WASPdom

The Life Aquatic: Pulling Off Poolside Panache

Some years ago The Rake asked me to meditate on the concept of poolside elegance. My starting point was the work of Slim Aarons, while my ending note was James Bond. In between are stops in Palm Beach with a few notes on WASPdom. If anything, this piece should get you thinking about a summer

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Tradified

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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From The Archives

Proboscis Profiles: The Art Of Akira Sorimachi

Recently a unapologetically philistine reader left a comment saying he much prefered the world of finance to the subject of art history. Robin Williams’ character in “Dead Poets Society” has a speech about that kind of thing. But here’s some art I think all of us can appreciate: the work of Japanese illustrator Akira Sorimachi

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WASPs, Men’s Mags, And Bad Clothes

There are several big media pieces worth our looking at. As they came across my desk one by one, a certain theme emerged. The three pieces in question concern WASPs, men’s magazines, and finally a men’s magazine’s view of WASPs, among other things. First up is City Journal, which reports on the end of men’s


Friends in High Places: “Cheerful Money” Reviewed

Today we revisit this post from 2010 on the rise and fall of WASPdom. * * * Very belatedly I’m finally getting around to a post on Tad Friend’s “Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of WASP Splendor,” which was released last year. Like the tribe of WASPs itself, Friend and his


Tribal Factions: The WASP vs. The Trad

Nomenclature in Tradsville is a tricky thing, and depends largely on your point of view. Those who like hair-splitting will tell you that a short-sleeved gingham shirt is Trad but not Preppy. Likewise, bit loafers are WASPy but not Ivy. Fair points to an extent, though it gets tedious pretty fast, and bloggers and forum posters


Forgotten Footwear: Lloyd & Haig

In his memoir Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of WASP Splendor, Tad Friend writes, “My generation was the last to receive silver christening cups and to be taken shopping for the chain mail of adulthood: camel hair coats and Brooks Brothers suits and Lloyd & Haig shoes.”  The provider of the


Somewhere in Time: The Politics of Style

Traditional Ivy style is rarely exhibited by the most visible Ivy League graduates: politicians. For instance, George W. Bush (Yale, Harvard) and Barack Obama (Columbia, Harvard) are never seen wearing sack suits, button down collars, or regimental striped ties. So when and why did establishment Ivy Leaguers abandon the Ivy look? “Goodbye to Wing Tips,”


At Least We Get To Keep The Clothes

Today a conservative New York Times columnist waxed poetic about the virtues of the former WASP establishment. You can imagine how well that went over. Looks like their most lasting contribution to American culture will be their clothing. — CC


GHWB, WASPER

  A friend forwarded the following from Greenwich County Day School, regarding President Bush: Honoring President George H.W. Bush GCDS Class of 1937 From Adam Rohdie, Headmaster On November 30, America and the global community lost a leader and statesman whose life is a testament to the power of service and an enduring commitment to


Crewneck Over Club Tie And Other Forms Of Sacrilege

Over the course of nearly ten years, Ivy Style has received some 45,000 comments. According to a reader yesterday, the following is the best — what’s more, it’s the best comment on the entire Internet. I suppose it depends where your interests lie. Nevertheless, this lengthy comment in response to Charlottesville’s essay on the 500th


Searching For The P In WASP

At some point in the 1980s, I was working in Manhattan and overheard a conversation between two fellows from another borough discussing one of my business associates, whose unlikely given name was Win, possibly short for Winston. “Win? Who knows anybody named Win?” asked the first. The other guy noted that he had discovered this


Confronting The Shadow: The Preppy’s Dark Alter-Ego, The Bro

There’s a guy you probably encounter on a regular basis. Sometimes it seems like he’s right over your shoulder, following you. He kind of looks like you. He has a neat haircut. He wears khakis and boat shoes. On festive summer occasions he’ll wear patch-madras shorts and polo shirts in bright, go-to-hell colors. When he