Intolerance Of The Shoddy And Second-Rate

Today makers of luxury goods, especially autombiles, like to evoke some imagined ideal consumer. He has impeccable, uncompromising taste, they tell you, and you the viewer of the televised or printed message are meant to aspire to be like him. But this 1948 ad for Atkinsons is from another era, and the ad copy is


J. Press New York, A Jazz-Ivy Mecca In Greenwich Village

Those lamenting that there’s no longer a J. Press store in New York will need to rethink that, starting with me. I hadn’t been to Press’ York Street store in quite some time. After all, it was always a little heartbreaking not to have the Madison Avenue store anymore, and who wants to check out


Charlie Davidson Turns 90!

Today Charlie Davidson of The Andover Shop turns 90, and a young acolyte recounts how the legendary clothier continues to inspire. * * * When I was in high school I read Christian Chensvold’s article for The Rake on Charlie Davidson and The Andover Shop and knew I needed to visit the legendary haberdashery as


Gray Fleece: Brooks Brothers’ Skilled But Aging Workforce

Early in my career I wrote a feature story on skilled trades that were fast dying out, such as watch and clock repair. These days the typically male worker who doesn’t go to college and who likes to work with his hands is more likely to take a technology-based job, such as setting up your


It Might As Well Be Spring

There’s a line from an old movie that goes, “It’s easier to change your mind than you cafe.” After a couple years of intractability, neighbor and Millennial Fogey columnist DCG and I had our morning coffee today at a new cafe. It’s a longer walk, but the coffee is better and so is the music.


International Women’s Day: Girls + Bikes + Penny Loafers

Today, in honor of International Women’s Day, Ivy Style revisits one of our most popular posts: the much-shared, much-lauded, moutwatering girls + bikes + penny loafers post of 2011. It may not be what the organizers of IWD had in mind, but it’s the best this old boys’ club can do. * * * The


No Country For Young Men

With competition from chain brands and the Internet, Charlottesville, Virginia has become no country for young men — The Young Men’s Shop, that is. The independent, family-run store was christened in 1927, but doesn’t cater to young men much any more. From an article on its impending close, owner Harry Marshall says his shop “caters


Dead Sea Scrolls Of Boom Years Advertising

Thanks to a sharp eye, Ivy Style reader Jim Barge came across an eerie parchment discovery from the antiquity of the Ivy heyday. “I am working on a project renovating the Chelsea District Health Center,” he wrote on Ivy Style’s Facebook page, “and noticed some newspaper sticking out of the wall. I carefully removed it


Bud Collins, 1929-2016

Legendary tennis commentator Bud Collins died yesterday at the age of 86. Five years ago, when I visited Charlie Davidson of The Andover Shop, I had lunch with Bud and Charlie. The two were close friends, and for years Charlie had made Bud’s signature go-to-hell pants. As you can see from these photos, Collins was


Take Ivy Hits Thailand

Global Ivy Trendwatch is alive and well, proving the broad and timeless appeal of traditional American menswear. Today a reader posted on Ivy Style’s Facebook page about a new collection out of Thailand. It is a collaboration between two companies, Wardrobe Ministry and John Henry. The latter, if it’s the same trademark, sounds an awful


Khaki Project Update: Do-It-Yourself And Made In China Options

Regular readers will recall the khaki project we had in development last year. It sparked palpable enthusiasm here and in other parts of the Internet, but our partner was Bills Khakis, which developed business problems and shelved the project. Well there are a couple of updates. First off, last week Pedro Mendes, who runs the


The Moriarty Ski Cap: On The Slippery Slope Of Taste

Six years ago when I wrote about Moriarty ski caps, I was left with the feeling that the story was not completely over. I initially chalked it up to nostalgia: after all I was not the only one with a reverence for this genre of winter headgear.  Michael Maginn at SeniorSkining.com explored the connection he


Travel My Way: Jazz-Ivy Icon Bobby Troup

During the heyday of The Ivy League Look, a number of guys from preppy backgrounds wound up working in the field of jazz. Bobby Troup was one of them. Raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Troup prepped at The Hill School, then studied economics at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. While an undergraduate, Troup


A Pin Too Far

You probably remember a few years ago, back when Ralph Lauren Rugby was still alive, and neo-preps were wearing collar pins with buttondown collars. The buttons were not fastened, and had sometimes been removed, but those of the old guard found the look an incorrigible affectation. I recall going into the New York J. Press


Depends On Your Priorities: The $375 Orvis Highland Tweed Sportcoat

Unless money for you is no object, acquiring clothing probably involves some degree of compromise, it’s just a question of how much. The old adage about buying the best you can afford, and making long-term investments in your wardrobe, is sound advice. But even if you scrimp and save there’s still a limit on how



A Tribute to the Collar Pin

Ivy Style continues honoring Black History Month with a selection of images of stylish African American gents sporting collar pins. This post was originally posted on February 20, 2011. * * * On my trip to Cambridge a few months ago, I picked up a silver collar pin at J. Press. I took such an


Spalla Naturale: The New Brooks Brothers Natural Shoulder

I posted this on Ivy’s Facebook group a couple of hours ago, and, as with everything Brooks, it inspired enough fireworks to justify posting here. The company’s latest head-scratcher comes in the form of a mailer sent out today touting the new natural shoulder “inspired by soft Italian tailoring.” Heresy. Treason. WTF. I realize that


Buttoned-Down Fiction: Oxford Cloth By Eric Twardzik

For the first time Ivy Style is proud to present an original work of fiction. This is not something from the heyday archives, but a contemporary work published here for the first time. Author bio follows the story. * * * Oxford Cloth By Eric Twardzik When hard work was valued and patriotism was a


We Smoked Our Pipes And Took Our Ease

This week the Brown Daily Herald reported that students on campus are practically suffering nervous breakdowns. Why? Because social justice activism is interfering with their schoolwork. Or rather, getting an Ivy League education is interfering with their social justice work. While it’s right and proper that colleges today are open to everyone, perhaps there’s something


Black History Month: Trane Keeps A-Rollin’

John Coltrane, saxophonist and visionary, set standards in nearly every facet of his short but ultimately fruitful life. While generally associated with Philadelphia, Coltrane is actually from Hamlet, North Carolina, and never tried to hide his Southern roots. In an interview by author Frank Kofsky — one of the few times his voice was recorded


From The Op-Ed Pages: Fogey Rant At UCONN

Yesterday an amusing message landed in my inbox. A Danish student at the University of Connecticut had seen our piece on school dress codes and said he had recently written something similar. The student, Simon Jønler, had been asked to write a piece for the school paper about his impressions of the college from a


Dignified Atmosphere: The 1952 Yale Dress Code Controversy

A frequent lament is that college students no longer know how to dress. The Ivy League is not immune to this criticism. Frederick Robertshaw, Yale class of ’55, when comparing his time at Yale to that of his sons, commented on the younger generation by observing that “campus fashions resemble casual day in a county