Ivy Notes S1 E21

Trend is a dopamine hit, an understandable one.  Who doesn’t like new, the zap you get from a change, a piqued curiosity?  Trend serves us in a number of places.  The markets (the markets love volatility).  Social progress (where a trend leads to a more permanent evolution).  Etc.

My least favorite word is trend.  There is literally nothing good in my life that has come from catching a wave that wasn’t going all the way to the shore.   But that does not make me or any trad person contra-innovation or contra-invention or even contra-next-big-thing.   This is what trips us up, the convolution that to reject trend is to embrace get-those-kids-off-my-lawn stodginess.  It is what turns young people off about dressing or living trad.  That they will not be able to make their own imprint.  It is human nature to want to add your name.  It is stupidity not to accommodate human nature.

The more you live amongst the classics, the more your privates tingle (not in a good way) when you are exposed to trend.  Part of the benefit of living amongst the classics in anything, music, art, clothes, food, literature, anything, is that you develop that tingle.  And the better decisions you make.

The trick, folks, is to live in that space where you have curated the tingle by spending enough time in the classics such that you are comfortable improvising and innovating them.  This is where that fear of new comes from.  The lack of confidence in your own grounding.  I am not afraid of new neighbors as I know my own house inside and out.   When you are comfortable, you embrace.  The classics of anything are not devoid of elasticity, they are the soil it is planted in.

Which is part of why this picture bothers me so much.  It was sent by Joshua Bear.


This isn’t political, we don’t do politics here, we don’t bang on each other’s beliefs here (unless you write something stupid like my notes on those sneaker/shoe things was a hatchet job that constitutes the lowest form of journalism – if you write that you deserve a reprimand – it insults me that you would mistake my writing for journalism).  But, no ties.  Why?  To service a trend, right?  Instead of respecting the gravitas of the issues that these leaders are supposed to be addressing and carrying the torch of those who went before then who successfully serviced their own agendas, these folks try to make a look-how-hip-we-are statement, and come off getting caught looking at the third strike.

The trend of trying to convey superior confidence and competence with casual dress has backfired, a long time ago.  And this is from a guy who is writing this on a workday in shorts and an ocbd.  But I don’t convey my work through what I am wearing today, I convey it through what I am writing.  I am not, however, posting pictures of me at my desk looking so relaxed in my JFK-at-the-beach attire in order to communicate to you that writing this stuff is easy.

  1. It isn’t easy at all, not one bit, but
  2. Even if it was that would be disrespectful to the time you invest reading it

That’s what this picture, and these people not wearing ties, makes me feel like.  It makes me feel like they do not have an appropriate respect for the time that people are putting into living lives in countries these sans tie managers manage.

And if things weren’t bad enough, The Amazing Tom sent me this photo of a shoe Brooks is offering.


Click on this image and you will be treated to the greatest acoustical guitar performance ever by the greatest living guitar player, and my vote for the greatest guitar player of all time. It is beautiful. It will get the taste of these shoes right out of your mouth. It is also classic. Even though it is relatively new.






55 Comments on "Ivy Notes S1 E21"

  1. Liam Hutchin | June 28, 2022 at 9:33 am |

    Shouldn’t this be Ivy Notes S1 E21?

  2. Hardbopper | June 28, 2022 at 9:53 am |

    1. What is the purpose of pedal first shown at the 2:56 mark. Is that a sustain pedal? It’s not wired into the ax, not that I can see, anyway.

    2. “these folks try to make a look-how-hip-we-are statement, and come off getting caught looking at the third strike.” Exactly. It’s insulting. One-world proletarianism. How can we “not do politics” when they do stuff like this?

    • John Burton | June 28, 2022 at 7:01 pm |

      THANK GOD you watched it. He actually has videos about his gear, and that guitar is famous in Butler circles. Did you like it? He is also famous for tunning multiple mics out of his acoustics, so there is a ton behind the scenes. BUT. Did you like it?

      • I did like it. Had I not seen the video, but only audio, I would have assumed some of his right hand work was that of a percussionist.

  3. It’s not just WHAT politicians, CEOs and other leaders now do; it’s how BADLY they do it.
    The men in the picture, on the whole a group of serious, accomplished people (whatever your politics… you try and become prime minsiter of a G7 country…), are dresse all in dinetikit solid suits (all blue bar Trudeau’s) and a white shirt. Then they took their ties off. It’s just so artless… Had they worn spezzato and, say, BD shirts, they’d look fine. Perhaps mroe casual than some would wish, but fine.

  4. John,
    Western civilization is going (if it isn’t gone already) to Hell in a handbasket and the fellow carrying it is wearing those ugly white soled shoes!

