Sartoria Portlandia: John Helmer Turns 100

John Helmer III knew what he wanted to do from an early age. “It was a little bit destiny,” he told me with a waggish grin when I visited his store in Downtown Portland on a recent summer morning. “My dad remodeled the store the year I was born, 1956. They put me out in


Très Preppy: The Art Of Floc’h

In honor of Bastille Day — or dishonor for the Royalists out there — we revisit these images from the French illustrator Jean-Claude Floch, who goes by the professional name Floc’h and is pictured at the bottom of this post.   


Tee & Sympathy: The White Crew Under A Buttondown

While working around the house on a weekend afternoon, you may find yourself in a white t-shirt with an old beater oxford over it, perhaps untucked. But you likely wouldn’t throw on a sportcoat — or orphaned suit jacket — over the tee-and-oxford combo and actually go somewhere. Or would you?  When the above photo


Vertical Integration: An Ode To The Striped Sportcoat

Some months ago we ran a photo of a striped sportcoat. Either that or I mentioned finding them cool. Whichever it was, I remember several readers chiming in to say that this was a faux pas, that stripes only belong on suits, and that a striped sportcoat was destined to look like an orphaned suit.



Southern Comfort: Shag The Movie, 1989

“Take Ivy” is full of students wearing shorts, untucked oxfords and Weejuns without socks. This begs the question: Did the look originate on Yankee campuses, or did the practice originate in the South, with Southern students taking the look North with them when they headed off to college? Made in 1989 and set in Myrtle


Shagging In North Carolina

What? The headline makes perfect sense to me. What did you think it was referring to? Honi soit qui mal y pense. The shagging in question is not the English sort but the dancing kind, to that delightful musical genre known as “Beach Music,” which was the subject of a lengthy article in a 2013


Boxers In A Bunch

  Add French-back boxer shorts to the long list of traditional favorites Brooks Brothers is phasing out. These non-elastic, button-front, and adjustable button-back shorts had their origins in the 1920s and ‘30s, when men left behind their long johns for the more modern and cooler boxers. Button versions vied with elasticized waists during the Depression, and World



Better Things: Rogers Peet & Co.

Rogers Peet was inducted into the halls of Americana with the song “Marry The Man Today” from the 1950 musical, “Guys & Dolls.” The lyrics tout the clothier as among “the better things: respectable, conservative and clean,” in company with the likes of Readers’ Digest, Guy Lombardo, golf, galoshes and Ovaltine. That may befit the


Liberty Belle

It’s the Fourth Of July 2021, and we’re at a loss for words. So let’s just look at a sex symbol from the heyday, in this case the woman born Norma Jeane Mortonson. No doubt many a buttoned-down fellow dreamed about her, saying things like, “Her eyes I adore so. And her torso? Even more


Stoked! The Beams Plus x Mr. Porter Surfing Weejun Shorts

There are plenty of embroidered shorts out there, but little tennis rackets or crossed golf clubs are a bit mundane. But there’s one pair that seems like it was made just for me. After all, how many other surfing Weejun-wearers could there be? If you can’t quite figure out the motif, here it is on a t-shirt:


St Johns Bay Rum Giveaway: Describe The Ultimate Preppy GTH Outfit

If you’ve wondered what 16 months of lockdown would do to the narcissistic personality types who work in fashion, the answer is here. Vogue recently ran a slideshow of the menswear shows in Paris, and the anarchic outfits validate everything said by Edward Gibbon, Camille Paglia and everyone else who’s ever opined about the chaos


Buck Yeah! White Shoes, Dark Pants, Light Jacket, Madras Tie

Some years ago, Brooks Brothers Before Bankruptcy — henceforth referred to as BBBB or B4 — sent out an email blast with a cool outfit to try the next time you dress up.   Check out the guy on the right. Ignore the tight dark trousers and non-kosher jacket and note the very heyday feel: white


Bopin’ Hood, 1961

As Squaresville Appreciation Month winds to an end, we regret to inform the squares that by order of the king the official music of Squaresville is now bebop. Could be worse. 


Bob Newhart And His Button-Down Mind

Ivy Style continues its tribute to Squaresville Appreciation Month with a tribute to hipster comic Lenny Bruce’s nemesis, Bob Newhart, who, despite having a button-down mind, wore mostly tab-collared shirts. * * * Sometime in the early ’80s I was visiting my great grandfather’s third wife, who was living in the Dell Webb retirement golf


Guess The Madras Maker

The beau ideal, at least for some. Dark and muted and ready for charcoal tropical worsteds. But who made it and when? The original link no longer works, but you can find out in the comments below. 


Live Long And Prosper

One night in 1966, Merv Griffin, speaking through the haze of his cigarette smoke, introduced a guest on his television show by declaring: As is well-known, George Washington is the father of our country, but there is a man here who comes in a close second… The top selling book in the world is the


Free & Easy’s Rugged Ivy Official Book

Trying to find the right version of trad for the times we currently live in? Since the pandemic and cloud of general gloom, Ivy Style has offered various draughts from the fount of inspiration to keep your spirits up. And so let’s not forget the great Japanese subgenre Rugged Ivy. We realize it’s still Squaresville Appreciation