Young Man With A Horn

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As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on Ethan Hawke’s new Chet Baker biopic, we’re revisiting Ivy Style’s one and only fashion photo shoot, originally posted on October 23, 2012.

Today we begin planning a new one.

* * *


He was a prep-school dropout
From the Donegal Mist Academy,
Fortune’s fool who dared to love
The girl forbidden to everybody.

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She was the rector’s daughter.
A cold and callous don,
He tried to keep the boy away,
But still her heart was won.


They shared a week of love
Before the scandal broke
In the pages of the school paper
For which he sometimes wrote.


Betrayed by an evil editor,
A rival for his paramour.
There was naught to do but flee
And be a prep no more.


For years he wandered Europe;
‘Twas there he learned the horn.
The cats all said they’d never heard
A tone so sad and forlorn.

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To console his broken heart
He took solace not in drink,
But in tweed, flannel and silk knit,
And buttondowns of pink.


One day he returned to the city
And went to the Village Vanguard;
But all he knew were ballads,
And they wanted avant-garde.

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So now he plays in the park
From noon till eventide,
Hoping the wind will carry his song
Across the Upper East Side.

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But his love hears not his plaintive tune,
For the heart is a fickle organ;
She’s now in Greenwich, the dutiful wife
Of a Yalie at JP Morgan.


Photography: Manu Gupta

Styling and verses: Christian Chensvold

Model: Marcin Rogal/Red Model Management

Clothing: J. Press

Shoes: Allen Edmonds

Trumpet: J. Landress Brass

75 Comments on "Young Man With A Horn"

  1. @Christian,

    are these J.Press Jackets from their normal collection, or one of their special collections/collaborations? They look great!

  2. The checked jacket in the smoking image is from the 110th anniversary collection and has narrow lapels and is quite a bit shorter. One oxford is slim fit (the blue, I think). The rest are all standard Press items.

  3. @Christian. That surprising as none of these jackets look too full or too trim, really nice cuts, especially that Grey Herringbone at the top. One more question, what material and color (I believe its a light brown) are the trousers in the horn playing picture (3rd from bottom)? Are they flannel, worsted, chino? Also, if you are interested in parting with the gold stripe tie (polo I believe) please let me know.

  4. The thing I can’t believe is how there’s shirt cuff showing. We didn’t have time to try on any of the clothes. We just pulled what we thought was his size (he’s a 40 and some of the jackets are a 39) and the model showed up.

    Here are the trousers:

    Yes, that striped tie is mine (vintage Brooks), and I plan to be buried in it.

  5. That’s excellent on the sleeves. I noticed how nice they looked and asked myself if they plan on getting these jackets tailored, etc. I just keep looking at these photos over and over, again, a really outstanding job! Also, I understand about the tie. I have been looking for one like this for years. Brooks still makes one like this, but the “gold” is too much of a muted yellow for my tastes.

  6. Shoulderline looks pretty british to me – not “Ivy”… this is clearly more of an Anglo-Continental look, it doesn`t look bad, but “Ivy” it’s not.

  7. P.S.: there also isn’t any collar roll visible.

  8. Main Line Trad | October 23, 2012 at 6:41 am |


    Re: the collar roll

    As one reader commented some time ago, the collar roll which some Ivy proponents are fetishistic about was probably not an intentional design feature. It was most likely the natural result of all-cotton fabric shrinking–as it should do. After washing in really hot water–the old fashioned way– the buttons were in the “wrong” place, hence the roll.

  9. @Main Line Trad: that might be – but this shirt also has a lined collar, which is simply wrong. At least for a realistic “Ivy League” style, hell – even the Italians go back to unlined collars when sporting button downs…

  10. @Benn

    This is the closest thing that BB offers today; certainly not as vibrant a stripe, but a handsome necktie, nevertheless:,default,pd.html?dwvar_A453_Color=NAVY&contentpos=11

    and this is the J. Press version:

  11. One thing is clear: “Ivy Style” doesn’t deal with Ivy League style. It’s just a fashion blog with massive J Press advertising…

  12. G. Bruce Boyer | October 23, 2012 at 7:31 am |

    Brilliant! Erudite! Classic! Not to mention witty!

  13. @ Old School

    Thanks for the recommendations. I always appreciate direction, sadly, as you mentioned, not too vibrant a stripe.

