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


Post Number 666: Rosemary’s Baby, 1968

In honor of Ivy Style’s 666th post, we’re lighting the fire-and-brimstone-scented candles, putting on Berlioz’ “Witches’ Sabbath” (or maybe the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For The Devil”), and paying tribute to the 1968 movie “Rosemary’s Baby” with a hearty cry of “Hail Satan!”


Dig It: Dexter Shoe Ads, ’65-’68

This may look like a penny loafer graveyard, but the Dexter shoe is apparently alive and well (sort of). Though the company doesn’t have much of an online presence, there’s a 1957 collection, named for the year of its founding, available from Shoeline.com. The above ad is from 1965. Below is one from 1966, which


Varsity Town’s Madisonaire, 1966

Recently we mentioned the “Main Street” Ivy brands that flickered briefly during the heyday, which often touted their wares as “authentic natural shoulder fashions,” as if one were buying an ethos along with a jacket cut. Of course, among the original arbiters of the Ivy League Look, the natural shoulder was an expression of the


Do-It-Yourself Ivy, 1965

Back in the heyday, if you couldn’t afford to shop at the right stores and mom was handy with a needle and thread, you could get your very own homemade Ivy League jacket for a fraction of the cost, as these images from a 1965 McCall’s pattern book show. And it’s theoretically possible that the


A Leiter Shade Of Gray: Savile Row Versus Ivy League

Recently a blog called The Suits Of James Bond paid tribute to 007’s American counterpart, Felix Leiter. The observations are hardly earth-shattering, but it is worth noting how the two tailoring styles relect the characters. “The colours Leiter wears may be the same as Bond’s,” the blogger writes, “but the styles are an ocean apart.”


Oh What a Knight: Hardwick Ads Of The ’60s

“Oh what a night,” goes the Four Seasons tune, “late December back in ’63….” Well about that same time Tennessee-based Hardwick was selling its natural-shouldered clothing to the masses in a series of chivalrous print ads. Still extant, Hardwick was recently revealed as the manufacturer of the new Crittenden Ivy-styled sportcoats, so we thought we’d


Preppies Vs. Hippies: The Ivy League Guidebook, 1969

In 1969, when the Ivy League was shedding Weejuns and growing sideburns at an alarming rate, three students — Andrew Tobias, Arnold Bortz and Caspar Weinberg — published “The Ivy League Guidebook.” Exactly as its title would suggest, the book is aimed at incoming freshman and devotes a chapter to each school, plus general sections


Madras Season: Dexys Midnight Runners

When madras season officially opened on Memorial Day, we ran a post showing George HW Bush clad in a madras sportcoat in company that wasn’t exactly wearing the same (can you imagine Obama or Romney doing that in 2012?) Now that July 4th marks our deeper descent into madras, this time we show the fabric


Jazz, Surfing And Poetry On A Summer’s Day

Today is the first day of summer. You probably don’t need a calendar to tell you that, as the entire United States is getting scorched with its first nationwide heat wave. But summer’s aren’t endless, so make hay — or whatever else you like to do from June to August — while the sun shines.


Mitt Romney: A Preppy, Ivy Kinda Guy

Yesterday a link to a slideshow of the young Mitt Romney somehow made its way into my inbox. I took a look and wasn’t surprised to learn that the son of Michigan’s governor and former prep school student was raised on natural shoulders, oxford buttondowns and rep ties. At least while it was current and


Gant Takes Yale Co-op Collection Global

Yesterday Gant took its Yale Co-op collection global. Released last year in the New Haven store, the collection is now available online and in Gant stores across Europe and Asia. The release is backed by a hefty marketing campaign that includes photos of current Yale students and faculty, as well as vintage images such as


Spring Fling: 1960s Bermuda College Week Footage

Looking to regain a foothold in the Spring Break market, The Bermuda Department of Tourism dedicated themselves last year to relaunching College Week in the form of Bermuda Spring Break 2012. Taking a page from the old College Week, students were given a pass for all sponsored events, complimentary food, free public transportation and discounted


For Pete’s Sake: March “Mad”-ness Continues

March Madras carries on, but now it’s back to madness — mad as in “Mad Men,” which returns to TV this Sunday night after a 17-month hiatus. The setting is now 1965, so the clock is ticking in the closets of these Ivy-clad* Madison Avenue guys. Pictured above is a still from the new season


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


George Frazier & Lord Of New York

Lord Of New York may sound like a comic-book villain, but it’s actually a lesser-known Ivy haberdasher. It came up in conversation at a Paul Stuart event recently with a fellow who sells menswear on eBay under the username mack11211. Mack told me about a few bespoke Lord suits made in 1963 he has for


Slim-Fit Shirts Ain’t Trad?

To those who complain that slim-fit shirts are evidence of Brooks Brothers having lost its way, the brethren have offered them for at least 25 years, as this late ’80s catalog shows. In general, WASPy preppy types have preferred a generous cut to their clothing, and the sack suit got its name for a reason.

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


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


Happy Birthday, Woody Allen

Allan Stewart Koningsberg was born in Brooklyn today in 1935. In the early part of his career, he sported the requisite garb of a New York intellectual: buttondown collars, knit ties and natural-shouldered jackets. He’s pictured above in a 1966 Smirnoff ad in white buttondown, navy and red rep tie and navy jacket — practically


What A Catch: Vassar Versus Ivies Touch Football

“Vassar College’s touch football team today issued a challenge to the Kennedy family in Washington: play us,” announced The Poughkeepsie Journal in November 1962. The reason for such sporting confidence? In the fall of that year, Vassar students had formed the first all-female college touch football teams. With names like the Joss Jocks, Noyes Nymphs


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.


Penthouse Serenade: Hef on Ivy, 1960

If you’re a sucker for the “Mad Men” vibe of cool dudes, sexy chicks and midcentury style, you should really check out “Playboy’s Penthouse,” Hugh Hefner’s variety show from the early days of his budding Playboy empire. Episodes are available on DVD, including through Netflix. The episodes were taped in a party atmosphere that brought