Six Years Ago: Dirty Rotten Scoundrel

We close out the month of May with this post, which originally ran in May of 2009. Pegged on the movie “Dirty Dancing,” it’s a short but fascinating look at how heroes and villains have switched places in pop culture — at least when it comes to messy issues such as social class. * *

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Sponsor News


Jay Butler Discount Codes

As a small and new startup company, Jay Butler can’t extend discounts often, but it is for Black Friday through Cyber Monday. You can get 20 percent off shoes (including penny and bit loafers), belts, and the Anchorage duffel bag, and 30 percent off all other leather goods (wallets, key fobs, card cases, etc.) Use the

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From The Archives


Bow Ties And Bong Hits: Andy Garcia In At Middleton

A reader with an eagle eye for spotting three-button sacks in the wild tipped us off to the upcoming film “At Middleton,” which is slated for release later this month. Andy Garcia stars as George, a trad dad who learns to cut loose and find love while on a college tour with his son. The

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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.


Deadstock Troy Guild Sea Island Buttondowns at O’Connell’s

We always consider it newsy when Ethan up at O’Connell’s digs up some deadstock items that have been buried for decades. Earlier this summer, in an act of unselfishness, Ethan decided to start sharing his special hoard of Troy Guild shirts from the early ’80s. These aren’t your typical oxford-cloth buttondowns: The shirts are made


The Preppie Murder, 25 Years Later

August 26th marked the 25th anniversary of the so-called “Preppie Murder.” In 1986, Robert Chambers, a former student of Choate Rosemary Hall, left the Upper East Side bar Dorrian’s Red Hand with 18-year-old Jennifer Levin, whom he later strangled in Central Park behind the Metropolitan Museum. The story became a tabloid sensation, was eventually made


‘Sucker Punch

We’re halfway to Labor Day, so if you’ve been neglecting your seersucker jacket, now’s the time to start wearing it all the time — even while riding the bike you stole from the new dork in school. After all, doesn’t this model from Rugby’s website remind you of someone? Click “continue” to see his pop-culture


Confessions of a Preppy Snob

Slate Magazine recently posted a long-winded and at times insufferable meditation on snobbery by a prep who came of age in the ’80s. The author’s resumé would certainly suggest the presence of snobbery: Mark Oppenheimer writes about religion for the New York Times. He is the author of a memoir, Wisenheimer; is an editor of


Extreme Gatoring: The Preppy Video Game, 1982

Last year, during Preppy Week, we examined some of the spoofs created by opportunistic cash-ins thanks to the success of “The Official Preppy Handbook.” But the preppy cash-grab went beyond mere words and drawings. To wit, a video game for the Atari console that allowed hoi polloi to sit in front of its TV sets


Terminal Preppies: Skewered, Stuffed, And Put To Good Use

With this post Ivy-Style bring Preppy Week to a close. Click here to have the Dead Kennedys’ “Terminal Preppie” play in another browser window as you rejoice in the demise of Biff and Muffy. Every trend carries within it the seed of its own negation. The hype and expectation over “Take Ivy” has made it


Somewhere in Time: The Preppy ’80s

Preppy Week continues with this impressive bit of research from Greg Moniz, a student at Connecticut’s Trinity College, who brings back our “Somewhere in Time” series by compiling highlights from Time Magazine’s coverage of the ’80s preppy trend. “If one more person comes in here and asks for Bass Weejuns, I think I’ll scream,” says


Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Prep

Preppy Week continues with this pre-OPH exploration of prepdom from the August 27, 1980 edition of The Toledo Blade. Everything you always wanted to know about prep but were too stuck-up to ask By Mike Steere Blade Staff Writer For lack of a better word, we’ll stick to the label that has been so cavalierly


Preppy Week: Alison Lurie on Being Rich and Dull

In celebration of the publication of Lisa Birnbach’s “True Prep,” Ivy-Style is devoting the entire week to preppy posts. By the end of the week you’ll be so sick of them you’ll relish the final post, in which preppies are skewered and stuffed to a Dead Kennedys soundtrack. First up is an excerpt from Alison


Devil In The Details: Japanese Ivy Dictionary

When it comes to classic Americana, the Japanese are meticulous in their research and sticklers for details — at least most of the time. Nick Sullivan, Esquire‘s fashion director, recently lent me the latest addition to his style library: “The Ivy Pictorial Dictionary” by Toshiyuki Kurosu (who’s associated with the brand VAN, according to our


Preppy Evangelist: The Lisa Birnbach Interview

Six months ago Lisa Birnbach, author of the 1980 bestseller “The Official Preppy Handbook,” agreed to do a Q&A interview with Ivy-Style. Shortly after settling in New York, I contacted Birnbach, who said she was too busy to talk as she was finishing a sequel. Then, when word recently leaked out about the forthcoming tome