Historic Images


From The Editor

  Ivy is a fashion born of a mindset manifested in a lifestyle.  There are values attached:  dignity, the value and power of thought, ethics, hard work, aesthetics, appreciation of all things classic, and the dogged pursuit of excellence.   While Ivy evolves (I haven’t worn socks since Easter) the values don’t.  If you are a

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From The Archives

Frat Pack

College fraternities of the past offered male bonding in a stylish setting. The photo above, plus the two below, are from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, 1949. Dig Joe College here in newsboy cap and varsity sweater: The chap in the bottom center providing the smoky atmosphere reminds us that for 400 years it was

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Spring Trend Forecast: Argyle Socks & Shorts

OK, not a trend for this season, but it was in 1957. At least in one place: Rhodes College. And at least among this group of guys… on this particular day. But even in this small scientific sample, you can see human social tendencies asserting themselves. The guys in solid socks may be part of the

Art of the Deal: 1960s Japanese Playing Cards

Well here’s a super-cool discovery: a pack of 1960s playing cards using cover art for the magazine Heibon Punch, by artist Ayumi Ohashi. The cards, our translator tells us, depict a wide range of social situations and leisure activities and the proper attire for each. 

True University Style: Kuppenheimer, 1928

The above image, which comes from a 1928 Kuppenheimer catalog, ties in with themes explored in our comprehensive rise and fall essay: namely town and country, or city and campus. In it the three-button undarted suit is presented as “authentically designed” for the university man, while the postgraduate “Young Executive” model is a tapered two-button option.These

Green Day: 1950s Campus Ads For The Fighting Irish

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day we pay tribute to the Irish — specifically the Fighting Irish of the University Of Notre Dame. After a long and fruitless search for vintage images, I finally found a few in the campus magazine called The Scholastic, where there were some ads for Arrow buttondowns, “natural” tuxedo rentals (with

Stetson’s Ivy League Fedora, 1953

As a follow-up to our last post on Taylor-Made shyoes, here’s another Main Street retailer that used the term “Ivy League” in its ad copy once the look became popular. These two Stetson ads are from 1953 and 1955 (coincidentally the same years as the Taylor-Made ads). Thanks to frequent comment-leaver “Old School” for alerting us

Aristocracy & Revolution: Taylor-Made Shoes, 1955

Once the Ivy League Look gained popularity during the silver age of the ’50s, Main Street clothiers used the term as an advertising buzzword. Needless to say, Brooks Brothers and J. Press never had to resort to the term, and in fact dismissed the term “Ivy League” with mild scorn, as they’ve always done with

Bits At Burdine’s: The Squire Shop, 1968

A couple of weeks ago we posted a collection of vintage Dexter advertisements, and now here’s an interesting follow up. In 1968, as the Ivy League Look was plummeting in popularity, the shoe that would cement itself as a preppy staple in the 1970s was gradually garnering greater attention.  The above ad is from The

Varsity Town’s Madisonaire, 1966

The “Main Street” Ivy brands that flickered briefly during the heyday often touted their wares as “authentic natural shoulder fashions,” as if one were buying an ethos along with a jacket cut. Of course, among the original arbiters of the Ivy League Look, the natural shoulder was an expression of values and culture. But because they