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Where It’s Always 1963

Tonight the SyFy channel debuts a new series called “Ascension,” inspired by the JFK administration’s Project Orion. The premise is that in 1963 a group of men, women and children were launched into space as part of a secret government program. Now it’s 50 years later, and they’re suddenly questioning the truth behind their mission.


Elegance Week: Lessons From The Master

In the 1984 prepsloitation movie “Making The Grade,” protagonist Eddie gets invited to a black-tie event. To learn how to properly deport himself, he and two of his prep-school buddies study Cary Grant, the master of looking cool and elegant in a dinner jacket. The entire movie is up on YouTube, so you can sneak


Dear White People

Yes, dear reader, that probably means you. Especially if you have “reactionary” or “curmudgeon” in your username. Or if you’re Henry. Today a new film called “Dear White People” opens. Set at an elite college campus, the film includes a prepped-out black protagonist and assorted other characters who look like this:

Actor John Kerr

Typecast: John Kerr, Born To Play Ivy Prepsters

Every so often I get these little obsessions. The athletic ones drag out for years, and things like the taste for late 19th-century French chamber music are lifelong. But every so often something cultural piques my interest, and I’ll spend a month or so furiously reading books and watching movies. I think last year’s was


James Garner, 1928-2014

Actor James Garner has died at the age of 86. In 1963 he donned 3/2-roll suit to play opposite Doris Day in the Atomic Age sex comedy “Move Over Darling.” Garner is pictured above in the book “Hollywood And The Ivy Look.” Click here for the New York Times write-up. — CC


Dateline 1957: Ivy School, But Not Ivy Style

  A couple days ago I participated in a little forum banter, pointing out that in my opinion the ubiquity of the Ivy League Look during the heyday can sometimes be overstated. What’s more, once certain items became so mainstream they certainly ceased to have any direct connection to the campus and Eastern Establishment, even

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Brown University Engineering Students, Circa Early ’60s

I believe it was Derek at Die Workwear! who stumbled upon this, or stumbled upon another stumbler. Either way, it’s a great chronicle of student dress during the Ivy heyday, including plenty of white socks, shorts hems, and penny loafers. — CC


Make Mine A Double: Chens On DB For The Rake

Our double-breast-fest continues with this story I wrote for the current issue of The Rake. Not exactly Ivy-focused, but those with a general interest in menswear may enjoy it. Pictured above is Fred Astaire from “Funny Face,” in DB grey flannel suit with blue oxford buttondown and bit loafers, while below is me with ’80s


End The Madness: Esquire Calls Don Draper An Undertaker

Since it first aired in 2007, “Mad Men” has been the point of origin of a nostalgic zeitgeist for all things mid-century. From hotels to haircuts, from two-inch ties to tiki bars, an infatuation with the so-called “Mad Men Era” has permeated fashion and design. Now the trend may finally be reaching its inevitable end,


The Beat Goes On: Kill Your Darlings, 2013

Longtime comment-leaver “Old School” is always sending us tidbits of info. His latest was in regards to the film “Kill Your Darlings,” which centers around the early days of the Beat Generation at Columbia University in 1944. We thanked Old School and told him the material was intriguing, though we feared the homoerotic theme might


Box Office Weekend: Maladies And Monuments Men

You’ve probably seen the recent trailers for “Monuments Men,” in which George Clooney and Matt Damon play a special unit during World War II assigned with recovering works of art stolen by the Nazis. The movie opened this weekend, though the rating at Rotten Tomatoes is rather low. If anyone’s seen it, let us know.


Philip Seymour Hoffman, 1967-2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays the WASPy Ivy jerk Freddie Miles in “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” was found dead today of an apparent drug overdose. I’d been out all afternoon and heard the news while shooting the breeze at the neighborhood wine shop. “Ripley” is one of my favorite movies. I watch it at least


Bow Ties And Bong Hits: Andy Garcia In At Middleton

A reader with an eagle eye for spotting three-button sacks in the wild tipped us off to the upcoming film “At Middleton,” which is slated for release later this month. Andy Garcia stars as George, a trad dad who learns to cut loose and find love while on a college tour with his son. The

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The Marketing Man Who Made Jazz And Ivy Cool

Commenting on our article “Is Ivy Cool?” reader “Camford” asked, “Are cigarettes and jazz cool?” I cannot say whether they are cool. Well, I could, but I won’t, as my physician, insurance agent and childhood music teacher might be reading this article. But I believe they are both addictive and potentially lethal. When I was young

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The Last Man On Earth Wears Ivy League

In a recent post we wondered if the sack suit can surivive much longer. Well in one cinematic tale, it’s the last garment mankind will wear in the wake of a zombie apocalypse. It wouldn’t be Halloween without a shot of Vincent Price, and above you’ll find the full version of his 1964 movie “The


Cary Grant’s $8K Monkey Business Sportcoat

This morning we were alerted to a sportcoat made for Cary Grant in “Monkey Business” for the scene in which a youth serum gives the 48-year-old Grant the tastes and behavior of a college student. The jacket, currently for sale from a movie memorabilia company, did not make it into the film. It was made


The Ivy League Look As Youth Serum: Cary Grant In Monkey Business, 1952

The other night I was browsing the streaming Netflix options and ended up watching “Monkey Business,” the 1952 screwball comedy with Cary Grant and Marilyn Monroe. I hadn’t seen the movie since starting this website, and a very interesting scene caught my attention. Grant plays a chemist who thinks he’s discovered a youth serum (which,


Bopin’ Hood, 1961

As Squaresville Appreciation Month winds to an end, we regret to inform the squares that by order of the king the official music of Squaresville is now bebop. Long may it reign.— c C m


The Luhrmannator: Gatsby Not So Great

Part way through Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” the title character has ostentatiously orchestrated his reunion with lost love Daisy at neighbor Nick’s cottage. Gatsby brings over gardening and catering crews to ready the place, then fills the tiny cottage floor to ceiling with flowers. “Do you think it’s too


Cooling Things Down: The Steve McQueen Lookbook

Yesterday at Ivy Style headquarters the phone did not stop not ringing, a sign that the cool people, who of course were too cool to bother complaining, were not pleased with the prospect of an entire month (save for Gatsby coverage) devoted to squares. So in the interest of never pleasing all the people all


The Brooks Brothers Gatsby Collection

I just did a story for on the Plaza Hotel’s Gatsby tie-ins, and now here’s Brooks’. Downmarket companies get Pixar tie-ins and put toys in Happy Meals. This is what plays upmarket.


Hollywood Style: Before The Golf Swing, The Other Kind Of Swing

Last night I was sitting around with the girlfriend pulling up videos on YouTube and trying to explain the difference between swing, jump blues and rockabilly. I went looking for a band I knew from San Francisco and stumbled across a blast from my past: Two recently uploaded clips about an independent movie called “Swing” I