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 Post subject: The origins of the "Ivy League Look"
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:36 pm 
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False starts occur frequently in music, poetry, novels, track meets... and apparel. In menswear, false starts are often called fads. Fads may be huge, but they are not long lasting. Perhaps the biggest fad in the history of American menswear is the Raccoon coat. It was a smash hit in menswear fashion for a very few years in the 1920s. Here, for example, is a 1929 cover of the Saturday Evening Post:

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Note that this issue of the Saturday Evening Post was published two weeks and two days after the Stock Market Crash heralding the Great Depression. The Cloth coat supplanted the Raccoon coat – but the replacement was the fabulous, long-lasting <if well-cared for>, relatively durable, Classic, all Camel Hair – Polo coat. This may be the single, most heralded item in the Ivy Canon. For example, here is a picture taken at Yale, two years into the great depression, just prior to the start of the Yale-Harvard Football game. Flamboyance may have disappeared, but style carried the day!

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Collegians made many mistakes in choosing elements of the final IVY League Look, but – over time – the mistakes were corrected and swapped out – often for the great classics like the Polo Coat!

Here are the two I cherish:
J. Press Polo Coat
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Jos. A. Bank Polo Coat
Image

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"... fashion wears out more apparel than the man."
Shakespeare


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 Post subject: Re: The origins of the "Ivy League Look"
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:31 pm 
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Nice research skills, Bill, finding that bird’s eye photo of the crush at the Harvard-Yale game. My father (Yale ’49) and his roommate went to Cambridge for the 1948 contest, and after the game snuck into the Harvard faculty club and stole their flag. They hitched up their ties, buttoned their jackets, walked in like they belonged, calmly folded up the flag, and walked out cool as cucumbers.

I love the way your coat looks, especially in that first photo of you with the winter white cashmere sweater. I agree, the polo coat is the ultimate trad signifier; when I was out of grad school and making decent money—this was of course in the days before massive college debt—my first two major purchases were a Burberrys trench coat and a camel hair polo coat. Today I wear a single-breasted version but it still has all the details of the traditional double-breasted model.


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 Post subject: Re: The origins of the "Ivy League Look"
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:35 pm 
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Quote:
Nice research skills, Bill, finding that bird’s eye photo of the crush at the Harvard-Yale game. My father (Yale ’49) and his roommate went to Cambridge for the 1948 contest, and after the game snuck into the Harvard faculty club and stole their flag. They hitched up their ties, buttoned their jackets, walked in like they belonged, calmly folded up the flag, and walked out cool as cucumbers.

I love the way your coat looks, especially in that first photo of you with the winter white cashmere sweater. I agree, the polo coat is the ultimate trad signifier; when I was out of grad school and making decent money—this was of course in the days before massive college debt—my first two major purchases were a Burberrys trench coat and a camel hair polo coat. Today I wear a single-breasted version but it still has all the details of the traditional double-breasted model.
Sartre. Thanks for your compliments – and thanks for posting on the Curriculum. Your perspectives are so rich and your judgment so strong, that you enrich all of us!

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"... fashion wears out more apparel than the man."
Shakespeare


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 Post subject: Re: The origins of the "Ivy League Look"
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:37 am 
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^ Thank you, Bill, that means a lot coming from you.


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 Post subject: Re: The origins of the "Ivy League Look"
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:47 pm 
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Another example of the dramatic style change in menswear occurring in the late 1920s and very early 1930s:

Image.

Just as in the earlier photographs, one look seems dated and the other is still as fresh as today's newspaper. But sometimes changes are not from fad to style, but the utterly violent change from one accepted style to another. The picture at 1928 Yale is one of those utterly disruptive changes. It is VERY easy to see the Ivy Look of today in the young man on the right of the picture above. And yet, it is completely disruptive to see two Yalies talking to one another in 1928... and to find the guy on the left totally unrecognizable in today's world, while the young guy on the right is wearing a completely recognizable Fall outfit of today... from 89 years ago!

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"... fashion wears out more apparel than the man."
Shakespeare


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 Post subject: Re: The origins of the "Ivy League Look"
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:51 pm 
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1928 – Huge padded shoulders. VERY wide trouser legs, tiny tie widths in comparison to the men's lapels.

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Image

1931 Princeton Triangle Club photo with Jimmy Stewart on the far right. The three guys on the left could pass for 2017 Princeton guys! Stewart's single-breasted peak lapel and slightly built-up shoulders are the only elements keeping this image from being completely current Ivy, yet it is 86 years old!.

I know it's an idiosyncrasy of mine, but. MAN, do those white bucks look good on numbers 1 and 3!

_________________
"... fashion wears out more apparel than the man."
Shakespeare


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