1950s

Tradified

From The Editor

  Ivy is a fashion born of a mindset manifested in a lifestyle.  There are values attached:  dignity, the value and power of thought, ethics, hard work, aesthetics, appreciation of all things classic, and the dogged pursuit of excellence.   While Ivy evolves (I haven’t worn socks since Easter) the values don’t.  If you are a

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From The Archives

Brooks Civvies: The New Yorker, 1945

Perhaps the heyday of the Ivy League Look began not in the ’50s, but the moment after World War II’s detente. In this 1945 New Yorker cartoon, a soldier returns home from the war and is told by his mother to immediately get himself some mufti at Brooks Brothers to show that everything is all

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The Ivy League Look In Australia In The ’50s

During the heyday of the Ivy League Look, the natural-shoulder diaspora spread not only from the Ancient Eight to campuses across America, it also spread to far corners of the globe. In March of 1957, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the growing trend for American Ivy League clothes. Farmer’s is a department store that


Dirty White Bucks & An Ivy League Coat

We’ve previously featured pop tunes from the Ivy heyday (and from the good old days when guys would sing about their clothes), and here’s another one: Ronnie Haig & Jerry Siefert singing the praises of dirty white bucks and “an Ivy League coat to burn out your eye.” Ignore the references to tight pants. 


Lacoste For The Andover Shop, 1958

  In honor of Bastille Day, we revisit this post on France’s great contribution to the preppy-Ivy wardrobe. * * * One of the pleasures of spending time among archival material is the chance discovery. We recently came across an Izod Lacoste advertisement that was used in 1958 and 1959, placed by The Andover Shop. On


How The White-Shoe Law Firm Got Its Name

May is here and with it the season of white bucks, the Ivy wardrobe item that lent its name to the term “white shoe,” usually applied to a law or financial firm that hired WASPy guys from elite universities and catered to an Old Money clientele. In 1997, language expert William Safire wrote an essay


The Yale-Vassar Bike Race

The Yale-Vassar bike race found its origins in a drunken wager. At a meeting of Yale’s Trumbull Beer and Bike Society, one student declared he could beat another in a bicycle race all the way to Vassar. However, this valiant duel between two determined Trumbull residents quickly became a popular annual tradition in the early


Color of Conquest: Bruce Boyer’s Ode to Olive

Olive and khaki were enormously popular colors for Ivy-styled civilian clothing directly after WW II, through the Korean Conflict (fighting ended in 1953), and a decade beyond. We can only surmise that the wealth of well made but inexpensive military clothing on sale in Army & Navy stores throughout the country after 1945, as well


Miles Ago

This week I met with someone close to Charlie Davidson, the founder of The Andover Shop who died recently at the age of 93. While cleaning out his apartment, the person found some 15 printouts of my 2008 article for Ralph Lauren Magazine. And not stashed in the same place, but rather scattered all about


Double Date: Vassar Girls and their Beaus, 1951

A quick look back at this charming photo posted a decade ago, with dating customs that go even farther back. * * * London-based Ivy Style contributor Rebecca C. Tuite, currently at work on a book on the iconic Vassar Girl of the ’50s, posted this photo on her personal blog. The shot is from



Princeton vs. Yale, 1955

It’s kind of funny to think that standards of dress for a football game half a century ago were higher than for much of corporate America today. Several shots of the crowd reveal all the requisite gear: natural shoulders, buttondown collars, rep ties, short haircuts, and crewneck sweaters worn high in the front. — CC