1950s

Beatnik Prep

Back in the chilly days of March I amused myself by playing with style juxtapositions. The concept of “beatnik prep” was pretty simple. Start with a beard or goatee (check), take your corduroy or tweed cap and wear it backwards at an angle, so it resembles a beret. Then add natural-shouldered sportcoat and maybe even

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From The Archives

The Aristocrat of Topcoats: Boyer on the Polo Coat

Ivy-Style continues its efforts to digitize Boyer’s work for the Internet and a new generation of readers. This latest offering addresses the polo coat, the so-called “aristocrat of topcoats.” Below are some words of reflection submitted by Boyer, followed by the article, which originally appeared in the July, 1981 issue of Town & Country. Pictured

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This Is Pennsylvania, 1957

Here’s a post that originally ran in the summer of 2012, and which makes for a perfect follow-up to yesterday’s post on a video from the University of Pennsylvania made in 1967. This is another school promo film, but from precisely a decade earlier. * * * Recently I ran across a video for Penn


The Court Demands To See Vintage Ivy Ads As Evidence

Recently we posted about a company called Worsted-Tex and how it used the term “Ivy League” to sell mass-market clothing as soon as the heyday of the Ivy League Look took off. In 1960 the company began filing lawsuits against other brands that were using variations of the term “Ivy” in their products. In a


Prince Among Preps: Aga Khan At Harvard

For yesterday’s Easter post I shared the collection of top hat images that fills my apartment, one of which is a rakish photo of Aly Khan, an international playboy who married actress Rita Hayworth. His son, known as Prince Karim, the fourth Aga Khan, was featured in one of Ivy Style’s earliest posts, which we



Ivy League By Worsted-Tex, 1955

Another great find by Carmelo Pugliatti showing mass-market Ivy at the dawn of the heyday. And the worst-dressed award goes to the young man in the middle, who’s wearing a coat that looks like an orphaned suit jacket, along with a hat for over which his classmates will give him infinite grief. — CC


Botany 500’s Ivy Executive Collection, 1955

Within one year of LIFE Magazine’s 1954 feature “The Ivy Look Heads Across The US,” which surely would have caught the eyes of the apparel industry given the magazine’s enormous circulation, Botany 500 was already jumping on the new menswear trend. You can all but imagine the product development meeting. Let’s come up with a


Simple And Modern: In Search Of The Ivy Heyday Watch

One often sees the subject of watches come up here in the comments section as well as on Ivy Style’s Facebook group, usually concerning which timepieces might confer an Ivy aura. That can be a wormhole, since people wore a variety of watch styles over the decades. However, there are watches that were popular during


JFK At Work And Play

A lot of original photos of JFK has gone on the auction block at Bonhams. There are a couple of sartorial details worth noting. The photos are from 1954, when Kennedy hadn’t fully sanitized his wardrobe of Ivy affectation in order to better reflect the American public via the medium of television. In the photo


Perfect Match

No, not the couple. The guy’s outfit in this 1959 illustration. Check out the full image: He’s matched light blue socks to his light blue shirt. That’s a matchy-matchy no-no, to say nothing of harmonizing with the drapery. The other items are fine, including what we assume is a navy knit tie, and penny loafers


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


Life Vests

  As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on vests, let’s take a look at a micro-fad that struck a group of Yale students in 1950. We’ve used some of these photos on Ivy Style before, but not the whole batch. The shots come from an April 1950 issue of LIFE Magazine, which reported on the


The Great Indoors

Midcentury modern fans, as well as guys who are single (or sometimes wish they were), will likely enjoy heading over to our fraternal site Masculine Interiors for a fine article posted yesterday. It’s about Playboy’s architectural and interior design articles of the ’50s and ’60s, and was written by contributor James Kraus. Kraus’ previous articles


Holiday Jeer

As you break out the tartan jacket and red socks to hit the holiday party circuit, take a tip from Tony Randall and watch out for these fellow guests. In 1957 Randall did a photo shoot in which he portrayed various pests typically encountered at cocktail parties. Pictured above is The Jokester, who amuses himself