Ivy Notes S1 E5 – Happy Birthday Zoë!!

Our own Zoë G. Burnett last weekend at Diehl Marcus & Company of Salem, Massachusetts for her

Happy Birthday Zoë!!  May this year be amongst your favorites.  And thank you for everything you are doing and going to do here.

So we can track how people use the site, obviously, and some do scroll through a dozen posts or so at a time.  One of the most popular posts that people go back to was the Watch Me one – we will be following that up but a reader yesterday commented that the Seiko 5 was his daily watch.  Never been a Seiko fan myself but this one looks good:


The Seiko 5.


I am going to show you a watch next week from a designer who is “new to me” but some of you might know.  He designs a little bit of everything, from great knit ties to watches to horn bowls.  I am gonna have it all written up next week, I just started the interview and found out he lives in an RV in Europe and is currently in Madrid.  Anyway, here is yours truly with one of his watches and one of his ties.

The pen is the Jinhao I told you about. $6!!!

Thanks to everyone for the additions to the criteria for the White OCBD Review, a few other companies found out about it and wrote me to see if they could be included, some looked appropriate so I added them.  As they come in, quick question.  Given that online sales are reflexive and we don’t get the store experience as much, how important has packaging become and should we include it?

No packaging. I think perhaps packaging matters more now. It conveys curation, I think. Yes?


And finally, we are working on a new logo, and are interested in feedback.  I get what they were going for, but every time I see our logo I think of this:




So I started looking at the Ivy League logos as reference.  None of them use that collegiate font, which is fine by me.  This is a sketch of what I was thinking, if you have any thoughts or feedback (we are redesigning the site too, so this will go hand in hand, it will be cleaner and better organized with the Market function and other things) I would love to hear that too.

It’s a sketch. But you get the idea?


Have a safe weekend.


40 Comments on "Ivy Notes S1 E5 – Happy Birthday Zoë!!"

  1. Mr B.,

    I hate to rain on your parade but Wirecutter had a competition to determine the best OCBD. The J. Crew Organic Cotton OCBD won.


    When someone tells you there is no extra fabric when you tuck a shirt in they are telling you they designed it to be untucked. – JB

  2. 1. HBD ZOE!
    2. I like your font, but I am 63.
    3. You could experiment with a mid-mod font like Hanauer’s.
    4. I’m opposed to superfluous plastic packaging in general and believe the only thing needed is a ribbon in a natural material that degrades in the landfill about as fast as a pair of old boxers.

    You are GONNA LOVE St. John’s new packaging then. I will fool around with Hanauer’s, thanks! And… that kinda depends on whose boxers. I knew a guy once – petrified. – JB

  3. Love the knit tie.

  4. Diehl Marcus & Co. looks like a great place to hunt for birthday treasures.
    I like the more understated font, too. Maybe also consider a tasteful (and uncommon) script font that’s bold and simple enough to not get lost in its own loops and frills. Maybe.
    J. Crew makes such terrible shirts out of such beautiful fabric. They come in great colors and patterns, but they’re usually fast-fashion slim and have barely any collar to speak of. They’re great for some of the non-slim chinos and other basics, though. Even the occasional outerwear piece from them is worth a look. But definitely not the shirts.
    Agreed, that’s a great tie.

  5. Great room, great dress, watch, and necktie. The sketch logo, too, is wonderfully understated. It gets my vote.

    And Happy Birthday Zoe! That’s a wonderful look you have there. Wish we saw more women dress like this occasionally (or even most of the time) in 2022.

    Kind Regards,


  6. Minimalist Trad | February 4, 2022 at 12:14 pm |


    I like the proposed logo font, but I’d remove the period after “everyone”,
    keep the period and capitalize the’T’, or delete the period and capitalize the ‘T’:

    the classics are for everyone
    The classics are for everyone.
    The classics are for everyone

  7. Happy Birthday Zoe. The chair and the lampshade appear to be Nantucket red. Coincidence?

    I, too, like the tie, JB. Little polka dots, or big pin dots? Are the chinos, grey, blue? I can’t quite make it out on my screen. It’s California Ivy. And that Seiko would look great with a NATO band similar to your belt.

    THANKS. I am gonna post the tie much more closely this week. And you are right about the watch! – JB

  8. Charlottesville | February 4, 2022 at 2:22 pm |

    The new logo looks fine to me, but I had no real issues with the old one either.

    I wish a very happy birthday to Zoë, and a pleasant weekend to all.

  9. Happy birthday, Zoe. You look wonderful in the silk gown. Thanks for sharing and the setting for the photo, although elegant, does not compare to you.

  10. Happy Birthday Zoë! Look forward to reading more of your work here.

    And I fully agree with Whiskeydent’s call for as little plastic packaging as possible. Any whiff of VOCs* and it gets vetoed in my book.

