Lit

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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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Black Comedy

What is the future of dressing up? Has the pandemic, as many have suggested, killed off proper attire for good? Back in January I published a storybook of “apocalyptic menswear fiction” in which I assembled the entire history of men’s fashion in one place, lit a match and burned it to the ground. And just


Word On The Street: Poets On Brooks Brothers

It is remarkable how many references to Brooks Brothers appear in discussions of mid-century American poetry, most of them critical. As the discipline of creative writing grew, more poets found work in the academy. Critics of this new system and the poetry it produced liked to describe these poet-professors as dressed in Brooks Brothers, a


Brooks To Outfit Both Sides In Civil War II

As American democracy comes to a close and citizens prepare to act out the pantomime of “voting” with a choice between Communism on the one side and Fascism on the other, historic American menswear brand Brooks Brothers is ensuring that no matter what the outcome it will end up on the right side of history. 



Sartorial Confessions Of An English Professor

I like to teach the essays that the poet Donald Hall wrote in his eighties, beautiful, moving and often funny reflections on literature, aging, and mortality. Before leaving academia, Hall worked as an English professor at the University of Michigan. One summer he retrieved his mail at the department, dressed (as he recounts) in “plastic


Trial By Fire

“I’m afraid to ask,” I said woozily, “but where does Trump fit in all of this?” Oldman shook his head with contempt. “A petty Caesar drowning in the swamp. And he will not be joining us here.” He and Mark shared their first amicable glance, and, in perfect sync, intoned together, “His tie’s too long.”


Humor Under Lockdown

Traditionally April 1st is the day of the year when Ivy Style makes attempts at being funny. This year the online consensus is that under no circumstances should April Fool’s Day be “celebrated.” After a great deal of pipesmoking deliberation, I have selflessly decided to share the complete prologue and first act of my new


Big Man On Campus

It would be an understatement to say F. Scott Fitzgerald was an arbiter of the Ivy League Look. A former student at Princeton who, having become absorbed in writing dropped out to write several critically acclaimed books, Fitzgerald helped chronicle the Jazz Age and the clothing styles that came to define it. Though Fitzgerald was


A Lazy Sunday Afternoon

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon and I was reclining on the sofa listening to Fred Astaire’s album with Oscar Peterson leading an all-star sextet and floating on a stream of reveries. Astaire cut the album in 1952, and swung his way through songs he’d introduced to America a generation before in those glorious black-and-white


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