Gray Suits And Madras

madras and gray

Best wishes for a delightful holiday weekend as we remember those who’ve given their lives to defend this great nation of ours, and when we also remember what a great genre of clothing our forefathers have given us.

Last week the John Simons shop tweeted the photo above. It looked familiar, but Ivy Style staff couldn’t quite place it. The Simons folk across the pond credited it to The Ivy League Look Facebook page, but who knows who has the original King Tut’s tomb claim on it.

There’s great sartorial variety in the image, from charcoal suits to madras shorts. And so I raise my glass to those who’ve come before us. They knew how to dress for any occasion, and sometimes all at once. — CC

21 Comments on "Gray Suits And Madras"

  1. That is Memorial Church in Harvard Yard, appropriate for Memorial Day.

  2. I went to Harvard, and of course I recognize Memorial Church, but I can’t imagine what those people are doing exactly, other than posing for a photo. Almost all of them look more middle-class than preppy. One might be Latin American but all of the others are white. There are no women. Are they a glee club? Are they young Republicans? I can’t imagine. I also can’t estimate a year.

  3. Not this century, no slim cut shirts or low rise pants, with the exception of the wheat 501s. No polo player/pony branding, but there are flip flops and bare feet. I’m guessing early1970s

  4. Harwell Crowper | May 24, 2015 at 2:02 pm |

    Please note that the OCBDs are all blue or white.

  5. Ole Master | May 24, 2015 at 3:16 pm |

    1964 or 1965. Possibly 1966. The collarless shirts with white piping were Ivy style for only a few years.

  6. The haircuts tell you it isn’t the seventies. I agree early to mid sixties.

  7. Congrats to JR for being the first one to ruin a great post by bringing up the race/gender B.S.

    Did anyone else notice there are no transgender Eskimo dwarfs either?

  8. Christian | May 24, 2015 at 4:39 pm |

    ’65 is my guess. Feels very much the same time as “Take Ivy.”

    No way is it post-’67 fall. Plenty of shots on this site in the ’70s and Historic Images category would show that.

  9. Ward Wickers | May 24, 2015 at 7:28 pm |

    That photo shows up here:

    A caption says Harvard students in ’65, but no citation or attribution from what I can see.

  10. George: why is it “B.S.”? There’s no value judgment. When trying to date a photo, the level of integration is relevant.

  11. Christian, it appears that at one point the image in question was posted in conjunction with this post: (one source:

    Scads of trads’ tumblr and pinterest feeds appear to have picked it up from around the same date. Chicken-and-egg as to where it actually originated.

  12. @JR yeah they’re Republicans… That’s why Rubio is married to a Dolphins cheerleader and the candidates have better looking wives in general. But hey I guess if you’re a Democrat Hillary Clinton is a smoke show… Or Michele, I bench more than my husband Obama…

  13. No politics on this site, please.

  14. If JR had said something along the lines of, almost all white so probably [insert date/date range here], then his comment would not have been race/gender BS. However, he did not; furthermore, he opined that they might be Young Republicans, an accusation which, in the modern millieau, is damning, so his comment sounds like boilerplate modern criticism of the past for being uninclusive and therefore unenlightened.

  15. Arg. “Milieu,” of course.

  16. Señor Yuca | May 25, 2015 at 4:50 am |

    65 or a little later is right imo. The hair is too long for early 60s but the lapels are still narrow and there are no counterculture signs.

  17. As usual Henry tells it like it is, thanks for setting Matt straight (with no name calling!)

  18. Emsworth: that ship sailed a long time ago. Heck, CC is not above the occasional pot-stirring in that direction.

  19. Vern Trotter | May 25, 2015 at 10:18 am |

    Yes, have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend for the dead we honor today and their sacrifices. Fitting the picture is of Memorial Church in Harvard Yard. Today’s only editorial in the New York Post:

  20. Particularly proud of my late grandfather, who enlisted in the Air Corps after three semesters at Penn, served in North Africa and the Pacific, then returned and graduated. He also wore the hell out of a Brooks button down for all of his professional life.

  21. Christian | May 25, 2015 at 10:49 am |


    Yes, we have to get back to those other tradly presidential candidates.


    Per your Britten recommendation, am listening to the “War Requiem.”

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