euro prep

Confessions Of An ’80s Europrep

Growing up in 1980s Berlin, then a city with lots of “cool” but very little elegance, I caused quite a stir when I came to school in my new pink Lacoste shirt. What struck people as curious was not only the color of the shirt, unavailable for boys at the time, but also the color


J. Press And The Universal Elegance Of Ivy League Style

J. Press has produced a really cool new catalog for summer 2016. Why cool? Because it was produced in Japan and translated into English. That means it really plays up the heritage of the Ivy League Look, as well as offering that ever-curious glimpse into our national style from the point of view of outsiders


My Kinda Clothes: Al Castiel III

Eight years ago, when I first interviewed Charlie Davidson of The Andover Shop about dressing Miles Davis, he used a simple but delightful phrase “my kinda clothes.” The phrase stuck with me and now, after all these years, I’m finally employing it as a new recurring feature. “My Kinda Clothes” will give Ivy Style readers


Their Favorite Things

When my sister and I were kids, our parents encouraged an appreciation of the great American musicals. They enrolled us in dance classes, and when “The Sound Of Music” would air on TV, it was one of the rare times when they would let us stay up late with school the next day. They also

banker & bulh

Hamptons Style, 1959

Our last post was on the fondness of rich WASPs for junk food, which leaves crumbs on their frayed pink buttondowns. This post is on how rich WASPs dressed in Southampton in 1959. Pictured are Vincent Banker and C. Henry Buhl III going Ivy chic in blazer with sockless bit loafers and madras jacket with


True Prep: Pink Shirts And Pork Rinds

As a follow-up to our birthday post on George HW Bush, we present this 1988 newspaper column by writer Calvin Trillin, who recently caused an uproar of outrage with his New Yorker poem on Chinese cuisine. Here he takes on the peculiarities of the WASP diet. It was sent to Ivy Style by reader CW,


Happy 92nd To Our Preppiest Prez

Funny, both candidates in the current presidential race are Ivy League… Maybe finally we know the difference between Ivy and preppy: you can have an Ivy degree and be anything but prep. Happy birthday to GHWB, a true American sartorial patriot. — CC     


Southern Revival: Can Sid Mashburn Popularize The Undarted Jacket?

GQ has just launched a new magazine called GQ Style, which features an extensive profile on Sid Mashburn. If you don’t know a lot about him, Mashburn worked at Ralph Lauren for a spell and has been considered a tastemaker since opening his eponymous store in Atlanta (it helps that his wife used to work


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


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


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.


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,


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


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

toronto 57b

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

sperry custom

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


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

frayed collar

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


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


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. —