Ivy Trendwatch


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Preppy Book Signing At Saks

Last night Jeffrey Banks (pictured above) and Doria de La Chapelle signed copies of their new book “Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style” at Saks Fifth Avenue. It was a full house, though hardly a Prep-a-Palooza. Besides your humble blogger in rep tie and pinned club, there was just KJP and sweetheart:


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Ivy Trendwatch: Hollywood and the Ivy Look

Later this year Reel Art Press will release a lavish photographic coffee-table book full of rare images of Hollywood icons wearing Ivy garb. It will surely be a delight to behold. Reading it, however, may be another story. One should never judge a book by its cover, but we’ve had an Ivy book by this


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Princeton’s Plan To Discourage Exclusivity

In “This Side of Paradise,” F. Scott Fitzgerald called Princeton “lazy and aristocratic.” How times have changed. In the age of meritocracy, sloth is hardly a helpful quality in gaining admission to the elite university. And anything “aristocratic” would have to be an individual eccentricity as the school is seeking to discourage “exclusivity” by banning


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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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Ivy Trendwatch: Abercrombie’s Elements of Ivy Collection

The Ivy trend has officially reached the cash-grab phase: Abercrombie & Fitch — which once sold tweed sportcoats and other authentic Ivy-style items — has released a new collection for teenyboppers entitled “Elements of Ivy.” The web copy reads: “Distinguished from the rest and exceptional by every standard, Elements of Ivy is a collection of


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Ivy Trendwatch: Take 8 Ivy

Yesterday The Sartorialist ran a photo of “Take Ivy” author Shiro Itoh and announced the publication next month of “Take 8 Ivy,” which was touted as a sequel to the seminal Japanese book chronicling American collegiate style. I was able to flip through “Take 8 Ivy” here in Tokyo a couple of weeks ago. Basically


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Ivy Trendwatch: Prep 101: The Battle of Status & Social Rank

A few days ago someone who goes by the sobriquet “Andover Hotchkiss” posted the above image on Ivy Style’s Facebook page. It’s an ad for a book entitled “Prep 101: The Battle of Status and Social Rank,” by Dr. Charles Walker, Jr. and Cedric S. King that is supposedly due out next month. The tome


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Ivy Trendwatch: Hipsters Move On

For the last couple of years, one of the recurring refrains on the trad forums and blogs has been an impatient wish for the Preppy/Ivy/Trad/Americana (PITA) trend to go away so that stubborn fuddy-duddies can go back to being behind the times. Rejoice, gentlemen, for that day is here: Mark McNairy, arguably the leading guru


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Va Au Diable: Go-To-Hell Pants In France

Paris-based contributor Matthew Benz, who recently wrote about Tommy Hilfiger’s “True Prep” pop-up prep experience, sent along this scan from the Mai/Juin issue of French men’s magazine Monsieur. The copy discusses the “uniforme de WASP en vacances;” the phrase “go-to-hell” as coined by Tom Wolfe (“toujours vetu de blanc“); and “les pantalons flashys des Bostoniens…


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Ivy Trendwatch: The Quirky Off-Center Vent

Earlier this week Gilt Groupe sponsored an “Ivy Style” flash sale with contemporary fashion pieces about as closely related to the Ivy League Look as my alma mater is to the Ancient Eight. Now rival company Mr. Porter presents an exclusive three-button suit with patch pockets, tapered trousers and “quirky off-centre [sic] single vent.” The


Découvrez l’Univers Preppy: Tommy in Paris

The grounds of the Centre Pompidou, the modern art museum in Paris, is an unlikely place to find a display of preppy clothing and accessories. But that’s where Tommy Hilfiger recently chose to set up shop for Prep World, a new collection in collaboration with “Preppy Handbook” author Lisa Birnbach. Or rather it’s where he


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Ivy Trendwatch: JFK-Inspired “Ivy League Shorts”

By definition, an Ivy League jacket has natural shoulders, three buttons and no darts. It may also have lapped seams, swelled edges, patch pockets, hook vent and two-button cuff. But what makes a pair of shorts Ivy League? Evidently having been designed while looking at photos of JFK aboard his yacht, the Manitou. At least


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Ivy Trendwatch: Jeffrey Banks’ Upcoming Preppy Book

Over the past few months several menswear colleagues have mentioned that fashion designer Jeffrey Banks, who started his career at Ralph Lauren, was writing a preppy book. Then a couple weeks ago, as I exited the J. Press warehouse sale, I received a phone call from Mr. Banks, who was trying to track down the


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Ivy Trendwatch: German Edition

Stuttgart-based department store chain Breuninger has given a Teutonic interpretation of campus style in a photo spread from its in-house style magazine. The shots have even inspired a South African blogger, further evidence that Ivy is on a world tour. Germans may be precise when it comes to engineering, but the photos are anything but.


Ivy Trendwatch: Department Store Edition

Nordstrom has released a men’s fashion video that devotes 18 seconds to acknowledging the Ivy trend, with vintage footage and a style endorsement of cardigans and wingtips (click here to go directly to the Ivy section of the clip). Yes, the gingham shirt doesn’t have a buttondown collar, and the wingtips aren’t longwings. What do


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Ivy Trendwatch: GQ Endorses The Sack Suit

In what probably hasn’t been done in half a century, GQ has endorsed the sack suit — sort of. The March issue features a one-page primer on the Ivy League Look (more or less), though it avoids the term “Ivy” and instead opts for “sack suit.” The Ralph Lauren suit pictured appears to be dartless,


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Rugged Ivy: Free & Easy’s February Issue

A friend of mine works at the US office of Japanese men’s magazine Free & Easy, and recently alerted me to the February issue, whose theme is “rugged Ivy.” For the hardcore Ivyphile, the best things about the issue are the small historical photos of Miyuki-zoku-type youths in the ’60s, as well as early shots


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Ivy Trendwatch: WSJ on the Ivy League Look

The Wall Street Journal offers a summary of the zeitgeist so far. Prediction: The topic will continue to generate buzz this year, but the buzz will end in 2012. Of course, everything is supposed to end in 2012. — CC


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Ivy Trendwatch: Ralph Lauren’s Ivy Row, Rugby Goes Collegiate

This fall/winter season Ivy and related references have multiplied at both Ralph Lauren and Rugby as vintage university style continues to be rediscovered by the fashion industry. Likewise, Ralph Lauren’s Fall 2010 in-store magazine features the image above, which has a vaguely “Take Ivy” vibe, combined with the car from “La Dolce Vita” and stately


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Ivy Trendwatch: GQ at Princeton

GQ has dispatched photographer Gordon von Steiner to capture contemporary Princeton style (for an appreciation of vintage Tiger style, see our post “The Princetonians“). Unabashedly Prep‘s Fred Castleberry is one of the subjects. I recently recruited Fred to shoot for The Rake team and he’ll be heading up to Cambridge soon to take photos for


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Ivy Trendwatch: Northern Exposure

If you’ve ever wondered where my patronym comes from, the answer is Norway. My paternal grandfather came over in the ’30s and settled in San Francisco, where he married my grandmother, who had about the plainest English name imaginable: Betty Jane Smith. We’re one of only two Chensvold families in the US (the other is


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Ivy Trendwatch: The Return of Norman Hilton

During the heyday of the Ivy League Look, Norman Hilton was a leading natural-shoulder brand sold at many campus shops and regional clothiers. Hilton was also Ralph Lauren’s first major investor, and made many of Lauren’s suits and sportcoats in the ’70s. His son Nick Hilton has continued the family tradition, running a clothing shop