Sport

wild-surf

Six Years Ago: Haole Spirit

As we approach our 1,200th post, I’m going to start giving some of the early ones an encore in a regular series of reposts from five, six and seven years ago. This one originally ran on this day in 2009, and concerns heyday-era Ivy in unexpected places (or maybe not), as well as the interesting

Read More

No Picture

Nice Catch: The Harris Tweed Collegiate Football

For your autumn touch-football games, or your holiday shopping for the man who has everything (which may very well be you), consider a traditional football wrapped in Harris Tweed. If ever there was a way to reconcile clotheshorse and jock, this is it. I spied it a couple of weeks ago at the opening for


No Picture

The Future Of Golf For RL Magazine

This week Dick’s Sporting Goods, a major golf retailer, announced it is bailing out of the sport since nobody except me seems to want to take it up anymore. My latest piece for Ralph Lauren Magazine, which posted this morning, was given the ominous title “The Future Of Golf.” In it I explore the sky-is-falling


No Picture

Brand On The Run: The Launch Of Ivy-Inspired Tracksmith

This morning a small new collection called Tracksmith launched. It’s the first thing in a long time we’ve felt should be categorized under Ivy Trendwatch. The founder, Matt Taylor, you see, is a Yale grad and the Ivy League is referenced as a style wellspring in the running-wear company’s marketing material. For example: Tracksmith offers


No Picture

Soccer Is Not A Preppy Sport

In  a couple of hours, the US will take on Germany in the World Cup. Most of you probably don’t care, because soccer is about as preppy as having a name like Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan IV. Pictured above is Khan at Harvard in 1958 from a LIFE Magazine photo shoot. We


No Picture

Surf’s Up Again

This weekend summer officially arrived, so here’s your summer reading (at least for a few minutes) via this piece on a new surfing book I did for Ralph Lauren Magazine. Above, an image that could only exist in the imagination of the Japanese: the “Surf Ivy” collection from the brand Beams Plus.


No Picture

Green Day: Chens Launches GolfStyle.guru

I suppose after nearly three years now of a golf obsession that’s caused me to neglect career and relationships (though apparently I’m not the first the sport has had this effect on), it was inevitable that I start a golf project. And so I’m pleased to announce the debut of Golf Style, which is accessed


No Picture

The Shawl-Collared Baseball Cardigan For RL Magazine

My latest piece for Ralph Lauren Magazine is on the shawl-collared cardigan, which was the favored warm-up gear for baseball players from about 1900-1930. Origins of exactly how and why the shawl cardigan became associated with baseball are murky, and very few of the sweaters survive outside of photographs. I was able to talk to


No Picture

Taking Sides: Vintage Ivy League Football Programs

To counter the over-the-top commercialization of the Super Bowl, I thought we’d take a look at football from an angle more related to culture than commerce. These football programs come from the shop Collectable Ivy and boast some great concept art. The one above, from 1930, is my favorite.


No Picture

Are We Having Fun Yet? Chens On Golf For WSJ

By now you’re all familiar with my learning golf on Brooks Brothers’s simulator. In fact, when comment-leaver “woofboxer” was visiting New York recently, he knew right where to find me. Apparently I’m one of a diminishing number of adults inclined to take up the sport later in life. Golf has lost 5 million players over


No Picture

Corpore Sano: The Preppiest Sport Is Also The Healthiest

On Monday night I was invited by the brand Boast to spectate at the squash Tournament of Champions, currently underway in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal. Coming from a Cali-plebian background, I’d never seen the sport played before. I was very intrigued, though, as for a few years I nursed an intense badminton obsession,


No Picture

Miracle On 44th Street

Twenty-seven months and 20,000 balls after hitting my first, I finally made a swing on the third floor of Brooks Brothers (in my socks, no less) that the instructor said “could be on television.” Though it happened about six weeks ago, I just now got the video clip, from which these screenshots were taken. Since


No Picture

Lime Twist: What Go-To-Hell Can Do For You

Whenever we put up a post on the bright colors and crazy patterns of what is known colloquially, or rather Internetically, as go-to-hell, the chorus of curmudgeons always chimes in with cantakerous remarks about how it’s all mere kids’ stuff. There’s no changing the minds of intractable fellows such as this, but for those of


No Picture

What The Deuce: A Tennis Image Miscellany

Today is the birthday of Rene Lacoste, the man who gave the world the original preppy polo shirt. And since Wimbledon is also currently underway, I thought it the perfect excuse for a tennis-themed image gallery. Above is a vintage tennis sweater and necktie from Newton Street Vintage; below, another vintage specimen:


No Picture

Surfing Craze: Tradsville Flooded By Surf-Motif Tsunami

A swell at sea has been building and has finally crashed upon the shores of Ivy Style. Yes, there’s a surfing micro-trend going on in Tradsville. Beyond the coinciding of their heydays, the connections between surfing and the Ivy League Look are quite incidental. The founder of Ivy-Style.com used to surf, but that’s really stretching


No Picture

Casual Friday: Golf & Tennis For Birchbox’s Summer Friday Series

Besides the obvious things like career and family, the two things for me that make life worth living are art and sport. During the winter I’m more focused on the art side (typically concerts), while in the summer I like to play outdoors. So when Birchbox, a company that introduces you to new stuff via


No Picture

From Shoe To Douche: The Fall Of The House Of Biff

In 1960 Biff wore J. Press and played tennis. That same year he sired Biff Jr., who in 1986 wore Lacoste and Brooks and played squash. That same year Biff Jr. brought into this world Biff III, who would go on to wear Abercrombie & Fitch and Vineyard Vines and play lacrosse. Biff the elder


No Picture

The 2013 Masters Popped Collar Award

Competition is fierce today during the final round of the Masters. And while we’ve no idea who’ll be wearing the green jacket tonight, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano wins the green polo. While his American opponents have played the past four days clad in logo-laden, mercerized and moisture-wicking technologically enhanced golf shirts, Spain’s Fernandez-Castano has played each day