Ivy Trendwatch: WWD On Upcoming Preppy Book

Last week Women’s Wear Daily ran a feature on the upcoming book “Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style,” by Jeffrey Banks and Doria de La Chapelle.

Among other things, the story includes the great photo above of Deerfield Academy’s class of 1961. The story’s author, David Lipke, goes on to note preppy style’s relative imperviousness to change in the 50 years since the photo was taken.

Princeton gets mentioned as the leading artiber of the Ivy League Look in the following passage:

The book traces the origins of the style to the Ivy League universities of the East Coast, where, following World War I, a privileged set of young men developed a new style centered on a greater amount of leisure time and athletic influences. Princeton, in particular, was fertile ground for the cohesive new look, as it was among the more homogenous and isolated of the Eastern schools, with a student body largely compiled from just a handful of preparatory schools.

“Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style” is due out October 4. — CC

13 Comments on "Ivy Trendwatch: WWD On Upcoming Preppy Book"

  1. What a change between 1961 and nowadays. We visited Deerfield, Mass a few years ago, and the students were wearing oxford shirts, ties, boxer shorts and flip flops. I could only guess their dress code required shirt and tie, but did not require long pants or shoes. Maybe those were assumed. Guess those kids showed them!

  2. Helluva photo.

  3. One can only hope this will meet or exceed expectations; Birnbach’s latest should never have been published.

  4. If John O’Hara were still around and these fashionistas told him Princeton was the arbiter of the Ivy League Look after World War I they never would have gotten out alive.

  5. Man, do people love to talk about those Tommy Hilfiger high-heel Bean Boots…

  6. AggieK, I hope those were madras plaid bermuda shorts rather than boxer shorts. The idea of boxer sohrts being worn as outerwear reminds me of the 90s, when teenaged girls would wear boxer shorts with the fly safety-pinned closed. I am happy that those days are over.

  7. English Prep | August 25, 2011 at 6:12 am |

    The book looks very interesting, to get to the origins and roots of the Ivy League look. What I find interesting is the borrowing, and transformation of articles of clothing around different statements, how a common theme of the look was a reinterpretation of British and English clothing, tweeds, shetland, aran, fair isle jumpers, brogues, rep ties, and so forth. The introduction of Rugby Ralph Lauren into England soon, shows this cross atlantic interconnection and intertwining.

    Then how the Ivy Look itself gets disseminated and reinterpreted, elsewhere, such as to Sweden, for instance in the Morris of Stockholm A/W 2011 collection there is a clear harking back to the American Ivy League, as well as to the English Country Gentleman with the wax jackets, game ties and tweeds… http://www.morris.se/collection.html

  8. George, Sorry, they were boxers. Madras shorts would have looked nice.

  9. AggieK, as a current student at DA, I can assure you no one has ever worn boxer shorts as an outer layer.

  10. What a classic prep school picture. Not a non-white man to be seen.

  11. What month was this photo taken in? Madras but vests.

  12. @Christian – Since it is a class photo–and a particularly celebratory one at that–I imagine it was taken at or near graduation, presumably in May–or perhaps June. I venture that Mass could still be a bit chilly during May on occasion.

  13. Not a prep school photo; a university frat photo.

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