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

Sartoria Portlandia: John Helmer Turns 100

John Helmer III knew what he wanted to do from an early age. “It was a little bit destiny,” he told me with a waggish grin when I visited his store in Downtown Portland on a recent summer morning. “My dad remodeled the store the year I was born, 1956. They put me out in

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Take 8 Ivy: Take It Or Leave It

Today we revisit the sequel to “Take Ivy,” which shows how fast things changed following the fall of the Ivy heyday. * * * The global Ivy Trendwatch continues as a Japanese publisher has re-released “Take 8 Ivy,” photographer Teruyoshi Hayashida’s follow-up to his 1965 tome “Take Ivy.” Sequels are rarely as good as first

Le Crocodile: How Lacoste Became The Preppy Polo of Choice

By 1980 it was crystal clear: “The sport shirt of choice is Lacoste,” declared The Official Preppy Handbook. “Only the all-cotton model will do, the one with cap sleeves with the ribbed edging, narrow collar and two-button placket (never buttoned).” How did a French shirt with a crocodile for a logo become the go-to preppy polo?

Dirty Harry’s Clean Style

As many readers of the site have fortified their dwellings into makeshift self-isolation zones, the perfect opportunity to work without disruption also brings the opportunity to surf Amazon Prime and Netflix in equal concentration. In this self-isolation, my thoughts drifted to a style icon often not mentioned. I am speaking about Clint Eastwood as one of cinema’s

That Seventies Post

In response to our last post, which was penned by a young woman, frequent comment-leaver SE sent in some images of female students from the University of the South’s 1978 yearbook, depicting a mixture of masculine and feminine elements in their wardrobe. I came of age in the ’80s and dreamed of girls like Jennifer in

Back In The Day: The Inner Sanctum Of Brooks Brothers

I went to William And Mary, graduating in 1974, the second Watergate summer. My Richmond, Virginia public high school was a sea of Ivy style dress, as was the city itself, served by incredible downtown department stores and specialty men’s stores in the heyday. As the ’70s arrived, I drifted from the Ivy style I’d grown

Somewhere in Time: Back to the Button-Down

The currents of change move slowly in menswear; there is always time, as TS Eliot put it, “to murder and create.” Adherence to this adage may result in innovation, but more often than not the target of “murder” and the object of creation are one and the same. In short, menswear does away with certain

Somewhere in Time: The Politics of Style

Traditional Ivy style is rarely exhibited by the most visible Ivy League graduates: politicians. For instance, George W. Bush (Yale, Harvard) and Barack Obama (Columbia, Harvard) are never seen wearing sack suits, button down collars, or regimental striped ties. So when and why did establishment Ivy Leaguers abandon the Ivy look? “Goodbye to Wing Tips,”

Reggie Darling On Yale In The ’70s

After looking at the year 1969 in the last post, we revisit this 2012 essay on the decade that followed. * * * At the recent “Ivy Style” symposium at the MFIT I had the chance to meet “Reggie Darling,” the man behind one of the more charming blogs written by a fiftysomething nostalgic for

Cataloging The Good Life: Polo Ralph Lauren, Spring 1977

Last week we posted that neo-prep is back at Ralph Lauren. Today we journey back 40 years ago, when the brand was first beginning to stage lavish fantasy shoots done on location. These would reach their apex in the mid to late ’80s with, for example, 20-page ad narrative spreads in magazines such as Architectural

Southern Frat: The 1979 “Are You a Preppie?” Poster

Ivy-Style has just learned from a top-notch (and top drawer) source, who will be the subject of our next post, the identity of the creator of the late ’70s dorm-room poster “Are You a Preppie?” Long before he went on to helm such films as “Patch Adams,” “Ace Ventura” and “Liar, Liar,” Tom Shadyac created