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North Vs. South: Who Really Popularized Seersucker?

Today is National Seersucker Day, which grew out of Seersucker Thursday on Capitol Hill. But while the day’s origins are clear, the beginnings of the fabric itself are somewhat contested. Both Haspel in New Orleans and Brooks Brothers in New York claim to have either introduced or popularized seersucker. This is from Haspel’s website: On


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Fantasy Island: A Gallery Of Polo RL Marketing Images

Here’s an idea for the new CEO at Ralph Lauren. How about more of the magical photo shoots that whisk you away to an island of the imagination? Back in the ’80s, Polo would take out 20 pages in GQ or Architectural Digest and run epic narrative ad spreads shot by Bruce Weber. These marketing


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Stumbling Pony: Polo Names New CEO, Ex-Old Navy, H&M

The Wall Street Journal has a major feature on the struggles at Ralph Lauren, whose profits are down 50% over the past two years while market value has fallen from $16 billion to $8 billion. A new CEO has been appointed to help turn around the company, which will include closing stores and reducing discounts.


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Hey Gentleman Cafe’s Loose Traditional Style

These photos were spied on Facebook and, if I follow correctly, depict a pop-up shop for Hey Gentleman Cafe, an Osaka-based dealer in vintage American clothing. The pop-up was installed in an Isetan department store at a Japanese train station. HGC’s motto is “Loose Traditional Style,” which is a pretty good one. Enjoy the photos,


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Blistering Combination

This post originally ran a year ago and is being reposted in light of the passing of an American legend. * * * You probably heard there was a fight last night. I don’t understand the $100 million payouts, so don’t even try to explain them to me. Pictured above is Muhammad Ali in the


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Tales From The Twilight: A Yankee Gets A Southern Education In Style

This is the latest in our series of reader anecdotes about the ’60s. If you’d like to participate, please use the contact button above. * * * I graduated from an affluent suburban high school in the mid-Atlantic region in 1963. Although my father owned a men’s clothing store, I was not terribly interested in


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National Geographic Shots Of Student Life

Ivy Style Facebook member Sammy Al-Rawi has dug up some great photos from National Geographic Magazine chronicling student life from the ’40s through the ’60s. If you were a kid in the pre-Internet age, you may have had friends show you copies of National Geographic because there were occasionally pictures of naked women from the


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Whatever Floats Your Boat: The Sperry Custom Program

Today I stumbled across the custom boat shoe program on Sperry Top-Sider’s website. For $120 you get to choose everything, down to the color of laces and outsole and type of eyelet, and they send them in about three weeks. The software is fast and slick for instant gratification, though you’ll need some design skills


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Gold Medal Offense: US Olympic Uniforms And Predictable Anti-Prep Outrage

My latest piece for Ralph Lauren Magazine allowed me to learn about how the US prepares for the Olympics, as well as bringing the opportunity to interview gold medal wrestler Jordan Burroughs. RL has a close relationship with the Olympics, having provided the uniforms for a number of years. But the games in Rio are


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The Old Money Look: Princeton Boys And The Sandpapered Shirt Collar

The recent New York Times piece on the the new/old Brooks Brothers oxford shirt contained the source of an important sartorial anecdote. Years ago I’d seen a reference online to the custom that Princeton boys back in the day who didn’t come from WASPy families and prep schools would sandpaper the collars of their shirts


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Leaving As Men: Hampden-Sydney Commencement 2016

Founded in Virginia in 1776, Hampden-Sydney College is America’s 10th oldest and one of only three remaining all-male schools. Earlier this month the college, whose motto is “come here as boys so you may leave as men,” graduated its class of 2016. Here are some photos of the commencement, along with other shots of campus



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Bobby From Boston Founder Passes Away

Social media sources are reporting that Bobby Garnett, founder of Bobby From Boston, has died. Garnett was considered a pioneer in vintage fashion. His influential store was well known to the props department at Ralph Lauren (as well as to Lauren himself), and the store’s reputation was global. More info as we get it. —


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National Golf Day: The Yale Golf Team, 1959

  Today is National Golf Day, for which I offer three documents for your enjoyment. The purely sartorial among you can pore over the details in this photo of the 1959 Yale golf team. * * * Update: Richard Press just sent me an email saying this photo blew his mind, whereupon he proceeded to


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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