    As for everyone else, this stuff really looks wonderful. It takes the fun out of things when we obsess too much about collar roll. In the end of it get the approval from Mr. Boyer, that’s enough for me. As I have said before, you know you did good when G. Bruce Boyer compliments your post.

  14. Main Line Trad | October 23, 2012 at 7:51 am |


    In the past, collars were unlined because manufacturers could not find a lining that would shrink at the same rate as the external cloth of the collar. This caused buckling, puckering, whatever. Insisting on unlined collars is simply another Ivy fetish, like insisting on flat-front trousers instead of pleats. Flat fronts were simply an economy measure meant to use less cloth.

  15. World's End | October 23, 2012 at 8:08 am |

    Wonderful jackets, Great Clive James style verse! Trad rules.

  16. @Old School

    The Polo Ralph Lauren version is pretty much the same as those offered by BB and J. Press:

  17. World's End | October 23, 2012 at 8:16 am |

    Comment by Christian — October 23, 2012 @ 5:59 am

    The thing I can’t believe is how there’s shirt cuff showing. We didn’t have time to try on any of the clothes. We just pulled what we thought was his size (he’s a 40 and some of the jackets are a 39) and the model showed up.

    I think these images really are extraordinary. Press must be well pleased. If they are smart, they’ll use these image elsewhere.

  18. Mark Miwords | October 23, 2012 at 9:02 am |

    @ Hedonism.

    Oh dry up. This is Ivy today. I’d like a natural shoulder but I’m happy to be alone on that front.

  19. Princeton beats Harvard, 39-34!!!

  20. @ Bar Stripe

    Thanks. Polo is another go-to for classic reps. But alas, again muted yellow. I have a polo ad from about 5 years ago, yes, the ad was so great that I save it, that shows the same color scheme featured on the tie in this post: dark navy, and almost a blaze gold, on par with the color of blazer buttons. A rarer bird it seems.

  21. I think that Ivif a style is not dead,it evolves. 20s Ivy is not exactly the same that in 30s or in 40s, a Brooks Brothers sack of 1935 is different from a sack of 1965.
    This,in these pictures is Ivy league style,but ivy of our times.
    Shoulders are more structurate,but also the BB shoulders in 40s were more structurate that in late 50s.

  22. Comment by Carmelo — October 23, 2012 @ 10:11 am

    “I think that Ivy style is not dead,it evolves. 20s Ivy is not exactly the same that in 30s or in 40s, a Brooks Brothers sack of 1935 is different from a sack of 1965.
    This,in these pictures is Ivy league style,but ivy of our times.”

    I agree 100%. What’s more it actually looks good, too, Definitely not for the riff raff!

  23. Chelsea Village Market | October 23, 2012 at 10:53 am |

    @ Mark Miwords

    I bet this stuff is much nicer than most people actually have. If it works who cares whether it breaks what you perceive to be rules.

  24. +2 for Carmelo’s comment.

    Things shift and tweak and bit over time, but the core elements are certainly all still there, and as World’s End said, without being one of the trendy attempts currently happening, as Christian depicted in the Indochino post from yesterday. I don’t think at its core Ivy never changes, its just that the shifts and changes are minimal and subtle. And compared to the massive pendulum swings of the fashion world it can appear to be at a stand still and locked in time. Therein lies it beauty.

  25. Chelsea Village Market | October 23, 2012 at 11:04 am |

    @ Benn

    Exactly. And it take style writers who are open to other influences to see that, and of course people like Press who can move with the times

  26. ok, let’s say that ivy changes. then the question is what makes ivy ivy? if it’s not natural shoulders and soft collars, then what is it? tweed? button down collars? i don’t think so.

  27. What makes ivy ivy?
    Good question!
    I think undarted 3/2 roll jacket with hook vent, flat front trouser,a clean silhouette,and the right materials like tweed,herringbone,flannel,seersucker,madras,cotton,hopsack,fresco.
    Of course natural shoulders not means only shirt.shoulders (spalla camicia),but shoulder with no padding,and no more large of the…. natural shoulder…. of the customer.
    Seems that in our times tailorcaid shoulders are more close at the right thing that JPress,but i think that these J press jackets are Ivy.

  28. She was only the horseman’s daughter, but all the horse manure.

    Nice jackets.

