The Gentrified Campus

I recently called up an old colleague, Matthew Jacobsen of, told him about Ivy Style, and said, “Whatcha got?” Matthew did not disappoint. What were Ivy Leaguers wearing in the fall of 1953? According to Gentry magazine, anything in tawny black. In a fashion spread entitled “Fashions Cum Laude for the Undergraduate,” the uber-elitist

Joe College

J.C. Leyendecker’s first initials stand for Joseph Christian, but they might as well stand for Joe College. In a career spanning from 1900 until World War II, the American illustrator painted 300 covers for the Saturday Evening Post, as well as advertisements for products like Kuppenheimer Clothes and Interwoven Socks, that featured Harvard Rowers, Princeton

Ears Wide Open

New contributing writer Scott Byrnes, who works in finance in San Francisco, was inspired by an Ivy Style jazz post and herein offers one of his own. I was in the middle of a long moving process when I read Ivy Style’s “All That Jazz” article, which inspired me to dig through boxes and pull

Somewhere in Time: The Politics of Style

In honor of Election Day, Ivy Style presents the second in its series of articles from the vaults of Time magazine. For this one, commentary is provided by a Washington insider writing under the pseudonym Taliesin. Traditional Ivy style is rarely exhibited by the most visible Ivy League graduates: politicians. For instance, George W. Bush

Grant Writing

“People Will Talk,” one of Cary Grant’s lesser known movies, boasts some interesting outfits for the sartorial historicist. In order to portray a medical professor at a small Midwestern college in 1951, Grant was costumed in one double-breasted suit, and three suits and jackets that feature a 3/2 roll, but still have the overall cut

Somewhere in Time: The Brick-Red Look

With this post Ivy-Style introduces a new series called “Somewhere in Time,” featuring historical articles from the pages of Time magazine that offer insight into how Ivy attire was worn — and viewed by society —  during its heyday in the ’50s and ’60s. We will also present a judicious selection of articles about the

Safety ‘Net

The Internet has allowed America’s last remaining traditional-clothing retailers — such as O’Connell’s, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year — to stay afloat and even grow, despite minimal novelty factor in their wares. “We’ve carried the same seersucker and patch-madras shorts since 1959,” says O’Connell’s owner Ethan Huber. On assignment for trade publication Apparel,

City Folk

What does it take to sing a good folk song? According to Hugh Hefner, “An Ivy League suit and an Eastern accent.” Jazz cats weren’t the only musicians who took to the Brooks Brothers look in the ’50s and ’60s. Here’s Bud & Travis from Hef’s short-lived TV show “Playboy’s Penthouse” circa 1960. And below

Running Man

One of the good things about living in LA (I’ve forgotten the others) is the chance to see movies before anyone else does. To wit, several weeks ago, while on assignment for the Rugby blog, I took in a screening of “The Express,” a biopic about Ernie Davis, star running back for Syracuse University from

The Lost-Money Look

Eminently suited menswear author G. Bruce Boyer has opined eloquently about the Old Money Look. But now with the economy completely FUBAR, both old and new money can finally schlep around together in the Lost-Money Look. To get the look, simply stop buying new clothes for the next five years. Wear your shirts until they’re

Andre 1935

Along with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Andre Benjamin has plummeted from Andre 3000 to Andre 1935. The pop fop’s new clothing collection, called Benjamin Bixby, drinks from the same well (or Gatorade cooler) as Ralph Lauren’s latest Rugby collection, with inspiration from vintage college football. “The collection was inspired by Ivy League athletics of

No Picture

Art of Noise

“Jazz is just insolent noise,” says Dickie Greenleaf’s father in “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” And no one’s noise is more sublimely insolent than skin-beater Art Blakey’s. For your visual and aural enjoyment, Ivy Style presents three clips of jazz-ivy style that may look buttoned-down, but certainly don’t sound that way. “I Remember Clifford,” by Art

Boy George

The October issue of Men’s Vogue devotes its “Examined Life” column to the late literary lion George Plimpton. The piece consists of excerpts from Nelson W. Aldrich Jr.’s forthcoming oral-history bio, “George, Being George.” Included are various reminiscences by former boyhood pals, including classmates from the Phillips Exeter Academy, which Plimpton attended from 1940-1944, getting

All That Jazz

On assignment for the online magazine at, Ivy Style founder Christian Chensvold muses on that brief point in time when jazz musicians went for the clean-cut look, which, considering many of them were junkies, was the only clean thing about them. Sometime around 1954, jazz great Miles Davis walked into the Andover Shop, a

The Autocrat of the Three-Martini Lunch

Bon vivantism, if that is indeed a legitimate phrase, is a characteristic — or, if you prefer, a malady — particularly evident in great historians and men of letters. From Ben Franklin and Emile Zola to Winston Churchill and Bernard DeVoto — whose book “The Hour” is perhaps the most elegant paean to cocktail time