Real Deal: Ralph Lauren’s Dartmouth Sportcoat

Gradually I’ve come to the decision that the two most important characteristics in a sportcoat are natural shoulders and the right lapel width. Everything else — two or three buttons, darted or undarted, patch pockets or not — is negotiable. Things like lapped seams and hook vents are cool Ivy details, but are far outweighed

Life of the Party: Orvis Patch Tartan Sportcoat

It’s never too early to plan your office Christmas party outfit. Suggestion: This patchwork tartan sportcoat by Orvis, which is presumably the same DS Dundee jacket we saw at the ENK menswear show back in January. Guaranteed to make you and everyone around you drink too much eggnog. — CC

Fall News Roundup

Here are some news tidbits as well as things that have caught my eye recently. I recently visited the remodeled Ralph Lauren Rhinelander mansion and no surprise the elegance and style are absolutely suffocating (above photo by Michael Williams; check out the rest of his shots here). What a tactile experience: I don’t think there’s

Pursuit of Scrappiness: The Patchwork Tweed Cap

Recently I was perusing a 1979 Brooks Brothers catalog and this image caught my eye. I liked the contrast of the patchwork tweed cap with the otherwise “correct” clothing. This has always been the WASP approach to sartorial whimsy. I’d been on the lookout for a new cap for this fall/winter season, and decided to

Just Shoot Me

I have the dubious distinction of being one of the most unphotogenic style writers ever. By the time most photographers are done trying to get a decent shot of me, a new version of their camera has come out. But Unabashedly Prep’s Fred Castleberry just snapped a few quick shots and voila: yours truly in

Lost Treasure: O’Connell’s Uncovers ’60s-Era Tweed Stash

O’Connell’s is a big place. How big? Big enough for 26 tweed sportcoats to get lost for decades. Owner Ethan Huber recently discovered a stash of two dozen tweed sportcoats made shortly after the store opened in 1959. The jackets have all the Ivy details straight from the heyday: natural shoulders, three-button fronts, narrow lapels,

Brooks Brothers Spring 2011 Preview

I know, fall is here and you’re eagerly breaking out the woolens. No one could be happier than me, as I get to spend my first autumn in New York. But apparel brands are always working well in advance, so I need you to temporarily shift your brain back into warm-weather mode and have a

Preppy Week: Alison Lurie on Being Rich and Dull

In celebration of the publication of Lisa Birnbach’s “True Prep,” Ivy-Style is devoting the entire week to preppy posts. By the end of the week you’ll be so sick of them you’ll relish the final post, in which preppies are skewered and stuffed to a Dead Kennedys soundtrack. First up is an excerpt from Alison

Were You There?

Several Ivy-Style readers have left interesting comments recently, mentioning how they’ve been wearing button-downs and Weejuns for 50 years, and stuff like that. Here’s a comment on the Brooks Brothers novel post from a reader who worked at Brooks at the time: I took a year off from college and worked at Brooks from fall

How We Roll: Mercer & Sons’ Classic Button-Down Oxford

The rolls of shirt collars are as subtle as the taste of hops in beer and identify their maker just as quickly. Shirtmakers and merchants distinguish their wares by the stitch along the front of a collar, how far from the placket the collar buttons are attached, the collar’s height and shape, and an arcane

Boyfriend Jacket: The Vassar Girl and the Ivy League Look

New contributor Rebecca C. Tuite, an English Ph.D. candidate studying the sociology of American fashion, recently toured the Northeastern US interviewing ’50s-era Vassar alumnae. In this article, on how the Ivy League Look influenced Seven Sisters style, she shares some of her findings. When Marilyn Monroe steps onto the screen in “Some Like It Hot,”

Home of the Gentry: The Allen-Edmonds Beefroll Penny Loafer

Last week Allen Edmonds unveiled the Kenwood model to US consumers. Previously — and inexplicably — the classic American beefroll penny loafer, made in the company’s own “Gentry” leather, was only available in foreign markets. The lone penny option for US customers was the beefless Walden model. The Kenwood will be available in Allen Edmonds

