Portrait Of An Ivy Style Reader

Is the stereotypical Ivy Style reader a grumpy Baby Boomer? Above is RP (that’s right, his initials are the same as “retired person”), whose post to our Facebook group was received with much amusement.

In fact, fellow reader KS was inspired to post a tribute:

It’s the kind of facial expression one makes upon seeing Thom Browne‘s new 3/2 roll gray suit with matching natural-shoulder codpiece. 

45 Comments on "Portrait Of An Ivy Style Reader"

  1. “Grumpy Trad Breakfast Challenge”: it’s on!

  2. John K. Ireland | June 23, 2019 at 8:54 am |

    I am at a loss for words.

  3. Is it April first already?

  4. Haha! Fantastic.

  5. Old School Tie | June 23, 2019 at 3:13 pm |

    Has anyone actually ever seen a member of the public going about their day to day business bedecked in extreme Thom Browne? Could it be the edge that Biden or Saunders require to take down Trump in 2020….?

  6. B. Bridges | June 23, 2019 at 10:47 pm |

    RP is a friend of mine, and I can attest that despite his frowning exterior, he is one of the most generous, kind people I know. Cheers!

  7. Boop McSnoot | June 24, 2019 at 12:25 am |

    Not to immigrants, apparently, since he literally moved states to be in a whiter community.

  8. The flipside of white flight is gentrification, or moving not away from an immigrant community, but rather into one. Older conservatives seek an established white community, while young progressives seek a community they can make white. The former’s motives are conscious, the latter’s likely unconscious.

    According to the hermetic principle, like and unlike are the same and differ only in degree.

    Japanese tennis buddy: “When I moved to Long Island City 20 years ago, everybody lived there. Now it’s just whites and Asians.”

  9. Pity the poor model’s who have to wear Thom Browne’s crap. The shoes are as ridiculous as the codpiece suit. Why does anyone give that attention-seeking clown publicity?

  10. Boop McSnoot | June 24, 2019 at 10:06 am |

    @CC – Good comment, though it does sidestep taking any stand on the moral implications. Younger Americans are certainly culpable in racial inequality, and I suppose there’s something (not much, but something) to be said for being blatantly bigoted, so we all know where you stand, rather than pretending to be concerned with equality in theory and then undermining it with your actions. Thank you for actually allowing my comment to stand.

  11. Thom, stop trying to make codpieces happen. IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

  12. Christian

    Seems like you have given up golf for tennis.


  13. Evan Everhart | June 24, 2019 at 10:41 am |

    R.P. is also a friend of mine, and I think that this veritable hatchet job of an “article” or profile as you will, is extremely ungenerous and mocking in its tone. I do not approve. He is a kind man of class, and character and this is a classless and unkind gesture. I am disappointed that this was published, and not surprised that its author was not cited. I am not amused.

    On a final note, R.P. is exactly the type of man who this forum should be talking to and using as a valid source of encyclopedic knowledge regarding the heyday and the history of this style, as he actually lived it. He deserves better than this.

  14. Beto O'Leary | June 24, 2019 at 10:43 am |

    I wonder what the percentage of whites to “immigrants” is where Mr. McSnoot lives is. Hmmm.

  15. I just noticed that on the Thom Browne model looking at the camera, somebody pulled a ‘Reverse O.J.’ and whitened his face. Either that or he’s wearing calamine lotion for a rash.

  16. MacMcConnell | June 24, 2019 at 11:58 am |

    “The shoes are as ridiculous as the codpiece suit.”

    Thom Browne is just try to bring “A Clockwork Orange” into the 21st Century. Browne just jockeying for the costume gig on the Hollywood remake. Hell everything else is a remake.

  17. MacMcConnell | June 24, 2019 at 12:03 pm |

    I believe RP is wearing a great madras sport coat and is well put together. I envy the Savile Row optics. The image shows RP has a sense of humor, RP I get it.

  18. “I think that this veritable hatchet job of an “article” or profile as you will, is extremely ungenerous and mocking in its tone.”

    The piece is light and fun. Both men were asked if their photos could be used on the site. You’ve lost ability to reason and see the world clearly. Recommend heavy doses of Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and/or Buddhism.

