1960s

Main Street Ivy: The Sears Catalog, 1964

Sears called its Christmas catalog the “Wish Book.” It, along with other oversized glossy catalogs, came to American households every year heralding the Christmas buying season and giving children plenty of images to fantasize over. Studying them is a remembered rite of passage. In the days before gender neutrality, girls’ thoughts turned to Mrs. Beasley

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Sponsor News

Win A Top Drawer Shoeshine Kit From Hanger Project

If you’re not already a customer of Hanger Project, please give it a look. Not only is it run by a terrific guy — Kirby Allison, who started it on a lark only to find to his shock that it was wildly successful — but it’s Ivy Style’s most loyal sponsor, which keeps the posts

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From The Archives

Backward Pass: A Short History of Ivy League Football

In honor of The Game this weekend, Ivy Style’s Elder Statesman Bill Stephenson shares his thoughts on Ivy League football. Stephenson graduated from the University of Oklahoma (current BCS ranking: 14) in 1954, but presently lives in Princeton, where he cheers for the home team, which ranks a bit lower. It doesn’t seem possible to

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Dateline 1967: Ralph Lauren Anniversary Book + GI Chino

Speaking of khakis, as we were recently with Duck Head (BTW, the company reached out to me and I should have some interesting info to divulge in a follow-up), Ivy Style contributor Eric Twardzik alerted me to current offering from Ralph Lauren depicted below. It’s called The Iconic GI Khaki Chino, and comes with a



Boyer on Langrock, Princeton’s Legendary Campus Shop

When I was an undergraduate at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, there was a wonderful campus shop on Main Street called Tom Bass. It served three colleges and a university (Moravian, Muhlenberg, Lafayette and Lehigh University), and it stocked many of the iconic Ivy League labels: suits by Southwick, buttondowns by Gant and Sero, Pringle


Dateline 1967: The 50th Anniversary Of Slob Nation

This summer G. Bruce Boyer published a lengthy think piece in the magazine First Things called “Dress Up: What We Lost In The Casual Revolution.” I’ve only neglected sharing it here in a post as Bruce and I have brainstormed about recording a discussion about its main themes. Astute readers will recall that I’ve mentioned


Dateline ’67: NY Times On The First Black Prep Schoolers In The South

As part of our year-long look at the year 1967 — a time of immense social change, including the fall of the Ivy League Look — we present this lengthy New York Times Magazine feature from last week. The story recounts the first African American boys to integrate the South’s elite prep schools. The piece


The Arguably Eternal Style of JFK

On this long holiday weekend we revisit this 2013 post, which is dedicated to longtime reader RM. * * * Earlier this month the Dallas Morning News did a style tribute to JFK. There’s plenty to nitpick in the story, including the awkwardly oxymoronic line that Kennedy’s style influence is “arguably eternal,” but there were


Come Fly With Me

I was browsing at the newsstand the other day and saw one of those LIFE photo collections on the Rat Pack. I flipped through, saw an interesting outfit on Dino, and brought it home to share with you guys Forgive me for taking snapshots rather than scans; I don’t want to anger the folks at


The New Frontier: American Life During The Ivy Heyday, Part Two

Part two of James Kraus’ survey of what was happening in American culture from 1954-67, the heyday of the Ivy League Look. * * * Favorable demographics and consistent sizable gains in productivity continued to fuel prosperity in the 1960s throughout the industrialized world. Between 1954 and 1967, Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan and Sweden suffered not


Bobby Darin Swings Ivy League Suits And Desert Boots

Speaking of American music during the Ivy heyday — as we are on the “Optimism And Prosperity” comment thread — here’s a terrific pop culture find. Frequent comment-leaver “GS” uncovered a reference to Ivy League suits and desert boots in the song “Have You Got Any Castles, Baby?” recorded by Bobby Darin in 1960. GS noted


Past Imperfect: The Understated Style of the Kennedy Clan

Today we revisit this post from 2009 that examines the Kennedy Clan’s ability to make simple clothes look rich via the wearer and context. * * * In the wake of Edward Kennedy’s death, The Washington Post has a fine appreciation of the Kennedy clan’s perfectly imperfect style. Fashion writer Robin Givhan puts a nice


Dateline 1967: One Day At The University Of Pennsylvania

Today is Hey Day at the University of Pennsylvania. The tradition, now in its 101st year, involves juniors rising to senior status by marching in similar outfits, which today consists of “fake straw hats, red t-shirts, and canes.” While Penn students enjoy this special day, the rest of us can enjoy this video of just



Dateline ’67: Things Are Getting Hairy

A reader submitted the fascinating graphic above that supports the assertion around here that the 1967/68 academic school year marks the rapid fall of the Ivy League Look. The chart shows not the wearing of buttondowns and penny loafers, but the beginning of a sudden spike in facial hair, even mere sideburns. The spike trends


Pace-Setting Traditionalists: Davidson College, 1969

Thanks to regular comment-leaver “SE” for the recent head’s up on the 1969 Davidson College yearbook, from which I took these screenshots. Yearbooks always provide a fascinating look at college life from the past, and you’ll find several things noteworthy here from a dress and deportment angle. Davidson is located in North Carolina, and the


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


Dateline 1967: What A Difference A Year Makes

Yesterday I was looking at some images by Japanese illustrator Kazuo Hozumi and came across one that had five of his signature smiling figures in a random assortment of outfits. Something clicked and I realized that two of the figures, who were side by side, formed a clever cartoon parody of the fall of the