Here’s the book that was mentioned in the comments thread on the Sweet Briar post. “The Preppy And The Trout” by Richard Reichardt was published (self-published?) in 2011. The synopsis reads:
Set in the glamorous resort town of Sun Valley/Ketchum, Idaho, the story revolves around a young, insecure, former lacrosse star who owns a fly-fishing shop, his demanding preppy wife, and a bungling older Ivy League man who’s recently moved west to escape his troubles by trout fishing.
It is currently available from Amazon in a kindle edition for $3.99. There is one review on the Amazon page, with the following observation:
In a very creative way, it shows the difference between east coast preps and those outside of New England.
A blog called The Preppy Times has an interview with the author here. — CC
Tokyo-based Ivy Style contributor W. David Marx, whose book on the history of Ivy in Japan comes out later this year, recently wrote about the advertorial pieces famed novelist Haruki Murakami penned for J. Press:
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Onward spent massive sums on advertising J. Press in the print media. The classic ad format, often seen on the back cover of lifestyle magazine Popeye, showed a Japanese or American man telling a colorful story about their favorite trad clothing item. In 1985, as Japanese pop culture went in more avant-garde directions, Onward came up with a new idea — asking up-and-coming novelist Murakami Haruki to write a very short story inside each month’s advertisement for magazines Popeye, Box, and Men’s Club.
Murakami was given free creative rein with no requirement to include J. Press in the stories. It’s all a fascinating piece of trad history in the land of the Rising Sun. Head over to his site Neojaponisme for the full story. — CC
A couple of weeks ago we posted a collection of vintage Dexter advertisements, and here’s an interesting follow up. In 1968, as the Ivy League Look was plummeting in popularity, the shoe that would cement itself as a preppy staple in the 1970s was gradually garnering greater attention.
The above ad is from The Palm Beach Post and plugs the Squire Shop, the in-store campus shop of Florida department store chain Burdine’s. Here Dexter bit loafers are paired with Gant buttondowns and a Hunter Haig three-piece sack suit in the ’60s Ivy palette of gray and olive.
Bit loafers may be a common sight today in Palm Beach; three-piece sack suits not so much. — CC
Faithful reader “Old School” alerted us to this piece in the New York Review of Books by a former disciple of the great author. It discloses Cheever’s shoe size:
Blue-and-white-striped Brooks Brothers shirt, unpressed khakis. John Cheever wore size-six Weejuns. (You know? I’ve always wanted to write that! For its interior rhymes, for its being factual, for its snappy attempt at sounding both as smart and clear as, well, a John Cheever sentence. So, yeah, “John Cheever wore size-six Weejuns.”)
… as well as a few other things. It’s a superb essay, and that’s no small feat. — CC
Laurence King Publishing has just released a new edition of “100 Years Of Menswear” by Cally Blackman. Steve McQueen graces the cover, in Harrington jacket, cashmere v-neck and white buttondown. Inside, however, there’s not much else to interest you.
While the first half of the book, devoted to the first part of the century, features photos and illustrations of gentlemanly personae in suits and ties and eveningwear, the second half — which covers the postwar period to the present day — focuses almost entirely on outrageous fashion designs and every possible youth cult, no matter how grotesque (skinheads with swastikas, for example). At least there’s a picture of Cary Grant in “North By Northwest” to show there was more to menswear after the war than beatniks, punks, hippies, Bowie as Ziggy, and women’s skirts fashioned for men by Jean Paul Gaultier.
There’s one spread devoted to the Ivy League Look (in the section called “Rebel,” of course), which is pictured below:
Blackman is an Englishwoman and teaches at Central Saint Martins College. — CC
“Your wedding day will be the second happiest day after you beat Yale,” Coach told the team in the locker room at Harvard Stadium before The Game.
John Phillips’ novel “The Second Happiest Day” may not be great literature, but if you want to experience the heyday of Ivy at Harvard, go find this book.
Phillips allegedly deflowered Jacqueline Bouvier in 1951 on a creaky hotel elevator in Paris before his bestseller was published. That’s when he was still known as John Phillips Marquand, Jr., not yet competing with his Pulitzer Prize father, J.P. Marquand. His dad’s book about an earlier Harvard generation, “H.M. Pulham, Esq.,” also chronicles the adjustment of a townie becoming a full-fledged Harvardian, eventually making the best clubs, receiving the ultimate organizing his class’ 25th reunion in Cambridge.
Lest we forget, Amory Blaine, Princeton hero in Fitzgerald’s “This Side of Paradise,” always claimed “Stover At Yale” was “his kind of textbook.” Nick Carraway went to Yale and so did Gatsby antagonist Tom Buchanan. Eli always got into the act.
My Princeton favorites are the work of Geoffrey Wolff, Class of 1960. “The Duke of Deception: Memories of My Father” is a knowing memoir of an errant father who got tossed out of Princeton, landed in jail, and ended his life in disrepute. “The Final Club,” is a novel with a protagonist from a public high school in Seattle with a Jewish mother and drunken father who masters bicker, Briarcliff, Lester Lanin, and crew on Lake Carnegie — a precis of the era.
The essence of Princeton nobility, Scott Fitzgerald self-destructs in a swath of booze at the 1939 Dartmouth Winter Carnival in that cruelly drawn and quartered Budd Shulberg novel “The Disenchanted.” In a different vein but with the same New Hampshire geography, Chris Miller’s “The Real Animal House” recalls Alpha Delta Phi’s dysfunction in days of yore at dear ol’ Dartmouth.
The more meaningful contribution the Ivy League provided America was a tradition of service exemplified in the nonfiction book “The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made,” by Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas.
In it the authors elevate the WASP ascendency beyond the gin-and-tonic, three-button snobbery of Old Money by describing the heroic examples of Dean Acheson, Charles E. Bohlen, W. Averell Harriman, George Kennan, Robert Lovett and John J. McCloy, who rescued the postwar world from chaos. The gift of public service these men provided the country is the real meat of Ivy. Read about them first, then go for the gravy. — RICHARD PRESS