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.

July 26, 2009

'Let's Be Practical', 1957

Tailor Denounces Man's Ancient Fashions

By Alfred Leech, UP Staff Correspondent

CHICAGO (UP) - Custom tailor Lawrence Pucci Jr. says men who ridicule feminine fashions should take a look at themselves.

The Ivy League look was bad enough, said Pucci, president of the Assocation of Custom Tailors and Designers of America. But now comes the "Edwardian look."

This consists of narrow cuffless pants with belted backs and narrow jackets with cuffs on the sleeves. A fashion note proclaims that these duds will be worn by "style conscious men as an assertion of their individualality."

"Ludicrous," said Pucci, who makes clothes for some of America's best dressed males. "Here we are in the dawn of the space age, with Sputniks circling the earth, and we're digging back into the fashion attic to don grouse hunting suits.

"Clothes like these should be worn against a backdrop of castles and manor houses."

He conceded that Ivy League garb might be permissible for "boys in school," especially if the school has Ivy-covered walls or Gothic architecture.

But a man stepping into a turbo-jet plane or a new sports car looks foolish in "horse and carriage raiment," Pucci said.

"Surrounded by modernity, we're trying to dress like Diamond Jim Brady or Sherlock Holmes," he said, "it's an idiotic affectation."

There is a "crying need for original thought" in men's attire, Pucci said.

The ideal suit, he said, could be worn anywhere, regardless of season, climate, or occasion.

"A businessman who starts his day in Chicago or New York may well finish it in San Francisco, Miami, or Toronto," he said. "So his clothing should be that adaptable."

"He should be able to attend the theater on night, a party the next afternoon and a prizefight that night, wearing the same suit."

But before we reach this ideal, Pucci said, we may have to shed some foibles like neckties, lapels and shoes that lace in the archaic manner of a Roman sandal.


The Deseret News and Telegram, Salt Lake City, Utah - 11/21/57