The cold will come upon us soon and stay. In preparation I pulled out my faithful Irish handknit. It might come as a surprise to some that the source for this sweater was Lands’ End. The company was stocking their catalogs with some credible country attire at the time, such as moleskin trousers, heavyweight Viyella shirts and Irish hand knits. I fell in love with the sweater the moment I saw it. I did not keep a copy of the catalog page, but the sales pitch was similar to the narrative on the card that came with a bit of yarn for repairs: “Somewhere far away, in a small cottage, a hand-knitter made this fine sweater just for you.” The knitter was V. Thompson, her name on the card, which was a novel and nice touch. I imagine that she was part of a small stable of knitters drafted into making sweaters that ended up under a few fortunate Christmas trees over 25 years ago.
Some readers will be cheered and others chagrined to know that the Aran handknit sweater was among the handful of “Official Preppy Handbook” approved sweaters. Whether preppy or uber-traditional, it seemed like a must-have at the time. I recall seeing them on folks and was happy to think that the wearer had a passing association with the Emerald Isle. (Continue)
Several things are afoot in Ivyland across the pond.
• First off, a new edition of “Hollywood And The Ivy Look” has garnered press in The Telegraph, where Hollywood is said to have had an “obsession” with the Ivy League Look.
• Also in the press department, the John Simons shop got a write-up on The Huffington Post.
• There are new shirts in Graham Marsh’s Vintage Ivy collection at Kamakura Shirts. (In related Kamakura news, the company informs us that its website has been revamped and now includes an improved search function, personal account system, credit card payments, new videos, and a monthly newsletter.)
• We were also contacted recently by the brand Harry Stedman, which has an Ivy and vintage Americana influence. Check them out here.
• Finally, notorious Internet troll and Ivy guru/sociopath Jimmy Frost Mellor (aka “Russell Street”) recently talked Ivy on this podcast, coming in around the 1:54:12 mark.
• And after a year of excommunication, Frost Mellor has been allowed back on the FNB Talk Ivy forum, where he is reportedly posting under the username “Incognito.” One of Talk Ivy’s “mods” (pun obviously intended) assures us he will watch his mouth.
Ever heard the fable of the frog and the scorpion? — CC
In the previous post, the discussion broached the subject of knit ties. Fittingly, I had a post ready for that.
Above is a new tie at Brooks Brothers which I spied in the store about a week ago. I plan to be wearing it incessantly throughout the season. Black flecked with blue (there are other color options), It’s the perfect kind of mixture of Ivy (the blue) and chic (the black) that I’ve been playing with the past year or so. Simple but stylish, blending restraint with flair, this is the kind of item I’ve loved wearing since my twenties, though I keep getting distracted by and acquiring handsome items that alas don’t speak to my soul.
If that sounds pretentiously philsophical, it’s probably because I feel glad to be alive today. Last night I was hit by a car (again), this time while on my bike. I’m only here because I leapt from the bike at the last millisecond in a defiant gesture that asserted, “I will live to dress again!”
A few years ago, menswear omnivores no doubt noticed that knit ties became popular among Pitti Uomo types and their sycophantic followers. Soon polka-dotted knit ties began to proliferate, but I had a strong aversion to them. The one above is more like a birds-eye pattern.
Since someone in the comments section recently opined that knit ties are ugly, it’s probably time for a vote. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD
Chris Hogan of Off The Cuff has just put up an all-you-can eat photo gallery from the “Rowing Blazers” party at the new Polo store. Spot the guy not in the spirit of things.
I used to have a Ralph Lauren rowing blazer I’d wear to Gatsby parties back in California, but chose to instead continue playing with the concepts of Ivy Chic and Viking Prep. Outfit consists of black Alden cordovan tassel loafers, O’Connell’s charcoal gabardines, pinned club collar with black woven tie, Brooks alligator belt and engine-turned buckle (monogrammed “CC”), Ralph Lauren black/gray/cream argyle socks, and RL glen-plaid jacket, a two-button darted FAIL. — CC
The first day of fall corresponded with the first Christmas pitch to hit my inbox. It was from the direct-to-consumer needlepoint accessory purveyor Tucker Blair. Their soft-sell advertisement announced that custom monogramed items need to be order by Tuesday, September 30th, for guaranteed holiday delivery.
For those who like to see how things are made, the company has info as well as a video on this page. — CS
I brought my camera to the “Rowing Blazers” party last night at the new Polo flagship on Fifth Avenue, but the event was so packed taking pictures was too much trouble.
That is until a certain bespectacled gentleman passed by, none other than Larry from The Andover Shop, who was down from Cambridge and looking quite natty.
I’ll update with links to party pix as they go online. — CC