1950s

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Stetson’s Ivy League Fedora, 1953

In our recent rise and fall essay, you may have noticed that one of the differences between Ivy’s prewar golden age and postwar silver age is that hats used to be worn on campus. But in 1965, after President Kennedy supposedly dealt the hat the coup de grace, the only hats you see in “Take


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Aristocracy & Revolution: Taylor-Made Shoes, 1955

Once the Ivy League Look gained popularity during the silver age of the ’50s, Main Street clothiers used the term as an advertising buzzword. Needless to say, Brooks Brothers and J. Press never had to resort to the term, and in fact dismissed the term “Ivy League” with mild scorn, as they’ve always done with


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White Christmas: Bucks, Flannels And A Shaggy Dog

With 10 days before Christmas with not a snowflake in sight, this bright and sunny day in New York with a high temperature of 47 is perfect weather — for those of us not office bound — for white bucks and grey flannels. Unlike penny loafers and khakis, white bucks and grey flannels is one


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Getting Fitted At Chipp, 1965

If you hold a mirror up to your computer screen, you’ll see that the gent being measured for a jacket is at the venerable clothier Chipp, as seen in this illustration from the company’s 1965 catalog. Ivy Style asked Paul Winston, son of the Chipp founders, for any insight on the drawing. Here’s what he


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The Post Of The Seven Gables

Clark Gable is largely remebered as one of the glamorous menswear icons of the 1930s, along with Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, and just about every other star from the Golden Age of Hollywood. But as he aged and fashions changed, Gable evolved with the times and shed his double-breasted suits with nipped waists and squared



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This Is Pennsylvania, 1957

Recently I ran across a video for Penn that was created in 1957 and documents campus life for a full 30 minutes. There’s some really great footage in here, and you are able to see a lot of detail that’s not as noticeable with still-frame photos like you get in “Take Ivy.” Here are some


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O’Connell’s, Where It’s Still 1959

The Saturday edition of the Buffalo News carried a story on independent men’s clothiers, including O’Connell’s, which has opened in Buffalo in 1959 and still carries basically the same stuff. “What we sold in the ’50s is very similar to what we sell today,” the store told the paper. Here are some more excerpts on


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Bay Rum, The Scent Of Madison Avenue

Nearly three years ago I wrote a story for The Rake on bay rum — they’ve been sitting on it ever since. I was reminded of it this week when Valet posted a piece on the classic fragrance, and got the mag’s permission to post the text here. Enjoy. — CC • • • Between


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The Cleanest Cut: Remembering Dick Clark

In honor of the death of Dick Clark yesterday at the age of 82, Ivy Style presents this repost of a piece we did exactly three years ago to the day. A clean-cut appearance has always been part of the Ivy League Look. With a soft-shouldered jacket and Princeton haircut, a young man could conveniently


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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


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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. —


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Bass From The Past

This is our third post based on vintage Bass advertisements, which have now been consolidated into this one post. A walks through American history in the footsteps of one of its singular shoes. — CC



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Buckle Down: The Elusive History Of The Belted-Back Trouser

Contributing writer Christopher Sharp has buckled-down, hit the books, and put his nose to the grindstone in an effort to suss out once and for all the origins of the mid-’50s buckle-back chino trend. During my formative years back in the Fifties, I was the kind of kid who was secure in the belief that


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Picture Show: Hollywood And The Ivy Look

As the editor of Tradsville’s news gazette for the past three years, I’ve been obliged to work my beat with at least some attempt at assiduity. That includes keeping an unjaundiced eye on the discourse at Talk Ivy, a discussion forum hosted at filmnoirbuff.com whose members are mostly from the UK and Continental Europe. From



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A Tale Of Two Suitings: Brooks in the ’50s & ’60s

Ivy Style contributor and Newton Street Vintage proprietor Zachary DeLuca returns after a long absence with this dissection of two vintage Brooks Brothers suits. For additional photos, visit his tumblr The Suit Room. One of the best things about my job is that every so often I come across a piece so good that I


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Ivy For The Masses: The h.i.s. Brand

H.I.S Inc. may be the missing link between workwear and Ivy-styled clothing. The company was originally founded as Honesdale manufacturing in 1923 by Henry I. Siegel. It specialized in workwear, including denim, and was a contract manufacturer for JC Penny and Montgomery Ward. The firm was headquartered in New York with manufacturing facilities in Tennessee.


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Golden Years: New York Nightlife In The ’50s

During the Eisenhower years, Manhattan was an island of social, economic and cultural equanimity. The legal drinking age was 18, the bars stayed open until four in the morning, and the Biltmore Hotel advertised special student rates for Seven Sisters and Ivy Leaguers. Here are some memories from those days of my misspent youth. The



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Voice In The Dark: Richard Frede’s Entry E, 1958

“Entry E” is something of a pulp novel, telling a tale of Ivy League life in America that was considered startling on its release in 1958. But for all the adolescent angst and raucous action in this story, there is plenty of mid-century Ivy League style and quiet consideration of the “Ivy Man,” described in


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Buckle-Back Flannels and Cordovan Loafers, 1954

As a follow-up to this week’s earlier post about J. Press’ new cinch-back trousers, contributing writer Christopher Sharp sent in the above image showing buckle-back trousers in their original context. The source: Gentry magazine The year: 1954 The campus: University of North Carolina The trousers: “Ivy League Narrows” Paired with: Shell cordovan penny loafers Note


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It’s a Cinch: Buckle-Back Trousers at J. Press

Over two years ago I wrote an open letter to American retailers suggesting they put a buckle on the back of chinos, a craze among students circa 1956. With the PITA trend in full swing, I even asked readers to speculate what brand might be first to freshen up a pair of quotidian khakis with