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 Post subject: What is Ivy Style's future?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:07 pm 
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I was just perusing older threads and came upon "How often do you see someone wearing the Ivy League Look?"

The consensus for most members was "not very often," or "usually on men over 60."

My answer is: maybe once a year. Which leads me to wonder if we're holding on to a style that's as teetering on the edge of becoming extinct.

Unlike Curriculum members, most men don't seem to seek out non-darted natural-shoulder jackets. If I see a younger guy in a jacket or suit, it's most likely from JAB or Men's Wearhouse, dual vented, black. Can't recall the last time I saw anyone in person wearing tweed.

Non-iron shirts are ubiquitous. The must-iron is practically a specialty item. My closest Brooks Brothers only carries a handful of must-iron OCBDs, tucked away in a small corner cubby hole on the top floor.

Shoes are another story. Most men (perhaps unknowingly) are quite happy to wear third-world disposable shoes with awful styling.

Can't recall the last time I've seen a man wearing a repp tie. Most wear no tie at all. The bow tie seems to have had a mini resurgence, but the men I've seen wearing one have been over 60. And that happens about once a year.

Despite the fact we see Ivy Style as timeless, I wonder if the general public sees it as anachronistic as bowler hats, pocket watches and spats?

Given these conditions and the general lack of availability of the clothing itself (outside of specialty stores like O'Connell's, Ben Silver, J. Press), what is Ivy Style's future?


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 Post subject: Re: What is Ivy Style's future?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:00 pm 
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I can't answer your question gamma, but I have worn the look since kindergarten, and if I end up the last dinosaur on earth wearing an ocbd and tweed, or a blazer and a striped tie, I would be fine with it.

Today's fashion will become an anachronism long before the American classic Ivy elements do. And if it doesn't, I am too socially vapid to care, and will wear my "outdated"gear forever anyway.

As to future availability- I'm well stocked. :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: What is Ivy Style's future?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:07 am 
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There are a lot of different points that you bring up here.

With perhaps the exception of the dartless front (which I do think is close to being lost), I think most details from the Ivy look will continue to crop up in menswear for some time. Soft-shoulders, 3/2 rolls, and a more relaxed approach to tailored wear can be found in upscale retailers in Italy and Hong Kong and Japan. The reason is because people with a learned eye like to show off their attention to detail, to set themselves apart from the prole.

As Ensif pointed out, trends peter out long before established styles do. Bell bottomed trousers, blazers without lapels, and 4/5 button jackets all have run their course years ago, because exaggeration is a hard pose to hold. With some exceptions, ours is not an exaggerated style.

Now, there is certainly a dearth of tailored wear below the "I have to wear this" formality level of banks, funerals, job interviews, and weddings. That doesn't make the Ivy look more anachronistic than any other tailored look, however. I think most observers zero-in on lapels and ties, and ask themselves whether those items are appropriate for the current environment or situation. Any details beyond that (tweed or worsted? buttondown or point? four-in-hand or Windsor?) are usually irrelevant. In other words: we may notice people in non-iron shirts, but they don't typically notice - or care - that we have to iron ours. How often does one of our wives or girlfriends notice that vestigial button on a 3/2 jacket? Or whether your jacket had darts? Same for most other folks.

Ultimately, the items found in the Ivy wardrobe are not so different from those found on the backs of any other man in tailored wear. The item that did get precipitously close to joining spats and bowler hats was the pocket square, and all it took was one show to remind men the world how good a TV fold can look.

I do believe that the supply side will wane as stalwarts pass and fashion's eye looks elsewhere. But that is entirely beside the question of whether Ivy will live. There will always be thrifters and tailors and dedicated entrepreneurs to supply us with close approximations. For a price.

Ivy style ain't dead. It will remain an appropriate choice as long as lapels and ties live and breathe.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Ivy Style's future?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 5:11 pm 
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Spin, I agree about the transient nature of current styles. But it seems that menswear just moves on to the next trend. Ivy Style doesn't seem to be a touchstone. Maybe I'm wrong, but it feels like Ivy Style is slowly slipping out of orbit. And I don't sense that today's younger men are aware of this or care.

