorm room was decorated in a retro manner. One day a salesman hocking fake Polo and other fragrances popped his head through my open doorway. He took a look at two pictures on the wall and said, trying to break the ice, “Are those your folks?” Slightly annoyed


brownphoto

First To Arrive, Or Last To Leave?

At a party you never want to be the first to arrive nor the last to leave, though someone inevitably must be. Dorm life (which is kind of like an endless party) is no different. This young chap is either an eager beaver at the start of the year, or a sentimental sap waxing contemplative


bigu

Authentic Ivy League Suits Sanitized For Freshness

This ad from a 1959 issue of Sports Illustrated is interesting for a number of reasons. Most obvious is the ad’s premise of dressing young. From our perspective 55 years later, the men in the ad could hardly look more mature. Yet such were the small distinctions of suit-wearing at the time. Then, in the



abbotts

Dateline 1957: Ivy School, But Not Ivy Style

  A couple days ago I participated in a little forum banter, pointing out that in my opinion the ubiquity of the Ivy League Look during the heyday can sometimes be overstated. What’s more, once certain items became so mainstream they certainly ceased to have any direct connection to the campus and Eastern Establishment, even




chipp5

Tartan Day And Men In Plaid, 1950

In case you hadn’t heard, tomorrow is Tartan Day. To celebrate, we’re sharing a LIFE Magazine article from 1950 (scroll down to page 123) that showcased Yale students in plaid vests and Andover preps in plaid caps. The article opens with this: When the British caught wind of the fact that American men were developing


JPress 4B

Pushing Buttons: York Street Revives The 4/3

  In the reliably lively commentary on the last post, commenter “Oxford Cloth Button Down” called attention to a couple of four-button jackets in the latest York Street collection. As divisive as York Street is, the jackets will no doubt fan the flames of distaste. But what appears as another case of youth-market flippancy actually


bert marilyn

The Marketing Man Who Made Jazz And Ivy Cool

Commenting on our article “Is Ivy Cool?” reader “Camford” asked, “Are cigarettes and jazz cool?” I cannot say whether they are cool. Well, I could, but I won’t, as my physician, insurance agent and childhood music teacher might be reading this article. But I believe they are both addictive and potentially lethal. When I was young


claxton coltrane

This Day In 1959

…. the Guggenheim Museum opened. One year later William Claxton took the above photo of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. A previous Ivy Style tribute to Coltrane (and the Claxton photo shoot) is here, while a post on striped sportcoats is here. As for posts on buttondown-collared shirts, Mr. Erik J. has weighed in on the


well-groomed

Success Through Good Grooming: Bert Bacharach’s Right Dress, 1955

After a spell of breaking-news interruptions, we’re finally returning to the topic of rules when it comes to dressing. It all started, you may recall, with a Japanese graphic that included the word “rules” along with “snob.” This got me free-associating about a certain type of fusty clotheshorse who takes pride not in anything original



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