Over the past year or so there have been murmurings — that is, media coverage — of a nascent Ivy League Look trend resurgence, thanks in large part to Rowing Blazers. Now GQ UK has a new article entitled “How Ivy League style came back into the fold.” And to think, it was just half a dozen years ago when “Take Ivy” was published, the MFIT had its “Ivy Style” exhibit, and Neo-Prep was riding high. But fashion cycles are short these days, thanks to the Internet and the general sense of cultural exhaustion in which everything has been done before and we’re in a perpetual remix mode.
Of course, that’s just fine with us. But what did GQ have to say? Let’s take a look:
According to some of the world’s nerdier menswear commentators, Ivy League style started in earnest in 1936, when shoemaker GH Bass & Co introduced a new kind of loafer to its range – the Bass Weejun penny – and the students who populated the historic universities of America’s East Coast went mad for them.
In the minds of others, Ivy style really took hold a few decades later, when prepped-up all-American outfitter Brooks Brothers introduced a pale-pink button-down Oxford shirt to similar WASP-ish mouth frothing in 1955 (Life Magazine subsequently dubbed that year “the year for pink”).
Whenever it was that Ivy style cast its tendrils around the wardrobes of the stateside elite, it was a moment that redefined masculine dressing not only in America but on a global scale too. The bright young men of the age reappropriated the stuffy tweed jackets, wide-leg chinos and prissy shoes worn by the fathers, styling them up for campus life in new and entirely modern ways.
In regards to the history, as is often the case in such matters, the article says more about era in which it was written than era it purports to chronicle.
As for the present moment, when the fashion pendulum swings back, insiders like to say that “it feels right.” According to GQ UK, this present comeback is poised to be the best Ivy resurgence ever:
Though Ivy League style has gone through many iterations and reimaginings through the years – ebbing and flowing in and out of the contemporary style vernacular – the current move back towards preppy style is, in my opinion at least, the most compelling it’s ever felt.
And why might that be? Come on, you know why:
The way to wear the Ivy League look in its current iteration is with a hefty dose of irony
Which is another way of telling all you dinosaurs and young fogeys out there to keep calm and carry on. — CC