Sport

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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


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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.


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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


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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


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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.


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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


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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,


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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


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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


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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:


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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


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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


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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


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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


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Cold-Weather Golf Gear, Pt. II

I gave my girlfriend a new set of golf clubs for Christmas, and like a kid with a new toy she couldn’t wait to try them out. So we finished our pancakes and coffee, bundled up, and headed out to the course. Last year I did a post on cold-weather golf gear, and here I


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Olympics, You Know: Walk Don’t Run, 1966

Today, you may have heard, is the start of the Games of the Thirtieth Olympiad. Likewise, “It’s the Olympics, you know?” is a running line from the comedy “Walk, Don’t Run,” which is set amid the chaos of the 1964 Tokyo games. The city is so overburdened that stars Cary Grant and Jim Hutton are


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A Year In The Life

One year ago today I hit a golf ball for the first time. Since then I’ve hit 20,000 more. Every day for the past 365 days I’ve played golf, practiced it, watched it, read about it, or thought about it. When I haven’t been outdoors hitting balls, I’ve been rolling them across the purple putting



This Is Pennsylvania, 1957

Recently I ran across a video for Penn that was created in 1957 and documents campus life for a full 30 minutes. There’s some really great footage in here, and you are able to see a lot of detail that’s not as noticeable with still-frame photos like you get in “Take Ivy.” Here are some


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March Madras: Brooks, Press, RL, Gant, O’Connell’s & Ben Silver

March Madras continues with this updated post with two more sartorial jump balls. In the first, J. Press squares off against Gant. Wearing an almost blinding uniform, J. Press offers a traditional madras sportcoat priced at $495. But shouldn’t this guy have graduated by now? In contrast to Press’ perennial classic, Gant offers classic-with-a-twist. Its


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On The Tea: Cold Weather Golf Gear

Golfing in December requires a thermos full of Prince of Wales tea and several layers of clothing. Here’s how I do it: Rugby shawl-collared pullover Polo Ralph Lauren polo shirt Lands’ End jersey turtleneck Lands’ End flannel-lined cords Tweed cap Herringbone gloves Brooks Brothers engine-turned belt Etonic white saddle golf shoes in Harris Tweed bag


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What A Catch: Vassar Versus Ivies Touch Football

“Vassar College’s touch football team today issued a challenge to the Kennedy family in Washington: play us,” announced The Poughkeepsie Journal in November 1962. The reason for such sporting confidence? In the fall of that year, Vassar students had formed the first all-female college touch football teams. With names like the Joss Jocks, Noyes Nymphs


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Fore In Hand: How I Learned To Golf At Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers’ Madison Avenue flagship is a great place to pick up a striped tie. It’s also a great place to learn the world’s most difficult sport. I’ve played a lot of sports in my life — probably 15 or so if you count things like kayaking and mountain biking. Fencing, badminton and swing dancing