  19. Beto O'Leary | June 24, 2019 at 12:18 pm |

    I agree The piece was light and fun until McSnoot had to weigh in and imply the gentleman was an evil white Nazi for moving.

  20. Boop McSnoot | June 24, 2019 at 1:24 pm |

    @ Beto – why does it matter what the percentage is? Is one of the outcomes bad? But for the record, my neighborhood is 72.4% Hispanic/Latino and 15.1% white.

    I didn’t imply he was an “evil white Nazi” at all. I said, clearly, that he’s a bigot, which is very different – I don’t think he’s evil, or a Nazi. But he’s the one who decided to post publicly about how “California is no longer a place for people like us” (I wonder who “us” means here?) and said that the population growth in California that he moved to Arizona (Arizona!) to escape was “people who arrive here on airplanes from other parts of the world” (despite that fact that population growth in CA is slowing, and immigration has gone from 15% growth in the first decade of the 2000s to 6% in the last ten years). He also posted a photo of a bilingual voting sign over on Styleforum with the statement, “I want to spend the rest of my life never again seeing a sign like this when I go to vote.” Fr the record, 69% of immigrants in California speak English (67% among immigrants in CA for five years or less).

    I never called him a Nazi, or even implied it. Many of my own Jewish-German relatives were displaced by the Nazis or ended up in concentration camps themselves, so I take those comparisons very seriously, especially when (as Beto demonstrates) they’re so quickly pounced on as straw men to dismiss all other aspects of an argument. I said that he’s a bigot because he is intolerant towards others – on the strength of both his words and his actions, those who come from this country from elsewhere (and based on that fact that he posted a picture of a sign in only Spanish and Asian languages, I don’t think he was upset about immigrants from, say, Norway). He closed with, “I feel like I am moving back to the country where I was born, the United States of America.” A place where apparently only English is spoken, only red-blooded Americans live, and old white men like himself are still firmly in the majority. Makes sense he went to Arizona.

  21. Boop McSnoot | June 24, 2019 at 1:25 pm |

    *come to this country and elsewhere.

  22. MacMcConnell | June 24, 2019 at 1:30 pm |

    I missed the RP “profile”, I don’t do Facebook. How many post till someone uses pretzel logic or is a mind reader or yearbook whisperer to accuse me of antisemitism.

    When I get home from the office I will canvass my mostly white middle class suburban neighborhood. I want to know if “racism” is the reason for my Latin and Black neighbors fled the inner city. I will also ask the professional athletes I’m acquainted with if “racism” was a factor when they built their mansions in the white suburbs.
    You see flight from the inner city is probably about safety and economic class.

  23. MacMcConnell | June 24, 2019 at 1:50 pm |

    “I feel like I am moving back to the country where I was born, the United States of America.”
    Or maybe he means not living in a hunger games state.

  24. Boop McSnoot | June 24, 2019 at 3:03 pm |

    @Mac – not sure how your comment is relevant to what’s being discussed. Perhaps if you want to know why the Latino and black residents left, you should ask them, not the whites who remained. Also interesting that you just say “professional athletes,” as if you assume we picture someone black when we hear the phrase. Last time I checked, all professional athletes aren’t black. But the slip says a lot about your worldview. Nevertheless, despite your dismissive tone, it may very well be that racism, and the desire to overcome it, *did* motivate their mansions in white suburbs – the same mansions and suburbs even famous black athletes would not have been allowed to live in less than a century ago.

    Nothing I’ve said says anything about flight from the inner city, or its causes. Roycru isn’t black, and isn’t fleeing the “inner city.” He’s already economically stable, in the middle or upper middle class. He left because he feels like he doesn’t own California anymore, because he hears and sees other languages and people with different skin and different backgrounds. THAT’S what we’re talking about.

    I doubt Christian’s Buddhism goes deeper than the Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance or the self-help section. Sure, you probably read the Baghavad Gita or or something, but I suspect you’re attracted to Buddhism (I should say “Buddhism”) because a) it allows you to act like you’re better than other people, and b) it’s part of a long search for something (dandyism? Ivy? Jordan Peterson? Scripture? A polo coat and a tweed cap? The list goes on and on) that will finally allow you to find something to fill an essential void inside yourself. The real problem will always be that you think you know everything – even about not knowing everything. You aren’t open to learning, not in a meaningful way. You can never find a way to truly be comfortable in yourself until you allow yourself to be wrong.