    (* VOCs – https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/what-are-volatile-organic-compounds-vocs )

    Agreed, and you are gonna love St John’s new packaging. – JB

  11. Great tie ! But your trousers ( and shirt) look much too
    big for you. Have you recently lost weight?

    Thanks man! I did, but I wear everything loose anyway. I like it. – JB

  12. So confused. I just went to the Diehl Marcus web site and in the About Us section there are two people dressed up in barber shop quartet costumes. They also appear to host “Egyptian magic shows”. Add on top of this skull f*ck Zoe dressed up like Zelda Fitzgerald at a gift shop on her birthday – ?! – and I’m impossibly confounded. Is Chens back in charge?

    Hey. You are right! You are SO CONFUSED. IMPOSSIBLY CONFUSED. You have set the rest of your comments in context. Not that I won’t go through them, I will, it’s Sunday and you deserve it, but thank you for at least framing your state of mind. And the shot at CC – not funny man. Well, nothing you wrote is funny. But that especially. He had the stones to make something and put it out there and the creativity to do so without putting others down. You? The drunk guy in the comedy club who is the only one laughing. – JB

  13. Old Bostonian | February 5, 2022 at 11:24 am |

    Roger Sack,
    Neither JB’s shirt nor his trousers are too big. He’s dressed like a gentleman, not a teenager or a gigolo.

    Thank you. – JB

  14. @old Bostonian, JB’s shirt is so big, the shoulder seams are sagging 5-6 inches down his upper arm. His pants are so big, his belt is bunching the fabric up around his waist. Nothing fits. Period.

    You use Period so much one would presume you are having one. – JB

  15. Well VEA, we know you mean business when you conclude a comment with “Period.” The comments here are usually pretty civil, even in disagreement. Maybe a little more careful consideration before clicking the “Post Comment” button is warranted.

    Agreed. With the presumption that careful consideration is an option. – JB

  16. Right, right. After Old Bostonian suggested that one’s opinion on fit meant they preferred to dress like a gigolo. Thanks for the unsolicited, glaringly subjective civics advice.

    Here’s one more piece of unsolicited, glaringly subjective civics advice. You are prohibitively rude. Well, that’s not advice. Here’s advice. Whoever hurt you on the playground? They are still hurting you. I would try to get over that. – JB

  17. @VEA, I refer to the tone of both of your comments, and sure, I’ll include Old Bostonian there, too.

  18. Good to see VEA back!

    Went to the D&M website and barbershop quartet is both apropos and hilarious.

    I am gonna take your word for the whole “good to see VEA back” thing. – JB

  19. @Nevada – the comments here are usually pretty civil, even in disagreement. I refer to the tone of your mocking use of “Period.” and to your assumption that other commenters were in need or desire of your advice, criticism, and guidance.

    I refer to the fact that Nevada is right. You especially. – JB

  20. Logos!!?? When did Trad Ivy ever worry about logos? We don’t need no stinking logos!

    HBD Zoe!

    Packaging? Send me the shirt, make sure it’s clean. The less to recycle or landfill the better.

    Hi! So you are making me rethink my working theory. You REALLY don’t are about packaging that much? (research question for real) – JB

  21. I don’t think the shirt is too big. The body of most size 16 shirts fits me fine, but I need a 16.5 collar. The result is a somewhat blousy shirt. If you see photos of men taken during “the heyday”, their shirts are quite full. And if his pants are a bit loose, so what? Many men today wear pants entirely too tight.

    Thank you. I like them that way. – JB

  22. Prescott Forbes | February 5, 2022 at 10:46 pm |

    I remember the days when “fit” didn’t mean skin-tight, even homoerotic. JB wears his clothes, they don’t wear him.

    THANK YOU – that was really kind. – JB

  23. @Roger Sack

    Baggy, loose-fitting clothes are a Generation X thing; you wouldn’t understand.

  24. I’m surprised VEA’s vulgar comment describing Miss Zoe has not been removed. Good for you JB. I think that I speak for many here when I say that VEA is a douche. No?

    This site has been a habit for a while now. I check it while sitting in traffic, waiting for a client or sitting in quiet contemplation in the head. But I find myself checking in these days more out of strange, morbid curiosity than anything else. I’m sure the contributors to this site are nice people but…women dressed up as young boys, witchcraft writers in costumes and the general, disjointed and more feminized nature of the site are making it difficult to stay. And I want to stay.

    I’m going to go do some mace training and ax throwing with some SOCOM guys in the back yard later today. First, black coffee with a raw egg and time with my bride.



    Thanks for hanging in, but “women dressed up as young boys” might be an indicator that this site isn’t for you anymore. And don’t check in traffic. – JB

  25. Baggy, loose-fitting clothes are a Generation X thing; you wouldn’t understand.
    I do understand “slobification” which this photo epitomizes.

    Slobification. Ok, I think that’s a little much. But I have an idea. I just emailed you at the email you provided (which I am pretty sure you made up for this comment), email me back your best picture with your real name, and I will post it, and we can compare apples to apples. Your best. And if you didn’t get the email, it is because you made your address up. – JB

  26. @VEA
    You sound, laughably, like an absurd cranky guy who takes himself way too seriously about meaningless frivolous things that are of no importance at all.

