Still Preoccupied With 1985

On Saturday we took a look at a Sperry ad from 1985, and now here we are a couple days later and still preoccupied with Sperry — and 1985. Don’t get what I’m referring to? Here you go. Upon seeing Saturday’s post, contributor BC sent in this shot of him in ’85 wearing a Sperry

Boyer on Brooks, 1981

G. Bruce Boyer gave Ivy Style permission to digitize this chapter from his 1985 book “Elegance.” It is based on an article that originally appeared in the May 1981 issue of Town & Country. Brooks Brothers By G. Bruce Boyer When it phased out its custom tailoring department, the story was carried on the front

She’s Kept My Pants Up For 36 Years

Yes, it’s true: back in the day, preppy girlfriends would make needlepoint belts for their beaux. In some cases, the belts lasted longer than the relationship. Prior contributor BC explains. * * * When we met in the fall of 1981, M. had left Georgetown, where she had been studying nursing, and was working as

The Tipsy Point

“Preppies no longer exist,” declare Matt Walker and Marissa Walsh in their book Tipsy in Madras, A Complete Guide to ‘80s Preppy Drinking. Although a book about cocktails, the introduction of the text actually provides insights which might be most interesting to the readers of this site. The authors take one through a succinct timeline of

A Preppy Walks Into A Bar…

Our last post centered around how the ’80s preppy trend was covered in regional newspapers. Now we look at how it was viewed by professional gag-writers. The runaway success of “The Official Preppy Handbook” gave birth to a cottage industry of parodies and knock-offs, including “The Original Preppy Joke Book.” Most of the jokes are

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Prep

  Like this post and want more content like it, more often? Help Ivy Style reach its goal of 1,000 true fans * * * Everything you always wanted to know about prep but were too stuck-up to ask By Mike Steere The Toledo Blade August 27, 1980 For lack of a better word, we’ll

Chip Vs. Charles: Preppies And Yuppies During The Reagan Years

Recently we’ve examined the “bro,” who represents a kind of shadow figure of the contemporary young trad, sharing some of the trad’s qualities, but in a negative way. So what was the shadow figure of the ’80s preppy? Why, the gone-but-not-entirely-forgotten yuppie. Contributing writer Matthew Benz delves in. Like this post and want more content

A Double Toast To Tom Moore

When last we left off, we’d looked at the Duke of Windsor and how he may have influenced the team that supported photographer Bruce Weber in his legendary photo shoots for Polo Ralph Lauren. One of the recurring models was actually a regular guy: an architect named Tom Moore who played a benevolent and elegant

Who You Calling Stodgy?

Frequent comment-leaver SE dug up these photos in light of the recent LL Bean post. They show that traditional New England style is — or at least was — youthful rather than stodgy, and that it exports well all around the country. * * * It’s that time of year. Bean boots, corduroys, and Norwegian

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

In light of our last post about the re-relaunch of the Duck Head brand, here’s Chris Sharp’s 2014 piece on the last company to try and resuscitate the dead duck. It includes much company history and how the brand became a favorite among college students. * * * Some time later today, according to the

Southern Exposure: The OPH Book Tour Below The Mason Dixon Line

Several Facebook group members have alerted me to a story on Lisa Birnbach and “The Official Preppy Handbook” in Garden & Gun magazine. I assumed it was a new story, but in fact it dates to 2015. Perhaps it was from the print edition and was just recently archived online. Quotes Birnbach in the piece:

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

Back To School Memories: Bare Feet Squishing On Beer-Soaked Carpets

Back to school 1986-1989 meant the return to the Ohio hamlet of Wooster and the college that shares its name. By its very nature, the start of a school year is cyclic. An upperclassman’s confident return is mirrored by first year students’ fearful leap forward into the unknown. A casual observer would witness that awakened

Back To School Memories: Style Stalinism In the 1980s

Editor’s Note: Many thanks to contributor Scott A. Burrell for the piece you are about to read. Alas it’ll be reruns for a while after this: freelance writers don’t get vacations (though they occasionally get paid press junkets), but I’m off to Cape Cod for some golf and DCG’s wedding (in order of importance). Expect

Intern Dress Code, 1987

Today Ivy Style Facebook group member and comment-leaver Marc Chevalier, known for his extensive collection of historical menswear images, dug up this shot of Wall Street interns in 1987, the age of Gordon Gekko. The timing was perfect. Those of you who consume a lot of news no doubt saw a story last week that

Slipping Into Something More Comfortable

Today, on the long Fourth Of July weekend, I went looking for something to repost from Ivy Style’s first summer in 2009. I found this, which seemed apropos for everyone celebrating sockless. * * * This is the second in our efforts to digitize the work of G. Bruce Boyer, whose many fine articles on

Confessions Of An ’80s Europrep

Growing up in 1980s Berlin, then a city with lots of “cool” but very little elegance, I caused quite a stir when I came to school in my new pink Lacoste shirt. What struck people as curious was not only the color of the shirt, unavailable for boys at the time, but also the color