The Authentic Ivy Look Chesterfield

Cornell Daily Sun 4 Nov 1955 Irv Lewis ad

It may be too soon to wear one, but in case this vintage ad inspires, you can start shopping now.

The ad appeared in Cornell’s student newspaper in 1955, suggesting that even Ivy Leaguers wanted to make sure they got the authentic Ivy model. 

21 Comments on "The Authentic Ivy Look Chesterfield"

  1. Irv Lewis was an Ithaca institution, the kind of independent mens and boys store
    which was common in small towns, especially college towns, a generation ago It co-
    existed with the more exclusive John Lewton- ” a mini- Paul Stuart” type of shop
    when I was at Cornell in the early 60s.

  2. Ezra Cornell | September 5, 2019 at 8:50 pm |

    Long before I knew anything about “the Ivy look” I nevertheless found myself again and again at Irv Lewis. I wish it were still there now that I am a more educated customer (and have more money…)

  3. Willard Straight | September 6, 2019 at 2:47 am |

    @Ezra Cornell,

    That goes for many of us.

  4. I’d guess that clothing items like a Chesterfield are as foreign to current college students as a slide rule…or a cobbler.

  5. Any recommendations for stores (or custom) that still offer Chesterfield coats? Maybe O’Connell’s?

  6. Wooglin
    O’Connells was a good guess.

  7. Charlottesville | September 6, 2019 at 10:19 am |

    Good call, whiskeydent. Mine came from Brooks a long time ago, but the Magee tweed charcoal herringbone coat offered by O’Connell’s looks identical. It is practically bullet proof and should last 2 or 3 lifetimes. They offer a lighter weight version as well.

    Wooglin – In addition, J. Press has typically carried one, and I have a Chesterfield in camel-colored cashmere I bought there on sale roughly 10 years ago, but I didn’t see one in either camel or gray on their website at the moment. Worth a call to the store if there is one in your area.

  8. Wooglin, I scoured the Internet for Chesterfield coats, but sadly the only option I found was the expensive custom one. Brooks, Paul Stuart, J. Press, and Suit Supply may have them as a custom option.

  9. Brooks offers them off-the-rack, but they range from $1,200 to over $2,000 for the fur-collar version.

  10. The chesterfields look pretty good, but I’m still hankering for a polo coat. I’d have little use for it here in Austin, but I would be the coolest guy in town on those few days it gets cold enough to wear during Not.

  11. Chesterfield is a great looking coat but I think I would not be able to pull the look off. I prefer a reversible hound’s tooth tweed and tan overcoat with saddle shoulder. My old Aquascatum is still going strong and I always get compliments.

    I hope all is well with those of you who may be affected by Dorian. My wife just showed me a map of power outages for our area and our neighborhood and we are just about the only people with power. Pray for our brothers and sisters in the Bahamas.


  12. Had a Brooks Chesterfield for several years, always got many compliments, but I always thought the fabric a bit odd. Last year, seeking greater Brummellization, I switched to a navy cashmere.

  13. @Christian: Brumellization is a catchy word you coined, but it means the opposite of what you intend. A navy cashmere coat will always draw compliments and attention, but Brumell was advised that the best dressed men were unnoticed.

    I suggest the word “Polonialization” (from a courtier in Hamlet named Polonius) to mean trading up in quality. His famous quote: “Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
    But not expressed in fancy—rich, not gaudy,
    For the apparel oft proclaims the man…”

  14. Sacksuit and Whiskeydent-I agree with both of you. I couldn’t pull off the Chesterfield look. A Polo maybe, but the two weeks of the year in Texas when it would be cold enough to wear would never justify the cost.

  15. A Chesterfield is a pretty formal look. Now in my semi-retired years, I doubt I’d even have an occasion to wear one, especially at the prices needed to purchase one.

  16. Interesting to see the pace and order in which items of clothign that were commonplace in my youth are becoming obsoescent, then obsolete. First in the US, of course, that great idolater of the Whore of ‘Comfort’ and ‘Ease’.
    I suspect that by 2040 a Chesterfield Coat will be akin to a Homburg hat now and by 2060 liek spats now.

  17. JJKatz
    “If man is still alive…”

  18. Foster Blandish | September 7, 2019 at 10:10 am |

    Not only would the garment, but the word “Chestefield”, be foreign to college students today. For that matter, they might not even know what an overcoat/topcoat is.

  19. Old School Tie | September 7, 2019 at 12:04 pm |

    Fundamentally, the Chesterfield is part of morning dress, a covert coat or Crombie as we often call it is much easier to pull off. Also, it is the far better Brummell option and you get the choice of velvet collar or not.

  20. @Mitchell

    Regardless, Brummell wore a navy coat.


  21. Vern Trotter | September 8, 2019 at 4:22 pm |

    Even the Burberry style raincoat has disappeared. Recently one of the morning TV shows here in New York had a camera set up in midtown on Madison Avenue on a chilly rainy morning from 7:00 to 10:00 and counted the number of traditional raincoats seen. The grand total? One!

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