This also could be a regional concern. I don't see many men in my area who go beyond t-shirts, hoodies and square-toe shoes. Yick.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Ivy Style's future?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:21 am 
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I think that the spread of Ivy to non-traditionally thought of places 60 odd years ago was exactly the same thing that we seem to be decrying, a trend. It was also a time of (something older membership can probably do a better job describing because they actually experienced it, but for a lack of a better term I'll go with) monoculture.

The way things work today everything is split a million different ways, there are trends (the shrunken everything look that's been "hip" for 10+ years), the average guy that doesn't give a @#$% look that Gamma describes, and people like us that spend time on internet forums. Those three groups are just a few examples of the styles currently being practiced, and there are many gradations and interpretations of all of them.

If anything the splintering and subculturing of society will help maintain "the look" in my opinion. The internet has sustained a few of our meccas (0'Connell's being the prime example) and made Ivy accessible to the unware or those that don't live in an area with the shops and thrifts to provide the basics.

Along the same lines, PTO featured this New Yorker article the other day: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultur ... g-menswear

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 Post subject: Re: What is Ivy Style's future?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:10 pm 
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Having only come into my sartorial own around 2006 or so, I can't speak to having lived through anything but the latest short and snug fad (seriously- when will this be over??)

If I had to find an analog, though, I'd bet that more than a few Ivy dressers had this sort of conversation in the valley of the 70s having no knowledge of the coming peak in the 80s.

GTFTD is right about the breakdown of the monoculture. I see plenty of bowties, tweeds, and chinos, but in cuts that would prohibit Pee-Wee from even mounting his red bicycle. So our color palette seems to be enjoying some cultural currency if not the relaxed fit we associate with it.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Ivy Style's future?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:08 pm 
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My perspective is that ivy-style is not itself going away as it has been absorbed into the greater Americana tradition. The sack coat may be dead (outside of custom/MTM) but khakis, blazers, penny loafers, etc. are not going anywhere.

Whats really killing menswear in general is a drive to casual and also at the same time to fashion. I live in an affluent suburb of NYC and often get poked about overdressing when wearing khakis, leather shoes, and an oxford (no tie or jacket). On the "fashion" side, go into BB and look at the bulk of the line they push. Its mostly horrible fashion-y crap.

That said, western civilization is stagnant and not coming up with anything new so I dont see a dramatic change in menswear staples coming anytime in the next few generations - a well dressed man today, whether it be Ivy or not, is going to be well dressed and accepted for the foreseeable future. I have only had one guy (a Mexican) ask me about my 3/2 roll sack suits. Everyone else just sees a traditional, if a bit stodgy, suit. Until the boardrooms and politicians drop the blue suit/red tie standard there will be a place for ivy.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Ivy Style's future?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:33 pm 
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Ivy style was promulgated from within a social class that really doesn’t exist anymore. As that social class has continued to disappear, the style has disappeared with it. I don’t think it’s any more complicated than that nor do I see any reason why that won’t continue.

There are still a few prepsters (as that New Yorker article calls them) still hanging around – if you’re ever in New York, spend an hour on 44th Street between Sixth Ave. and Grand Central Station and you’ll be heartened (and I imagine the same is true for some other cities) – but they are aging and I’m not sure I see the youngsters coming up in the ranks. I have always believed ivy style was partly a manifestation of a kind of generational continuity.

I’m sure that menswear designers will continue to resurrect parts of the look every so often, and, as Speas says, there are many elements that have made it into the mainstream – try swinging a dead cat without hitting a guy in khakis or a blue oxford shirt. But it isn’t, and won’t be, ivy style as we understand it. Sorry to be so glum about it.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Ivy Style's future?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:51 pm 
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I see ivy style a lot here in D.C., though mostly from either older gentlemen or men who grew up going to prep school. I will say the one detail that is often missing in the younger set is the sack jacket. They'll often wear 2-button, darted blazers, but the OCBD, repp tie, flat front trousers and weejuns are still seen pretty regularly here. It's certainly in the minority, but it hasn't vanished. For me, the real hen's tooth is when I see a 3/2, undarted sack jacket. Pretty rare unless I'm hanging out in Press.


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