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.

March 24, 2010

Wren Shirts Ltd.

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Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal - 10/18/64

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"The history of 'traditionalism' once called 'Ivy League,' dates back before World War II, when students at Eastern universities espoused the fashion cause of comfort and smartness without ostentation. They chose the soft-collared shirt, natural shoulder, muted colors and soft fabrics in all their clothing."


Nashua (NH) Telegraph - 7/14/62

A few words about Frank J. Reilly, President of Wren Shirts Ltd...

"Mr. Reilly built a successful career in the outerwear business. He began as a salesman for the Manhattan Shirt Company in 1945 and in the course of a 50-plus year career rose to influence the design and marketing of some of the best-known brands in the garment business.

In the early 1970s, Mr. Reilly became US vice president of the Men's Wear Division for Jaeger Fashions. As such, he helped make one of the premier British woolens manufacturers a success in the US market for men's high fashion.

Subsequently, Mr. Reilly became a vice president at Izod Lacoste, which had the US rights to the brand established in Europe by tennis great Jean Rene Lacoste. Nicknamed "Le Crocodile" for his tenacious style of play on the courts, Lacoste founded a company to produce sports shirts and used Le Crocodile (universally referred to as the alligator) for a logo. Mr. Reilly's marketing and design savvy soon helped make the alligator virtually ubiquitous, and extended the line beyond shirts to a general line of sports wear for both men and women.

He often said that the proudest moment of his career was when he became president of Wren Shirts and thus a vice president of the parent company Kayser Roth*. At the time, it made him the youngest vice president of any Fortune 500 company in the US. Remarking on Mr. Reilly's career, a colleague once said, 'He's one of the few people I know who succeeded in business without stepping on people.'"


Glen Cove (NY) Record-Pilot obituaries - 3/26/04

*Wren shirts were made by F. Jacobson & Sons Inc., another Kayser Roth subsidiary.

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