Lionhearted: The Big-Cat Motif At Brooks, Polo And Others

“Lionhearted” actually means brave and valiant. But in the headline I like to think it’s a double-entendre expressing affection for big cats. After all, it’s August, the month of Leo. And there just aren’t many lions left out in the wild. But thanks to heraldry, the lion is a popular symbol on ties, slippers and athletic


Pennies On The Dollar: Jack Erwin’s Affordable Loafer

And you thought there were a lot of choices for oxford-cloth buttondowns? Now there’s another penny vying for your nickels. A few days ago I spied the recently released Charlie loafer from Jack Erwin when it started popping up on Google ads. I’d never heard of the company and sent a brief message of inquiry.


Walk A Mile In Don’s Shoes: Mad Men Prop Auction Starts Tomorrow

“Mad Men” fans rejoice: tomorrow is your chance to get a souvenir from the show. The auction website Screenbid.com is putting up what looks like 1,000 props from the show, including wardrobe items. I took a look at nearly a dozen and most were from Brooks Brothers, which surprised me, since I’ve publically complained here that the


Ivy League Style For Today Thread Reaches 1,000 Posts

Today an important chronicle of Internet Ivy — the “Ivy League style for today” thread at FNB’s Talk Ivy forum — has reached a milestone, surpassing 1,000 member posts. Going strong (or at least going) for seven years now, it contains outfits brilliant and bland, trolling and counter-trolling. In other words, pretty much like every other


Duck Head Takes Flight

Last week was market week here in New York, and by far the highlight of the MR show at Javits Center was the booth of recently relaunched heritage brand Duck Head. The owners thought very highly of their presentation, which included a truck and trailer, and they had reason to be: no one else had


Six Years Ago — The Ivy League Look

This post originally ran in February of 2009. This morning a member of our Facebook group posted a video of the song, which went up on YouTube a couple of years ago (and has only been seen 500 times since). It has been added below. We did a jazz post yesterday. This one’s for Squeeze. Give


Gotta Be Me: Miles Davis’ Music And Style In The Fifties

“Protean” is a word often used to describe Miles Davis. And while it’s become a cliché nearly 25 years after his passing, the latest Bootleg Series release, which came out last week, illustrates just how true it is. The Miles reissue parade has focused largely on specific groups, mammoth recording sessions, or complete concert experiences.

madras top

From The Ends Of The Earth: International Elements Of The Ivy-Preppy Wardrobe

This post, which features much input from our Facebook group, was inspired by a recent comment decrying bit loafers for their Italian origin. It got me thinking about what other items associated with the Ivy League Look and preppy style have origins outside the UK and Ireland. Here’s what we came up with, presented alphabetically.


American Dreams: Free & Easy + Ralph Lauren

Speaking of trad in Japan, the latest issue of Ralph Lauren Magazine has a feature about the Japanese publication Free & Easy. (It’s not by me, though I’ll have a quasi-relevant story coming out soon). Writes Josh Peskowitz: Each issue is organized to explore one aspect of the Free & Easy canon. These themes repeat periodically. Three


W. David Marx On How Japan Saved American Trad

In September, 2010, I was watching my old cordovan oxfords get polished at Tokyo’s “shoeshine bar” Brift H, when a middle-aged man walked in and pulled out an original 1965 print of “Take Ivy.” The book had not only been autographed by all four authors, but also had a rare printing error. I leaned over

lonely student

Love Stinks: Campus Trigger Warnings For Hopeless Romantics

Lately there’s been much talk about trigger warnings on college campuses. Some professors now feel pressured into putting cautions on centuries-old works of literature that include scenes that could be upsetting for an ever-growing list of reasons. I modestly propose a new category of trigger warning, as I represent a marginalized minority group especially vulnerable


Allen Edmonds & The Campus Alpine Shoe Trend

This week Allen Edmonds sent over some images from its archives. As promised, they’re being presented today as an antidote for those suffering from sartorial nausea due to yesterday’s post on footwear of the poncier variety. And now, thanks to AE, we get to learn about a late ’30s campus trend I’d never heard of: crepe-soled


ACL On Ostentatious Loafers

Today A Continuous Lean put up a post entitled “The Enduring Appeal of Ostentatious Loafers.” What does “ostentatious” refer to in this context? Why to bit loafers, Prince Albert slippers, and Belgian Shoes. Here’s the preppiest passage: … By the eighties the Gucci loafer came to represent the pretentious bravado of pastel wearing undesirables. From


Mr. Dee Cee Trads With Ivy Styling

Recently a reader alerted us to a pair of deadstock pants for sale on Etsy. They’ve been scooped up, alas, but that needn’t stop us from examining them. The cotton-polyester trousers come from a Main Street clothier called The Washington Manfuacturing Company of Nashville, TN. It began making workwear and trademarked the name “Dee Cee”


Just Press Play: Christian’s Ivy Heyday Playlist

  I’m going to start the week out by playing DJ. Below is a playlist with 50 tunes spanning the years 1954-1967. This is not a historic survey, but instead a far more personal selection. In general, these are songs I’ve been listening to for a long time. A couple are from my parents’ record


Behind The Scenes Of The Mad Men Title Sequence

I’ve been focused on tennis more than golf lately, and am fortunate to have a 14-court facility just down the street from me in Astoria Park. The Triboro Bridge snakes above, and the East River and Manhattan skyline provide a fantastic view. Recently I got into a couple of pickup games with a new guy, who happens to


Brooks Brothers’ Take Ivy Bermuda Shorts

  I still stop by and bang golf balls on the third floor at Brooks whenever I’m passing through Midtown. Recently I spied two pairs of madras shorts that had a real heyday vibe, thanks to the color palettes of olive and burgundy. They certainly feel like they’d be more at home in the pages


Pretty Penny: Mr. Porter And The $480 Weejuns

  This week the e-commerce company Mr. Porter brought out an exclusive collection of Bass Weejuns. And I mean exclusive in every sense of the word: the shoe carries a whopping price tag of $480, a pretty penny indeed. Today, perhaps to get consumers excited and justify the price (especially when you consider the shoes


Six Years Ago — Ivy Magazine, 1957

This post originally ran this week in 2009 and was Ivy Style’s 100th post.  * * * This is Ivy-Style’s one-hundredth post. Over the past 99, I can honestly say that the thing I’m most proud of is never having once attempted to confirm or deny that there is or is not such a thing


Bite Down: The Shark And Beer Motifs

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post about “Jaws” and Narragansett beer, we continue Shark Week with these suds and killer-fish items from tradly brands and retailers. Also check out Shark Week pages at Country Club Prep and Tucker Blair. Above and below, Castaway Clothing’s Infested Sharks shorts: Cheap Buzz belt by Belted Cow:   Crabs

shark fob

Jumping The Shark: Shark Week, Jaws And Ice-Cold Beer

I had an obsession last summer. I call my obsessions “manias” in homage of Kenneth Grahame’s aristocratic amphibian, Mr. Toad. I sometimes feel like the dapper toad, but I have to admit my manias pale in comparison, as I gravitate to armchair pursuits that risk neither life nor fortune. My summer mania started this way: it


Red Pants Roundup

As the red, white and blue weekend draws to a close (don’t forget to cheer for the RW&B tonight in the Women’s World Cup final), here’s a roundup of all (well, most) of Ivy Style’s coverage of red pants over the years, including articles, links, photos and random references to Nantucket. Anyone bought a pair


O Say Can You See?

… love beads and oxford cloth? Screenshot from the Monterey Pop Festival documentary, submitted by contributor J. Kraus. Date: summer 1967, the year of the fall of the Ivy League Look. Happy Birthday, America. — CC