  25. Boop McSnoot | June 24, 2019 at 3:08 pm |

    “Heavy doses of Buddhism.” What would that even entail? Where would one start? What aspect or specific strain of Buddhism? The comment makes no sense. When Roycru was called out in the thread I quoted, those who did so (not me) were accused of virtue-signaling. I don’t think I could ever find a better example of that odious phrase in action than “Recommend heavy doses of Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and/or Buddhism.”

  26. Boop

    Please tell us more. We all want to learn.


  27. Boop McSnoot | June 24, 2019 at 3:37 pm |

    @ Sacksuit – http://gph.is/VwU68n

  28. MacMcConnell | June 24, 2019 at 3:54 pm |

    Boop McSnoot
    We don’t live in a century ago, we live today. I don’t go through life assigning “bigot”. “not bigot” on my fellow man. I walk though life treating everyone well. I’m tolerant. I also understand that humans and organizations act in their own self interest and racism is not why humans escape the ghetto or an encroaching one.

  29. Evan Everhart | June 24, 2019 at 4:13 pm |

    Thank you Boop McSnoot et al.

    Christian, I expected better of you; good natured camaraderie is not what is carried over by this piece, whatever the intent.

    Upon seeing the listing for the article/profile, and the picture of my friend, I was pleased and excited to see him perhaps having composed a profile of himself, or perhaps having been interviewed recently for one, in light of his extensive knowledge of the heyday, but upon opening the link and reading it, the profile did not strike me as comedic so much as mocking. I said as much in my first comment, and I stand by my assessment of the above piece. As a final note, the writings of Epictetus, M. Aurelius, or Gauttama Buddha have nothing to do with making a mockery of a man of dignity, experience, and age.

    While Epictetus may have chosen to facilely accept the happenings of his life, and Buddha believed that some of the misfortunes of our lives are the punishment for the sins of a past life, I choose not to stand by for, or to believe in some vague notion that anything that happens within the realm of mankind is outside of the purview of mankind, en mass, or individually, neither philosophical position leads to anything but intellectual nihilism as nothing can possibly matter but the surety of death – the end game of nirvana or enlightenment is after all the cessation of existence as an individual and without responsibility or choice with meaning, all is null. It all comes down to choice and that choice in the end is what life is about for better or for worse both at the beginning, and at the end.

  30. Boop McSnoot | June 24, 2019 at 4:14 pm |

    @Mac – ” I walk though life treating everyone well.” The view must be beautiful from up there on your self-righteous high horse.

    I, also, try to treat everyone well and be tolerant. But I’m not tolerant of bigotry, and it annoys me when someone who has made their bigoted views known publicly is given visibility on a site already trending towards more reactionary views. (And anyway, remind me how racism and “self interest” can’t go together? Or how, again, “escaping the ghetto” is something at all related to what we’re talking about? Roycru didn’t escape the ghetto! I don’t understand why you keep harping on this!) I

    t’s all very well to say that you treat everyone well, unless you use it as just an escape hatch to avoid taking a stand on ethical or moral issues, which I think you are. Where do you draw that line? If I met Roycru in person, I certainly wouldn’t spit in his face or berate and abuse him for his opinions. But I wouldn’t look the other way if they came up – I would confront him on them – try to understand why he has them, certainly, but also how I might help him change them, because I think they’re bigoted and wrong. Alas, I don’t have the opportunity to do that, so instead I’ve tried to raise a red flag in this comments section, which is open to all, about uncritically giving him visibility when those views are out there for anyone to see. I forgot that Christian, and everyone else on this site, twists Epictetus (since we’re playing that game) to say, “If everything external is beyond your control, why worry about it? Just tell yourself you’re already doing everything right internally, and then you can look down on those who are actually trying to make a difference.” What a joke.

  31. Evan Everhart | June 24, 2019 at 4:16 pm |

    Don’t get me started on Seneca.

