Welcome to The Ivy League Look

This blog presents a historical view through articles, photographs, reminiscences, and advertisements, of an American style of men's fashion of the mid-20th century known as "The Ivy League Look" or "The Ivy Look."

This blog will not present modern-day iterations of this "look"; it will be shown in its original context as an American style worn during this specific era. Author commentary will be kept to a minimum.

This is not a commercial site and links to commercial sites will not be posted.

April 23, 2009

Suntans and flat-fronts

Cornell Daily Sun, April 5, 1956

Watching 'The Graduate' (1967) the other night on Turner Classic Movies, I coveted Dustin Hoffman's wardrobe, his preppy button-downs and flat-front chinos. Steve McQueen and Sean Connery's James Bond set off similar pangs of sartorial envy.

Looking for a little historical perspective, I asked John Weitz, the 77-year-old designer, about pleats versus flat-front.

"Obviously, it all goes in circles," he said. "The modern-day circle started after the war, when the men came back wearing what are now unfortunately known as chinos but were then called suntans, because they were a tan pant and they were flat." Until then, Mr. Weitz continued, "the only people who wore flat pants were the upper classes. You saw them in Brooks Brothers and the Ivy League. The rest of the country wore great big pleated pants in a rather bad imitation of the Duke of Windsor."


NYT - On the Pants Front: The War of the Pleats

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