Editor’s Note: Always hated the perception that Ivy is exclusively a northeast thing . This article was submitted by the proprietor of Brazos Barbershop in Austin. Click here to see the site. If you have a small business that you feel is Ivy, by all means, let me know and let’s get you out there.
Opened in 2021, the Brazos Barbershop in Austin, Texas, is about as classic as they come. The shop is located off Brazos Street in a tiny, hole-in-the-wall spot that is deeper than it is wide. It hosts two chairs and two barbers atop a red and white checkered tile floor. A Marvy Model 55 barber pole spins in the main window alerting those passing by that a true, immemorial barber experience can still be had, even in a city as tech driven as Austin.
Offering everything from timeless men’s cuts to straight razor shaves in an anachronistic atmosphere sure to please the button-down set, what really sets the shop apart is the Ivy loving barber and author of this article, Russell Firestone. Not one to ring my own bell, I wanted to let all those in Ivy Land know that should you ever be making a tour this far south, a quick clean-up around the ears might be well worth your time.
I have been an Ivy style enthusiast for the past several years amassing quite the collection of OCBDs, knit ties, sack suits, and tweed sport coats. Often times you will find me cutting hair in chinos, knit tie, J Press oxford, and completely unstructured Ivy like jacket made from a material that prevents hair from clinging to it. While I wouldn’t say I dress Ivy all of the time, I do like my trad looks and pleated trousers, Ivy definitely constitutes a large portion of my wardrobe.
Ever since I became more interested in and started researching classic menswear, I have discovered an interesting fact about myself. I tend to be a mood dresser. My overall style vacillates between classic British and American ensembles to Ivy inspired looks. I call it my Brooks-Press disorder – the Savile variant. I am certain this stems from the fact that I am an American, which means I am forever trying to ward off British intrusions into my wardrobe, but I can’t help having a great deal of respect for British tailoring. It is a madding dichotomy, aggravated immensely when I read P.G. Wodehouse, but it also cannot be overlooked that so much of our classic American style has connections back to the Old World. Where would Ivy be without English flannels and Harris Tweed? In short gentlemen, the more jolly well imperialistic I am feeling the more British I lean; the more bally, bally recalcitrant I am running, the more American you see; and, if the cup of oolong was steeped long enough, the morning pipe packed tight enough, and the weather that day clement enough, a certain, sporty Ivyness appears and the longing for loafers, a natural shouldered herringbone, and OCBD comes over me once more.
So if you are down this way, stop in and ask for an Ivy League haircut or just to say hello. After that, you’ll want to throw on that worn-in, tweed sport coat and head subterranean for libations and jazz at the Elephant Room, Austin’s oldest downtown jazz dive. Once you have had a few, you can tip the band and make your request to hear the “Whiffenpoof Song” – is it not the obligation of the votaries of Ivy style?
- Russell Firestone