1950s

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


Dignified Atmosphere: The 1952 Yale Dress Code Controversy

A frequent lament is that college students no longer know how to dress. The Ivy League is not immune to this criticism. Frederick Robertshaw, Yale class of ’55, when comparing his time at Yale to that of his sons, commented on the younger generation by observing that “campus fashions resemble casual day in a county


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


Lewis H. Lapham On Clothes, Yale, And The Product Placement Of Self

If you find yourself in the properly reflective and curious frame of mind to handle a weighty intellectual essay, there’s a piece in the current issue of Lapham’s Quarterly that you should sit down to with a full cup of tea. The periodical was founded by Lewis H. Lapham, who is also the editor emeritus


Bay Rum, The Scent Of Madison Avenue

Today is National Rum Day, the perfect excuse to revisit one of the bay rum stories from our archive. Although this post ran a mere two years ago, it was actually written several before that. No idea if bay rum improves with age (nor my writing, for that matter), but I’m pretty sure rum does.


Six Years Ago — The Ivy League Look

This post originally ran in February of 2009. This morning a member of our Facebook group posted a video of the song, which went up on YouTube a couple of years ago (and has only been seen 500 times since). It has been added below. We did a jazz post yesterday. This one’s for Squeeze. Give


Six Years Ago — Ivy Magazine, 1957

This post originally ran this week in 2009 and was Ivy Style’s 100th post.  * * * This is Ivy-Style’s one-hundredth post. Over the past 99, I can honestly say that the thing I’m most proud of is never having once attempted to confirm or deny that there is or is not such a thing



Take Virginia: The Photos Of Ed Roseberry

As a follow-up to our post on Country Club Prep, which was founded by two men who met at the University of Virginia School of Law, we’ll take a look at UVA during the heyday, a subject we haven’t looked at since last Thanksgiving. Ed Roseberry was a local photographer who chronicled life around Charlottesville,


Green Day: 1950s Campus Ads For The Fighting Irish

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day we pay tribute to the Irish — specifically the Fighting Irish of the University Of Notre Dame. After a long and fruitless search for vintage images, I finally found a few in the campus magazine called The Scholastic, where there were some ads for Arrow buttondowns, “natural” tuxedo rentals


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  


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


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


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