Setting The Bar High: Boyer on the Ups and Downs of Tie Bars

No doubt fueled in part by the popularity of “Mad Men,” tie bars have become ubiquitous. But while there’s general consensus that they’re in vogue, there’s less agreement about how they should be placed: high or low, straight or angled. We asked legendary menswear author G. Bruce Boyer to give us his take. In the

Spirit of the Century: Brooks Brothers x Levi’s

Two 19th-century American heritage brands have teamed up to offer a new US-made jean. Brooks Brothers and Levis — founded in 1818 and 1853, respectively — today debuted a collaboration appropriately called Levi’s Jeans, Made In The USA For Brooks Brothers. “For generations, nothing has conveyed the image of iconic American style more than a

Jack Donnelly Wants To Be Your Go-To Khaki

Since their invention by British soldiers in India, who tried to conceal dust by dying their trousers with tea, khaki pants have been a menswear staple marked by overabundance. Department store racks are lousy with them, and new brands appear and die out yearly. The khaki market is a hard one to win a share

Princeton, 1962: As “Take Ivy” As It Gets

Until somebody finds the official “Take Ivy” video (our man in Tokyo is working on it), this may be the closest thing to surface so far. For the past couple of months I’ve been subscribed to the Princeton Campus Life YouTube channel. Most of the archival footage has been recent or early twentieth century. Then

Show Time: Capsule and Designer Forum Wrap-Up

It’s Menswear Market Week here in New York, and I’ve spent the past few days at a couple of the trade shows. First up, Designer Forum, sponsored by the Custom Tailors & Designers Association, the oldest trade organization in the US. Pictured above are rep bow ties from Collared Greens, which has combined the preppy,

Play Ball: The Chipp Necktie Puzzle Challenge

Think you’re smart? Think you’re — you know — Ivy League smart? Then see if you can figure out the cryptic meaning of this vintage Chipp emblematic necktie. Pictured are four motifs. They are: A clock reading 3:55 An empty whisky bottle A woman with one breast exposed A toilet What does it mean? Hint:

Summer Staple: Chens on Madras for The Rake

The latest issue of Singapore-based The Rake just came out, with the following piece on the past and present of madras, for which I interviewed Paul Winston, Ethan Huber of O’Connell’s, and Brooks Brothers merchandiser Jeff Blee. American Indian: Madras, named for the Indian city where it originated, remains a distinctly yankee summer staple By

Back From The Dead: O’Connell’s Bleeding Madras Jacket

Last summer, when I posted a photo of myself on the front page of Ivy-Style, I was also wearing madras. Of course, that was a shot from the rear. This year I’m showing my less flattering side. Recently, while researching a story on madras for The Rake, I spoke with Ethan Huber at O’Connell’s and

Downtown Bound: Bass To Target Hipsters

Eager to reinvigorate a stodgy brand in the wake of the Americana fashion trend, Bass is preparing a new marketing campaign aimed at “hipsters,” Harbor Footwear spokesman Jason Lazar told Ivy-Style. Curious, we probed Lazar, the excutive vice president for Harbor, which holds the footwear license for G.H. Bass & Company (which is owned by

Killin’ It: Anthony Perkins, Style Icon

This week saw the 50th anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” a fine excuse to present a gallery of the film’s star Anthony Perkins. With his wholesome looks and penchant for the Ivy style, Perkins was perfect to play the apparently good-natured but in fact deranged killer Norman Bates. Addendum: Reader rojo left a comment with

Grab These: Don Draper’s Aviator Sunglasses

Ivy-Style’s Battle of the Wits giveaway returns with something guaranteed to boost your cool. Randolph Engineering, sunglasses supplier to the US military, has generously donated two pairs of its limited-edition “Ad Man” aviators, the favored shades of Don Draper on AMC’s “Mad Men” and a $170 value. Says the company: Randolph Engineering has supplied sunglasses