There are multiple meanings in the headline above.
For starters, there’s the coming winter weather, which will require coats like the one pictured above, which is coming to a retailer near you. It’s a toggle coat in rugby stripes and is either brilliant or monstrous, depending on whether or not you take your whisky straight.
As far as “shape” goes, the coat looks to provide the soft, robe-like feeling you get from a polo coat.
And finally, the item above — made by Tommy Hilfiger and snapped last week at the Fifth Avenue store — signals the end of our string of “cool Ivy” posts and the start of neo-prep. Tomorrow, contributing writer Daniel Greenwood will present an extensive survey of the neo-prep landscape, from the opening of York Street to the closing of Rugby. Here’s a preview:
The Punk-Prep cultural moment seems to have reached its high water mark from 2010 to 2011. Perhaps the most glaring example of the existence of this PunkPrep subset was 2010′s collaboration between J. Press and, mind boggling as it may seem, Urban Outfitters.
Books published during these years included the re-released “Take Ivy,” “Hollywood And The Ivy Look,” “Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style,” and Lisa Birnbach’s return to prepdom with “True Prep,” among many other writings both in print and on the Internet. In the spring of 2011, Tommy Hilfiger’s namesake brand emarked on what was billed a “Prep World Tour,” setting up temporary shops in public spaces across the world’s capitals in miniature faux-New England cottages.
After some setbacks in various American locales, Rugby Ralph Lauren opened a store in London in the fall of 2011. Punk-preppy blogs, foremost among them Unabashedly Prep, reflected an active (if not overwhelming) population of young adults interested in taking preppy staples and wearing them in ways that felt current, items of clothing that were steeped in heritage (not always fully appreciated or understood), worn alongside neon sneakers that would pass muster at any ecstasy-soaked Röyksopp (for the fogeys: a Norwegian electronic “music” duo) concert.
Stay tuned for pink and green skulls and crossbones. — CC
As our exploration of “cool Ivy” continues, assistant editor Chris Sharp examines this Stanley Blacker advertisement, which is held in special reverence in the jazzier corners of Tradsville.
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This Stanley Blacker advertisement is from 1965 and features an American blazer being offered at a British store. When it appeared on the Film Noir Buff Talk Ivy forum in July of 2009, it created quite a stir.
One of the most passionate defenses of the look presented was from “Gibson Gardens” (believed to be the online handle for John Gall, co-author of “The Ivy Look”), who wrote the following:
If you think that Stanley Blacker jacket is all wrong and is badly cut then you are on the wrong website…. The jacket featured in that ad is just about as definitively Ivy League as you can get. It’s what the whole look is about, the spine of an aesthetic… Dismissing that Stanley Blacker jacket on this forum is akin to a Christian who rejects the Bible. Here we are presented with that weirdly straight almost asexual Ivy style in its absolute most perfect expression at the height of the original Golden Age of Ivy. This is a sacred text upon which we are gazing and I react with Al-Qaeda-like fury and intolerance when the very roots of the look are so nonchalantly dismissed with a few ignorant pokes at a keyboard.
So who is this Stanley Blacker who offered a blazer that has risen to such iconic status across the pond and prompted such a vigorous defense? (Continue)
Answer: only as cool as the guy wearing it. Cigarettes and sunglasses help. Here’s a sampling of images we’ve run over the past five years. — CC (Continue)
© Photograph Judith Jamison/Barry Feinstein Photography, Inc.
A new book shows that Steve McQueen could wear an undarted sack jacket and more than live up to his title as king of cool. Based on candids and stills from the movie “Bullitt” taken by friend Barry Feinstein, “Unseen McQueen” is due out next week from Reel Art Press. (Continue)
Tonight at 9 PM is the premiere of a new JFK documentary on PBS. Here’s the description:
Forever enshrined in myth by an assassin’s bullet, Kennedy’s presidency long defied objective appraisal. Recent assessments have revealed an administration long on promise and vigor, and somewhat lacking in tangible accomplishment. His proposals for a tax cut and civil rights legislation, however, promised significant gains in the months before his assassination. While maturation, as evidenced in the handling of the Cuban missile crisis, was apparent, the potential legacy of the New Frontier will forever be left to speculation.
We encourage you to watch and discuss here.
In last month’s issue of GQ, the magazine managed to twice make an assertion that puzzled us here in Tradsville: namely, that a buttondown-collared shirt is not a dress shirt.
The first instance occurs in question-and-answer format in Glenn O’Brien’s “Style Guy” column:
Most of my dress shirts are buttondown- collar oxfords, but I recently started a job overseas and I’m receiving mixed reviews on pairing them with ties. Most Brits say it’s a faux pas. What is your opinion? Is the oxford too Americacentric to take abroad?
Surprise! The oxford cloth button-down is not a dress shirt! Don’t tell Congress or they might pass a law making it one. It’s not a faux pas to pair a button-down with a tie—say, if you’re going to lunch on the weekend or to see Arsenal play—but for the office, you might want to consider European wisdom and get with the dressier options.
European wisdom? Didn’t we take the ingredients we wanted from European culture, cuisine and wardrobes and come up with our own way of doing things? And for much of the 20th century, as the United States rose to its preeminent position in the world, the men who were running the country (such as the gentleman from the State Department in 1959 who’s pictured above) had no qualms about doing it in buttondown collars. Going back farther, to the time when the fictitious Nick Carraway was a struggling bond salesman, the buttondown was even the chosen shirt of Wall Street. (Continue)