1970s

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Jumping The Shark: Shark Week, Jaws And Ice-Cold Beer

I had an obsession last summer. I call my obsessions “manias” in homage of Kenneth Grahame’s aristocratic amphibian, Mr. Toad. I sometimes feel like the dapper toad, but I have to admit my manias pale in comparison, as I gravitate to armchair pursuits that risk neither life nor fortune. My summer mania started this way: it

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Handed Down: A Video Interview With Oak Street Bootmakers

On Tuesday a video posted on YouTube — promoted by none other than Coors beer — featuring an interview with Oak Street Bootmakers founder George Vlagos. Vlagos talks about inheriting the cobbler craft from his father, even though his dad was against his son’s desire to work with his hands. While so many larger companies have

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From The Archives

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Golden Years: An Apologist For Tradition

Ivy Style wraps up its recent series of posts on menswear rules with these thoughts from Richard Press, who is pictured at left with his uncle Irving, circa 1984. * * * How did personal taste and idiosyncrasy fit within J. Press offerings and customer consultations when the business was family owned? Here’s a precis

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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



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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


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Coming Attractions: Animal House, The Musical

Perhaps this post should be called “Coming Repulsions,” either because you believe that tampering with the 1978 classic — which is set at a college fraternity house in 1962 — is sacrilege, or, like me, you were eight years old when it came out and when you saw it later you didn’t think it was


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Take 8 Ivy: Take It Or Leave It

The global Ivy Trendwatch continues as a Japanese publisher has re-released “Take 8 Ivy,” photographer Teruyoshi Hayashida’s follow-up to his 1965 tome “Take Ivy.” Sequels are rarely as good as first offerings, and while “Take Ivy” captured the last rays of twilight of the heyday of the Ivy League Look, “Take 8 Ivy” is devoted


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Happy Fourth From Princeton

TweedyDon, the vintage clothing collector/dealer from the Ask Andy Trad Forum, recently discovered this jacket by Corbin for The English Shop of Princeton. I thought it perfectly apropos for the Fourth of July, when it would hold its own against even the most extravagant fireworks display. And although the jacket was made for a haberdashery


Le Crocodile: How Lacoste Became The Preppy Polo of Choice

By 1980 it was crystal clear: “The sport shirt of choice is Lacoste,” declared The Official Preppy Handbook. “Only the all-cotton model will do, the one with cap sleeves with the ribbed edging, narrow collar and two-button placket (never buttoned).” How did a French shirt with a crocodile for a logo become the go-to preppy polo?


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Andy Warhol In Brooks — And Chrome

Last week a chrome statue of Andy Warhol was unveiled in New York’s Union Square. Sculptor Rob Pruitt opted to depict the artist circa 1977 in his Americana uniform of Brooks Brothers blazer and Levi’s 501 jeans. Writes The New York Times: Mr. Pruitt’s version of Warhol, which he devised on a computer, is young


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Southern Frat: The 1979 “Are You a Preppie?” Poster

Ivy-Style has just learned from a top-notch (and top drawer) source, who will be the subject of our next post, the identity of the creator of the late ’70s dorm-room poster “Are You a Preppie?” Long before he went on to helm such films as “Patch Adams,” “Ace Ventura” and “Liar, Liar,” Tom Shadyac created


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Bruce Almighty

Over the past several decades, G. Bruce Boyer has distinguished himself as one of the most erudite writers ever to tackle the subject of menswear. Born in 1941, he came of age at the Ivy League Look’s height in popularity. A graduate of Moravian, the fifth-oldest college in the US, Boyer went on to do


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Somewhere in Time: Back to the Button-Down

This is the latest in Ivy-Style’s series of articles from the vaults of Time Magazine, which shed light on the evolution of traditional style through the decades. The currents of change move slowly in menswear; there is always time, as TS Eliot put it, “to murder and create.” Adherence to this adage may result in


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Nelson W. Aldrich Jr. on Preppies

Almost two years before “The Official Preppy Handbook” made preppy affectation accessible to all, Nelson W. Aldrich Jr. had already caught wind of the zeitgeist. His January 1979 cover story for the Atlantic Monthly, “Preppies: The Last Upper Class?” is a seminal work of exposition on the manners and mores of the WASP establishment. It


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Southern Gentleman 2/2

The following is part two of Ivy Style’s interview with Ken C. Pollock (pictured ca. 1985). IS: What’s it been like to watch the steady decline in quality and availability of traditional clothing since your college days? KP: It’s been sad and distressing. In the early ’70s, it became very hard to get any of