Last weekend Richard Press and I swung by Designer Forum, one of the smaller market shows, to visit with Crittenden Rawlings. Critt, as he’s known by his friends and colleagues, is a menswear veteran who’s worked at Ralph Lauren, Norman Hilton, and Oxxford.
He’s currently producing an Ivy model sportcoat we’ve written about a few times. It’s sold at a number of independent menswear shops, largely in the South, and has done well with guys under 40. A couple of the latest fabrics for the jacket, including a check and classic gray herringbone, lie on the table in the photo above.
We started knocking ideas around, including offering an exclusive jacket here at Ivy-Style.com. (Continue)
In our recent post on the rise and fall of Ivy, we noted how since the fall of the Ivy League Look J. Press has gradually gone from a young man’s brand to an old man’s, while the clothes have remained largely the same.
Well as we’ve reported previously, J. Press is going after a younger customer again with its new York Street collection, and the clothes, designed by the brothers behind Ovadia & Sons, ain’t exactly the same. GQ did a write-up in its current issue. You can read it here, and note that not only are the clothes young and hip, but so is the writing:
… making boxy fits slimmer and subbing out basic fabrics with featherweight linen and British Millerain cotton. You know, the good shit.
Pictured above are Whiffens poofed out in items from the York Street collection. — CC
With 10 days before Christmas with not a snowflake in sight, this bright and sunny day in New York with a high temperature of 47 is perfect weather — for those of us not office bound — for white bucks and grey flannels.
Unlike penny loafers and khakis, white bucks and grey flannels is one of those youthful combinations from the Ivy heyday that didn’t survive. Busting it out these days is neither for the fuddy duddy reactionary nor the neo-prep hipster, but someone in between. That’s probably why the two bloggers who’ve written about it on several occasions include myself and Joe from An Affordable Wardrobe.
Last year someone broached the topic at Andy’s Trad Forum, where the idea wasn’t met with much sympathy, especially from the Southerners.
Perform a Google search for “white bucks grey flannels” and you get some interesting results. In addition to mentions from me and Joe:
• Bucks and flannels were elements of the uniform for Brown University’s acapella group The Jabberwocks. The Jabberwocks are still around, though their clothes, along with their material, has changed a bit.
• The book “Secret Riches” by John Alan Masters includes this passage about Yale in the heyday: “Most of my classmates wandered around in white bucks, grey flannel trousers, and J. Press jackets.”
• The 1954 stage comedy “Father’s Been To Mars” includes specific costuming for a student character, who’s to be clad in grey flannels, white bucks, and “a conservative tweed sport jacket.”
Pulling off something unusual comes down to attitude. With white bucks and grey flannels, people might think you’re stylish. Then again, they might think you’re from another planet. — CC
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 Beach Post and plugs the Squire Shop, the in-store campus shop of Florida department store chain Burdine’s. Here Dexter bit loafers are paired with Gant buttondowns and a Hunter Haig three-piece sack suit in the ’60s Ivy palette of gray and olive.
Bit loafers may be a common sight today in Palm Beach; three-piece sack suits not so much. — CC
Recently photographer Nick Clements contacted me about the photo shoots he’s been doing for the UK magazine Men’s File. Included here are samples from his latest shoot, along with a couple from previous shoots. They will be collected next year in a book entitled “Campus: Ivy Style In Revival Subcultures,” which is due out in March. — CC (Continue)
Despite the assertion that college men are the best dressed in America — a statement made by Apparel Arts or some such in the 1930s — in general men dress better as they age. Their tastes refine, they’ve got more money to spend, and most of all they’ve put in practice — about 10,000 hours of it.
This post is a recycling of my latest Huffington Post column, which is in turn a recycling of an essay in the latest issue of The Rake. I combined some of Malcolm Gladwell’s ideas from his book “Outliers” and used them to support George Frazier’s argument, from his 1960 essay “The Art of Wearing Clothes,” that the best-dressed men are all over the age of 40.
Here’s a snippet:
Certain men may be born with the kind of physique and charisma for which great clothes make the perfect pedestal. But they still have to practice dressing. They have to develop the faculty for what looks good on them, or rather what feels good since a stylish man can pull off anything provided he feels at ease in it. Even the naturally gifted have to fine-tune an intuitive barometer and reject temptation at a haberdashery, refusing a seductive novelty because, in the end, “It’s really not me.” And each morning they have to pick out a shirt, trouser and jacket, select a couple of neckwear candidates, and then choose the one that somehow reconciles the contradictory qualities of being utterly capricious and yet completely logical.
Head over to HuffPo for the full story. — CC