  32. MacMcConnell | June 24, 2019 at 4:56 pm |

    Boop McSnoot
    The view is excellent. But, RP fucked up moving to Arizona if he was avoiding Latins. He should have moved to Northern New England or the Northwest. I imagine he left Cali for the same reason most leave, it’s becoming a third world state hostile to the middle class and business. They can’t even build a railroad, WTF! 😉

  33. Boop McSnoot | June 24, 2019 at 5:20 pm |

    @Mac- well, you’re right there – Arizona isn’t any different in terms of population. But it is different in terms of government – AZ’s government doesn’t have too many issues with racial profiling and anti-immigration despite their population, in contrast to CA. “Third world state” is a bit hyperbolic – it’s still in America, after all. But while it may certainly well be that he left for other reasons as well, it’s also a fact that his publicly stated reasons, which I’ve already quoted directly, were that there are too many immigrants in CA. I wonder what his thoughts would be on my own home state, Maine, which is currently seeing an influx of refugees from Africa. I remember when Trump tried to drum up some outrage there about the immigrants we’ve had from Somalia – he was met with a pretty unanimous “We don’t have an issue with it.” Even the New York Times article about the latest wave of immigrants is free from racist or nationalist invective – it’s more about legitimate concerns over a balance in spending municipal funds on all who need them. Maine may be a traditionally very white state, but perhaps we could learn from their commonsense attitude to newcomers, especially now that the idiotic LePage is out of office.

    As for railroads, unfortunately that’s a nationwide problem (one which I’m sure RP is well aware of, since he used to work in rail). The last time I was visiting family in New Mexico, I went to the Belen Fred Harvey House, a fun look into railroading’s past. I recommend it if you’re ever out that way. I certainly have been known to gaze nostalgically at many a picture of the Super Chief.

  34. Boop McSnoot | June 24, 2019 at 5:21 pm |

    Look at that, civil discourse! Proof that two adults can disagree and live to tell the tale. I appreciate Mac’s willingness to tolerate a dissenting opinion 🙂

  35. Henry Contestwinner | June 24, 2019 at 10:35 pm |

    Thom Browne’s designs are the product of a disturbed mind.

    For further proof, just do an image search on “Thom Browne runway show.”

    Warning: not for the faint of heart. Don’t blame me if you have nightmares after looking at the sick & twisted images you’ll find.

  36. Caustic Man | June 25, 2019 at 8:57 am |

    “…finally allow you to find something to fill an essential void inside yourself.”

    If you’re a Buddhist then the void is the self.

  37. Boop McSnoot | June 25, 2019 at 10:04 am |

    @ Caustic Man – not in the way I meant it, but I appreciate the call to be more specific with my language. Perhaps it would be better to say, “an essential sadness inside yourself.” Anyone at peace with themselves would not jump from quick fix to quick fix, cultural scapegoat to cultural scapegoat, or costume to costume the way that Christian does. And the hallmark of each is that he uses it to look down on someone else (despite his professed Stoicism) and to build up his own ego. More than anything, I pity him.

  38. MacMcConnell | June 25, 2019 at 12:40 pm |

    Boop McSnoot
    I enjoy debates, but the internet is a crappy venue. It lacks the personal touch.

    So you are a Yankee from Maine which might explain your world view, which is OK with me. I on the other hand grew up on military bases till I was sixteen. I’ve went to school and met just about every kind of people there are from all over the world and ever corner of the US. Tolerance is something you learn as a military brat. I have always found people interesting and have always made an effort to understand their home culture and why the believe what they do. I’m never shocked and try to understand, even Klansmen. That doesn’t mean I agree, but intolerance never changes things, especially radicals.

  39. Cuastic Man | June 25, 2019 at 12:48 pm |

    This is drifting far from anything related to the original discussion, but I don’t think sadness is necessarily antithetical to inner peace. Not even an “essential” sadness if that means that sadness is a fundamental part of your world outlook. Certainly it can be troublesome if it interferes with your life goals as you define them but an outlook based on negative emotion doesn’t always create a pathological person. Not to get too philosophical but Christianity, it seems to me, is based on an essential sadness because it is based so much on trying to figure out, and deal with, human suffering. That’s why it becomes maudlin and hokey when you try to imbue it with endless optimism and joy, like in so many Christian rock songs. That’s just a thought and I have no desire to dive onto a grenade defending it.