  29. Christian just curious as to which Ivy you graduated from?

  30. Or where you prepped at?

  31. I’ve been running this site for four years. Why ask now, on this particular post?

  32. I think it’s a fair question. Or should I assume “asked and answered”.

  33. Sure it’s fair: The answer is right on the About page. But why ask me now? There are 630 posts on the site.

  34. You never attended an Ivy League institution or a feeder prep school to an Ivy institution. So you really have “No Ivy Bones”. Correct?

  35. Mark Miwords | October 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm |


    Idiot. This is a fashion blog. Where did YOU go to school?

  36. Absolutly irrelevant!
    Who cares?
    This is not a blog about preppy schools,but on preppy clothes.
    The 90% of people that dressed “Ivy league” was not east coast patricians,but only peoples with good taste.

  37. Anglophile Ivy | October 23, 2012 at 7:05 pm |


    If Ivy League style depended for its survival on students/graduates of Ivy League universities and/or prep schools, it would be long dead.

    In fact, it is already dead at Ivy League universities today and survives elsewhere in spite of that fact thanks to gentlemen of good taste, firms like BB and J Press, and blogs like this one.

  38. Yes indeed, one of the joys of attending an Ivy League school is taking pleasure in frequently reminding people that you did. Or questioning others, with regularity, where they attended college. Throughout my executive career, I never had to ask most Ivy Leaguers where they attended…..they were always eager to tell me.

    I like the Shaggy Dog sweater shot.

  39. M Arthur,

    Your comment reminds me of a joke.

    Q: How can you tell that someone is a vegan?
    A: They’ve already told you.

  40. Ray Bans – CHECK!
    Tank watch – CHECK!
    Beefroll penny loafers -CHECK!
    Camels – CHECK!
    Tweed jackets – CHECK!!
    Shetland sweater – CHECK!
    Charcoal flannels khakis – CHECK!
    Rep / Club / Knit ties – CHECK!
    Surcingle belt – CHECK!
    Horn – ?

    Good post Christian – CHECK!

  41. OCBD – Check!

  42. @PD

    What does it matter whether or not Christian was a Preppie and went to Ivy League university What are you, some kind of snob? Maybe he did or maybe he didn’t. The point is that he recognizes that the style grew out of those institutions and that an understanding of that is essential.

  43. Continental Ivy | October 24, 2012 at 12:13 am |

    I really don’t understand all this bickering about whati s or isn’t ivy.
    I thought that Ivy adherents constituted a kind of confrérie, but apparently I was mistaken.

  44. Christian went to Cal State Fullerton. I would have loved to have gone there. I visited the campus as I was preparing to transfer from a JC ( yes I went to a Junior College). Unfortunately, I couldn’t transfer to CSF. Why do I mention this? At least we sought an education somewhere. It may not have been the Ivy League, but we did the best we could.

  45. World's End | October 24, 2012 at 2:09 am |

    Comment by Skip Castaneda — October 24, 2012 @ 12:24 am

    “At least we sought an education somewhere. It may not have been the Ivy League, but we did the best we could.”

    Exactly. And if we didn’t go to a prep school or an Ivy League University, we can at least dress the part can’t we?

  46. Anglophile Ivy | October 24, 2012 at 2:24 am |

    @World’s End

    Unlike today’s Ivy League university students, who dress like slobs.

  47. Buttoned Down | October 24, 2012 at 2:47 am |

    @Mark Miwords

    Indeed. Created in New York and perpetuated at Ivy League colleges by professors who thought they were dressing like English country gentlemen.

  48. @ Mark Miwords – it would be “Ivy” for today, if it were not so mainstreamy “Ivy related”. Ivy existed from about 1920 to the late 90s in all it’s evolving, but many details stayed – the unlined OCBD collars, the sack cut – in all it’s variations -, the preference for Longwings and Pennyloafers… But then the mass production of today took over… It is… they are going back but only a little bit. You can see that more and more details are back but overall it is mainstreamy mass production crap – therefore the collar is lined, the shoulders are british etc. Not that it is a bad look, but i looks more like a bad copy of “real” Ivy, which has a charme of it’s own, that I miss. I really think J. Press is quite good but it’s not Ivy anymore, it’s more Continental-Anglo-Ivy. If this is Ivy, modern Gant is Ivy, too. But then I would prefer Gant, they don’t pretend to be Ivy anymore. BTW, my opinion is that this photos are pretty cheesy – but tastes are different.

