1950s

Collegiate Stripes

Presented here are some vintage illustrations — presumably from the Esquire archives — posted to Ivy Style’s Facebook group by image collector and comment-leaver “Carmelo.” Sportcoats with stripes — often running through a herringbone pattern — aren’t often seen today, but were popular during the Ivy heyday and, as these images show, back to the


Gentrified Campus: The J. Press 4/3

Our confrere Matthew Jacobsen of OldMagazineArticles.com recently supplied us with a vintage article from the pages of Gentry Magazine (see “The Gentrified Campus.”) Now he follows up with another one, this time from Gentry’s Autumn 1952 issue, that provides an eye-opening glimpse into how collegiate attire was presented to young men at the time. As


Lost Snapshot Of Grandpa, Bow-Tied College Man

My grandfather Ted Twardzik passed away last Thursday at the age of 89. As so often happens, his passing unearthed many previously unseen photos of him as a much younger man. Among these, one stuck out in particular: a slightly out-of-focus snapshot of him as a student at the University of Notre Dame circa 1950,


Picture Show: Hollywood And The Ivy Look

Our last post was on Warren Beatty’s being named one of GQ’s men of the year for 2016. A perfect excuse to revisit this 2012 post on the book “Hollywood And The Ivy Look,” which includes Beatty, along with many other leading men and character actors who launched their careers during the heyday of the


A Pin Too Far Revisited

Continuing  on the collar-pin theme, back in February I came across an image that I’m guessing was posted to Ivy’s Facebook group by Marc Chevalier, menswear omnivore and collector of vintage images. It showed Fred Astaire simultaneously wearing a collar pin and buttondown, not with the collar hanging straight and the buttons unused, as in


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


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.