  40. @Boop

    Thank you for the opportunity to practice Stoicism.

    “Who are these people whose admiration you seek? Aren’t they the ones you are used to describing as mad? Well, then, is that what you want, to be admired by lunatics?” — Epictetus

    “In all we do, almost the first thing we think about is what will people say; and nearly half the troubles and bothers of life may be traced to our anxiety on this score.” — Schopenhauer

    “No longer be concerned with what the world says about you, but with how you talk to yourself.” — Montaigne

  41. Boop McSnoot | June 25, 2019 at 2:40 pm |

    @Mac – Indeed, I learned a lot about tolerance at Fort Benning. We’re essentially in agreement here, I think, even if we also differ in important ways. I certainly agree that understanding is the first step – if we don’t understand those we disagree with, we will never be able to agree in future. It’s why I was disappointed with Elizabeth Warren’s decision not to participate in the Fox town hall, but heartened by so many other Democratic candidates’ willingness to do so. If only the other side of the aisle would make similar overtures.

    @ Christian – Interesting Montaigne quote. Of course, he assumes you’re actually examining your own thoughts in a rigorous way. I haven’t seen much evidence of that. You twist these philosophers to justify your need to ignore challenges from outside and retreat to your own personal safe space. But I know I won’t change your mind – you’d have to come to that realization yourself before it made any dent. I’m sorry it’s so scary for you to be confronted with opinions that differ from your own. You’re putting Montaigne forward as a Stoic, but what you need is some immersion in Skepticism.

  42. Caustic Man | June 25, 2019 at 3:49 pm |

    Just posting this to see how badly Boop wants the last word.

  43. Just Ivy, Please | June 25, 2019 at 5:33 pm |

    I wear Ivy clothes every day and come to this website (with less and less frequency) for ideas and pictures about clothing. This ridiculous thread of sociological comments, which veers off course into accusations of racism, is yet another example of how foolish this exercise has become. I dropped out of the Facebook “Ivy Style” group for exactly this reason and will soon stop visiting the site at all.

  44. Henry Contestwinner | March 11, 2021 at 2:43 pm |

    Interesting to stumble across this again.

    Boop McSnoot appears to see “bigotry” wherever he goes. Perhaps RP is a bigot; I don’t know. I do know that I can’t read his mind, and so can’t call him a bigot without his first affirming it.

    McSnoot quotes RP and interjects his own thoughts:
    “California is no longer a place for people like us” (I wonder who “us” means here?) and said that the population growth in California [is why] he moved to Arizona (Arizona!)

    Here’s the key: McSnoot says, I wonder who “us” means here?

    Did RP say? Doesn’t look like it. McSnoot assumes RP must mean “whites,” ergo RP is a bigot. Yet in the same sentence, he expresses surprise that RP would move to Arizona, a state with high percentages of both Latinos and American Indians. Why would a bigot move there?

    McSnoot seems blind to any bigotry-free definition of “people like us.” Maybe RP meant conservatives, or non-liberals, or those in favor of businesses, or those opposed to big government, or any number of other traits that differentiate Arizona from California.

    McSnoot seems equally blind to the fact that all people, regardless of race, creed, religion, or anything else, prefer to be among people like themselves. It appears that in McSnoot’s world, whites choosing to live among other whites is “bigoted,” but does he feel the same way about blacks choosing to live among other blacks, or homosexuals choosing to live among other homosexuals, or Mormons choosing to live among other Mormons, or any other grouping you can think of?

    Finally, if it’s the high percentage of immigrants, legal or otherwise, that prompted RP to leave California, then maybe it’s time to re-examine immigration. Immigration is a privilege, not a right, and should be to the benefit of the receiving country. The receiving country has the sovereign right to determine the proper level of immigration, which could be high, low, or none.

    I suspect that McSnoot has not considered this side of the equation either, but couldn’t say for sure—after all, none of us can read minds.

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