Neo Ivy: Looking At Things Afresh

Winter is a good time to bunker down and take stock of your wardrobe, especially when there aren’t many occasions to get dressed up. You can always become a more perfect version of yourself. Nietzsche actually said words to that effect, though I wouldn’t take any style advice from him. Or grooming tips. When and if we get back to “normal,” you could be looking and feeling better than ever.

The Japanese have always excelled at endless hybrid interpretations of the Ivy League Look. It is constantly recycle and reinterpreted to suit the needs of the time, while still paying tribute to the origins. The “Neo Ivy League Style” outfit above from an issue of Free & Easy magazine from a decade ago, scanned by Ivy Style contributor Mark Chou for his tumblr. The text at the bottom left reads “Discover new things by taking lessons from the past.” This guy evidently discovered the giant-tie-knot-squeezed-into-a-tab-collar shirt, paired with a bulbous belt. But you see the point. Find a way to look at things afresh and who knows what you might discover? Perhaps even a forgotten tradition. Happy weekend. — CC

16 Comments on "Neo Ivy: Looking At Things Afresh"

  1. Ultra Minimalist | June 10, 2011 at 9:39 am |

    Who needs Neo?
    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  2. Christian | June 10, 2011 at 9:45 am |

    “If we were thoroughly conservative, we’d be dead.” — Brooks Brothers executive, 1950s.

  3. I think the term is “hunker down”, not “bunker down”.

  4. I think CC wrote it intentionally that way.

  5. I expect a return to Traditional Ivy clothing affectations for reasons: 1)folks gaining the Covid-15(lbs) find the full-cut shirts, high-rise trousers are much more suitable to their expanding bodies 2) fast-fashion is bad for the environment and 3)cotton and wool are better fabrics for warm weather (global warming) than synthetics. Bonus reason: full cut clothing = less ccw printing than the H&M-type fits pictured above.
    Going against almost everything I just noted, I recently purchased the Beams Plus 3B Navy Blazer (sku: 11-16-1059-803), made in godless communist China of something called Cordura Combat Wool, I actually kind of like it…

  6. Greg Lamberton | February 6, 2021 at 3:43 am |

    I seen nothing “neo” about it at all. Looks like standard Ivy to me. Am I missing something?

  7. Old School Tie | February 6, 2021 at 5:31 am |

    I agree with Greg. The few things that are “off” are forgivable, the facial hair and wide belt. Everything else is pretty conservative. Perhaps he could learn to knot his tie with a tad more finesse. If the picture had been taken on a 1980s instamatic camera it would hailed as more or less authentic. I also disagree with much of the dogmatic views of modern Ivy purists. It is far from a style for the rotund, it is a style for the lean and taut, the sportsmen. Trad….? Maybe once they’ve left college, got a job and a wife, let themselves go a bit….a lot? Ivy is cool and youthful, a lot of conflation with Trad goes on in my opinion, which is boring and staid.

  8. No crested blazers – PLEASE!!!

  9. Old School Tie
    What’s the difference between Ivy and Trad? Absent a bright white line, what elements are more likely to show up in one and not the other? I think I understand Preppy and Ivy, but Trad is a mystery to me.

  10. Lexicologue | February 6, 2021 at 2:49 pm |

    I’m looking forward to Old School Tie’s reply. In the meanwhile, let me share my idea.
    I believe that Trad is sometimes less inclusive than Preppy and Ivy which sometimes overlap, e.g., as far as GTH trousers are concerned. Trad doesn’t include them. On the other hand, it may sometimes be more inclusive. I would argue that Pendleton lumberjack shirts and some items of British country gentleman style are Trad, but not Preppy or Ivy.I would also add items like Parker Jotter ballpoints (Cross pens in gold are preppy and in chrome are Ivy)–so it’s not just a matter of clothing. I may be completely off-base. If so, I’d be interested in reading what other have to say.

  11. Old School Tie | February 6, 2021 at 5:42 pm |

    whiskeydent – no, there probably is no clear demarcation, they are a spectrum of styles, mutually understandable but presumably their proponents are separated by time and age. Preppy seems very youthful to me, what you would find prep school boys wearing. Mixing school uniform and casual wear (my school coat was also just my coat, worn when necessary). Preppy gives way to Ivy when the boy heads to college, school items repurposed, sleeves and legs shorter due to that last bit of growth, now more heavily mixed with casual clothing and style mutated under the influence of new people, experiences, girls, places. The Ivy guy is forced to either make do or buy his own clothes. He still plays sports, no one is there to tell him not to wear that cricket jumper with flannel slacks and a Harrington jacket. He wears his old crombie coat from school over his rugby kit whilst waiting on the sideline. That all has to stop when he graduates and gets a job. He is still affiliated to both his school and college and that is plain from his general habitus (after all, he still wears his ties with pride) but he is compelled to dress in a more mature fashion and opts for what his schoolmasters, lecturers and own father wore, that being well known to him and easily emulated. If he loses his sense of fun during this evolutionary process and becomes utterly humorless, then that is Trad. If he retains that sparkle in his eye and spring in his step then he remains eternally Ivy.

  12. Dutch Uncle | February 7, 2021 at 1:44 am |

    Old School Tie,
    I would argue that when retains the best of Ivy and sheds the rest, then one is Trad.

  13. Dutch Uncle | February 7, 2021 at 8:47 am |

    I would argue that when one retains the best of Ivy and sheds the rest, then one is Trad.

  14. When people dress ivy today – it never looks as great as the pictures in Take Ivy or other publications from that era.

    JPress is probably the closest thing to modern authentic ivy style that looks proper today.

  15. Also, I’m looking forward to Michael Bastian’s updates to Brooks Brothers – I suspect we’ll begin seeing his new designs this spring.

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