Introducing New Series The Trad Life

On the first of this month, founder Christian Chensvold announced the completion of 12 years of running Ivy Style and his “retirement,” or so he’d like to think, from the natural-shouldered mafia of Tradsville.

His announcement led to new alignments and plans for the next 12 years of Ivy Style, and today we are pleased to introduce the first of several new developments. This post inaugurates a new series based on people, places and things that appeal to the traditional, classic and tasteful. It is curated — to use an Internet menswear term with a wink and a nod — by John Burton, who administers Ivy Style’s Facebook group and who will play a leading role at Ivy Style going forward. If you have a tip on a person, place or thing that would be a good fit for The Trad Life, reach out to him at john@ivy-style.com.

The honor of being the first subject in the new series goes to Kevin Danyi, so without further pause, let’s meet one of your fellow trads.

* * *

Kevin Danyi is an estate attorney in Pennsylvania with his own practice, a beautiful family, and a purist’s sense of Ivy. Known in the Ivy Style Facebook group as both a card-carrying Ivy traditionalist and an even-keeled commenter, Danyi brings an unexpected sense of humor and a true respect of history to his work and style. 

This sense of balance came early on. While playing chess with his father at age 12, Danyi recalls, he was losing and began to show his frustration. Seeing his son become increasingly agitated, Danyi’s father took the board, turned it around, and played Danyi’s side back into the game. When he screwed up the courage to ask why his father had done that, the man said, “Kevin, you always have to be ready to advocate for both sides.”

One would think this sense of fairness and avoidance of extremes would have put Danyi into the trad fashion world during childhood, but it did not. A musician to this day, Danyi favored concert t-shirts from his high school experience throughout the ’70s until ’81, when he finally closed the door on his last Doors t-shirt. 

Danyi went through law school on the tail of his inherent respect for history and traditionalism. His respect for things that have come before stretches from his tennis whites (he is the last of three members at his club to wear them faithfully), to his understanding of the law he practices. Danyi notes that a good deal of the estate law practiced today has its roots in medieval England, where land titles and their accompaniments all began. Danyi went straight through law school, worked at his father’s firm, then went out on his own in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley during the time when Bethlehem Steel, on which the state’s economy leaned to the point of dependence, collapsed. This small act of rebellion began Danyi’s second act of unexpected developments wrapped in an Ivy wardrobe.

Life unfolded in dramatic fashion. After years of Presbyterian church attendance and choir practice, Danyi found himself at the end of a 20-year marriage and mourning the death of his son by opioid overdose. It was then that this sense of balance served him best. “It was my faith,” Danyi explains, “not in the sense that my faith got me through things on a magic carpet. Faith doesn’t make things like that easier to take, but it does make them easier to accept. It provides me a great relief, knowing that there is a peace of mind that transcends understanding.”

Today Danyi has regained his fulcrum. His social media presence is decorated with his political views, presented in such a fair way as to engage all sides. He explains this knack in the following way: “I don’t care what you think. No, really. As a matter of principle, I don’t care what you think. It comes from my respect for personal sovereignty. That is the tradition I hold dear: that you have the right to what you think, and that you are accountable for what you think. As am I. The discourse gets overly emotional and deteriorates. Just get to the point. Then I will decide for myself, and you can decide for yourself.”

Danyi is consistently clad in Ivy style, from time out of the office bird watching, or with his dog to the hours he is discipline about putting into his work. “There is a good reason to dress this way,” he explains. “Outside of the respect for tradition and that fact that this style simply appeals. Where I work, in the courts, you can tell who the lawyers and who the defendants are.”

His most sacred tradition, however, before his wardrobe and his practice and his rigorous reading schedule, is faith-based. “I pray for two things every day,” he says. “I ask God to help me be a better father and a better husband.” — JOHN BURTON

31 Comments on "Introducing New Series The Trad Life"

  1. Wonderful! Looking forward to the next chapter– and periodic guest columns from CC!

  2. The only constant in life is change, and that has come to Ivy-Style. As uncomfortable as change can be at times, it is essential in that it allows growth and maturity. Will this be our brave new Ivy world? I have faith that it will be.

  3. Excellent idea and an excellent starting point.

  4. Lovely read and good looks!

  5. Looking very forward to this new infusion and eager to see where it goes.

    Best Regards,

    H-U

  6. Wonderful piece, and great pictures to accompany it. Thanks, Kevin, for sharing your life with us; and thanks to John for taking the helm of this new series! Kevin, that’s a beautiful dog in the first picture. May I enquire as to what breed it is?

