P-Unit Forever: Behind the Scenes of Tea Partay

OK, you just read the headline, saw the embedded video, and you’re snickering. Let me explain. When I founded this site, I vowed never to post the Smirnoff “Tea Partay” video, which had become infamous in the online world of Tradsville. But I recently began covering digital marketing for Yahoo!, and found myself chatting with

Return Of The Preppy Jerk, And This Time It’s Twins

The archetypal preppy jerk has returned to take his place of privilege in the pop culture pantheon. Netflix has a new show out called “The Politician” which features twin brothers and a Southern California setting whose style is inspired by Slim Aarons, Wes Anderson, JFK, and ’80s Ralph Lauren ads. The brothers are played by

Killin’ It: Anthony Perkins, Style Icon

With his wholesome looks and penchant for the Ivy style, Anthony Perkins was perfect to play the apparently good-natured but in fact deranged killer Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.” He also had a taste for our style.Here’s a quote about Perkins from Tab Hunter’s autobiography: As I toweled off, someone approached and formally introduced

News Roundup: Jazz, Movies, Clothes

We’ve got a handful of news items to get through. Where to start? How about with the 30th anniversary of “Dead Poets Society.” The Guardian has a tribute, writing: Like Weir’s other film based in and around an exclusive private school, the more enigmatic Picnic at Hanging Rock, education is viewed as a pivotal but

Trend Forecast Alert: Fred Rogers Style

The Mr. Rogers film trailer has “dropped,” as the kids say. “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood,” starring Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, is scheduled for a Thanksgiving release. Expect a fall fashion trend of collar pins, bow ties, penny loafers and blue canvas sneakers, and cardigans (alas zippered). 

SETI Style

Recent posts have centered around film, NASA and pipesmoking. Well last night I found a little tidbit that ties them all together. I don’t have cable TV or any streaming services, so if I find myself without a DVD from Netflix, I’ll sometimes walk to my local thrift shop and “rent” a movie, just like in

Le Movie-Star

I first became aware of French actor Alain Delon’s work through the Proust adaptation “Swann In Love,” opposite Jeremy Irons. Recently I watched him in “The Leopard;” it was probably my third viewing and each time the movie climbs the ranks of my all-time favorites. If you feel like an “old relic,” as our contributor

Disney Animator Milton Quon, 1913-2019

Over the past year I’ve found myself increasingly frustrated with contemporary filmmaking. It’s taken a while to put my finger on exactly what the problem is. Obviously the shaky camera used in things like the Jason Bourne movies  is an an annoying means of creating tension. Hitchcock never needed that. Quick edits are also part

Preppies, Rescued From The Dustbin Of VHS History

Like many cities, Boston recently installed a series of “take a book, leave a book” stations that resemble oversized birdhouses and reliably contain obscure cookbooks and romance paperbacks. I found myself rifling the contents of one this past winter while procrastinating on an assignment, and was rewarded with an old-even-by-VHS-standards copy of “Preppies,” a 1984

Secrets of Sprezzatura: The Messed-Up Shirt Collar

Do your outfits look stiff and contrived? What you need is a dash of sprezzatura — deliberately calculated nonchalance — to give yourself a more devil-may-care, deshabille appearance. Here’s a quick fix in three easy steps: 1) When you launder an oxford-cloth buttondown, keep the collar buttoned. As the shirt gets knocked around in the wash, then

Cocktails For Two

Over the years I came to develop a great affection for director Blake Edwards. Sure he made a lot of stinkers, but he also made “Breakfast At Tiffany’s.” Later in his career he made “Skin Deep” with a brilliantly cast John Ritter; it remains one of my favorite comedies from the ’80s and contains my

Running Man

In 2008 I did an assignment for the late Rugby Ralph Lauren blog about the movie “The Express.” This post became one of the earliest posts on Ivy Style, dating from early October 2008. It’s worth revisiting as the film has likely fallen into obscurity, and while not a masterpiece, it’s worth checking out for

The Post Of The Seven Gables

Clark Gable is largely remembered as one of the glamorous menswear icons of the 1930s, along with Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, and just about every other star from the Golden Age of Hollywood. But as he aged and fashions changed, Gable evolved with the times and shed his double-breasted suits with nipped waists and squared shoulders,

Day’s Long Journey Into Night

This morning many of us no doubt awoke to the news that a celebrity died whom we didn’t even know was still living. Actress and singer Doris Day, whose career overlapped almost precisely with the Ivy heyday, has died at the age of 97. I began watching classic movies in my early twenties, and it

How To Cary Yourself

It had been a long time since I’d watched a Cary Grant film, as his oeuvre doesn’t contain much set in the Middle Ages, Ancient Greece, or prehistoric times. But this weekend I watched “The Bishop’s Wife” from 1947, and in it Grant wears a noteworthy outfit. Then again, I suppose the point is that everything

Lemmon-tations of a Company Man

In 1964, Jack Lemmon starred in “Good Neighbor Sam,” playing a wholesome family man who works in San Francisco at — what else? — an advertising agency. He commutes over the Golden Gate Bridge from Marin County, which I too did for a while. I shudder to think what the bridge toll is now. Lemmon is weary

When LIFE Gives You Lemmons

Here are a few shots of actor Jack Lemmon from the LIFE archives. Lemmon played many sack-suited characters throughout the Ivy heyday. He’s pictured on the set of “The Apartment” in 1959 in a classic outfit formula you should try if you haven’t. You take a simple solid suit and tie (often a knit), and for subtle

Tea and Sympathy, 1956

“Tea and Sympathy” is one of the books on the reading list featured in “The Official Preppy Handbook.” Written by Robert Anderson for the stage, it was adapted for the screen in 1956 with Vincente Minnelli at the helm. “Tea and Sympathy” is set at a boys’ prep school, where sensitive Tom Lee (played by John Kerr)