    @Main Line Trad: A fetish? Oh, that’s why Brooks Brothers did unlined collars until the Italian takeover 2001? I guess they would have had access to the right lining until the 60`s… And G. Bruce Boyer does wear Mercer shirts because of being “Ivy fetish” oriented? The unlined collar is unlined because of being a “soft roll” collar that should be casual, sportive and relaxed, that’s why BD´s originally were casual non fomal shirts…

    And pleats – that said I do wear pleated and cuffed trousers, as I love classic British and Italian style, I also wear lined collars, I’m not an Ivy purist – pleats were introduced (invented) somewhere in the later 20’s, a time when the Brooks Brothers no.1 suit has been around for years. Until then there weren’t any pleats around. And we all know that Brooks Brothers was the first manufacturer of the iconic sack suit, they never did pleats on that, not only for the reason of economy! In the 30’s and later in the 80’s they also offered suits with pleated trousers and darted double breast jackets – but were those suits Ivy? No, as the original BB sack suit was produced – with minor changes – for many many decades after the introducing of pleats and parallel to any other styles they offered…

  49. There are so many mistakes going on – square jacket shoulders, shirt collar lined without roll, jacket sleeves that are too short, trousers that are too short… badly knotted repp tie! Nice shetland though. Watch is also nice. But the truth is in the details!

  50. How’s the lighting?

  51. Chelsea Drug Store | October 24, 2012 at 10:12 am |

    Can we have some more details on the jackets? Prices? Fabrics?

  52. Not to sound lazy, but they can all currently be seen on the J. Press website, so just head over there.

  53. enjoyed this post, and to honor it, had some Chet Baker on in the background as I graded papers last night . . . (no heroin though)

  54. The J Press tweeds are always too boxy in the shoulder- particularly if you already have shoulders, like me. I sold both of mine on eBay and picked up some made in Italy Polo ones that have a more natural shoulder.

  55. I love the attire except for the oxford shirt. I would have chose a different sweater besides the green one. Burgundy would have been perfect to bring out the patterns in that sports jacket.

  56. Re: collar roll….Back when I wore nothing but Sero shirts, I used to move the buttons so I would have a straighter collar. Its noteworthy that today, the shirt collars I prefer most, are the JPress shirts. Less roll. I love the Mercer shirt fabrics, and buy them, but for me, the collars are a teeny bit long, and a definite roll, by design.

  57. @RKW

    I remember doing exactly the same thing to Hathaway and Gant shirts.

  58. This obsession with shoulders is interesting. I think the shoulders look fine in every photo but the 8th one. What is interesting to me is that while I have other (non-Press) sack jackets that have softer shoulders, the overall look of a JPress sack jacket cannot be beat. And while I am not a design expert I’ve even wondered if that is because of the shoulders (vis-a-vis the overall silhouette), not in spite of them.

  59. I have never seen so many complaints. I’m talking to you Harry Potter, however not exclusively. These photos are excellent. I love trad clothing, but comments like these really ruin it for myself and others. The fact is, Christian dressed this fellow in from head to toe in the company that many of use tout as the bastion of Ivy: J.Press. If folks don’t like it, talk to them. The most Ivy people I know don’t sit there and analyze their four-in-hand, collar roll, etc. They give it a go, and forget about it. The Ivy many of us try to mimic is about acceptance, not obsession.

  60. Well done, and well said, Christian! Also glad to hear Press was pleased.

  61. Chelsea Drug Store | October 25, 2012 at 8:01 am |

    I’m not surprised that Press was pleased. Rarely have a mere clutch of snaps and a bit of well metered comic light verse made a brand look so desirable.

    As for the gang of unfortunates, who cares really what they think? They are just a bunch of barely educated tabloid readers who are now openly mocked by their leader. Mark my words, that site doesn’t have long to go.

  62. Those wayfarers are a great accessory for the ensembles. Especially like that navy and gold tie against the light blue shirt.

  63. I like this. Details on the tank watch in the shot with the Shaggy Dog?

  64. When I read that stuff at FNB, Christian, I begin to sympathize with the guy, PD, who asked where you prepped and if you went to an Ivy League college.

    What I mean is that the blogosphere is so chock full of self-identified experts whose only “knowledge” of Ivy style is gained from poring over old pictures in Life magazine or looking at period newspaper ads or jazz album covers. There are few out there who actually grew up in the style, whether at a prep school or at an Ivy college, who actually lived it and who know Ivy not indirectly but through direct experience. As someone who actually went to a prep school and an Ivy League university “back in the day,” it is extremely frustrating to read wrongheaded opinions and bogus “facts” peddled by would-be tastemakers like Jim whose bona fides are so suspect.