  5. Sigh (at the photo and shoes).

    Blazer, Khaki, and Loaferly Regards from Concourse B at Dulles Int’l.,


  6. Marcon is the only one who looks comfortable in his suit and no tie. Perhaps because he is looking at something other than the camera. The others look like they are waiting to be picked last (again) for a game of kickball during recess.

  7. Point very well made about the tieless G7 leaders. Not only does it communicate entirely the wrong attitude, it also just looks weird. I mean, they should, at the very least, also be wearing those appalling Brooks loafer-sneakers (leakers?). That would signal the all-in on biz-cazj.

  8. The Amazing Tom | June 28, 2022 at 1:24 pm |

    PM Johnson needs to send his suit back to Savile Row for tailoring.

  9. MacMcConnell | June 28, 2022 at 1:27 pm |

    One should dress for the occasion. These world leaders don’t inspire a lot of confidence for us proles.

  10. It is notable that a lot of your articles are very critical. And yet, when your own writing is criticized you lash out and cannot let go.

    • John Burton | June 28, 2022 at 3:32 pm |

      There’s this great card playing/gambling line: if you walk into the room and you don’t know who the mark is, it’s you. That’s the same for when you walk into a website and you are the only one not getting the joke.

      • I have been visiting this site for a long time and am well read in the musings of CC, Millenial Fogey among others. I have been driven to comment lately.

        • John Burton | June 28, 2022 at 6:55 pm |

          Driven to comment should be preceded with driven to think.

        • John Burton | June 28, 2022 at 6:56 pm |

          That said, happy to have you here. We prefer civility, and if you have a criticism (and trust me I have more than you) we prefer it be made constructively. That’s all.

    • Future Fogey | June 28, 2022 at 5:19 pm |

      Ivy Style: The Classics are for Everyone (who agrees with the editor)

  11. Not my cup of tea, aesthetically speaking, but it’s nothing new. Politicians have been doing stuff this like this (and more famously, rolling their sleeves up) for years to show that they are serious but also not too stuffy. It’s calculated to make them seem more relatable to voters. We don’t have to like it but I definitely do not care for worrying about it.

    • John Burton | June 28, 2022 at 3:33 pm |

      Well, you don’t have to worry about it, I have done the worrying for you 🙂

  12. Imagine how much one of the leaders would stand out in that picture if for instance, President Biden, was the only one wearing a tie. In a world of WFH, ties now make a difference.

    It also takes away from the G7 meeting. Is this not important enough for you to dress and appear as if this meeting matters to you?

  13. James Borkowski | June 28, 2022 at 4:21 pm |

    Bless me John, for I have sinned……..

    I must confess that, after reading your article on the brown sneaker/shoes, I went to my closet and discarded a pair I bought a few years ago. I only wore them a few times, because, each time, it felt like I was trying too hard to straddle the lines between casual/trendy/not yet old person with white velcro shoes. (for context, I am approaching 60). They just never felt right.

    I’m going to stay in my lane.

  14. Vic Delta | June 28, 2022 at 5:20 pm |

    The third guy in from the right looks like he’s loading up his diapers.
    The second guy from the left apparently didn’t read the sheet that morning.
    Beatles haircut guy lost his luggage. Borrowed a suit from Shaq.
    Contestants 4&5 just got a whiff of #3 and deny ownership.
    #1 is downwind and out of the loop.
    #7 is bracing himself for the waft. Took a pre-emotive big gulp.

  15. On one hand, we can all set trends by ignoring them (assuming we care about trends). On the other, if this were 1955, we’d be talking about how “not cool” it is to be in public without a hat. Or in 1895, the loss of thick cravats, or not wearing a wig 70 years before that. Shrug. In conclusion, I’m okay with the G7 photo. I just want Putin to be gone.

  16. NaturalShoulder | June 28, 2022 at 5:53 pm |

    I share the disdain for the lack of gravitas conveyed by the no tie look, especially given all the issues the world is facing.

    “..these folks try to make a look-how-hip-we-are statement, and come off getting caught looking at the third strike.” Such wonderful prose. I will borrow that phrase and give you attribution.

  17. John Burton | June 28, 2022 at 6:59 pm |

    PERFECT. They look like groomsmen.

  18. Steve Serra | June 29, 2022 at 1:29 am |

    Agreed, Lainey. Black shoes with a blue suit, and the sloppy tailoring, puddled trousers, etc.? C’mon man. That’s a feigned austerity.

  19. Boris dresses like that on purpose. I heard this form a friend who used to work in Number 10 (he is still very high in UK politics but a very humble guy). Apparently is something to do with being relatable or such PR bullcrap.The whole image is that, an exercise in relatability to the common plebs they reign over .

    • John Burton | June 29, 2022 at 8:07 am |

      That’s sad that he thinks dressing like that is relatable.

