Historic Images


Ivy’s Place On The The Sartorial Totem Pole

Following the mention of Paul Fussell’s pinpoint-accurate and hilarious book “Class” in our last post, faithful reader “Old School” sent us a reminder about another entertaining class theorist, Russell Lynes. The above chart comes from Lynes’ 1949 book “The Tastemakers.” His 1953 Esquire article on the shoe hierarchy at Yale, which we presented several years


Authentic Ivy League Suits Sanitized For Freshness

This ad from a 1959 issue of Sports Illustrated is interesting for a number of reasons. Most obvious is the ad’s premise of dressing young. From our perspective 55 years later, the men in the ad could hardly look more mature. Yet such were the small distinctions of suit-wearing at the time. Then, in the


Batik On Campus

Was batik really worn by college men, or was it a marketing ploy by clothiers, as one reader recently suggested? Evidence courtesy of Lehigh University yearbooks from 1961-65. — CC & CS


Where Main Street Meets The Elite

This ad from mass-market clothier Galey & Lord dates from 1965. But apparently that’s no random model who sat for the portrait. According to textilehistory.org: In the mid-1960s, six prominent socialites had their portraits painted by Henry Koehler. The garments were crafted using G&L fabrics. Ads appeared in the New York Times Feb 2, 1965.


School’s Out: Daily Princetonian Seersucker Ads, 1940s

If you were off on Spring Break or spending the winter in Palm Beach, Princeton’s clothiers of the 1940s had just the clothes you needed, including plenty of seersucker. While not graphically interesting, these ads include interesting copy revealing what was popular with students at the time. — CS & CC

no beatles

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


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


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


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