1920s-’40s


Ideal For Lounging About: Bass Weejuns, 1936

It’s already time to dip into the Esquire archives again. This one was spotted by Marc Chevalier, walking menswear encyclopedia and member of Ivy Style’s Facebook group. The ad above dates to August 1936, less than one year after Esquire had helped introduce the Bass Weejun to the nation. Two months later, there was this


What Is The Origin Of The Two-Button Cuff?

The Masters golf tournament gets underway tomorrow, and so in the interest of timeliness we present the above photo to fuel historic conjecture. The photo is of Ernest Jones, one of the most famous early golf instructors and author of the classic tome “Swing The Clubhead.” Jones was an Englishman who lost a leg in


Brooks Civvies: The New Yorker, 1945

Perhaps the heyday of the Ivy League Look began not in the ’50s, but the moment after World War II’s detente. In this 1945 New Yorker cartoon, a soldier returns home from the war and is told by his mother to immediately get himself some mufti at Brooks Brothers to show that everything is all


White Friday

  Stuff your stocking with stocking ties from White of New Haven.



What, Me Worry? Yale During The Great Depression

The 1930s was the time of the Great Depression, yet simultaneously it was also the golden age of Hollywood glamor and of masculine elegance. It was also the time when the Ivy League Look flourished, though within closed corridors, the aristocratic golden age versus the postwar, democratic silver age. This article from the Yale Alumni



Ivy’s Place On The The Sartorial Totem Pole

Following the mention of Paul Fussell’s pinpoint-accurate and hilarious book “Class” in our last post, faithful reader “Old School” sent us a reminder about another entertaining class theorist, Russell Lynes. The above chart comes from Lynes’ 1949 book “The Tastemakers.” His 1953 Esquire article on the shoe hierarchy at Yale, which we presented several years



The 2014 Ivy Style Seersucker Fest

Next Wednesday marks the return of National Seersucker Day, when the US Congress temporarily resembles a gathering of Kentucky Derby spectators. In celebration, Ivy Style will present a truly epic presentation of seersucker coverage — all spearheaded by associate editor Christopher Sharp — including multiple galleries depicting campus advertising through the decades. By the time


The Shawl-Collared Baseball Cardigan For RL Magazine

My latest piece for Ralph Lauren Magazine is on the shawl-collared cardigan, which was the favored warm-up gear for baseball players from about 1900-1930. Origins of exactly how and why the shawl cardigan became associated with baseball are murky, and very few of the sweaters survive outside of photographs. I was able to talk to


Bowed To Joy: Harvard Displays Architect Walter Gropius’ Bow Ties

A collection of six bow ties belonging to pioneering modernist architect Walter Gropius (1883-1969) are currently on display at the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Frances Loeb Library. Gropius, along with fellow modernist Le Corbusier, helped cement the bow tie as an emblem of nonconformist thinking, creativity, and architectural genius. The bow ties in the


Boys To Men: The Long And Short Of It

No need to be long-winded, so I’ll keep it short: Jackets that are too short make men look like boys, while jackets of adequate length make boys look like men. Take it from these 1927 Whiffenpoofs — estimated ages 18-22. These gentlemen songsters may be doomed from here to eternity, but it’s not for being


From Peasantry To Palm Beach: The Story Of The Bass Weejun

In the history of the Ivy League Look, Arnold Gingrich should receive honorable mention status solely based on his consideration of naming his fledgling magazine Town and Campus. He chose, however, to name it Esquire, and if that was were the story ended it would not be enough to warrant the virtual ink on this



Brooks Outfitted Gatsby Cast

Today Brooks Brothers announced that it was the official clothier of Baz Luhrmann’s “Great Gatsby” adaptation, which opens December 25. Under the direction of costume designer Catherine Martin, Brooks created more than 500 outfits for the male principals and extras. Women’s Wear Daily has an ungated feature on the collaboration complete with slideshow. Below is