Historic Images

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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


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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Every so often while working the Ivy beat, I come across an historical document so utterly anathema to the world of today that it feels like it’s from another universe.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


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Lacoste For The Andover Shop, 1958

One of the pleasures of spending time among archival material is the chance discovery. We recently came across an Izod Lacoste advertisement that was used in 1958 and 1959, placed by The Andover Shop. On the surface it does not appear different from other Izod-Lacoste advertising material from the period. It carries the sobriety one


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Paul Newman At UP

Fred at Unabashedly Prep, recent star of our comments section, has just put up a Paul Newman photo gallery that may include some shots you haven’t seen before, such as this one with popped oxford. Head over here to see the rest. — CC


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Japanese Ivy Books Pinterest

W. David Marx, who recently gave us his interview with “Take Ivy” author Toshiyuki Kuroso, today shared on Ivy Style’s Facebook page his Pinterest devoted to Japanese Ivy books he’s discovered. It’s another fascinating glimpse into Japan’s longstanding reverence for American natural-shouldered clothing.


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Campus Style: The Polo Coat

Think I’ll take it for one last spin today. Came across this passage recently in Nelson W. Aldrich, Jr.’s biography of Tommy Hitchcock, Jr.: The polo coat — long, belted, and made of soft camel’s hair — was still for the most part used by polo players, thrown over their shoulders for warmth between chukkers,


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Norman Hilton Trunk Show In Princeton

Today Nick Hilton sent out an email message with this 1965 image. The car may look dated, but certainly not the clothes. A couple of years ago son Nick resurrected his father’s name for a line of Ivy-cut jackets, and glad to see he’s still doing them. The spring trunk show kicks off this weekend


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Macy’s Knows Its Yale, 1941

Some five years ago, Tradsville personality “AldenPyle” started a thread at Ask Andy that included the above ad, which ran in the Yale Daily News in 1941. The ad touches on several themes we explored in our recent rise and fall essay. First off, notice the split between clothes for campus and clothes for town, which


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Arts of Asia: A Japanese Ivy Illustration Gallery

In addition to meticulously researched vintage reproductions, plus the regular dispatching of photographers and reporters to capture American collegiate style in its native habitat, the Japanese have long used illustration as a way of expressing their fervent admiration of Ivy style. From stark line drawings to realistic paintings and silly cartoons, the Japanese continue to


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Main Street Ivy: The Sears Catalog, 1964

Sears called its Christmas catalog the “Wish Book.” It, along with other oversized glossy catalogs, came to American households every year heralding the Christmas buying season and giving children plenty of images to fantasize over. Studying them is a remembered rite of passage. In the days before gender neutrality, girls’ thoughts turned to Mrs. Beasley


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True University Style: Kuppenheimer, 1928

The above image, which comes from a 1928 Kuppenheimer catalog, ties in with themes explored in our recent 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


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Girl School: The Vintage Seven Sisters Tumblr

If you’ve got a thing for WASPy mid-century gals in loafers and knee socks, check out the tumblr Vintage Seven Sisters. While many of the images are from the 19th century, some depict modern girls audacious (or foolish) enough to be photographed while smoking. Anybody recognize the album cover? — CC


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Stetson’s Ivy League Fedora, 1953

In our recent rise and fall essay, you may have noticed that one of the differences between Ivy’s prewar golden age and postwar silver age is that hats used to be worn on campus. But in 1965, after President Kennedy supposedly dealt the hat the coup de grace, the only hats you see in “Take


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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


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Getting Fitted At Chipp, 1965

If you hold a mirror up to your computer screen, you’ll see that the gent being measured for a jacket is at the venerable clothier Chipp, as seen in this illustration from the company’s 1965 catalog. Ivy Style asked Paul Winston, son of the Chipp founders, for any insight on the drawing. Here’s what he