Historic Images



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Haircuts: Ivy League Versus Beatles

Last night the CBS evening news did a story on Joe Brown of Pensacola, FL, who is still a hardworking barber at the age of 98. Patrons were asked, as they should have been, whether they feel safe in the hands of a nearly century-old tonsorian, especially when he breaks out the straight razor. But


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Tartan Day And Men In Plaid, 1950

In case you hadn’t heard, tomorrow is Tartan Day. To celebrate, we’re sharing a LIFE Magazine article from 1950 (scroll down to page 123) that showcased Yale students in plaid vests and Andover preps in plaid caps. The article opens with this: When the British caught wind of the fact that American men were developing


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International Pipe Smoking Day

This cartoon dates from 1961. It was found here, where the caption reads: … note the sophisticated, pipe-smoking college man in a letter sweater.  Such folks would be extinct on college campuses by the end of the decade. On this International Pipe Smoking Day, I salute you through a fog of Three Nuns. — CC


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Forty-Fourth Street Salvage

According to the seller unloading it on eBay, this J. Press sign was salvaged from the 44th Street store when the company moved to Madison Avenue. It was originally listed for $2,500, but, as it didn’t have any takers, was relisted yesterday with an opening bid of $499 and buy-it-now of $700. — CC





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Unseen And Undarted: New Book On King Of Cool Steve McQueen

© Photograph Judith Jamison/Barry Feinstein Photography, Inc. A new book shows that Steve McQueen could wear an undarted sack jacket and more than live up to his title as king of cool. Based on candids and stills from the movie “Bullitt” taken by friend Barry Feinstein, “Unseen McQueen” is due out next week from Reel


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That Damned Brooks Brothers Shirt

Recently the comments section has been lively with discussion about Brooks Brothers shirts. Obsessing over them is practically an institution; as early as the mid-’60s George Frazier was writing, “What the hell’s happening to the roll on Brooks Brothers buttondowns?” There’s a reason men get so worked up about them: they have strong attachments to


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Boys To Men: The Long And Short Of It

No need to be long-winded, so I’ll keep it short: Jackets that are too short make men look like boys, while jackets of adequate length make boys look like men. Take it from these 1927 Whiffenpoofs — estimated ages 18-22. These gentlemen songsters may be doomed from here to eternity, but it’s not for being


14. Bowler, Joe - Engagement, 1957

The Illustrated Man: Midcentury Magazine Artist Joe Bowler

While performing a Google Image search for some random terminology recently, I came across an illustration that caught my eye. It turned out to be from an artist named Joe Bowler who made his living in the ’50s and ’60s doing advertising and magazine illustrations. Quite a few have details that would interest us here,


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The Casual Roll: Gant x Yale, 1966

Frequent comment-leaver Old School alerted us to this 1966 Gant ad, which he’d found on the web but didn’t think had been tumblred to death. The ad copy attests to correctness of Gant’s oxford buttondowns, including its “casual roll of the collar.”



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J. Press LIFE Magazine Photo Roll, 1954

We continue our series of related posts with these images by Nina Deen, the photographer who shot the 1954 LIFE Magazine article “The Ivy Look Heads Across US.” These photos, which didn’t make the print edition, surfaced several years ago when LIFE put its archives on Google, and were taken in J. Press’ New Haven


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Must-Have Summer Vacation Item: The Dacron Suit, 1961

Every so often while working the Ivy beat, I come across an historical document so utterly anathema to the world of today that it feels like it’s from another universe. Case in point, this advertisement just dug up by assistant editor Chris Sharp. It ran in a May, 1961 edition of the Brown University school



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Great Escape: The Automotive Illustration Of Fitzpatrick & Kaufman

Recently James Kraus, who authored a piece for Ivy Style on bachelor cuisine, shared with us a post from his vintage automotive blog, Auto Universum. The piece centers around Art Fitzpatrick and Van Kaufman, the Matisse and Picasso of automotive illustration. Writes Kraus: These lush images depicted scenes of glamour and sophistication populated by suave,


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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.



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Better Things: Rogers Peet & Co.

Rogers Peet was inducted into the halls of Americana with the song “Marry The Man Today” from the 1950 musical, “Guys & Dolls.” The lyrics tout the clothier as among “the better things: respectable, conservative and clean,” in company with the likes of Readers’ Digest, Guy Lombardo, golf, galoshes and Ovaltine. That may befit the