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
This looks like a very interesting development.
I have a pair of “Toyoda grey” selvedge jeans made from Japanese denim on vintage Toyoda shuttle looms.
From what I understand, the Toyoda family began by manufacturing looms and later formed the Toyota Motor Company.
Interesting choice of headwear for Mr. Lavelle. Not sure I would consider that particular style “Trad” I still have mine, but there are few opportunities to wear it. M
I really like the young man in the first photo, even with the nuvo beanie, it all comes together quite well.
Mr. Prep. That’s not quite a “novo beanie” rather it appears to be a Special Forces beret circa 1960s
I can’t quite see the flash, but it could be 5th Special Forces.
M. ASA 3rd RRU
A “nouveau beanie” is an appropriate name for a Special Forces beret.
So happy you’re doing this, both Christian and Peter. The Japanese trad scene is not paid close enough attention to in the States, and what a shame as they are consistently turning out products and looks of the utmost quality. I think this is good for Ivy Style, too; perhaps to shake off a little of the stuffiness that can sometimes accumulate. Looking forward to reading this more often, thanks for finding more ways to bring new life into the trad scene.
Watch out CC! London-based blagger Simon Crompton of Permanent Style is turning his attention to Ivy Style – https://www.permanentstyle.com/2019/10/come-to-the-next-new-york-symposium-on-ivy-style.html? Alan Flusser, Sid Mashburn, Todd Snyder and Nick Sullivan are speaking at his symposium.
The Japanese eye for classic styling well documented. If I had the $, I’d gladly opt for a Tailor Caid wardrobe.
Speaking of classic styling: If Toyota wanted, they could bring back the old FJ40, which out-classic’d the old Jeep Willys. If it was reasonably priced (the price of a Highlander), they would absolutely obliterate the Jeep Wrangler in sales.
What do any of these guys know about Ivy/Trad style???
@Old School 59, that covering to me looked like an Oakland Raider’s beanie. Now I’m very curious to see what it is!
First, I nearly spit out my coffee reading the comments about the first young guy: that is, indeed, an Oakland Raiders knit hat.
Second, as for Eli Cash, without sounding too much like our friend AEV, that getup is now Fred Castleberry’s full-time costume.
“…that getup is now Fred Castleberry’s full-time costume.”
Heh—”costume.” Le mot juste for FEC’s clothing, whether he wears it or sells it.