Ivy Notes S2 E2

Editor’s Note:  The feature image will make sense if you read all the way down to the bottom.  But NO, that is most certainly not my house.  It is, however, Lauren’s flagship store in Paris.


The Amazing Tom has been prolific. Here:

First, GQ lists the 17 best rugby shirts for men here. I am not sure there are 17 different best rugby shirts, but you can let me know after you read it here.

From GQ, the quarter zip rugby. Go ahead, I’m listening.


Let me help a little.


These are J. Press. And have the added value of actually being rugby shirts. Click on the image to see the whole Press selection.


Brooks opened a vintage shop.  I knew, but Tom did send me a link and since it is Tom’s day, credit to him.  Look,  my prayer here is that the vintage shop does better than the weird pajamas shop and somebody in accounting FINALLY wakes up.


The image is a link. Join me in emailing Brooks and telling them they are getting warmer, getting warner…

And finally, take a look at this Forbes article about Ralph Lauren’s growth plans.  I have a GREAT Ralph Lauren story.  So we get a house, bring home the baby, and I have a few days off.  House is new, it is on four acres, baby is asleep so I decide to take a walk in my woods.  I am in there about 15 minutes when three guys walk up and ask what I am doing there.  I had attitude and said, “I am on my property, what are YOU doing here?”  Turns out my property backs up to Lauren’s.   The guys and I warm up, I tell them we just had a baby.  Next day a fully catered dinner shows up with card that I still have somewhere.  That was an elegant move.

If you haven’t read, Lauren announced they are opening 250 stores.  Don’t get excited.  Of the 250, only 20 are in North America.



27 Comments on "Ivy Notes S2 E2"

  1. Robert Archambeau | September 29, 2022 at 10:38 am |

    A little surprised not to see Boden mentioned among the best Rugby shirts. Very well made, and at $90-110, very good value for money.

  2. Love it — $200 for used OCBD’s from BB — what a joke. I’m selling the same ones on my eBay page for $40! (Or, just check-in at the thrift store enough times and pick one up for $7.) I’m not one to absently criticize BB, but c’mon…

    In happier news, they are using “Team Cozy Boys” for the models of their vintage campaign, which is a great move. For those not familiar with the “Cozy Boys Crew”, I highly recommend looking into them. (The spring issue of WM Brown Magazine featured them on the cover, and their instagram presence is wonderful.) Some of them work in menswear, some of them just happen to be interested in clothes. Each of them has their own extremely unique brand of personal style; no two look the same, and yet they all look so stylish when together. But more than that, they’re really great guys all around. Glad to see them getting a little time in the spotlight, good on BB for that one.

  3. Esquire has 17 rugby shirts to maximize its revenue from clicks. As the RL CEO might say, it’s (arrrrrrg) choiceful.

  4. Very pleased to see Brooks Brothers emphasizing it’s heritage like this. It’s current line is marketed with a lot of such language, but, well, we all know its wares are mostly missing the mark. But the vintage stuff is very cool.
    “Weird pajama shop” made me laugh. Great RL story, too.

  5. You lost me at “GQ”.

  6. Charlottesville | September 29, 2022 at 12:23 pm |

    I wish RL well. This past Sunday, they had a multi-page advertisement in the NY Times that showed a number of tweedy outfits somewhat reminiscent of the 80s and 90s Polo ads. I would have to see the clothes in person, but what I saw looked pretty good, if perhaps not exactly my style. However, if tweed sport coats and neckties make a comeback, I can only say bravo!

  7. Back in my rugby playing days (1975-1985), team mates would “suggest” to guys wearing rugby shirts who never played to remove them, out of respect to dead ruggers.

    • I’ve never gotten into rugby shirts. It’s not that I don’t want one or don’t think they look great. It’s just that I’ve never played rugby and don’t follow any teams. It just seems incongruous to me to wear one when I can barely follow how the game is played. My closest link to “rugby” is that one of my jobs in years past was putting together the window displays in stores such as RL Rugby in NYC back in the day.

