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Slim But Not Skinny: A 1950s Image Gallery

Our recent post “In Praise Of Style And Grace” brought about some brisk discussion on Facebook, mostly on matters of proportion when it came to lapel and tie widths back in the day. For the first half of the ’50s they were fairly neutral, and by the late ’60s they had already swept back to


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Nick Waterhouse: Rockin’ The Madras At The Roxy

Last week I saw Nick Waterhouse perform at the Roxy Hotel in TriBeCa, here in New York City. The gig was held in a room called The Django, a jazzy faux-French candlelit den with a small stage. I’ve been a fan of Waterhouse since his first album; his music is original and personal yet with


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In Praise Of Style And Grace

Norman Hilton was known for his high quality and impeccable taste in fabrics. He also knew how to commission a sharp wordsmith. Just look at the copy in the ad below. “Yesterday, today and tomorrow are all one.” Nice line. As for the gentleman depicted with such ample aplomb, I can imagine him in a


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Shopping The Men’s Department, From Sex And The Single Girl, 1962

  James Kraus, who’s been featured on Ivy Style previously for his book “Jet Age Cooking For The Bachelor Gourmet,” recently read Helen Gurley Brown’s 1962 best-seller, because that’s the sort of thing you read when you’re into vintage bachelorhood. He spied this interesting passage from a chapter called “Shopping In Men’s Departments” and forwarded


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When Pigs Flew: GQ On The Porcellian Club, 1988

Yes, there was a time when GQ would run an eight-page story about Harvard’s most exclusive final club, The Porcellian. Not to boar you, but I don’t think this story would fly today. We’ll stop hamming and leave you with this fascinating tail. — CS & CC


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Final Decision

Yesterday Harvard’s president announced that starting next year the school will effectively punish members of its all-male final clubs. Although the clubs are not directly afiliated with the university and are located on private property, the school will prevent members from campus leadership roles and opporttunities such as the Rhodes scholarship. Harvard Magazine has a


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The Italianization Of Lands’ End?

Will Lands’ End be the next American trad brand to become Italianized? Today the Wall Street Journal carries a story with the headline “New Lands’ End CEO Delivers High Fashion—and a Culture Clash,” and the subhead, “At the catalog retailer, frumpy duds are out, strappy heels are in; ‘It doesn’t look like Lands’ End anymore.’”


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Endangered Species: The Bow-Tie Wearing Professor

Content Warning: politics, poetry, bowties Everyone should have a bowtie-wearing professor. This figure is deep in our collective unconscious. Looking at old photographs or watching old movies, you’re likely to encounter this wise and genial figure complete with tweed jacket, pipe, and floppy hat. Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones comes to mind, as well as


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Ben Douglas Kickstarter Campaign And The Return Of The Detachable Collar

Remember the scene in Whit Stillman’s “Metropolitan” when a character sings the praises of  detachable-collar shirts? Well a new Kickstarter campaign aims to make them a reality. Boston-based Al Castiel III, who runs the site Regattas & Repp Ties and who will spend the summer in New York interning in Paul Stuart’s custom department, has


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Ivy News That’s Fit To Print: NY Times On The Brooks Oxford

Back in January, when I learned about what we now call the new/old Brooks Brothers oxford-cloth buttondown, Ivy Style did something unprecedented: we ran two posts in one day. And the next day we did it again. These four posts — the news announcement, followed by analysis pieces by myself, Bruce Boyer, and Dan Greenwood


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John Lewton, Heyday-Era Campus Shop Serving Cornell

Roger Sack, Cornell class of 1962, was a young man who knew clothes. He inherited a sense of style from his father, who, though the son of poor immigrants, shopped at Rogers Peet, Brooks Brothers and Paul Stuart. He was a man of “refined taste,” remembers Sack, whose souvenir from World War II was a


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Jazz Appreciation Month: My Great American Songbook

Like many suburban California boys of a recalcitrant nature, I spent my early teenage years in the ’80s listening to rock, metal and punk. I went to many concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area, and even started a fanzine, foreshadowing my forays into Internet publishing years later. I even got to interview Kirk Hammett,


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Millennial Fogey: A Golden Ratio

We’ve had an especially mild winter in New York that has turned into a hit-and-miss spring. New York springs are always too short, with summer just one quick subway stop down the line, and so my wardrobe is itching to shift into warm weather gear. Enter Ratio Clothing, which I challenged to make something that


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“Fresh-Faced & Pretty” Sewanee Controversy Makes National News

Two weeks ago Ivy Style ran a post about the traditions and sartorial formality found at the University Of The South, otherwise known as Sewanee. The students shared the post assiduously, and it went on to break our all-time one-day traffic record. But as revealed in the comments thread, as well as on Ivy Style’s


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Ten Thousand Men Of Harvard

OK, maybe not ten thousand (as in the school’s fight song), but here are a few. The handsome gent above and below is Aga Khan (no date for photo; Khan graduated in ’59), whose step-mother was Rita Hayworth: Students and professor, 1952: Book fair, 1957: Commencement, 1961: Alumni Day, 1968: This one is captioned “Harvard



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Take The B Train

New Yorkers are no doubt familiar with the subway shuttle between Grand Central and Times Square. It was briefly in the news a few months back when the train cars were decorated with hybrid American and Imperial Japanese/Third Reich imagery to publicize the TV series “The Man In The High Castle.” People, being wonderful creatures,



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Sartorial Redemption: Wofford College, ’60s-’80s

Does menswear move inexorably and unstoppably towards a sartorially dystopian future, or is it possible for things to actually move backward, kind of like the way the stock market “corrects” itself? These three images from Wofford College (which is based in Spartanburg, SC) show how fashion does move in cycles — even as it cycles


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Update: Archived Posts Image Problem Fixed

Last summer, when Ivy Style upgraded to a new magazine-style layout that is device-responsive, there were all sorts of glitches to work through. The subsequent jump in traffic also demanded a more frequent posting schedule. We have some 1,300 posts in our archives, and while I was vaguely aware that some of them had layout


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J. Press Made-To-Measure Veteran Jay Walter Still Working At 87

Recently I wrote about the evolving J. Press York Street store in the West Village, but there’s one more way to get a J. Press experience in New York despite the closing of the Madison Avenue store. Jay Walter, a menswear industry veteran of the highest order who celebrates his 87th birthday today, reconnected with


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Tales From The Twilight: A Preppy Frat In A Time Of Sartorial Anarchy

This is the second installment in our new Tales From The Twilight series, about the final days of the Ivy heyday in the late ’60s. If you were a firsthand witness and would like to share your personal observations, please use the contact button above. * * * Your article about “sartorial anarchy” reminded me