From The Editor

  Ivy is a fashion born of a mindset manifested in a lifestyle.  There are values attached:  dignity, the value and power of thought, ethics, hard work, aesthetics, appreciation of all things classic, and the dogged pursuit of excellence.   While Ivy evolves (I haven’t worn socks since Easter) the values don’t.  If you are a

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From The Archives

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Katnip Kollege, 1938

OK, it’s officially Cartoon Week. This one’s from 1938, three years into the swing era. The music is decidedly different from 1932’s “Freddy The Freshman.” — CC

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Dateline 1954, The Ivy League Look Heads Across The US

In our last post we mentioned a 1954 LIFE Magazine article entitled “The Ivy Look Heads Across US.” It’s been referenced several times here, including in a few of Richard Press’ columns, as J. Press was largely featured in the article. But we’ve never actually presented it here and new readers may not be familiar with

The Marketing Man Who Made Jazz And Ivy Cool

Commenting on our article “Is Ivy Cool?” reader “Camford” asked, “Are cigarettes and jazz cool?” I cannot say whether they are cool. Well, I could, but I won’t, as my physician, insurance agent and childhood music teacher might be reading this article. But I believe they are both addictive and potentially lethal. When I was young

Liberty Belle

It’s the Fourth Of July 2021, and we’re at a loss for words. So let’s just look at a sex symbol from the heyday, in this case the woman born Norma Jeane Mortonson. No doubt many a buttoned-down fellow dreamed about her, saying things like, “Her eyes I adore so. And her torso? Even more

My ’50s Childhood

This week for reasons unknown, though perhaps related to a fine bottle of California Zinfandel, I sat down and watched the movie “Grease.” The movie was released in 1978 when I was eight years old, and as my sister and I were both in dancing class, my parents took us to this clever addition to the

Hanover Hangover: A Selection Of Vintage Dartmouth Videos

Yesterday Richard Press opined on his days at Dartmouth among “college guys with bloody bloodshot eyes,” and today we offer a hangover cure in the form of videos from the heyday of the Ivy League Look. You could call it a hair of the bulldog, except that’s Yale.

O’Connell’s, Where It’s Still 1959

With summer in the home stretch we revisit this post showing a glimpse of what O’Connell’s, one of the last surviving independent trad clothiers, sold back in the day. A 2012 edition of the Buffalo News carried a story on independent men’s clothiers, including O’Connell’s, which has opened in Buffalo in 1959 and still carries

The Cleanest Cut: Remembering Dick Clark

A clean-cut appearance has always been part of the Ivy League Look. With a soft-shouldered jacket and Princeton haircut, a young man could conveniently mask his salacious intentions. After all, what father could fear for his teenage daughter’s honor while on a date with a boy wearing a cardigan? In the 1950s, this kind of

The Ivy League Look In Australia In The ’50s

During the heyday of the Ivy League Look, the natural-shoulder diaspora spread not only from the Ancient Eight to campuses across America, it also spread to far corners of the globe. In March of 1957, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the growing trend for American Ivy League clothes. Farmer’s is a department store that

Dirty White Bucks & An Ivy League Coat

We’ve previously featured pop tunes from the Ivy heyday (and from the good old days when guys would sing about their clothes), and here’s another one: Ronnie Haig & Jerry Siefert singing the praises of dirty white bucks and “an Ivy League coat to burn out your eye.” Ignore the references to tight pants.