Lit

French Post

Sunday is the day for making a big breakfast, such as French toast. Which rhymes with post. Because, well… Happy Bastille Day from Eric Twardzik, who wrote this poem in honor of French Ivy. * * * The French Ivy look doesn’t, exist some say It’s imagined, conjured, invented yesterday Such opinions are offered online


Poetic Injustice

Before his untimely death, few men of letters embodied the jazz-fueled cool of midcentury New York better than poet Frank O’Hara. The Whitman of the modern urban landscape, O’Hara captured the essence of the city, its multitudes, and its motions of constant speed punctuated with moments of stillness. Heavily influenced by Abstract Expressionism and jazz, his


The Quiet American

It’s been a decade since John Updike died at the age of 76. While his status as a Great American Novelist is well known, his role as an icon of sartorial understatement is not. And so we present this homage to a master not only of English literature, but of dressing with quiet flair. Our


Poor Richard

Richard Yates was one of those guys who adopted the Ivy look early in life and never let go of it. Whether due to good taste, lack of imagination, or being too impecunious to afford new clothes, Yates’ perennial style was described by Dan Wakefield (author of “New York in the Fifties”) as follows: Yates


Building Character

The Ivies are not the same, including when it comes to matters of style. In 2008 Slate posted an article analyzing Fitzgerald’s heroes and whether they went to Harvard, Yale or Princeton. Fitzgerald has Amory Blaine, hero of “This Side of Paradise,” his first novel, offer the following assessment of the three schools: I want to go


Performance Anxiety

As we’ve repeatedly been told, WASP nonchalance is merely an affectation, a performance that renders its mannered marionettes ever anxious about committing some cred-crushing gaucherie. And if it’s like that for members of the tribe, just imagine what it’s like for Jews. Tobias Wolff’s 2003 novel “Old School” belongs to the prep-school-coming-of-age genre, while its central


Writers Block

In 1962 Life ran a group of photos of American authors. Pictured above is James Baldwin, while below is Philip Roth. John O’Hara: Herman Wouk: Peter De Vries: Harrison Salisbury:


Philip Roth, 1933-2018

Philip Roth, author of prep-lit novel “Goodbye Columbus,” has died at the age of 85. You can find an NPR tribute here. — CC


Live Poets Society: Chens v. Boyer On World Poetry Day

Today is World Poetry Day, and since much of the East Coast is housebound from the snow storm, what better excuse to light the candles, pour some tea (or cognac) and enjoy some rhyming verse by Ivy Style’s founder Christian Chensvold and special correspondent G. Bruce Boyer. Both men studied English in college (Boyer even


Golden Years: A Frosty Reception

The recent cocktail blast celebrating the new J.Press flagship store on 44th Street, prompted a question from MC media maven, journalist, man-about-town Zach Weiss about my brief time with Robert Frost at Dartmouth. Frost attended Dartmouth in 1892, joining Theta Delta Chi fraternity, but problematic family circumstances forced return to his home in California after


Bohemian in a Sack Suit: The 1959 Brooks Brothers Novel

This post originally ran in 2010 and was Ivy Style’s 200th post. Today we’re up to 1,600. * * * For Ivy-Style’s 200th post, I thought I’d break out something special I’ve been sitting on for awhile. Last year, between Los Angeles and New York, I spent six months in my old environs of the


Papa’s Pennies

Penny loafers: suitable for everyone, including old bearded men who like safari-hunting, sea-fishing, arm-wrestling, bullfighting and hard drinking. Shout-out to longtime comment-leaver “Old School” for submitting this great photo. — CC Addendum: photo info:  “Ernest Hemingway at his standing writing desk on the balcony of Bill Davis’s home near Malaga where he wrote The Dangerous Summer.”


Elegant, Sporty & Trad: Your Summer Big-Date Dressing Formula

Since starting this website I’ve looked at countless hundreds of trad outfits. Some on regular guys posted on the web, some in catalogs and magazines, and some on gents I’ve met around the fair city of New York. But one outfit has stood out above all the others, and though it’s been three years since


Voice In The Dark: Richard Frede’s Entry E, 1958

“Entry E” is something of a pulp novel, telling a tale of Ivy League life in America that was considered startling on its release in 1958. But for all the adolescent angst and raucous action in this story, there is plenty of mid-century Ivy League style and quiet consideration of the “Ivy Man,” described in


Long Live The (Old) Esquire Man

This weekend the New York Times Magazine ran a feature story entitled “The Esquire Man Is Dead; Long Live The Esquire Man.” It centers around the magazine’s new editor and its search for relevance in 2017. There’s a lot of interesting history in the piece, though one thing’s for certain: the magazine won’t be going


Buckskin Vest And Lilac Necktie: Page One Of Stover At Yale

A member of our Facebook group recently presented the opening page of the Owen Johnson’s 1911 novel “Stover At Yale,” a coming-of-age tale about a young freshman at New Haven. Dink Stover, freshman, chose his seat in the afternoon express that would soon be rushing him to New Haven and his first glimpse of Yale


Where All The Angry Young Men Go

This story originally published in November, 2009 and is being reposted in honor of National Coffee Day. * * * For the Beat Generation, there were only two places to live: New York’s Greenwich Village and San Francisco’s North Beach. North Beach has been an old stomping ground of mine since my early twenties. I


Appearances Are Everything: PJ O’Rourke On Clothes

It’s actually Professor Week here at Ivy Style, instigated by the Wall Street Journal article we posted, which delared that corduroy and elbow patches are in. Members of our Facebook page already submitted photos of a number of tweedy pedagogues in fact and fiction, and you’re welcome to email me any suggestions. We’ll be rolling


The Old Money Look: Princeton Boys And The Sandpapered Shirt Collar

The recent New York Times piece on the the new/old Brooks Brothers oxford shirt contained the source of an important sartorial anecdote. Years ago I’d seen a reference online to the custom that Princeton boys back in the day who didn’t come from WASPy families and prep schools would sandpaper the collars of their shirts