    • Not to defend how he looks because aesthetically, it’s garbage. But it makes sense as far as relatability goes. Most people dress a lot closer to how he dresses here than the looks championed around these parts.

  20. It’s no accident that J. Press was saved/redeemed by Japanese Traditionalists (redundant?). Somehow (and I’ve yet to figure this out– let’s ask David Marx for another Ametora-related piece), Japanese exegetes find something either British (think, hmmm…the Land Rover) or American (OCBD) and either develop, improve, or reinterpret it in such a way that it’s as appealing (if not more so) than the the original. A few years ago somebody invited or dared Seiko to recreate what’s arguably the most classic of all the field/outdoorsy/military watches in the Rolex lineup (1016), and they succeeded. Hellfire and brimstone, they make look better than the original 1016’s–and they’re almost certainly more reliable.

    Japan is one of the largest (largest of all? Research needed) markets for made-in-America shirts (Individualized) and shoes (Alden).

    I’ll circle back: If you do business in Japan, you’d damned well better prepared to wear a necktie. Tradition demands it. If your suit is Fox flannel and your tie is Irish Poplin, all the better. “TRADITION!!”*

    * Tevye

  21. I know it’s 100% cultivated, but Boris is just a mess. His pants fit so poorly, he actually looks like he’s wearing tails.

    • AndrewK247 | June 29, 2022 at 11:56 pm |

      Paul, I was thinking the same thing! He does look like he is wearing tails. Perhaps he had a Bullingdon reunion immediately after the photo shoot.

  22. Watching this on the news before seeing this photo my reaction was the same as your article. It was a totally out of place look fully disconnected from appropriate dress fitting for the occasion.

    The suit with no tie is an awkward look at best and an abomination at worst. The suit was designed to be complimented and brought alive by a tie and pocket square. Absent of those accessories a suit just lays flat and comatose. The no tie look, even in business settings that have adapted casual attire, works best and only with a sport jacket, pants, a shirt collar that doesn’t submarine and a fresh looking pocket square! Seeing high ranking government officials and C level executives in a suit with no tie makes them appear flippant and unprepared for a meeting. Like they just woke up and forgot their tie because they were running late.

    • Yep. The better, more experienced after-hours business look is grey, olive, or tan trousers, tattersall, stripe or WOCBD (open collar) navy blazer, and brown wing tips…and socks.

  23. Ah, but if they WERE groomsmen (at most wedding receptions these days), the jackets and bowties would come off almost immediately, and the shirts would either come (or be intentionally) untucked. I agree with James’ comment above. If you’re gonna wear a suit, a necktie is part of the equation. Otherwise, you just come across looking careless

    To channel Bertie’s Aunt Agatha, I sometimes look at most of the men around me and despair, wondering what planet I have crashed upon.

    • “Pardon me for asking sir, are you going to appear in public in those garments?” — Jeeves, as portrayed by Stephen Fry.

  24. Boris Johnson definitely deserves a vote of no confidence for this one. Ugh.

  25. The photo of the tieless politicians seems to have created quite a shock effect in “trad” circles. Yesterday I saw it on a different blog in an article, titled “Tie is dead”. This is silly of course. These politicians have to wear ties 7 days a week (they don’t really have sundays off) dawn to dusk. Can we blame them for taking them off to pose for a picture in that green meadow? Why were they even wearing dark business suits instead of sport coats in the first place? However, earlier that day, during the meeting, they all wore their neckties.
    That being said, no president should wear a green t-shirt (or any t-shirt), unless he’s in bed or at the gym. There’s one very popular president who’s made a t-shirt his uniform, and that’s a mistake.

    Brooks shoes are horrible, and what’s especially upsetting is that they don’t offer any classic dress shoes anymore. Peal and co line doesn’t exist. They don’t even seem to have a contract with Allen Edmonds anymore (a company that is itself totally confused in terms of its image projection).

    • Hardbopper | June 30, 2022 at 4:00 pm |

      Why were they even wearing dark business suits instead of sport coats in the first place? Why, indeed? Either they really don’t know any better, they are trend followers, or both.

  26. whiskeydent | June 30, 2022 at 11:36 am |

    As a political hack, I am going to guess the tie-less plan came from the host country, Germany. I am also going to guess that their top political staff are denying any involvement and the poor PR person who thought it up is now looking for a job. There is also a chunk missing from the butt of the person who agreed to this on Biden’s behalf.

  27. My least favorite word is “moist.”

  28. John Brewer | July 1, 2022 at 2:29 pm |

    I firmly believe that there is a difference between ‘casual’ and ‘wearing a suit without a tie.’ The latter looks, well stupid. The above photo is, the latter. Regarding the shoes, I must admit that I treated myself to a pair of Becket and Simonons ‘smart casual’ sneakers as a reward to my 60 year old tennis and football ravaged knees and they are most happy with them.

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