1950s

Big Men On Campus

Michigan halfback Tom Harmon doing his sports radio show, in classic combo of button-down collar, knit tie and cardigan, 1940. Below, crew cuts and crewnecks. University of Illinois, 1956: The archetypal combo of argyle socks and tassel loafers. Looks cooler if you’re 20, though. University of Illinois, 1956: Varsity sweater, OCBD, and lovestruck Wake Forest

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From The Archives

Declaration Of Independence

Unless you’re one of those blessed souls who can tune out the contemporary world and live for higher things like the contemplation of the universe and the late quartets of Beethoven, you probably noticed that our colorful new president has taken office amid a cacophony of cheers and jeers. It made for a lively weekend

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Shoulda Been There: A Swellegant, Elegant Party, 1957

This post from 2009 came up in conversation yesterday and is worth revisiting. What an incredible mix of people. I had great fun writing this and imagining the scene.  * * * One of the saddest phrases in the English language is “You missed a great party.” Well here’s one we all missed. In 1957


Where All The Angry Young Men Go

This story originally published in November, 2009 and is being reposted in honor of National Coffee Day. * * * For the Beat Generation, there were only two places to live: New York’s Greenwich Village and San Francisco’s North Beach. North Beach has been an old stomping ground of mine since my early twenties. I


Light in the Loafers

Here at Ivy Style HQ, I’ve lately taken to wearing socks lighter in shade than my trousers, such as a light-gray sock paired with charcoal pants and black tassel loafers. There’s something about light socks that puts a spring in your step. As you move, you catch the light color from the corner of your


Some Like It Hot

Not me, though. We’re in the middle of a heat wave and I’m miserable without golf and tennis. I’ll take a polar vortex any day. OK I can’t play golf or tennis then either, but at least I don’t sweat just sitting at my desk. Playwright Arthur Miller liked ’em hot — women, that is.



Hamptons Style, 1959

Our last post was on the fondness of rich WASPs for junk food, which leaves crumbs on their frayed pink buttondowns. This post is on how rich WASPs dressed in Southampton in 1959. Pictured are Vincent Banker and C. Henry Buhl III going Ivy chic in blazer with sockless bit loafers and madras jacket with


National Golf Day: The Yale Golf Team, 1959

  Today is National Golf Day, for which I offer three documents for your enjoyment. The purely sartorial among you can pore over the details in this photo of the 1959 Yale golf team. * * * Update: Richard Press just sent me an email saying this photo blew his mind, whereupon he proceeded to


Slim But Not Skinny: A 1950s Image Gallery

Our recent post “In Praise Of Style And Grace” brought about some brisk discussion on Facebook, mostly on matters of proportion when it came to lapel and tie widths back in the day. For the first half of the ’50s they were fairly neutral, and by the late ’60s they had already swept back to


Ten Thousand Men Of Harvard

OK, maybe not ten thousand (as in the school’s fight song), but here are a few. The handsome gent above and below is Aga Khan (no date for photo; Khan graduated in ’59), whose step-mother was Rita Hayworth: Students and professor, 1952: Book fair, 1957: Commencement, 1961: Alumni Day, 1968: This one is captioned “Harvard


Dead Sea Scrolls Of Boom Years Advertising

Thanks to a sharp eye, Ivy Style reader Jim Barge came across an eerie parchment discovery from the antiquity of the Ivy heyday. “I am working on a project renovating the Chelsea District Health Center,” he wrote on Ivy Style’s Facebook page, “and noticed some newspaper sticking out of the wall. I carefully removed it


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




We Smoked Our Pipes And Took Our Ease

This week the Brown Daily Herald reported that students on campus are practically suffering nervous breakdowns. Why? Because social justice activism is interfering with their schoolwork. Or rather, getting an Ivy League education is interfering with their social justice work. While it’s right and proper that colleges today are open to everyone, perhaps there’s something