Historic Images


In 1868 sneakers were called Felonies.

Editor’s Note:  Old School sent me a collection of essays from old Land’s End catalogs… and they are fantastic.  We’ll feature some of them – there’s an essay on ironing your own shirt (the male author says, “You may call me a pantywaist but…”) (I have to tell you, I had no idea pantywaist was


WASPS by Michael Knox Beran

Book reviews are so predictable.  They start in one of two ways – either with the author’s take on the subject and then a segue into the book (if you want my take on the subject read WASPS by John Burton – KIDDING there is no book like that) or with a quote from the





The Desert Boot

  I have always been a fan of Chukka boots. The desert boot’s close cousin, Chukka boots are essentially a beefed-up version of their relative. While the basic outline remains the same, Chukkas have a slightly more streamlined silhouette and are made of sturdier leathers and more durable rubber soles. All around, the Chukka is


Must-Have Summer Vacation Item: The Dacron Suit, 1961

Every so often while working the Ivy beat, I come across an historical document so utterly anathema to the world of today that it feels like it’s from another universe. Case in point, this advertisement dug up by Ivy Style contributor Chris Sharp. It ran in a May, 1961 edition of the Brown University school newspaper,



Better Things: Rogers Peet & Co.

Rogers Peet was inducted into the halls of Americana with the song “Marry The Man Today” from the 1950 musical, “Guys & Dolls.” The lyrics tout the clothier as among “the better things: respectable, conservative and clean,” in company with the likes of Readers’ Digest, Guy Lombardo, golf, galoshes and Ovaltine. That may befit the


Brave New World: IBM Style Encore

The corporate conformists take a curtain call. Let us peer once again into the offices of International Business Machines, circa 1962. The shots almost have a sci-fi vibe to them. I love the contrast between the vintage computers and simple, formal dress. Today’s web start-ups and flip-flops just aren’t the same. Just because you have


Drones Club: IBM’s New HQ in ’62

In keeping with the theme of our last post, Ivy-Style presents the following photo spread. In “IBM Story,” Life Magazine chronicled the company’s new headquarters in Dayton, NJ, which IBM moved into in the fall of 1962. Time changes perspective, and perspective changes everything. IBM at midcentury was the epitome of corporate-drone conformity, a punchline for


Taft By Numbers: Peter Rawson III, 1952

In 1952, LIFE Magazine ran a profile on the Taft family, one of America’s great political dynasties, having produced President William Howard Taft. The family also produced a prep school — The Taft School in Watertown, CT — which was founded by William’s brother Horace Dutton Taft, an early Skull & Bones member, and attended by


Gray Suits And Madras

Best wishes for a delightful holiday weekend as we remember those who’ve given their lives to defend this great nation of ours, and when we also remember what a great genre of clothing our forefathers have given us. Note the great sartorial variety in the image above, from charcoal suits to madras shorts, all thrown


Spring Trend Forecast: Argyle Socks & Shorts

OK, not a trend for this season, but it was in 1957. At least in one place: Rhodes College. And at least among this group of guys… on this particular day. But even in this small scientific sample, you can see human social tendencies asserting themselves. The guys in solid socks may be part of the


Art of the Deal: 1960s Japanese Playing Cards

Well here’s a super-cool discovery: a pack of 1960s playing cards using cover art for the magazine Heibon Punch, by artist Ayumi Ohashi. The cards, our translator tells us, depict a wide range of social situations and leisure activities and the proper attire for each. 


True University Style: Kuppenheimer, 1928

The above image, which comes from a 1928 Kuppenheimer catalog, ties in with themes explored in our comprehensive rise and fall essay: namely town and country, or city and campus. In it the three-button undarted suit is presented as “authentically designed” for the university man, while the postgraduate “Young Executive” model is a tapered two-button option.These


Green Day: 1950s Campus Ads For The Fighting Irish

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day we pay tribute to the Irish — specifically the Fighting Irish of the University Of Notre Dame. After a long and fruitless search for vintage images, I finally found a few in the campus magazine called The Scholastic, where there were some ads for Arrow buttondowns, “natural” tuxedo rentals (with