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.

December 23, 2011

Ivy League Forum, 1956

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

 "I prefer the Ivy League because it has become high fashion. It is the radical look of today. It's the only way the radical dresser can go today."

(click to enlarge)

"My understanding of Ivy League as a boy was certain groups of schools. Period. Nothing to do with clothing. Now it suddenly has been developed and enlarged upon. It is a way of clothing we have been using for well over 100 years. We are stuck with it. Now the country has gone mad. Somebody latches on to a term and they call it the Ivy League. They can't very well call it the 'Brooks.'"

(click to enlarge)
"Whether to stick to authentic Ivy League is an individual problem. Some of us are faddists, some traditional Ivy Leaguers. Whichever it is is unimportant. The important thing is that we promote whatever we think Ivy League is. In the shirt field what is authentic Ivy League? An unlined collar and shirt with a button at the back. In oxford it is yarn dyed. It is a checked broadcloth, but it can't be a pink check, it has got to be red. In colored oxford it can't be mint or olive it has to be avocado. Maybe the guy who wears just the white shirt with the traditional Ivy Suit wouldn't be caught dead with a  red oxford shirt but both are in the category of Ivy League..."

(click to enlarge)

"The real Ivy League customer never went to the black or charcoal. He had deep tone suits, the Oxford gray. He had his navy blue in unfinished worsted for dressy occasions, possibly an olive shade for every day events. He may have clear cuts, also multi-colored tweeds. At an informal cocktail party this same guy might wear his chino trousers with a nice sport coat. The same fellow might have the smoking jacket, the cocktail type of clothing Brooks has gotten so much publicity on."

(click to enlarge)

"There is always a place for the double-breasted with the natural shoulders, flap pockets, tailored lapels."

(click to enlarge)
"The natural shoulder can be applied to either the two or three button coats or to the double breasteds, it is a philosophy of life."

(click to enlarge)
"We just don't want it misused; it's too good a thing. It isn't a fad, it is just (for most) a new concept of clothing. Why do people buy Cadillacs? Because they are different, outstanding. Hitch your wagon to a star, why not? But keep it straight, don't foul it up because it will be here for a long time."


Men's Wear - 2/10/56


Tucker said...

Great find, Katon.

Richard M said...


notanymore said...

Merry Christmas, to the staff of The Ivy League Look.

Anonymous said...

enjoying your blog for some time- great posts- happy new year.

Tucker said...

Thanks, Kionon and Max. Best wishes to everyone this new year.