Russell Lynes On The Shoe Hierarchy, Esquire 1953

Despite the fact that you’re supposed to be learning to think for yourself, college has always been a conformist environment. Those with an excess of individuality may be respected, but are rarely popular. And even during the heyday of the Ivy League Look, not every student was a perfect example of the style. What became codified


Come Fall With Me: The Ivy League Origins Of Skydiving

Our last post was called “Come Fly With Me” and featured Frank Sinatra’s private jet. In this post we look not at flying in planes, but leaping from them. Contributing writer Jeff Samoray examines this little-known bit of historic trivia. * * * Sixty years ago this past May, curious onlookers gathered in Woodbury, Connecticut,


Come Fly With Me

I was browsing at the newsstand the other day and saw one of those LIFE photo collections on the Rat Pack. I flipped through, saw an interesting outfit on Dino, and brought it home to share with you guys Forgive me for taking snapshots rather than scans; I don’t want to anger the folks at


Elegant, Sporty & Trad: Your Summer Big-Date Dressing Formula

Since starting this website I’ve looked at countless hundreds of trad outfits. Some on regular guys posted on the web, some in catalogs and magazines, and some on gents I’ve met around the fair city of New York. But one outfit has stood out above all the others, and though it’s been three years since



Shell Cordovan Shoe Care Guide

Kirby Allison of The Hanger Project (Ivy Style’s most prominent and loyal sponsor, so be sure and check them out for your clothes-care needs), has put up a new video on caring for your cordovan shoes. And here it is. — CC



Goodbye Gotham

Earlier this week saw the passing of Adam West, the actor who played Batman — as well as Batman’s alter-ego, the billionaire Bruce Wayne — in the original TV series. The show ran just as the sun was setting on the Ivy heyday, but that didn’t stop Wayne from adopting fine outfits such as this.


The New Frontier: American Life During The Ivy Heyday, Part Two

Part two of James Kraus’ survey of what was happening in American culture from 1954-67, the heyday of the Ivy League Look. * * * Favorable demographics and consistent sizable gains in productivity continued to fuel prosperity in the 1960s throughout the industrialized world. Between 1954 and 1967, Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan and Sweden suffered not


I Feel Like A Princeton Graduate! Ernie Ford’s “Ivy League,” 1957

We’ve got one more post — for now — on pop music from the 1950s. I mentioned in the comment thread on the “Optimism And Prosperity” post about discovering my parents’ record collection, which included some 45 RPM records from the late ’50s, when my father was a teenager, and which he later converted to



Bobby Darin Swings Ivy League Suits And Desert Boots

Speaking of American music during the Ivy heyday — as we are on the “Optimism And Prosperity” comment thread — here’s a terrific pop culture find. Frequent comment-leaver “GS” uncovered a reference to Ivy League suits and desert boots in the song “Have You Got Any Castles, Baby?” recorded by Bobby Darin in 1960. GS noted


Optimism And Prosperity: American Life During The Ivy Heyday, Part One

Contributing writer James Kraus is an arch-connoisseur of the 1950s and ’60s. Herein he takes us on a tour of the years of the Ivy heday, giving us a broad overview of what else was going on in American life besides penny loafers and buttondown collars. Part one covers the first half of the heyday,


Kamakura’s Looking Ivy Stylish Collection

Kamakura has a new collection on its website called “Looking Ivy Stylish” in conjunction with Graham Marsh. Included is a tab-club collar shirt, something I’ll need to consider as a change of pace from my pinned club collars. Alas Kamakura’s are alpha-sized, but that doesn’t mean a decent fit is impossible. Check out the collection here,


There’s A ‘Sucker Worn Every Minute

Yesterday was National Seersucker Day, which began on Capitol Hill as “Seersucker Thursday.” It went on in DC as usual, with Senator Dianne Feinstein grabbing the spotlight. There aren’t any noteworthy photos of Congressmen worth running. So instead we’ll jump in our sartorial time machine and journey back to May of 1961, when Esquire called


Knot Again: Taking Orders For Ivy Style Club Tie Through 6/8

Update 6/1: We’ve got enough guys on a waiting list to do another production run of the Ivy Style Club Tie. We’ll take orders through June 8. Scroll down for full details and to order via PayPal. Pictured above is W. David Marx, author of “Ametora.” * * * The Ivy Style club tie has


Watch Madras Being Hand-Loomed In India

Castaway Clothing, which recently uveiled some new shirts made in India the old-school way, had some videos of madras fabric being loomed in Chennai, the city formerly known as Madras. At my request Castaway has uploaded the videos to YouTube so we can all see them. Click play to watch the video below: There are



Golden Years: Scratching My Theatrical Itch

George Axelrod’s play “The Seven Year Itch” lit up Broadway in 1952 and stayed there for 1,141 performances. The star, Tom Ewell, a dedicated J.Press aficionado, won a Tony Award, although his performance was later dimmed in the movie version when he was paired opposite Marilyn Monroe. Taking time out from my mainstream obligation running the


Voice In The Dark: Richard Frede’s Entry E, 1958

“Entry E” is something of a pulp novel, telling a tale of Ivy League life in America that was considered startling on its release in 1958. But for all the adolescent angst and raucous action in this story, there is plenty of mid-century Ivy League style and quiet consideration of the “Ivy Man,” described in


The Not-So-Odd Jacket, 1954

Last week we ran a photo from 1954, the dawn of the Ivy heyday. The post was entitled “The Ideal” and featured tennis player Vic Seixas wearing a J. Press sportcoat for a Sports Illustrated clothing spread. Now, as promised, is the rest of the article. The piece is entitled “The Not So Odd Jacket”


New Summer Fabrics At Michael Spencer

Startup shirtmaker Michael Spencer, the dream of founder Spencer Bennett, continues to grow and has added a number of new summer shirtings. Yes, it’s fun to actually use the word “shirtings” correctly. A variety of seersuckers and poplins are now available. “We are extremely excited about the new fabrics that have been added to the