  7. Is that a Virginia or Villanova hat. Where did you get your undergraduate degree and law degree?

  8. Preston Morehouse | October 22, 2020 at 5:09 pm |

    Is this the new, boring face of Ivy Style?
    God help us.

  9. A smart move, Christian to expand the scope and broaden the appeal. Heading more into Town & Country territory with your unique lens. I’ve been following your blog forever and this aligns with my evolving interests as well.

  10. whiskeydent | October 22, 2020 at 7:16 pm |

    I think G. Bruce Boyer also lives in the Lehigh Valley. Has Mr. Danyl made his acquaintance?

  11. Go Dores!

  12. Mr. Danyi,

    You have my deepest sympathy for the loss of your son. I am glad that you have found strength through your faith in God. You seem like a good fellow and would like to read more about you.

    Will

  13. Mr. Danyi, I am also a lawyer in Texas. I have children who are now adults, one had opioid issues but through the grace of God is doing well now. I’m so sorry for your loss. The trad pics of you and others are wonderful. God bless you and your ffamily.

  14. Congratulations Kevin from a west coast trad and garmento.

  15. NaturalShoulder | October 22, 2020 at 11:31 pm |

    I look forward to reading more installments of the new series and glad CC has found a path to keep IS moving forward. I have enjoyed Kevin’s postings in the Facebook group and he certainly has an enviable trad wardrobe. I appreciate sharing the information on his background and can only imagine the pain of losing a child. May your faith continue to be a source of strength.

  16. Thank you, gentlemen, for the kind words. I’ve had Wellington for seven years, thinking he was a small golden retriever, then someone pointed out that he is probably a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Welly seems fine with that, as long as I keep giving him bits of steak. We have another dog, Charlie, who looks to be a North American Couch Hound. In response to a few questions, I did my undergrad at Pitt (B.A. in History), then New England Law (J.D.), then Villanova Law (LL.M.). Although I am a fan of Mr. Boyer and his style, I have not met him. Finally, I wear the George Washington costume every year to hand out candy to the kids on Halloween. The Delaware River is down the hill from my house, but I have no plans to cross it on Christmas.

  17. Looking forward! Some great news. Thank you!

  18. Andrew Summar | October 23, 2020 at 8:54 am |

    Thank you for stepping up.

  19. Richard E. Press | October 23, 2020 at 10:12 am |

    Break a leg.

  20. Best wishes!

  21. Hello John,
    I’m looking forward to where the Trad Life series takes us.
    As a suggestion, how about an in depth report of both the Newport Casino and International Tennis Hall of Fame?
    You already have an cub reporter in town !

  22. White Colonial Military Breeches! That settles the argument re: Ivy vs. Trad.

  23. The southern liberal arts schools and Ivy’s of days of yore have received a lot of attention here, but it seems appropriate to note that Villanova is a very traditional (and preppy) school.

    Guessing there are similar vibes at Notre Dame, Boston College and Holy Cross.

    Some of the best towns in PA and NJ are the Delaware River towns.

  24. I enjoyed the first installment of this new type of entry, and am looking forward to seeing more!

    Nice profile, and admirable style both in clothing and home furnishings. Reading about Mr. Danyi, I suspect that he and I have quite a bit in common, starting with the fact that I, too, took a degree on N. Spring Mill Rd., and my wife is from the same area (although my father in law is a member at Lehigh instead of Saucon Valley).

    A great start to this new enterprise!

    PS – let me also offer my condolences on the loss of your son.

  25. Edward Fitzgerald | October 24, 2020 at 12:26 am |

    I feel we are in good hands.

  26. I’m in total agreement with your commitment to the concept of “Personal Sovereignty” I always have been but never heard this title of it. If there are any human rights having your own thoughts is certainly one. I would like to read your further thoughts on it.

  27. what is the ethnic origin of Danyi? It makes no difference. Just wondering.

  28. Danyi (originally Dányi) is Hungarian. My great-great-grandfather came through Ellis Island to Bethlehem in 1904.

  29. Charlottesville | October 26, 2020 at 2:11 pm |

    Mr. Danyi and Mr. Burton – Thank you for this entry and the promise of more to come in a similar vein. I thought I was pretty trad, but I confess that nothing in my closet can compete with the last outfit above for traditional dress.

    I too was born in the Lehigh Valley, in nearby Allentown. Although my family moved away when I was 7, I still have fond memories of the toy department at Hess Brothers department store, where “the real Santa Clause” made his home from the Friday after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve every year.

  30. Love this new style. It’s so interesting to read an article about style offered in such a human way.

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