Papa’s Pennies

Penny loafers: suitable for everyone, including old bearded men who like safari-hunting, sea-fishing, arm-wrestling, bullfighting and hard drinking. Shout-out to longtime comment-leaver “Old School” for submitting this great photo. — CC Addendum: photo info:  “Ernest Hemingway at his standing writing desk on the balcony of Bill Davis’s home near Malaga where he wrote The Dangerous Summer.”

Strap Yourselves In: The Ivy Style Heyday Belt Sneak Peek

Yesterday I met with MKG, my partner on the Ivy Style Club Tie (of which there are still a few left; order info here), to see the samples from our latest project: The Ivy Style Heyday Commemoration Belt (until we come up with a better name). In a handful of motifs, the belt cleverly illustrates


Last month, when we shared G. Bruce Boyer’s piece on cardigan vests for Drake’s, someone remarked that cardigans are fine under sportcoats, but never under blazers. Naturally we followed it up with a series of images from Ralph Lauren that included — what else? — cardigans and blazers. And then the new issue of the

Im-Press-ive: Much News At J. Press

J. Press is brimming with new energy. For starters, construction is moving along at the new New York location, and we’ll announce the opening date as soon as we hear it. Next, the company has revamped its website, which is now easier to navigate and features a bunch of live humans wearing the clothing, as

Can They Keep A Secret?

There’s a new book — with a whopping 800 pages — devoted to one of the things Yale is most noted for, besides being the mecca of the Ivy League Look. And that is the secret society, which flourished during the simultaneous heydays of the Ivy and the Cold War. Many a buttondowned Eli went

To The Penthouse In The Sky: Hugh Hefner, 1926-2017

Hugh Hefner, who once hosted a TV show called “Playboy’s Penthouse” in which he talked about Ivy League suits before becoming a full-time pajama wearer, has died at the age of 91. He will be remembered for many things, chief among them the association of pipesmoking with promiscuity. Here are Ivy Style’s posts on Hefner

Back From The Living

I spent the past week in Newport and what a letdown it is to return to the honking hullabaloo of New York. I can see why people find the transition from vacation life to normal life so jarring. Perhaps we’re doing something wrong in life and only get it right one or two weeks a

Boyer on Langrock, Princeton’s Legendary Campus Shop

When I was an undergraduate at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, there was a wonderful campus shop on Main Street called Tom Bass. It served three colleges and a university (Moravian, Muhlenberg, Lafayette and Lehigh University), and it stocked many of the iconic Ivy League labels: suits by Southwick, buttondowns by Gant and Sero, Pringle

How Ivy Is It To Talk Ivy?

Not long ago I had a conversation with a friend who is a fellow clothes lover. His style is something I would describe as excessively patterned but casual and nonchalant. He cherishes elements of the Ivy League Look but mixes in pieces of this or that as he fancies. We were discussing whether Ivy Style is

Brooks Invokes Ivy And Prep

Funny how everything’s turned upside-down, as I argued in the “50th Anniversary Of Slob Nation” essay. Back during the Heyday, Brooks Brothers never had to invoke the terms “Ivy League” or “preppy” — in fact company executives often abhorred the terms — for a very simple reason: Brooks had crafted its signature style long before

Dateline 1967: The 50th Anniversary Of Slob Nation

This summer G. Bruce Boyer published a lengthy think piece in the magazine First Things called “Dress Up: What We Lost In The Casual Revolution.” I’ve only neglected sharing it here in a post as Bruce and I have brainstormed about recording a discussion about its main themes. Astute readers will recall that I’ve mentioned

Countdown To Overcoat Season

We’ve still got a lot of counting down to do until overcoat season arrives. In the meantime you can start counting up, as in saving your pennies for a chesterfield coat. Check it out on this young man of yore. — CC

Golden Years: Yielding Not To Misfortune

My four years at Loomis (now Loomis Chaffee) were adolescent days of wine and roses, but lurking behind the bush was six degrees of separation. Our Glee Club concert at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in the middle of a gritty black Hartford ghetto was a long six miles away from the lush Loomis campus down

Dateline ’67: NY Times On The First Black Prep Schoolers In The South

As part of our year-long look at the year 1967 — a time of immense social change, including the fall of the Ivy League Look — we present this lengthy New York Times Magazine feature from last week. The story recounts the first African American boys to integrate the South’s elite prep schools. The piece

Spreading The News: WSJ On The Return Of New York J. Press Store

The news is starting to spread about the return of a proper J. Press retail store to New York City. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported on it; WSJ subscribers can log in and access the story here. For the rest of us, here’s a snippet: Preppy clothing retailer J. Press said it is trying

The Yellow Cardigan At RL

The last post, as always, brought out debate — this time on the little matter of cardigans under sportcoats. One reader pointed out that cardigan (whether sleeveless or not) under a tweed jacket was fine, but never under a blazer. Well such rules have never stopped the folks at Ralph Lauren, as this image shows.

Sleeve Me Alone: GBB On Cardigan Vests

G. Bruce Boyer has a new piece for the Drake’s website on one of his signature items, the sleeveless cardigan. Writes Bruce Almighty: Of the two classic sleeveless knits to wear under a suit coat or sports jacket – the V-neck pullover and the cardigan – the cardigan is surely the most elegant and versatile.

Scent Of A President

If you thought the battle to dress JFK was competitive, imagine the skirmish over his scent. According to a New York Daily News piece recently dispatched to Ivy Style HQ, there were four fragrances associated with the late president. Two are familiar, and two probably not. The four fragrances are: Jockey Club by Caswell Massey,

The Arguably Eternal Style of JFK

On this long holiday weekend we revisit this 2013 post, which is dedicated to longtime reader RM. * * * Earlier this month the Dallas Morning News did a style tribute to JFK. There’s plenty to nitpick in the story, including the awkwardly oxymoronic line that Kennedy’s style influence is “arguably eternal,” but there were

Piece Together $185 For Gant’s Upcycle Patchwork Collection

This fall Gant has given an eco spin on the patchwork preppy classic. Just as old school items, according to Paul Winston of Chipp, were often made from scraps of old cloth, Gant’s new limited-edition, one-of-a-kind shirts are “upcycled” from fabric shirtings in the company’s archives. To purchase a shirt — which manages to be

The Kennedy Curse

The New York Post reports today on more drink-fueled shenaningans in the Kennedy clan — including the recent arrests of Max and Caroline for disorderly conduct — along with a history of the family’s near constant state of scandal. Writes the Post of the family’s Hyannis Port hijinks: The privileged air of those carrying the

A Shot Of Ol’ Kentucky

Whenever I make my annual pilgrimage to the Bluegrass state I play “My Old Kentucky Home” as I cross the bridge over the Ohio River from Indiana. The racialized original version, not the sanitized one played for the world to hear at Derby (locals never refer to it as “The Derby,” or even “The Kentucky

Four Easy Pieces

This photo of a young Mike Nichols is a fine illustration of bold simplicity. Although it’s the height of GTH season, and you’re likely reading this while wearing patch madras, do take note of the discreet combination of striped buttondown, solid tie (presumably in black or navy), and tank-style watch. Three classic, simple pieces that add