Personae

Rare Breed: McQueen’s Jag For RL Magazine

My latest piece for Ralph Lauren Magazine is on the Jaguar XKSS, a rare ’50s sports car whose distinguished owners include Steve McQueen as well as Ralph Lauren himself. Ralph’s personal car will be featured in an upcoming fall Purple Label ad campaign. Here’s an excerpt: The XKSS’ combination of gorgeous curves and raw power


Big John: J. Simons Celebrates 60 Years In Retail

Last week The Independent published a feature on John Simons, who is to England what Kensuke Ishizu is to Japan. The king of English Ivy is celebrating 60 years in retail. Writes the paper: Simons, more than anyone, is the man who brought the “Ivy Look”, the apparently effortless American cool of the postwar years,


The Apple Has Fallen Far From The Bush

There’s just a handful of hours left until the prime-time debut of Donald Trump’s presidential reality show. He’ll be flanked by nine other White House hopefuls, including Jeb Bush, son of GHWB, who is pictured above in sack suit and striped watch band. The son is pictured below — in Brioni. Trump’s preferred suit, coincidentally. Enjoy the


Très Preppy: The Art Of Floc’h

Special thanks to Jack Carlson for rounding up these images from the French illustrator Jean-Claude Floch (who goes by the professional name Floc’h and is pictured at the bottom of this post). Quel esprit! — CC    


Two Losses: Frank Zachary And Hugh Auchincloss III

Last week saw the deaths of two accomplished men. They came from very different backgrounds, but both would have crossed paths, metaphorically speaking, in the society pages. One as subject, the other as reporter. Frank Zachary (pictured above) was the editor of Town & Country during the WASPy ’80s. The son of Croatian immigrants and


Six Years Ago — License Revoked: John Gavin, Almost a 007

As part of our regular new series revisiting topics from the early years, here’s a fresh look at this post that originally ran in June 2009. * * * Take a look at the guy above: Mild-mannered schoolteacher, or James Bond, license to kill? Providing Ivy Infotainment comes with constant pressure to dig up fresh


The Young JFK, Not Yet Ready For Prime Time

Yesterday was the birthday of John F. Kennedy. Here are a few pictures of him while a student at Choate, submitted by a reader a couple of birthdays ago. Above Kennedy is pictured in buttondown collar, which he would abandon during his presidential election — the first to reach a mass audience via television —


Caught On Camera

Last night’s evening news featured the rare appearance of a suited man on television not wearing the American Boardroom look we associate with politicans, newscasters, and virtually everyone else on television. Pictured in buttondown shirt, conventional rep-striped tie and tortoiseshell glasses is NTSB spokesman Robert Sumwalt. Can you guess what part of the country he’s


Ray-Bans, Rep Ties & Buttondowns: The “Style” Of Rand Paul

Is Rand Paul the coolest/squarest/hip-to-be-squarest politician so far in the 2016 presidential race? While he’s yet to be spotted in JFK’s Nantucket reds, or GHWB’s striped watchbands and J. Press suits, Rand’s wardrobe has the tradly touches of buttondown collars, conventional striped ties, and gold-buttoned navy blazers. That’s pretty unusual for a pol in the


Sent

Who was that in yesterday’s pic of Muhammad Ali? None other than the great singer Sam Cooke, who died of a gunshot wound in 1964 at the age of 33. He’s pictured above in tab collar and emblematic tie, which appears to depict a griffin or lion rampant. The grass background even suggests a campus


Still Elegant After 30 Years

Apologies for being in the dark yesterday as we got bit by another bug. We’re now in the process of migrating to a new hosting company with better protection against these tedious maladies. In the meantime, we welcome everyone back with a special treat from Toronto-based style writer and broadcaster Pedro Mendes, who recently interviewed



Southern Exposure: Milton Julian, 1919-2015

I run into Alexander Julian every so often at menswear events. He’s always mentioning his family shop — Julian’s of Chapel Hill, NC — and how it helped popularize the Ivy League Look during the heyday. Well last week Alex lost his uncle Milton Julian, who was a partner in Julian’s before he set off


The Bruce Boyer Alumni Profile

Today Lehigh University put up a lengthy profile on G. Bruce Boyer from a piece that ran in the school’s alumni magazine. I supplied some quotes about my avuncular colleague who’s certainly inspired me in my own writings on clothes. Check it out here. — CC


Dateline 1960: A Time For Greatness — Updated

Update: A time for greatness indeed. Cuban cigars will become legal for the first time since the Kennedy administration. * * * The last in our troika of JFK-themed posts is the announcement of a new book by Taschen. The $150 tome reproduces the article “Superman Comes To The Supermarket,” which Norman Mailer penned for


Manly Trad

This morning comment-leaver “SE” pointed out on our last post that Norman Mailer was a pretty trad dresser. Even more so than JFK, the subject of his 1960 Esquire article. Behold the embodiment of “manly trad.” — CC


A Light Extinguished: Photographer Phil Stern, 1919-2014

Renowned photographer Phil Stern, who documented World War II and stars of Hollywood and the jazz scene, has died at the age of 95. Stern did much work for LIFE Magazine and many of his images are instantly recognizable, such as this iconic shot of James Dean. The above photo, in keeping with our JFK


Chipps Ahoy: Hail Paul Winston While You Still Can

This week Paul Winston, scion of the Chipp dynasty, told me that the space he is currently sharing will lose its lease come next spring. As Paul is getting long in the tooth (not to mention his cutter, who’s about to turn 86), Paul will use the change to close the curtain on his tailored


Bill Of Wrongs

Bill Cosby is invoking his right to remain silent, so to speak, on the flood of allegations against him. Cosby was the subject of an Ivy Style post during year one for his role — and wardrobe — on the TV show “I Spy.” As seen in the photo above, taken during a performance at


41: Bush Junior On Bush Senior

There’s a new biography on preppiest president George HW Bush, written by none other than his son, the other George Bush. Father and son are pictured above. The Washington Post has an excerpt and review here. OK, so 41 was wearing sack suits and striped watchbands when Reagan’s look was what Paul Fussell calls “LA



A Natural-Shouldered View Of American History

A few days ago we introduced you to the blog “Wearing The Ivy League Look Since 1958” and its author, “Billax.” This morning Billax left a thoughtful comment on the post, along with what sounds like a mission statement. It’s worth quoting nearly in full to stretch out what Billax calls his 15 minutes of


Wearing The Ivy League Look Since 1958

Yesterday comment-leaver “Billax” took the time to kindly correct one of my many typos. I wish you guys did that more often. Billax has been a regular on the blogs and forums for some time, and while many amateur blogs are dimming the lights, Billax actually recently started one up with the name Wearing The