  8. Who were “the three guys”?

    J. Press is alive-and-kickin’ today because:

    (a.) Japan’s Onward (Kashiyama), large and expansive, bought J. Press (brand and all); and,
    (b.) the “preppy revival” that had everything to do with Ralph’s vision and business savvy. With some help from family, Norman Hilton, and God knows how many capable folks

    He exhaled fresh air (new life) into silk repp, tweed, oxford, flannel, and all manner of worsteds and woolens. He tried for elegance and succeeded. Not small thing, this. Miraculous, considering this was the high-shouldered, “Seen my new Porsche and matching Rolex?”, “Greed-is-Good”, ‘American Pyscho’ 80s. So much of that era was either vulgar (for more, see Thatcherism) or crass, and I’m not sure much has improved. How does one build an successful enterprise on a genteel, Oxbridge-ish look that calls to mind Chariots of Fire, Merchant Ivory films, and an Elgar soundtrack? Impressive.

    Nowadays Updated Traditional, including the full embrace of softer fabrics (cashmere, lambswool), and the Pitti Uomo-ish stuff reign supreme among the Town&Country set. They drink wine instead of blended scotch and talk incessantly about their Audis, the restaurants with the best salmon, and recent trips to Spain, France and Italy. I can’t imagine there are many crusty-fusty Anglophiles to support PoloRL like days of yore, but good luck…

  9. Not sure what style that interior would be called. French Provincial? I dunno, but I dig the fireplace.

  10. My Gant rugby shirts, logo free thankfully, still look like new after 12 years of regular wear. I thinking of getting the archive stripe heavy rugger this year from my local store.

  11. That RL story is spectacular. I can’t tell if I am impressed or disappointed that you didn’t stretch that out to a full post devoted just to it — it’d be worth it, but I also like how succinct its current form is!

  12. Barbarian authentic rugby shirts at American Rugby Outfitters.Heavy weight, classic
    stripes and solids,indestructable,$77.00. Get on their email list for 20% discount
    offers.Press, BB and RL all have their place but no one needs overpriced rugbies.

  13. Rodrigue Ayotte | September 30, 2022 at 12:04 pm |

    I think the trick is to buy what the fashion houses are imitating; to go for what created the allure they are repackaging at a markup and often decline in quality. In short, go for the real thing, not the logoed imitation. And that points us squarely at Barbarian…

  14. Even during the so-called “Heyday,” the vast majority of Americans didn’t wear clothes made by Brooks Brothers and the campus shop imitators. Pre-Heyday, hardly anybody did. Ivy has always been a minority voice amidst a sartorial cacophony that’s included everything from slothfulness to dandyish foppery. I’m guessing fewer than one of every hundred men owned a OCBD in 1930. Here we are — again.

    Ivy can capitalize on the zeitgeist– the casual, relaxed nonchalance vibes. The collars and shoulders are soft, the fabrics are rough-hewn and rustic, and the historic connections are outdoorsy: sports (field, country, court, etc.) and military. The future of this look is strong if it’s marketed as a look that’s as insouciant and comfy as hoodies-and-joggers, but more polished and refined.

    This is similar to the approach Norman Hilton took in the 1950s– his “Norman Hilton Country Jackets” (“Doing One Thing Well”) ads. The picture and copy were depicted a easy, informal elegance that was, well, cool. Proper but not stuffy.

  15. S.E., I like that approach. Especially the last brief paragraph. Are there any old Norman Hilton ads you share here, please?

    Kind Regards,


  16. I have one Press Rugby and it’s fantastic, both heavy and comfortable at the same time. I hope they bring back the triple thin line version from last year. I’d get another one or two.

  17. Love a good rugby shirt

  18. The price may be too dear for most but Rowing Blazers makes a fine knit rugby shirt.

  19. For rugby shirts, I recommend Columbiaknit. They’re heavyweight, generously sized, rubber buttoned, logo free, available in many traditional colors and patterns, under $100, and made in the USA.

  20. If you’re still looking for OCBDs to review, can I suggest two companies based in England? Drake’s, which everyone knows about, and a smaller outfit called Jake’s of London. Both offer Ivy-style button-downs made in England. Interested to hear if there’s any difference between these shirts and American ones, especially since Ivy clothes in the UK have different connotations than they do in the US — more associated with jazz fans and mods

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