Historic Images

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The Swiss Army Knife of Tailored Jackets

I banged out a little piece on the navy blazer for Gilt MANual, calling it the Swiss Army Knife of tailored jackets. And yes, I’ve actually worn it as a warm-up jacket to the tennis court. That’s probably a bit affected. But it’s all part of downplaying the blazer’s stuffiness, since many guys find them



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Taft By Numbers: Peter Rawson III, 1952

In 1952, LIFE Magazine ran a profile on the Taft family, one of America’s great political dynasties, having produced President William Howard Taft. The family also produced a prep school — The Taft School in Watertown, CT — which was founded by William’s brother Horace Dutton Taft, an early Skull & Bones member. Pictured above


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Ivy Trendwatch: WWD On Upcoming Preppy Book

Last week Women’s Wear Daily ran a feature on the upcoming book “Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style,” by Jeffrey Banks and Doria de La Chapelle. Among other things, the story includes the great photo above of Deerfield Academy’s class of 1961. The story’s author, David Lipke, goes on to note preppy style’s relative imperviousness to change


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Post #400: In Praise of Manly Trad

In honor of Ivy Style’s 400th post, we present this visual tribute to “manly trad” courtesy of Kent clothiers and the latest issue of the Japanese magazine Free & Easy (with a little inspiration from Steve McQueen). Always remember that trad is man’s clothes, and that nothing compliments a three-piece sack suit, buttondown oxford and


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Christopher Bastin on Building the Gant Archives

With fashion in a constant state of flux, it’s no wonder apparel brands are less than assiduous when it comes to keeping company histories. But the heritage movement has given brands the impetus to better chronicle and curate their personal histories. Case in point: Gant. The company, which was founded in New Haven in 1949


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New Tumblr: Rich White People

Digital style omnivore Derek Guy recently spotted a tumblr loosely entitled Rich White People, which consists of a potpourri of vintage photos, contemporary advertising images, movie stills, and snapshots of British royals. It’s all very pleasant on the eyes, and most germane to tradly types are the various vintage Ralph Lauren ads scattered pell-mell among


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Art of the Deal: 1960s Japanese Playing Cards

As an encore to last week’s Japanese illustration gallery, 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. — CC


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Romance at Eastern Kentucky University, 1963

The French preppy blog Greensleeves To A Ground dug up a series of photos depicting couples at Eastern Kentucky University from 1963-1964. Plenty of chinos, penny loafers, collegiate haircuts, and third button on the back of shirt collars. Not to mention young couples gazing longingly into each other’s eyes at the most feverish “should we


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Josh Sims’ Icons of Men’s Style

Last week a new menswear coffee-table book was released, “Icons of Men’s Style” by Josh Sims, a UK-based fashion writer. The icons in question are not men but clothing items, and include such trad staples as khakis, buttondown shirts, tweed jackets and sack suits.


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Take Ivy Illustrated

The May issue of Japanese mag Free & Easy also features these illustrations based on photos from “Take Ivy.” Despite the sedate outfit, the copy accompanying the image above is the same phrase on the cover of the magazine: “Bankara Ivy no susume,” or “In praise of roguish Ivy.” Maybe Mr. Salaryman has a dirty


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Gommy, Forgotten Campus Shop of Penn and Princeton

Recently I purchased a 1926 yearbook for my alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, and was pleasantly surprised to see a Brooks Brothers advertisement on the first page of the ad section. Flipping through, I also discovered ads for a few local establishments, including a campus menswear shop called Gommy. It seemed like Gommy may


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Comfortably Distinctive: Norman Hilton, 1958

Earlier this week, Men of Habit’s Chris Callis — and current Norman Hilton lookbook stylist and coordinator — posted this vintage Hilton advertisement from 1958. The copy includes the phrase “comfortably distinctive,” a good description of the Ivy League Look in general. A link to the latest Norman Hilton lookbook was placed in our Ephemera


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Bicycle Week: Take a Ride with Take Ivy

As I suggested in the rececent olive post, now that we’ve all drunk in the big picture, the atmosphere, of “Take Ivy,” I think the reason to return to it will be in order to look specifically at certain things like shoes, haircuts, trousers, and, in this case, bicycles. The three “Take Ivy” authors felt


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Bicycle Week: The Yale-Vassar Bike Race

The Yale-Vassar bike race found its origins in a drunken wager. At a meeting of Yale’s Trumbull Beer and Bike Society, one student declared he could beat another in a bicycle race all the way to Vassar. However, this valiant duel between two determined Trumbull residents quickly became a popular annual tradition in the early


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Bicycle Week: Girls + Bikes + Penny Loafers

The title pretty much says it all: Two-wheeled, beweejuned eye candy. Bookmark this post, because these images also act as antidepressants. It’s impossible to feel sad while looking at a pretty girl with a smile on her face peddling a bicycle.


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Take Olive: Drab Dress on the College Campus

Now that the style world has been able to pore over “Take Ivy” without having to pay $1,500 to do so, I think the lasting legacy of the book will be isolating certain motifs. It’s like rewatching a movie: First you take in the whole, and then in subsequent viewings you focus on more subtle



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A Pipe Miscellany

I’d been planning a post on pipes for some time when I realized I’d already written one. So I scrapped the idea, but when the Yale Co-op piece went up this week, mentioning The Owl Shop, the tobacconist serving the Yale community, I decided to revisit the idea. Looks like we have enough for another


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Style on a Student Budget: Remembering the Yale Co-op

The return of Gant to New Haven and their reintroduction of the Yale Co-op buttondown shirt warrants a fond remembrance of the now defunct cooperative. Founded in 1885 to provide carriage rides, tobacco and dry goods to the university community, the Yale Co-op was America’s second-oldest university store when it closed in 2000. The Yale


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Black History Month: Trane Keeps A-Rollin’

For the final of our tributes to Black History Month, first-time contributor Jason Marshall takes a solo. John Coltrane, saxophonist and visionary, set standards in nearly every facet of his short but ultimately fruitful life. While generally associated with Philadelphia, Coltrane is actually from Hamlet, North Carolina, and never tried to hide his Southern roots.


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The Art of Ivy: Jacob Lawrence

In honor of Black History Month, Robert I. Brown, whom Ivy Style wrote about here, pays tribute to the art and style of painter Jacob Lawrence. Although Jacob Lawrence was a high school dropout, he adopted the Ivy League Look later in life, as did many African Americans involved in the arts who wanted to



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Raising the Bar: An Appreciation of the Bar Stripe Necktie

Frequent comment-leaver Old School offers this appreciation of the bar stripe necktie, also known as Brooks Brothers’ #3 stripe. It all started in my freshman year in college in 1961. My French professor was an Englishman who came to school every day in a black suit, white broadcloth shirt, and a bar stripe necktie —