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.

June 20, 2009

Pat Conroy: Gant shirts and Weejuns

"Oh we have to. We just have to. We have to make the scene at the Shack. My daddy told me to show you where all the gang hangs out. Jim Don has a new Impala. He packed tomatoes last summer and made enough money for a big down payment. Are those Weejuns you're wearing?" she asked Ben.

"What?" Ben asked.

"Weejuns. Loafers. Everyone at school wears Weejuns."

"No, they're just loafers. I don't know what kind they are."

"That's a Gant shirt, isn't it?"

"It might be. Mom bought it at the PX yesterday."

"No, it's not Gant," she said impatiently. "The PX doesn't sell them and there's no loop at the back."

"It's Ivy League, though," Ben offered. "It's got buttons on the collar."

"That's no big deal."


The Great Santini, Pat Conroy, 1976

"You guys have got the worst sense of style I've ever seen. Why don't you wise up and buy a couple of Gant shirts. And you're the only two guys at the school who don't wear Weejuns. Man, everyone on the team's got Weejuns."

"I don't like Weejuns," Luke said.

"Yeah, I bet you like those shit-kicking tennis shoes a lot better," he said, laughing as I laced up my shoes. "What kind of shirt is that you're wearing, Tom?"

He pulled back my collar and read the label.

"Belk's." He sneered in disbelief. "A Belk's polo shirt. Jesus Christ. That's embarrassing. I'm nominating you two for Bess Dressed in the Senior Superlatives. You've worn the same pair of khakis for two straight weeks, Tom."

"No, I haven't," I protested. "I've got two pairs of khakis. I alternate them."

"That's pitiful. That's just plain pitiful. Not at all cool. Not fitting the image at all."


The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy, 1986

[Ed. note: Setting is coastal South Carolina (the "Lowcountry"), ca. 1961]


longwing said...

I'm pretty sure my first oxfords were Gants. Back in the mid '70s South, you had to be really, really in the know to sport Brooks shirts - and I was not really, really in the know.

tintin said...

Actually, the PX did sell Gant. A favorite book by an amazing man.