Ivy Style reached its 11th anniversary on Monday, which means its time to inject some fresh blood into the site. A transfusion comes via Peter E. Lavelle, who recently became a friend and neighbor here in the lovely New York City neighborhood of Astoria, which is trad central — at least east of the East River — as home to Ivy Style HQ, employees from J. Press and The Armoury, and the housing compound for Kamakura Shirts.
Lavelle is fluent in Japanese, and works by day as a translator for a major corporation. He’s volunteered to work the Japan news beat for Ivy Style, giving us the long-needed ability to summarize the always-fascinating Japanese take on Ivy and trad through its media coverage and brand offerings. Below is Lavelle’s first news roundup, and, as I always say at anniversary time, thank you to all the readers out there for being a part of this dynamic project and community. — CC
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Japanese popular menswear magazine Popeye’s, “The Magazine for City Boys,” integrates sportiness and preppy in its autumn/winter style handbook. Below highlights a combination of the shawl cardigan and tie, shirt untucked, loose fitting khakis popular in Japanese menswear, trainers, and baseball caps as part of this season’s look. The comment says: “You might think this something your old man, no, your grandfather will wear; the shawl collar cardigan is something we all skirted around a little. But for the autumn night games, matched with the cap of the team you’re partial to, is just the perfect Trad look.”
Another excerpt from the guide (top image) is more in line with what we could consider a classic Trad look. A grey wool wide lapel jacket, oxford shirt and a club tie similarly colored to the sports beanie. Represent Trads and your team at the pub this season.
Illustrator, comedian and fashion contributor Miura Jun pens his love letter on BRUTUS to the Wild West in “My thoughts on Western Fashion.” The looks are a mixture of hippie, cowboy, and prep. Trade the boots for loafers and remove the hat and necklaces and it could look preppy. “Embrace the feeling of the peace loving cowboy” implores Mr. Miura to his readers. He advises his audience to take a cue from old spaghetti westerns and Clint Eastwood in “For a Few Dollars More,” and take a risk the next date you go on. If it goes well, this girl may even be the one you marry.
Try the above look in town and you might resemble the far from infallible Eli Cash from The Royal Tenenbaums:
Men’s Club sticks to its guns with the classic Ivy look in its 65th Anniversary American Trad Special. For the anniversary the magazine is giving away presents to some lucky readers, and one gift is a VAN oxford shirt and tie.
The passage is in large a dedication to VAN, who pioneered Ivy style in Japan and revolutionized the sartorial landscape of the nation. Crucial to this revolution are their immortal staples, a classic oxford button down and tie. This, they argue and will not find a dissident voice here, is essential to every man’s wardrobe.
On the note of white shirts, Kamakura Shirts’s Tokyo slim-fit twill shirt is featured first on the list of GQ’s “The Best White Dress Shirts Are the Foundation to Any Stylish Guy’s Wardrobe.”
After Ivy League style took hold in Japan, labels like Kamakura Shirts emerged to pick up the slack once the Brooks Brothers and J.Presses of the world began to wane in quality and veer from the true preppy-trad path. For a quarter-century now, Kamakura has been turning out top-notch, unmistakably American shirts with a price-to-quality ratio it’s sometimes hard to find stateside these days. This one is cut trim and streamlined from a substantial cotton twill, with the kind of perfectly-sized point collar guys like Paul Newman used to dig.
Enthusiasts, purists, and traditionalists can rejoice at the quality and design behind these shirts. We can understand how our Preppy-Trad forefathers might have felt simply by donning a Kamakura Shirts’ buttondown. Alas the same cannot be said for reading GQ. — PETER E. LAVELLE