    But it’s the unnecessary and inexcusable comment regarding Zoe that is truly confounding. It exudes such mean spiritedness.
    And there’s nothing in it for anybody, including you

    Agree. -JB

  27. As always, the comment section is interesting.

    One example of interest is to find one description “vulgar”, followed up by calling someone a douche not two sentences later. Hmmm.

    As for CC not putting others down…what about CC taking delight in doxing a fellow (albeit ridiculous) blogger under the guise of “journalism” – I can link back to the site, but rest assured these posts are still up. Just search WASP 101. Of course this was before the conversion to astrology or whatever.

    Finally – there’s kind of a new Godwin’s law floating around, though focused on alleged childhood trauma viewed through a freshman psych lens. CC was fond of this line as well, JB, and it’s an easy out. All one need do is push a critical (or -gasp- potentially mean spirited) comment aside because the writer must be “sick”. Seems lazy to me.

  28. My goodness: shoot-outs in comments, unexpected here, so thanks for leaving the evidence for readers of this usually peaceful environment to see, JB.

    By the way, no issue with any sizing here, may I say I am also rather on the loose side with my sport coats for example. All this “skinny fit” misunderstanding is pure fashion cruelty. Was tempted to write a millennial thing such as sniping comments…

    NB: Happy Birthday. The little bust reminds me of my fellow countryman Richard Wagner?

    Regarding the logo: I do like the Ivy-Style font, would however use the same for the motto below.

  29. Thank you for the kind birthday comments, everyone! VEA was just sore from not being invited, and from the skull f*cking, of course. Hope they, and those with constructive comments, had a lovely weekend!

  30. Oh and @Stanislaus, the bust is George Peabody.

  31. Slobification. Ok, I think that’s a little much. But I have an idea. I just emailed you at the email you provided (which I am pretty sure you made up for this comment), email me back your best picture with your real name, and I will post it, and we can compare apples to apples. Your best. And if you didn’t get the email, it is because you made your address up. – JB
    I apologize. It is a little much. I received no email from you. The email listed was submitted to Christan years ago and no longer works. My current email is below. is My real name is —— As for a photo, where should i send it ?

    Apology accepted! Onward! Don’t worry about the picture, and I deleted your name. For the record, you did provide it. Thank you! – JB

  32. Jonathan Mitchell | February 7, 2022 at 12:05 am |

    Believe me, those of us who appreciate all of your efforts are just as disturbed as you are by the destructive comments made by trolls, grouches,cranks, etc.

  33. Hmmmm…
    1. Happy Birthday!
    2. Like the watch… sorta, I like Seikos but this particular one is not doing anything very special for me.
    3. Really like the tie. Hoping the price point is realistic rather than delusional.
    4. As to comments about fit…I am one of those slim guys who have tossed way too many PRL and BB items over the years because they were clearly meant for someone out of college for at least 20 years and never having missed a dessert cart during the interval. A little extra ease is great. Looking like a mast on one of the tall ships during hurricane is not. In my 20s (long ago and far away) the effect these clothes often resulted in was my looking like a very tall 14 year old in his big brother’s clothes. The J. Crew slim fit is great, just wish I liked more of their stuff. If BB and PRL had focused a little more on fit for a wider audience one might not be going through yet another reincarnation and the other on the ropes. Hoping both succeed, but by looking more closely at their customer’s needs.
    5. As to packaging I think it is a double edged sword. I quite like the current logo but the proposed new one is also good. You are building on “substance” don’t be distracted by “style”, it comes and goes.

  34. Peter René Lebenthal | February 7, 2022 at 4:48 am |

    Joyeux anniversaire chère Zoe, avec retard 😉

    THe new logo is ok for me even if had no problems with actual one.

  35. Rake,

    VAE was a douche to use such a vulgar phrase. Word economy.



  36. Regarding fit, I am guessing JB’s shirt is BB. The size is right as evidenced by the tie space at the very top button. The only way to get a great fit is to spring for M2M which BB doesn’t do so well any more.
    JB’s trousers appear to be gentlemens cut, and sized just about right. It took me awhile to grow into the gentlemens cut. Just yesterday I wore gentlemens cut heavy chinos, pleated, of the O’Connell’s variety, and they were as close to perfect as it gets. It helps if you touch them up with a steam iron in between launderings, of which I have been lax.

  37. “Women dressed up as young boys”…
    Personally, i’m a bit more concerned about little boy(s) dressed up like man.
    Your misogyny is showing. Be sure to take it with you, should you leave.

  38. Lenox Hill

    Women are not men, nor men women. Vive la difference.



    True. Nor is it our place to place a moral value (I assume that is what alarms you) on what either, or anyone anywhere on that spectrum, wears. – JB

  39. I think it is everybody’s place and right to notice things and have opinions. We would all be very miserable and bored otherwise.



    Agreed, it is everyone’s right to notice things and have opinions. It is everyone’s responsibility to manage them. We would all be at odds otherwise. – JB

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