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


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


The Aristocrat of Topcoats: Boyer on the Polo Coat

This year marks the 25th anniversary of one of the most erudite and entertaining tomes on menswear: G. Bruce Boyer’s “Elegance.” Ivy-Style continues its efforts to digitize Boyer’s work for the Internet and a new generation of readers. This latest offering addresses the polo coat, the so-called “aristocrat of topcoats.” Below are some words of


Secrets of Sprezzatura: The Messed-Up Shirt Collar

Do your outfits look stiff and contrived? Do you have a tendency to wear matching pants and saddle shoes? What you need is a dash of sprezzatura — deliberately calculated nonchalance — to give yourself a more devil-may-care, deshabille appearance. Here’s a quick fix in three easy steps: 1) When you launder an oxford-cloth buttondown,


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.


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


Boyer on Brooks

Renowned menswear writer G. Bruce Boyer has generously given Ivy Style his imprimatur to reproduce several chapters from his 1985 book “Elegance.” It will mark the first time the articles have been digitized for the Internet. We thought of no better way to launch the series than with Boyer’s chapter on Brooks Brothers, which is


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


Southern Gentleman

Ken C. Pollock wears fine shoes today, but there was a time when he held his Bass Weejuns together with duct tape. Of course, that was for style, not because he was impecunious. Born in Birmingham, Alabama and raised primarily in Roanoke, Virginia, the son of an immigrant from Belarus and a small-town Alabama girl