Collegiate Stripes

Presented here are some vintage illustrations — presumably from the Esquire archives — posted to Ivy Style’s Facebook group by image collector and comment-leaver “Carmelo.”

Sportcoats with stripes — often running through a herringbone pattern — aren’t often seen today, but were popular during the Ivy heyday and, as these images show, back to the early post-war period.

For a 2013 gallery we did on striped sportcoats, head over here. — CC

17 Comments on "Collegiate Stripes"

  1. Not a great look, in my opinion.

  2. Maybe it’s just me, but these images bring up horrid memories of a brief moment circa 2004 when young men were wearing pin-striped suit jackets as “sports coats.” (I admit that I did this a few times in college, but that doesn’t make it excusable.) That look was horrible, and this, while a bit better, isn’t too far off.

  3. Very, verrrryyyy cooooooooool. My favorite are the art deco Charvet ties. These illustrations bring Frank Sinatra to mind. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Sinatra buy his suits and famous fedora from J. Press in NYC?

  4. @Andy

    I remember that fashion trend, as I was in LA covering it for the apparel trade paper. But I’ve seen the combo of a pinstriped navy suit jacket worn, say with white flannels, look great — in a ’30s resort context, that is. I think you can see it in Flusser’s “Dressing The Man,” as well as the fine Deco-era costumes in the film “Evil Under The Sun.”

  5. @CC

    Also, it had a revival in 2012, as featured in the Journal. The Italians call it “Spezzato,” or “broken look.” Don’t try this at home unless you are a fashion master:

  6. I clearly recall young men around Princeton in the mid-1950’s wearing pinstripe jackets with solid trousers and vice-versa. In fact, I have a photo of yours truly with my future spouse circa ’57 sporting such a look, and I don’t remember giving it a thought at the time. Although somewhat collegiate, I don’t think it was even a GTH look. Pinstripes relegated to matching suit only seems to be a fairly contemporary rule.

  7. These look awful, not helped by sitting with the buttons buttoned.

  8. Certainly the kilties are terrifying.

  9. Must be the part-Scot in me but I like Kiltie loafers. Reminded me to get a pair…

  10. “Certainly the kilties are terrifying.”

    That’s because you didn’t take up golf till the 21st century.

  11. Is that a young JFK in the first and last photos?!

  12. Trad style is about minimalism, not variety and experimentation.
    These illustrations how Ivy League style–in its own way–could be as ostentatious as Preppy style, and as ludicrous.

  13. Henry Contestwinner | December 24, 2016 at 3:32 am |

    It looks like before the Internet was invented, it was possible to button the top button of a three-button jacket.

    As a side note, a couple of these might be broken herringbone patterns. I have a couple of Harris Tweed jackets in same, and they are quite handsome in person.

  14. I had only one striped sport coat, a bit like the matching ones the young man and lady are wearing. I bought mine, along with two pairs of pants, at the day after Christmas sale at Sears in 1972. The three items were $17.88 total. My coat was multi color stripe, more like a regatta pattern, but very 1970’s. People were like at a shark feeding frenzy snatching up those coats.

    I wore that coat for years, gave it to charity before 1980.

    Only very young men or very old men can wear that kind of stuff.

    Seasons Greetings to all!

  15. I wonder if the original inspiration arose from the Victorian style that favored solid color jackets (morning coats?) and boldly striped pants.

  16. @CC Brewer

    Where is this written about “trad” style, and is it written in stone?

  17. Charlottesville | December 27, 2016 at 11:18 am |

    Some of the illustrations above look a bit garish, but J. Press has carried broken herringbone sport coats with a subtle vertical stripe for many decades, and it is a classic Ivy look. They were a staple of Harris tweeds and the wool/mohair/cashmere Donegal Mist tweed that Press made famous. I have a couple and enjoy wearing them regularly in the cooler months, including as recently as this weekend. I certainly hope they will continue to be available. Here are two samples available on e-Bay:

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