Tickets, Please: The J. Press Anglo-American Corduroy Sportcoat

The great thing about getting your clothing made-to-measure is that you can get things that don’t otherwise exist. Last week I visited Jay Walter, who heads up J. Press’ made-to-measure program, and he showed me a corduroy sportcoat he’d just finished for a client. The jacket was rendered in olive, that popular heyday hue, and


Velvet Touch: RFK + Slippers

Our last post featured JFK in velvet slippers on Christmas. Today we have his brother Bobby going slipshot on Halloween. Both seemed to like tossing them on around the house while dressed relatively casually, as opposed to taking the shoe super-serious and donning it with black tie, ascot, or smoking jacket. I still don’t have


Yellow Pants, Athletic Socks, Velvet Slippers: JFK’s Christmas Outfit, 1962

It’s not too late to change your clothes and pull a JFK for the rest of Christmas Day. These wonderful candids were posted this morning to Ivy Style’s Facebook group and feature JFK celebrating his final Christmas in Palm Beach in 1962. He is dressed in white shirt, necktie, yellow trousers, white athletic socks, and


Holiday Jeer

As you break out the tartan jacket and red socks to hit the holiday party circuit, take a tip from Tony Randall and watch out for these fellow guests. In 1957 Randall did a photo shoot in which he portrayed various pests typically encountered at cocktail parties. Pictured above is The Jokester, who amuses himself


Collegiate Stripes

Presented here are some vintage illustrations — presumably from the Esquire archives — posted to Ivy Style’s Facebook group by image collector and comment-leaver “Carmelo.” Sportcoats with stripes — often running through a herringbone pattern — aren’t often seen today, but were popular during the Ivy heyday and, as these images show, back to the


A Frayed So: In Praise of Beater Clothes

Previously I’ve written about the Boston Cracked Shoe look, a term applied to certain WASP patricians who would wear items that had far outlived their presentable lifespan. Members of the press discovered the concept during the presidential campaign of Adlai Stevenson when they observed Stevenson had holes in the soles of his shoes while working


The Only Way To Wear A Button-Down With Style, 1966

The San Francisco Chronicle recently chose a very intersting piece to run from its archives. The paper chose a 50-year-old piece brimming with anecdotes about the buttondown collar. It opens like this: The late Jack Kennedy looked up from his desk in the White House on a day in 1963. One of his aides had


Blondes Prefer Gentlemen

If you were a socialite who lived through the 20th century and married enough times — say, nine — eventually one of your spouses would have been in the right place at the right time and dressed fairly Ivy League. Actress and socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor died recently at the age of 99. Husband number


How Barbour Jackets Entered The Trad Canon — And My Own Wardrobe

Some are fond of asking whether Barbour jackets are Ivy or preppy. They are certainly not collegiate in the 1960s sense, although they would later be embraced by J. Press. They were not in “The Official Preppy Handbook.” The jacket that was sanctioned there was the LL Bean Field Coat. So what was the Barbour?


The Aristocrat of Topcoats: Boyer on the Polo Coat

Ivy-Style continues its efforts to digitize Boyer’s work for the Internet and a new generation of readers. This latest offering addresses the polo coat, the so-called “aristocrat of topcoats.” Below are some words of reflection submitted by Boyer, followed by the article, which originally appeared in the July, 1981 issue of Town & Country. Pictured


Buckskin Vest And Lilac Necktie: Page One Of Stover At Yale

A member of our Facebook group recently presented the opening page of the Owen Johnson’s 1911 novel “Stover At Yale,” a coming-of-age tale about a young freshman at New Haven. Dink Stover, freshman, chose his seat in the afternoon express that would soon be rushing him to New Haven and his first glimpse of Yale


Gentlemen, Start Your Engines: Rally Around The Ivy League 2017

Everyone knows “The Official Preppy Handbook,” which first came out when I was in high school, and I still have my copy right here on the desk as I type this. The wisdom and cheek of this pink and green bible still makes me smile and shake my head, even after all these years, in


DC Cop Risks Uniform Violation To Work Blizzard Beat In Bean Boots

As a blizzard whips through our national’s capital today, one preppy policeman is taking duty into his own hands — and putting his feet inside classic LL Bean rubber boots. We’ve previously profiled the same Washington, DC police officer in a post entitled, “Fashion Police: Ivy Style Reader Is A Top Cop.” And today the


Rubber Souls: No End In Sight For Millennial Bean Boot Demand

You might remember reports over the past couple of holiday shopping seasons that LL Bean could barely meet demand for its famous rubber boots. Well the kids are still wearing them and the company is predicting sales of one million units by 2018, up from the current 600,000. Ten years ago it was a mere


The Christmas Playlist

Since I like to doodle at the piano and believe this to be the most wonderful time of the year, I break out the Christmas sheet music the day after Thanksgiving so I can enjoy a whole month of playing yuletide hymns. Of course the retailers start earlier and earlier, but decorations and music are



Season’s Greetings From Chet

To make sure you’re in the proper Christmas spirit, here’s Chet Baker and the Lighthouse All Stars doing “Winter Wonderland” from 1953. Chet cut one Christmas album, “Silent Nights,” in 1986. He declined to include, however, the Christmas tune that would have best suited him: “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.”


My Kinda Clothes: Southern Trad In Chicago

“My kinda clothes” is a charming little phrase coined by Charlie Davidson of The Andover Shop. Here at Ivy Style, it’s a regular series in which readers share their favorite clothing items. If you’d like to share yours, use the contact button above. * * * I picked up my style of dress largely without


School Ties: Jewish Clothiers And The Ivy League

This morning I received a lovely note in my inbox, which read, in part, “You do fine work. I check in almost every day and peruse your archives a lot. I am touched by your frequent tributes to the Jewish storeowners who helped establish the Ivy look. Philosemitism is very rare these days; love your


Gentrified Campus: The J. Press 4/3

Our confrere Matthew Jacobsen of OldMagazineArticles.com recently supplied us with a vintage article from the pages of Gentry Magazine (see “The Gentrified Campus.”) Now he follows up with another one, this time from Gentry’s Autumn 1952 issue, that provides an eye-opening glimpse into how collegiate attire was presented to young men at the time. As


Tops With Me: The Case For Fastening The Third Button

In our last post about Washington & Lee University in 1969, many were surprised — including myself — by how many of the young men had fastened the top button on their three-button jackets. It certainly led to many speculations here and on our Facebook page. Was this a regional thing? Were the jackets made