BB ’88: Twilight Of The Golden Fleece

Saturday night I found myself strolling up Sixth Avenue with the melancholy opening melody from Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto stuck in my mind. I’d just heard the piece at one of those sparsely attended church concerts where you can hear classical music for practically free but we live in an era when you can’t even give

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SMW HOME - Fall 2016 #9

Scot Meacham Wood Home Fall 2016 Collection

San Francisco-based interior designer Scot Meacham Wood — a Ralph Lauren alumnus — debuted an eponymous home collection earlier this year. Now his new fall line has been unveiled, and includes one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, from furniture to barware, as well as his signature tartan fabrics. Scot is also taking commissions for custom home items in

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From The Archives


Lost Treasure: O’Connell’s Uncovers ’60s-Era Tweed Stash

O’Connell’s is a big place. How big? Big enough for 26 tweed sportcoats to get lost for decades. Owner Ethan Huber recently discovered a stash of two dozen tweed sportcoats made shortly after the store opened in 1959. The jackets have all the Ivy details straight from the heyday: natural shoulders, three-button fronts, narrow lapels,

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Roll Of A Lifetime: Esquire On Buttondowns, 1983

A reader recently left a comment saying that collar roll is a fetish of the Internet age and that didn’t exist in the analog decades. Assistant editor Chris Sharp tapped his photographic memory, rummaged through his archives, and immediately produced an article from the April, 1983 issue of Esquire in which John Berendt opined on


Public Access

There was a time before JK Rowling. A time we spoke of other initialed authors JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, AA Milne and JM Barrie. An age of Young Fogeys, Sloane Rangers and “Brideshead Revisited.” We called that time the 1980s. Photographer Mark Draisey now shows us what we were not allowed to see. His book


Get All Your Ducks In A Row

It’s been Duck Head week here at Ivy Style, and this third post will mark our last until the collection is unveiled. In our first post we noted that the small Southern brand made it to outposts as far-flung as London. As this photo shows, an ad for Duck Head can be seen above the


Quack From The Dead: The Return Of The Duck Head Brand

Some time later today, according to the timer counting down on its website, Duck Head will relaunch. The brand has its genesis in the postwar workwear market, and when I say postwar, I mean the War Between the States. “For a preppy Southern college guy in the 1980s,” writes Eileen Glanton in a November, 2000


Blast From The Past: The Space Invaders Argyle Sock

In 1980, the only thing hotter than the best-selling “Official Preppy Handbook” was blasting aliens at the local arcade. Though they appealed to different demographics, three decades later the worlds of prepdom and video games have been combined in the form of Soxfords’ Space Invaders argyle sock, ideal for those who grew up in the


From Collar Pop To Total Flop: Preppies The Musical, 1982

It was the summer of 1982, not quite two years after Lisa Birnbach wrote “The Official Preppy Handbook,” and I got a call from my agent in New York. After several rounds of auditions, I (then known as Susan Dow) was cast in “Preppies” and was rehearsing at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam,


Accidental Tourist: An M&S Exec At 346 Madison Avenue

Last evening I was taking a golf lesson at Brooks Brothers when a vacationing gentleman stopped by to check out the high-tech simulator. By a happy accident it turned out to be a former executive for Marks & Spencer, the English department-store chain that bought Brooks in 1988 and went about dismantling it, starting with


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


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.