    For your own part, what I enjoy about this site is that while you are not an Ivy Leaguer you clearly “get it.” And while you are an Ivy enthusiast you also bring a journalist’s distance to the process and resist the urge to state categorically what “is” and “is not” Ivy.

  65. I see your point, Sartre, and I can think of several online tastemakers whose posturing is at odds with their background.

    I’m not sure what it is that I’m supposed to “get,” but when I took up this topic, a disinterested outsider with a background in journalism is exactly what I thought the topic needed. The guys born to it have other things to do, and the amateur trad bloggers lacked the standards associated with those of us who write for a living (ability to find news, ability to put reader interest first, not our personal lives, ability to punctuate).

    Also, I hope it’s clear that since day one with this site I never claimed to be the voice of the Ivy League or prep experience, just a style blogger (though with an interest in the cultural side of style). Not to pick on such an obvious target, but WASP 101’s crucial error was in choosing a blog name and adopting an editorial point of view in which he attempts to speak for an entire group, one that tragicomically he has no connection to nor even apparent understanding of.

    Finally, it’s a strange coincidence that this sort of authenticity/authority question has arisen, as I’ve spent the day working on a larger piece on the origins of the Ivy League Look and had a long phone call with Charlie Davidson. I’d largely stumped him with the questions I was asking — difficult social-custom stuff that’s hard to pin down — and he said something about encouraging me to find my own way of articulating it. I said it had been my plan since day one to never take anything on this topic for granted until I’d learned it myself and to question everything. Charlie agreed that was the right approach and said, “Don’t take anybody’s word for anything, including me.”

  66. I think you “get” the provenance of the style and its nuances. I think you “get” the cultural context. You have an understanding that, if not born of experience, is born of a (good) journalist’s curiosity. And you seem to be a gentleman.

  67. Extremely kind words, Sartre, that are much appreciated.

  68. Sloan Square | October 26, 2012 at 5:31 am |

    Comment by Sartre — October 25, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

    “I think you “get” the provenance of the style and its nuances. I think you “get” the cultural context. You have an understanding that, if not born of experience, is born of a (good) journalist’s curiosity. And you seem to be a gentleman.”

    I agree with this entirely. At the end of the day, breeding will out. One tries not to be a snob in these matters, but it so hard not to be when one reads the inarticulate mumblings of the ‘oi’ brigade and their instigator.One thing that does surprise me is how the site owner, Mr..FNB, allows his good name to be associated with these illiterate yobs.

  69. World's End | October 26, 2012 at 6:18 am |

    Comment by Sartre — October 25, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

    “….. the blogosphere is so chock full of self-identified experts whose only “knowledge” of Ivy style is gained from poring over old pictures in Life magazine or looking at period newspaper ads or jazz album covers. … it is extremely frustrating to read wrongheaded opinions and bogus “facts” peddled by would-be tastemakers… whose bona fides are so suspect.”

    I think we need to have a modicum of charity here. It’s clear from their lack of decorum that these are hardly those born with an privilege. Clothes are very new to them. Indeed, some appear to have been abuse as children. Is it any wonder they are so befuddled and angry at the world and and have the need to try to appear to be smart and knowledgeable wherever they can?

  70. Chelsea Village Market | October 26, 2012 at 9:25 am |

    Someone mentioned ‘wrong-headed opinions’. This is the problem with the internet, isn’t it? On the one hand we have menswear aristocrats such and Richard Press and the professional journalism of this site. And then we have have a louts coughing and spitting into their spittoons. As a poster said a few weeks ago ape’s an ape and a varlet’s a varlet’.

  71. Cleaned out the nonsense. Been too lenient around here (cue laughter). People always tell me my comment section is wildly entertaining and pretty nuts. Going to keep the nuts out from now on. I hope it encourages a higher level of discourse.

  72. Sure, clothes comments. It’s a clothes blog.

    I’m surprised there is no content on the versus – great stuff.

  73. MeMyselfandI | October 29, 2012 at 8:21 am |

    I’m not a fan of the shoulders on the jackets, or the look of the collars on the shirts, but I do however really like the colours used and the way the outfits have been put together. These pictures have prompted me to look at J press’s website, and I shall be purchasing some flannels and a shaggy dog in the not to distant future.

Comments are closed.