1980s

Tradified

From The Editor

  Ivy is a fashion born of a mindset manifested in a lifestyle.  There are values attached:  dignity, the value and power of thought, ethics, hard work, aesthetics, appreciation of all things classic, and the dogged pursuit of excellence.   While Ivy evolves (I haven’t worn socks since Easter) the values don’t.  If you are a

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From The Archives

Historic Preservation

I’ve been thinking a lot about preservation lately. There are preservation societies throughout the country that work to save old buildings and keep various traditions alive, and I’m starting to see Ivy Style as having a similar function. Sure we cover current happenings in the world of trad clothing and contemporary culture, but we’ve also

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Smiling Through The ’80s

You’ve no doubt noticed in our recent coverage of the brewing Ivy trend that the mood of the photo shoots is rather glum. You can hardly blame them. It’s 2020, after all. I mean, I don’t smile very much either, and when I do, well let’s just say it’s not from joy but rather absurdity.


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 brought our 2010 Preppy Week to a close, which we herein revisit for some hearty chuckles. 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.


Somewhere in Time: The Preppy ’80s

“If one more person comes in here and asks for Bass Weejuns, I think I’ll scream,” says an Atlanta saleswoman in a 1980 article from Time Magazine. A more muted but equally frustrated voice can be heard from a Time writer in an article several months later while writing about New York’s soon-to-be-closed Biltmore Hotel:


Twilight in Vermont: The Rise and Fall of the Moriarty Ski Hat

If there’s one character in “The Official Preppy Handbook” who could be singled out for derision, it’s the skier. Wearing mirrored sunglasses and a cocky sneer, he looks like the kind of guy you’d hate everything about. Everything, that is, except his ski cap from Moriarty of Stowe, Vermont. For five decades the Moriarty cap


Prep Membership Card: The LL Bean Norwegian Sweater

In the 1980s, I would stroll through the oak grove of my small college campus clad in a well worn pair of chinos, cream-colored turtleneck, a pink Brooks oxford and an LL Bean Norwegian Sweater. I was confident in believing I had found the perfect sweater that would be around forever. Boy was I wrong.


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, 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 man


Remembering The ’80s: Valley Guy

As a child in the suburbs of Los Angeles, I was about as far from the Ivy League schools of the Northeast as one could get. The San Fernando Valley, where I spent my childhood in the 1970s, was very blue collar at its core. Most of my friends’ parents and neighbors worked in the


That’s Not Who I Am: NY Times On The ’80s Preppy Craze

Our run of ’80s-themed posts continues thanks to the New York Times, which ran an essay on the OPH yesterday. Writer James Poniewozik links the book to a brief moment of transition in American history out of the dark ’70s and into the era of Reagan, “Dynasty,” Alex P. Keaton and popped polo collars. Writes