Effortless style lessons from college students of the past.

It seems like the Ivy League look is slowly coming back right now. While I don't claim to be an expert on the style, I think some of the new looks being pushed by companies like Ralph Lauren ("Polo" and "Rugby" lines) are edging on costume. Things such as bright madras bowties and matching madras shorts worn with seersucker sport coats and "Go-to-Hell" green boat shoes. I realise the fashion industry thinks it needs shock value, and that the individual pieces are probably fine on their own, but I think pictures of the men who first wore these styles speak for themselves.

Links to "The Trad" blog's scans of the original book:
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter II

There's no low-rise trousers to be seen, even though the style was certainly out at that point (and had been since 1962). Also of note is that the shirts fit well but aren't as ridiculously tight as on the modern models for Ralph Lauren -- I'm beginning think those guys have about a dozen clothespins hidden behind their waists AND sleeves.

Coat and tie on Sunday mass.


  1. The Take Ivy pics really remind me of Mad Men. Like the last days of the Roman Empire, these were the last days of the Anglo Saxon ruling class. The Ivy League campuses and Madison Avenue were populated by males in crisp, conformist button-down uniforms. Of course it was all shortly blown apart by the sex, drugs and rock n' roll counter-culture and accompanying hippie-freak clothing. In retrospect it's amazing how good these guys looked! Preppy clothing is back today, but we have generations of males who don't understand dressing for the occasion, not to mention fit, quality, etc. Someone has to do a YouTube video on how to tuck IN a shirt!

  2. Just remember, it wasn't just hippies protesting against the Vietnam war. I've seen a lot of Ivy League types wearing highwaters and Brylcreem'd hair in footage of the marches. Let's not get hasty in blaming hippies for the rise of ultra casual or anything. As for the sexual revolution and rock and roll, "Right now we've got freedom AND responsibility. It's a very groovy time." I'd rather have that over conformity, frankly, even if it meant people would look better.

    A little sense of occasion would be nice, though. I get a little tired of seeing girls dressed so nicely while their boyfriend is in jean shorts and a t-shirt. It's a little disrespectful to them. Plus, their girlfriends might like them MORE if they put forth a little effort. Put simply, men look great in coat and tie and women (or other men) respond well to it.


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