The Next Great Ivy Book

You can buy the book here. Or you can win a copy here.

From the website:

Miles, Chet, Ralph, & Charlie tells the story of the Andover Shop, and how our co-founder

Charlie Davidson transformed a tiny store into an unlikely literary and cultural salon that brought together musicians like Miles Davis, Chet Baker, and Bobby Short, as well as writers like Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray. Yet the story was not who he dressed, but why. This book explores the unexpected role that Charlie’s particular style of patrician clothing played in making people visible in the years before full civil rights.

The book is an “oral history” told through interviews with three of the leading voices in American style writing: G. Bruce Boyer (a former editor at Esquire and Town & Country), Alan Flusser (who dressed Gordon Gekko for the Wall Street movie, and who has written several of the canonical style books), and Richard Press (the former CEO of the iconic American menswear firm, J. Press).”

We have three copies to give away. Put your Charlie story in the comments and we will have a random drawing and three winners will get the book (maybe signed by the author Constantine?)

8 Comments on "The Next Great Ivy Book"

  1. One Fall morning in Harvard Square, I was smoking cigarettes near the Au Bon Pain Cafe not far from the Andover Shop when the legendary Charlie Davidson casually strolled by.

    He was dressed like a tweedy Harvard professor: heavy tweed sport coat, bucket hat, canvas tote bag, and penny loafers.

    What struck me the most about this nonagenarian was his gait: timed and precise like a Marine Corps drill sergeant.

    G. Bruce Boyer wrote that jazz is more about the improvisation more than the melody, but Mr. Davidson’s movement was all about the melody: smooth, steady, and precise, he never missed a beat.

  2. Good people, the books will be coming from the Andover Shop in Cambridge, while I’m snowbound in Sweden –– but I will send along a bookplate sort of thing to inscribe those books to the three winners.

    And @Mitchell: I love your description of Charlie there. Nailed it.

  3. I just finished my copy from the Andover Shop and I would recommend this to anyone who appreciates and understands good clothing and how Charlie Davidson created his own style. There are some great TRUE stories in the book that were SO Charlie.I got all my clothes from Charlie since 1960 when I was a third former in boarding school in MA and am still getting my clothes their from Larry. Never forget I came into the shop after college and was going to have a suit made and Charlies said that I needed 3. I told Charlie to look up the 3×5 index card that he had on file that in 1960 that my parents would only let me spend $75.00. Charlie joking said he would be glad to call my parents and have them up the limit. Yes I bought the 3 suits. I look back today and say “what would Charlie think of a combination I was wearing” I just smile and say Charlie would approve.

  4. I’ll definitely check this out.

    A couple random thoughts. Seeing this post caused me go back and look at this old Ivy Style post. In the post, I noticed Charlie wearing an ugly black Casio digital watch. Which then reminded me of arch WASP Robert Mueller wearing an ugly black Casio digital watch. Are ugly black Casio digital watches Ivy? When was the last time watches and ivy style were discussed here? Might be a fun topic to revisit given the post-COVID horology boom of the last 5 or so years.

    Also, anyone remember when the Andover Shop was featured on Seinfeld?
    Elaine: “How do you like working there at the Andover shop? I mean, it’s pretty swanky. Upscale clientele. Except for Jerry!”

  5. I just finished reading my copy. Such an amazing read. A really fun and engaging story that sparkles with wit and intelligence. Took me back to buying my first tweed jacket at The Andover Shop. It was a Harry Potter wand moment – the sales person brushed his hand across the row of jackets and stopped at the one destined for me. I was unemployed and didn’t think I had the money to buy such a beautiful “Don Draper” jacket but my friend convinced me that the jacket would change my luck. Sure enough I wore it to my next interview and got the job I had been seeking for months. That’s the kind of magic that The Andover Shop conjured, which the book captured so brilliantly!

  6. Nar-Dog
    Casio watches aren’t Ivy, but in their defence they do have alarms and stopwatch functions. I still wear old casio watches when hunting or fishing, they are waterproof. The alarm comes in handy when hunting because the official time of sunrise and sunset changes by one minute every fifteen miles from east to west.
    Also, casio watches aren’t mondo! mondo! butt ugly as Apple watches. :<)

  7. Cecilia Williams | November 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm |

    Buying this week for boyfriend!!!

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