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 9, 2009

Mickey Mouse to Mickey Cohen, 1959

Steve Stevens and Annette Funicello

For young men of my age, the preppy/Ivy League look was both fashionable and stylish. Button-down blue, pink and white oxford-cloth shirts from Brooks Brothers; narrow rep, regimental or knit ties. I'd recently purchased a pair of slim-fitting Cambridge gray flannels; a narrow-lapelled, three-button Harris Tweed sport jacket without shoulder pads; and cordovan Bass Weejuns penny loafers with Argyle socks from Zeidler & Ziedler, a trendy traditional-style men's shop next to Schwab's Drugstore on Sunset and Crescent Heights.

And that's how I looked when the (Hollywood Brown Derby) hostess led me back to find Mickey (Cohen), passing George Burns and Gracie Allen in one booth and Burt Lancaster and a party of studio types in another. Mickey and Joe were sitting in a large and very private back booth. As they moved over for me, I could see people leaning out of their booths, hoping to catch a glimpse of Mickey. His love of notoriety and publicity had obviously been given a boost since the Whelan murder.

Mickey, however, was appraising me.

"Nice threads, Kid. That's a very good look on you; very sharp."


The King of the Sunset Strip: Hangin' With Mickey Cohen and the Hollywood Mob, Steve Stevens, 2006

From Publishers Weekly:

Stevens traded Mickey Mouse for Mickey Cohen in 1959, after the mob mogul saw him play a "tuff guy" onscreen and sent a fan letter. Only 19, Stevens, who'd worked with Annette Funicello on The Mickey Mouse Club, was making the transition from child to adult actor, and under the tutelage of Cohen, he grew up fast in a world of guns, gambling, strippers and celebrities.

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