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.

August 3, 2009

Mr. America Now Style Conscious

(click to enlarge)

Sir: When next you buy a suit, it's a 50-50 chance that your wife or sweetheart will be with you.

And the odds are that in place of the Draped Shape Look of the mid-'40s or the Casual Look of the early '50s, you'll now go for the Natural Look - with its narrow lapels, minimum of shoulder padding, straight, two-button jacket, trim trousers.

Should you - and she - decide against the Natural, though, it's then likely you'll buy the Ivy League Look - with its no-shoulder appearance, slime three-button jacket, even slimmer trousers.

You will probably tend toward today's version of charcoal gray, a gray made lighter by stripes, decoration in the fabric.

You will purchase or receive as Christmas presents ties so narrow they will remind you of Grandpa's era.

You will also adorn yourself a good part of the time with colored shirts - pastel pink, mint green, pale yellow, light blue.

In short, Mr. America, you're finally succumbing to it, you're at last becoming style conscious.

And, say America's manufacturers and retailers of men's clothing - as well as your women - hallelujah, it's about time!

Not since the days of the Revolutionary War has the American male been so aware of the style of his clothing. And as important, not since then has he been so willing to admit his awareness.

For decades most men have entered a store, said to the salesman, "Give me a suit (or shirt or tie, etc.) like the one I'm wearing." And it has taken years to make an American male feel that, maybe, his "good" suit has become a little out of style.

Today more and more men are going into a store and saying, "Show me the latest."

For decades the American husband has been entirely content to wear clothes that automatically have put him in the background. In fact, he has insisted on being inconspicuous.

Recently Ive been at parties where - no fooling - the women have been the "conservative" with their quiet, one-color outfits and the men have been the spectaculars.

Men's fashion shows are spreading all over the country. Such aggressively male organizations as the Rotary Clubs and American Legion Posts actually are asking men's fashion groups to put on shows for their members.

Increasing numbers of newspapers are offering columns and full sections devoted to men's fashions. And the reader response in the articles has startled even the most cynical editors.

"How come? Why?" I asked Michael Daroff, head of H. Daroff, makers of the largest men's clothing brand in the medium-priced field ("Botany 500") and one of the leaders in the men's fashion revolution.

"World War II have it the first big impetus," he said. "The American designer and manufacturer get away from European styling. They were thrown on their own and had to come up with something and they did.

"This gave the American woman, with her acute style sense, a chance to move in and she did." (Women buy more than 70 percent of all men's furnishings, are with the men when more than 50 percent of all suits and topcoats are sold).

Makers and sellers of men's clothes are now determined to push the fashion revolution, for understandably they want to snatch a bigger share of the customer's dollar. "The fact that the biggest increases are being shown by leaders in style changes shows what lies ahead," says Daroff.

Article and advertisement source:

The Milwaukee Sentinal - 11/18/55

1 comment:

Richard M said...

MacNeil and Moore was an excellent Ivy shop that I frequented when I was a student at the University of wisconsin in the early 60's. I remember a beautiful blue and gold checked jacket I bought there, as well as several nice sweaters and Corbin slacks, among other items.Probably replaced by a Gap.Sad, sad :-(