Ivy Trendwatch: Tout Le Monde Est Preppy

This week discussion erupted — well, at least between a couple guys — regarding whether Ivy-preppy is a truly American style, or a global one because of its varied components and the people who wear it. Well back in 2012 during the last global Ivy trend, the French magazine Monsieur could declare the whole world was preppy. Or at least ought to be. 



7 Comments on "Ivy Trendwatch: Tout Le Monde Est Preppy"

  1. Liberte, Egalite, e Preppy pour le monde!

  2. Ivy-Preppy has gone international, not argument there. It has been transformed into its local or regional iterations. What is beyond doubt are its origins, and that is American New England collegiate.

  3. Trevor Jones | November 28, 2020 at 1:12 pm |

    @Elder Prep, spot on! An American phenomenon with international origins that — once it grew and matured in the US — swept the world.

  4. Trevor Jones | November 28, 2020 at 1:58 pm |

    And interestingly enough, I see the dog chewing on an American flag, not French or British or Italian or….

  5. @Trevor Jones

    Mr. Jones, you strike me as an intelligent fellow. Is a Panama hat inherently Panamanian? Did the Panama hat grow and mature in Panama? Any intelligent person would know that the answer is no.

    Panama hats are inherently Ecuadorian with roots in Ecuador. Before these straw hats grew and matured in Panama they would have had to have grown and matured in Ecuador. Just because American laborers dug the Panama Canal while wearing Ecuador-made straw hats does not mean that the style is “truly”, “inherently” American with origins in elite Northeastern universities or private clubs.

    One thing we agree is that ivy/preppy style (and the “Panama” hat) is now a global phenomenon, and for that I am grateful.

  6. Trevor Jones | November 28, 2020 at 3:58 pm |

    @Mitchell, the difference is Panama hats were not born in Panama, they are just arbitrarily labeled Panama hats. Ivy style — while being composed of elements from all over the world — was born in the US. The rules, (later) many of the garments, but most importantly: the styling. I’ve never (and never would) argue a tweed jacket or khaki pants were invented in the US, that would be wrong. However, the revolutionary way those elements were combined and styled as no one ever had before DID first happen in the US. The look’s popularization, acceptance into mainstream culture, and canonization as something as American as, say, baseball cement its place in American culture. Later, it spread across the world and, in many cases (such as Japan), caught on specifically because of its American cachet.

  7. @Trevor Jones

    Spot on and well said.

    I like your term “American cachet” and I have to agree with most of your previous comment. What I disagree on is the assertion that Ivy/preppy style is “*inherently* American”; i.e. permanent and inseparable.

    Sadly, preppy style, grooming, etiquette, manners etc…and everything else grandparents teach their grandchildren is fading fast. And when it reaches the tipping point it becomes an atavistic relic; gone for good.

    “These Are Our Failures” says

    Fashion has its cycles, but not when it comes to formality. Once men stop wearing something, it’s gone forever.

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