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