Penny For Your Thoughts

A few months ago the Japanese photo book “Take Ivy” sold on eBay for $1,500, setting all of Tradsville abuzz. Naturally something so hyped could only be a letdown, and when The Trad finally presented all the images online (see “Take Ivy” links in the Ephemera column at right), having scored his copy for a fraction of that, by the way, the photos were long on atmosphere but short on content. In fact, I find them deadly dull.

Around this time, I came across the 1997 book “All American” by Tommy Hilfiger. It only has a few pictures worth presenting. Then again, it only cost a buck.

In the shot below there’s great contrast between the formal and informal, as a pinned club collar is played against a sweater, cream socks and loafers:

Weejuns are shoes for knocking around in, not obsessing over every little scuff. Photo by Cornell Capa, 1958:

Then-and-now chart:

Hilfiger could serve as the very personification of the rapid fall in popularity of the Ivy League Look. The book includes a section on Ivy style, with Hilfiger saying it’s what he and all his friends wore as youths. Below is his high school yearbook photo from 1967.

A few years later, with a budding career in fashion and a rapidly changing social landscape, he would look very different. — CC

9 Comments on "Penny For Your Thoughts"

  1. Are those even Weejuns in photo no. 2? They look like split toes to me.

  2. Checked photo in book and you’re right.

  3. Man, those Weejuns up top – the leather is so much nicer than the ones I’m wearing right now.

  4. What are the Pennys in the top photo? They’re definitely not weejuns? Anyone know??? Thanks!

  5. Why do the Weejuns look so different in this photo as opposed to the ones sold now, which have a heavy sheen and are usually of a much tougher (cheaper) leather???

  6. Christian | March 1, 2009 at 7:00 pm |

    Zach (not our Zach, by the way), there’s a thread at Ask Andy you should check out:

  7. Memphis88 | March 1, 2009 at 9:16 pm |

    I just got a pair a few months ago and will be performing the stripping method from Ask Andy tomorrow to try to get rid of the sheen.

  8. Beautiful shoes. Nicely worn in and comfortable looking.

    Well done.

  9. I wish there was a way to jump inside a photo.

    I want to be in that room where the kids are partying on the floor.

    So much atmosphere, I’m almost there!

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