Lit

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Buttoned-Down Fiction: Oxford Cloth By Eric Twardzik

For the first time Ivy Style is proud to present an original work of fiction. This is not something from the heyday archives, but a contemporary work published here for the first time. Author bio follows the story. * * * Oxford Cloth By Eric Twardzik When hard work was valued and patriotism was a

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At Ben Silver, Classic Style That’s Elegant And Sophisticated

Let’s face it: some people say that traditional clothing can be boring. Navy blazer, buttondown oxford shirt, khaki pants, striped tie – have we seen it before? Of course we have. But “trad” need not be synonymous with tedious. Just look at Ben Silver’s take on classic style and you can see how trim (not

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From The Archives

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A Frayed So: In Praise of Beater Clothes

Previously I’ve written about the Boston Cracked Shoe look, a term applied to certain WASP patricians who would wear items that had far outlived their presentable lifespan. Members of the press discovered the concept during the presidential campaign of Adlai Stevenson when they observed Stevenson had holes in the soles of his shoes while working

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Bits At Burdine’s: The Squire Shop, 1968

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


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John Cheever Wore Size-Six Weejuns

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


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100 Years Of Menswear

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




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Literary Voice: The George Plimpton Documentary

George Plimpton certainly had pedigree. His father was “a successful corporate lawyer who became the American ambassador to the United Nations,” the New York Times noted in his obituary. “The family traced its roots in this country to the Mayflower. He was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard and Cambridge.” This pedigree no doubt accounted


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John Updike, Style Icon

Recently GQ said John Updike was in as a style icon while Jack Kerouac was all washed up and played out. And last week the magazine’s web site put up a slideshow. No new images for you guys perhaps, but maybe for the younger and/or less literate out there. Remains to be seen if fashion


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100 Years Of Stover At Yale

Perhaps because he’s a football player, Dink Stover has been at Yale for a hundred years. Hey, the real world is coarse and common, would you want to leave? One hundred years ago this month Owen Johnson published his college novel “Stover At Yale,” which is long on novel but short on college. I attempted


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Hit The Road: Kerouac Out, Updike In

A sign of civilization in an age where the edgy, extreme and downright trashy are lauded daily, the April issue of GQ encourages readers to “kill their style icons,” and suggests trading Jack Kerouac for John Updike. Kerouac went to Columbia, but was too bohemian to dress Ivy League. Updike, on the other hand, went


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Voice In The Dark: Richard Frede’s Entry E, 1958

“Entry E” is something of a pulp novel, telling a tale of Ivy League life in America that was considered startling on its release in 1958. But for all the adolescent angst and raucous action in this story, there is plenty of mid-century Ivy League style and quiet consideration of the “Ivy Man,” described in


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The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt

For Ivy Style’s 300th post, London-based contributor Rebecca C. Tuite examines the most important piece of literature about The Ivy League Look’s most important brand. There is little doubt that Mary Mccarthy’s short story “The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt” is now probably more famous for its punchy title — a dream for the


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Buttoned-Down Beatnik: Ginsberg Biopic “Howl” Gets Sept. Release

A few months ago I heard about the Allen Ginsberg biopic “Howl,” and asked the production company if there were any upcoming screenings. There weren’t, as the film had yet to find a distributor. It’s got one now, and is scheduled for release on September 24. The film focuses on the poet’s 1957 obscenity trial