Tarnished Gold: Olympic Uniforms And The Ancient Regime

The inevitable result of the fall of  the Ivy League Look in 1967 is that eventually, for a certain segment of the public, the look would become America’s version of the powder and wigs of the ancient regime. Which means it’s time for the guillotine. Ralph Lauren, the man largely credited with saving the Ivy

The Life Aquatic: Pulling Off Poolside Panache

Some years ago The Rake asked me to meditate on the concept of poolside elegance. My starting point was the work of Slim Aarons, while my ending note was James Bond. In between are stops in Palm Beach with a few notes on WASPdom. If anything, this piece should get you thinking about a summer

How To Identify What Is Cool

I am not an Ivy native. The university I attended is surrounded by endless wind rumpled prairies. The time I spent there was informed by the rise of The Flaming Lips, R.E.M. and Public Enemy. I reference pop culture because it is where I got my clothing education. What I learned, what pop taught me,

Sartoria Portlandia: John Helmer Turns 100

John Helmer III knew what he wanted to do from an early age. “It was a little bit destiny,” he told me with a waggish grin when I visited his store in Downtown Portland on a recent summer morning. “My dad remodeled the store the year I was born, 1956. They put me out in

Tee & Sympathy: The White Crew Under A Buttondown

While working around the house on a weekend afternoon, you may find yourself in a white t-shirt with an old beater oxford over it, perhaps untucked. But you likely wouldn’t throw on a sportcoat — or orphaned suit jacket — over the tee-and-oxford combo and actually go somewhere. Or would you?  When the above photo

Vertical Integration: An Ode To The Striped Sportcoat

Some months ago we ran a photo of a striped sportcoat. Either that or I mentioned finding them cool. Whichever it was, I remember several readers chiming in to say that this was a faux pas, that stripes only belong on suits, and that a striped sportcoat was destined to look like an orphaned suit.

Boxers In A Bunch

  Add French-back boxer shorts to the long list of traditional favorites Brooks Brothers is phasing out. These non-elastic, button-front, and adjustable button-back shorts had their origins in the 1920s and ‘30s, when men left behind their long johns for the more modern and cooler boxers. Button versions vied with elasticized waists during the Depression, and World

Stoked! The Beams Plus x Mr. Porter Surfing Weejun Shorts

There are plenty of embroidered shorts out there, but little tennis rackets or crossed golf clubs are a bit mundane. But there’s one pair that seems like it was made just for me. After all, how many other surfing Weejun-wearers could there be? If you can’t quite figure out the motif, here it is on a t-shirt:

Buck Yeah! White Shoes, Dark Pants, Light Jacket, Madras Tie

Some years ago, Brooks Brothers Before Bankruptcy — henceforth referred to as BBBB or B4 — sent out an email blast with a cool outfit to try the next time you dress up.   Check out the guy on the right. Ignore the tight dark trousers and non-kosher jacket and note the very heyday feel: white

Guess The Madras Maker

The beau ideal, at least for some. Dark and muted and ready for charcoal tropical worsteds. But who made it and when? The original link no longer works, but you can find out in the comments below. 

Father Knows Best: The Return Of Dad Style

As lockdowns lift and men begin making their way back to the office, the press is scrambling to figure out how they’re likely to dress. Will they stay in slob mode forever, or would a dash of formality feel rejuvenating?  The compromise, obviously, is to pick up where the Dad Style trend left off. The pandemic

Stocking Up

Recently I learned of someone who purchased four identical shirts from Mercer & Sons. His belief, in ordering the beautiful stack of shirts in the James Bond tattersall pattern, which arrived crisply-wrapped and topped with the customary personal note from David and Serena Mercer, was that when one finds something you really like, it makes

Birth Of The Cool

Over the weekend this tweet achieved moderate virality on Twitter. It’s a beau geste by a young man who donned a suit to wear to the hospital where his sister was giving birth, amusing his family and defying social norms with a daring act of counter-subversion. The young man seems to be channeling a combination

Checkered Past: Introducing The Original Madras Trading Company

Memorial Day weekend traditionally marks the beginning of summer and the wearing of one of its signature fabrics. And so Ivy Style is pleased to introduce The Original Madras Trading Company, a third-generation maker and weaver with offices in New York and Chennai, India, the city formerly known as Madras that gave the distinctive checked

How Flusser Does Madras

From Alan Flusser before retirement: three buttons, contrast buttonhole stitching, double vents, hacking pockets and ticket pocket. Plus horizontal striped shirt, to complete the Gekko-in-the-Hamptons look.  

Heyday Memories: Ivy Clothes Are The Best In The World

I have been enjoying this website immensely since I discovered it a few months ago, and it has really stirred up  memories for me. I attended a small boarding school in rural Maine from 1955 to 1960, on account of being held back a year after a small incident with the headmaster’s daughter in my

No Small Feat: Junior’s Survives First Year Amid Pandemic

As the saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. That certainly applies to menswear brands. But just because smaller ones may disappear without registering a thud, that doesn’t mean starting one is any easier. Yet Philadelphia-based Junior’s managed to establish itself as a new independent classic menswear retailer, and did so while launching

Epitome Of Elegance: Boyer On The Gray Flannel Suit

I’ve  seen every masculine change in fashion from the “drape shape with the reet pleat” zoot suit of the WW II years  to the latest “New Bohemian” look from Dries Van Noten, and the way I dress is still imprisoned by the years of my youth. But my appreciation of style is not, so I