What to wear with a rep tie and OCBD? How about a plaid tweed jacket and a windowpane vest? There were so many options during the Golden Age Of Ivy, even while there was a war going on. Cheers to Chris Sharp for spotting this 1942 illustration from the Esquire archives, which you can access for a mere $4.99 per month.
The text reads:
The bright new Nassau Tavern in Princeton is jammed every Saturday night with pub crawlers who are tops in fashion. The sharp apple hanging up his tartan-lined gabardine coat will zip out the lining when March blasts make their exit next month, but his diagonal tweed suit is year-round curriculum that will attend all classes as well as make the rounds of the rug-cutting spots in Harlem. The smooth guy smoking his pipe sports a boxy Shetland jacket, a red foulard (wow) handkerchief and his roommate’s proudest possession, the checked Tattersall vest. A mundane senior smoking a weed wears chalk-striped grey flannel, and the grinning freshman who is almost cropped out of the picture wears a Glen Urquhart plaid suit. The bub in the booth turned out in Star Grey flannel, and prefers his beef to brew, even on Saturday night. “How Byzantine!”
Speaking of rug-cutting (the phrase “to cut a rug,” meaning to dance, comes from the 1920s when people would cut carpet to expose the hardwood floor beneath, which was better for dancing), I’m planning to head out to a little vintage swing and cocktail event at a club in Times Square. My dancing shoes are my white bucks, which of course have to be paired with grey flannels for that pre-war Ivy look.
Oh, and speaking of jazz and tigers, here’s Louis Armstrong doing one of his signatures, “Tiger Rag.” Not the easiest tune to dance to.
Safe travels for all you clogging the highways or taking to the air to be with loved ones. You’re bickering friends and relatives at Ivy Style will be right here, in case you want a break from your other ones.
Happy Thanksgiving. — CC