Good Love Gone Bad: “Love Story” Turns 50

On December 16, Love Story starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal had its golden anniversary, meaning that it was released fifty years ago.  Have you recovered from the shock? Good. As all Ivy-Style readers know, the clothing has held up. I recently wore the dark turtleneck, khaki skirt, and knee-high boots combo made iconic by

License Revoked: John Gavin, Almost a 007

Take a look at the guy above: Mild-mannered schoolteacher, or James Bond, license to kill? Pictured here are screenshots from the 1961 saccharine-fest “Tammy Tell Me True,” a sequel to the equally tooth-rotting “Tammy,” whose title song was a hit for Pat Boone, which pretty much says it all. In the follow-up, Sandra Dee stars

The Last Man On Earth Wears Ivy Style

Can the sack suit surivive? Well in one cinematic tale — which was made during the Ivy heyday — it’s the last garment mankind will wear in the wake of a zombie apocalypse.  It wouldn’t be Halloween without a shot of Vincent Price, and below you’ll find the full version of his 1964 movie “The

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

Olympics, You Know: Walk Don’t Run, 1966

This  year the Olympic games were to be held in Tokyo, but they’re on hold until next year due to the pandemic. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the last time the Games were held in Japan, which produced a movie germane to the topic of Ivy League Style. “It’s the Olympics, you

So This Is College, 1929

One of most interesting aspects of the Ivy League Look is that while it campus dress was extremely formal in relation to that of today, it was relatively casual in relation to off-campus dress of the time. Historian Deidre Clemente has shown how college kids invented the very concept of being dressed-down in her book

The Difference Between Ivy And Preppy

There’s much debate about the difference between Ivy and preppy, but it’s really quite simple: they occur at different points on a timeline. For example, in 1964, when a spirited girl meets a handsome, reserved, all-American, clean-cut kind of guy who gets his clothing at Brooks Brothers, and simultaneously finds herself both attracted and repelled by

Jazz, Surfing And Poetry On A Summer’s Day

 Going through our archives, I found this post I originally wrote in 2012 and am pleased to update it for summer 2020, which I think we can all agree is the strangest summer in any of our lifetimes. One year ago I’d decided that 10 years in New York were enough and was planning to

Poised Or Oblivious? The True Essence Of Prep

Back in 2012 columnist Mark Oppenheimer penned an essay about prepdom for Salon that’s pegged on Whit Stillman’s new movie “Damsels In Distress.” The piece is more thoughtful than the usual stuff that gets said about the cultural phenomenon known as preppy. Oppenheimer’s thesis is that preppy is more than a style of dress. This

WASP Godfather: Whit Stillman’s Town & Country Cover Story

Coinciding with the 2012 release of “Damsels In Distress,” Whit Stillman was the subject of a Town & Country cover story. Hearst’s publicity department was kind enough to send over a preview (which I’m not allowed to post, alas), and the story has some interesting revalations about this unique filmmaker devoted to deadpan humor and the preppy

Saving Civilization: Whit Stillman’s Damsels In Distress

Back in 2012 we put up this preview to Whit Stillman’s first film after 13 years. Though not a top-drawer prep classic, it’s worth a view for those who can appreciate the writer-director’s subtle humor and critiques of contemporary life. Stillman, who’s been called the missing link between Woody Allen and Wes Anderson, has previously

Dressing Like A Free Man

Bilbo Baggins, Dr. Watson, the original Tim in the UK version of  “The Office,” the adult film star in “Love Actually.” All these parts have been played to some acclaim in recent years by Martin Freeman, now one of Britain’s leading character actors. But just as important as Freeman’s acting capability is his sense of

The Legendary Take Ivy Film

Before W. David Marx published “Ametora,” his pioneering book on American style in Japan, he wrote several pieces for Ivy Style. Here’s a revisit of a 2011 piece that shines light on Ivy both at home and abroad. * * * Just five years ago, 1965 photo book “Take Ivy” was a rarity. Most sat

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

The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt

There is little doubt that Mary Mccarthy’s short story “The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt” is now probably more famous for its punchy title — a dream for the Brooks Brother’s marketing team —  than it is for the actual story. But it remains a classic part of the mystique of the Brooks Brothers

Jazz vs. Ivy: All The Fine Young Cannibals, 1960

Jazz and Ivy duel for the affections of Natalie Wood in “All the Fine Young Cannibals,” a largely forgotten melodrama released a half a century ago. The film has not been released on DVD, but there are used VHS copies floating about, and if you search the web you might find a digital version. “All

Wet Behind The Ears: White Squall, 1996

I recently discovered the movie “White Squall,” directed by Ridley Scott and starring Jeff Bridges. Set in 1961, it’s a coming-of-age film crossed with maritime adventure. The story centers around a group of prep-school flunkies who get to redeem themselves in a kind of nautical reform school, doing their studies at sea while they learn sailing

Princeton Newsreel, 1961

This is a long one, but worth watching in full. Students in jackets and ties make their first appearance at 4:26, and return repeatedly, so be patient during the long science-lab scene. — CC

The Preppy Beatnik

I stopped by J. Press today and salesman Robert-kun was wearing an olive herringbone sportcoat and black turtleneck. I said he looked very jazz-beatnik (he’s a jazz guitarist, after all). Then I peered across the room and there was a fellow in a beret, and he wasn’t a young hipster. And so we revisit this