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The Buttoned-Down Store Clerk

Thu 17 Apr 2014 - Filed under: 1950s,Historic Images — Christian
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ivy cartoon2

I got taken for an employee at Brooks the other day. Hasn’t happened in a while. — CC

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Lil’ Sis: Rebecca Tuite’s Seven Sisters Style, The All-American Preppy Look

Tue 15 Apr 2014 - Filed under: 1950s,Historic Images — Christian
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English lass Rebecca C. Tuite reached out to us several years ago, introducing herself as a sorority girl simpatico with our little sartorial fraternity here. She was researching the corollary of the Ivy League Look, namely the style that WASPy women wore at elite eastern colleges at the same time young men were setting styles on college campuses.

She wrote several pieces for us that combined sartorial observations with the social context of boy-girl interactions during the heyday, including “Vasser Versus Ivies Touch Football,” “Double Date,” “The Yale-Vassar Bike Race,” plus posts on “The Man In The Brooks Brothers Shirt” and a piece on Richard Frede’s collegiate novel, “Entry E.”

The fruits of her research have blossomed and ripened in the form of her recently released book, “Seven Sisters Style,” which is getting plenty of publicity. Congrats to Rebecca, and here are some  images from the book that show the girls fraternizing with the fellas. — CC (Continue)

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Tartan Day And Men In Plaid, 1950

Sat 5 Apr 2014 - Filed under: 1950s,Historic Images,Historic Texts — Christian
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chipp5

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 a fancy for bright tartan dinner jackets, they were unhappy. In London, tailor and Cutter, the haberdasher’s bible called them “deplorable,” then was forced to backtrack when King George ordered a couple himself.

In this passage, Chipp (whose team is pictured above) and its role in pushing the whole concept of go-to-hell is further cemented:

Tartans have been worn for some time by a few individualists, mainly in the east and mainly customers of a New York tailor called Chipp.

Main Street, or at least urban department stores, soon took notice:

This winter the Florida resort season established them as a real fashion. Now the big department stores are about to break out with plaid dinner jackets for what is expected to be a wide market.

Below are some outtakes from the photo shoot from the LIFE archives. Have a great Tartan Day. I’ll be celebrating with Blackwatch boxers. — CC (Continue)

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Pushing Buttons: York Street Revives The 4/3

Wed 12 Feb 2014 - Filed under: 1950s,Clothes — Zachary DeLuca
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JPress 4B

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 has its roots in the J. Press archives. When I first saw the York Street jackets, I was reminded of a post I wrote back in 2009 about a 4/3 roll jacket from J. Press featured in a 1952 issue of Gentry:

jpress 4_3

The Gentry article calls the 4/3 a reference to the 1920s, and I think there is a specter of ’20s influence at work in the York Street jacket. With its half belt, flapped breast pocket, and military-style pointed pocket flaps, it looks like a cropped, nipped version of a half-Norfolk shooting coat.

Four-Button Jackets
What would you think of a four-button Ivy jacket?

All this thinking of 4/3 jackets has me wondering how a traditional four-button coat would be received today if it was re-released by J.Press, unaldulterated, as it was in 1952. Is it an obscure classic that deserves a comeback, or an abomination that needs to stay dead? Cast your vote. — ZACHARY DELUCA

imagesZachary DeLuca is a freelance writer who also operates Newton Street Vintage. He was recently appointed Ivy Style’s assistant editor.

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The Marketing Man Who Made Jazz And Ivy Cool

Sat 28 Dec 2013 - Filed under: 1950s,Film,Jazz — Christian
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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 and impressionable, I saw a jazz documentary on my local PBS station and have never been the same since. Years later I learned it was Bert Stern’s smoked-infused 1958 bacchanalia “Jazz On A Summer’s Day.” It should have come with a warning label. To this day I struggle with the compulsion to drink Rheingold beer and dance on rooftops, an endeavor I know is as foolhardy as a Lucky Strike habit.

(Continue)

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This Day In 1959

Mon 21 Oct 2013 - Filed under: 1950s,Jazz — Christian
Comments (19)

claxton coltrane

…. 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 new “FIGHT!” (the term he used on Twitter) between Brooks Brothers and Kamakura Shirts for your oxford dollars. — CC

 

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