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Handed Down: A Video Interview With Oak Street Bootmakers

On Tuesday a video posted on YouTube — promoted by none other than Coors beer — featuring an interview with Oak Street Bootmakers founder George Vlagos. Vlagos talks about inheriting the cobbler craft from his father, even though his dad was against his son’s desire to work with his hands. While so many larger companies have

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From The Archives

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Lands’ End Spring Chino with Double Flap Pockets

Lands’ End has released a new pant called the Spring Chino that features double-flap pockets in the rear. It’s a detail I wrote about previously, having spied them in the 1984 prepsloitation flick “Making the Grade”: Curious about the origins of double flaps and how they might fit in the Preppy/Ivy/Trad/Americana pantheon, I asked around.

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Uncommon Bonds: New WASP 101 Tumblr

As noted before with the now-defunct tumblr Rich White People, the fast-growing image-driven blog format provides its style-junky curators with the ideal platform for presenting a context-free visual blitzkrieg. Otherwise unrelated photos are thrown together into a collage whose cumulative effect is a personal statement about the site creator’s taste. Depending on how you look


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Happy Hanukkah From Ivy Style

On this, the first day of Hanukkah, Ivy-Style.com sends glad tidings to the unsung heroes of the Ivy League Look: the many Jewish clothiers that catered to the Protestant Establishment and taught generations of young men the virtues of a natural shoulder and how to dress like an American gentleman. Despite the popular admonition “Dress



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A Frayed So: In Praise of Beater Clothes

Previously I’ve written about the Boston Cracked Shoe look, a term applied to certain WASP patricians who would wear items that had far outlived their presentable lifespan. Members of the press discovered the concept during the presidential campaign of Adlai Stevenson when they observed Stevenson had holes in the soles of his shoes while working


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P-Unit Forever: Behind the Scenes of Tea Partay

OK, you just read the headline, saw the embedded video, and you’re snickering. Let me explain. When I founded this site, I vowed never to post the Smirnoff “Tea Partay” video, which had become infamous in the online world of Tradsville. But I recently began covering digital marketing for Yahoo!, and found myself chatting with


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That Stings! The First WASP-Free Supreme Court

President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court set off a flurry of decline-of-the-WASP articles in major media outlets this week. If Kagan is confirmed, the formerly 100 percent WASP Supreme Court will not have a single Protestant, something to mourn or celebrate, depending on your point of view. Writes the Wall Street


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Friends in High Places: “Cheerful Money” Reviewed

Very belatedly I’m finally getting around to a post on Tad Friend’s “Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of WASP Splendor,” which was released last year. Like the tribe of WASPs itself, Friend and his book have an even amount of vices and virtues. Tad Friend is a staff writer at The


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Tribal Factions: The WASP vs. The Trad

Nomenclature in Tradsville is a tricky thing, and depends largely on your point of view. Those who like hair-splitting will tell you that a short-sleeved gingham shirt is Trad but not Preppy. Likewise, bit loafers are WASPy but not Ivy. Fair points to an extent, though it gets tedious pretty fast, and bloggers and forum


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Misquote of the Week

Are clean-cut looking guys really, you know, clean? Tough to tell, according to this post-one-night-stand passage in Lauren Lipton’s chick-lit novel “Mating Rituals of the North American WASP”: “Do you think I’ve caught hepatitis? Or worse?” She was makng herself breathless. “That guy was so conservative, he looked like a 1962 Brooks Brothers ad.” Bex


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Wealth of Insight: Jamie Johnson on the WASP Establishment

Like twilight through faded chintz curtains, the sun is setting on the WASP establishment. And Jamie Johnson is seated in the drawing room taking assiduous notes. “It’s interesting to document a small group of people that are losing their influence,” says the filmmaker and columnist, “and highlight what may be appealing about their world, and


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Nelson W. Aldrich Jr. on Preppies

Almost two years before “The Official Preppy Handbook” made preppy affectation accessible to all, Nelson W. Aldrich Jr. had already caught wind of the zeitgeist. His January 1979 cover story for the Atlantic Monthly, “Preppies: The Last Upper Class?” is a seminal work of exposition on the manners and mores of the WASP establishment. It


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Somewhere in Time: The Politics of Style

In honor of Election Day, Ivy Style presents the second in its series of articles from the vaults of Time magazine. For this one, commentary is provided by a Washington insider writing under the pseudonym Taliesin. Traditional Ivy style is rarely exhibited by the most visible Ivy League graduates: politicians. For instance, George W. Bush