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 Post subject: Wearing the Ivy League Look since 1958
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:59 pm 
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Since I bought my first Ivy Style apparel shortly after Thanksgiving in 1958... and since Thanksgiving of 2018 has recently passed, I've officially been wearing the Ivy League Look for 60 years. I was a 16 year-old High School Senior, when, at my family's Thanksgiving Celebration at our house, I saw my two college cousins wearing what they called "the Ivy League Look". One of them was attending Northwestern and the other was attending Cornell. I was smitten! My Mom and Dad noticed that I was - for the first time in my life - desperate to dress well. Within a week I had purchased a light gray woolen sweater. within another week I had purchased a white button down shirt, a pair of Bass Weejuns, a pair of Wigwam white wool socks, and a pair of no-name Navy Chinos.

Here's the sweater picture before any other components had been purchased:

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And here's the first complete Ivy look from some time later, in the Fall of 1959 when I was in college. I do not remember the makers of the wool crewneck sweater, the Navy Khakis or the button down shirt from the 1958 version. I'm pretty sure I didn't even know whether the shirt was Oxford Cloth or some other weave. I do know that I bought Wigwam white wool athletic socks and Bass Weejuns... and I do know that I felt like a million bucks in the Ivy outfit I first wore in 1958 – sixty years ago!

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Fast forward to late 2018, sixty years later! I'm still wearing' the same outfit, though all the original pieces have been long ago replaced. Here's today's reality:

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J. Press OCBD, O'Connell's Saddle shoulder crewneck wool sweater, Lands end Navy Khakis, Wigwam Husky socks, Bass Weejun penny loafers. The Ivy League Look is the most enduring style of which I am aware! While there are thousands of guys who've been wearing the Ivy League Look for many years, I'm proud to be among those who've been wearing the look for 60 years or more.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Wearing the Ivy League Look since 1958
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:25 am 
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A testament to the timeless look! Let's hope that 60 years hence, others will carry on this tradition.


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 Post subject: Re: Wearing the Ivy League Look since 1958
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:27 am 
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Why tamper with success?

Although I would give 10 bucks to see Billax in Adult Male Full Denial Mode, with at least three of the following:

-- cargo shorts

-- flip flops

-- flat-brimmed Chicago Bulls cap with stickers still on it

-- alleged Chinese ideogram for "serenity" tattooed on lower calf

-- toilet seat beard


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 Post subject: Re: Wearing the Ivy League Look since 1958
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:53 pm 
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Billax wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:59 pm
The Ivy League Look is the most enduring style of which I am aware!

Very nice, Billax. May the style's (and your) excellence be everlasting.


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 Post subject: Re: Wearing the Ivy League Look since 1958
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:04 pm 
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Ensiferous wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:53 pm
Billax wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:59 pm
The Ivy League Look is the most enduring style of which I am aware!

Very nice, Billax. May the style's (and your) excellence be everlasting.
Concur! Although, Patrick's "double-dog-dare-ya" challenge would be hilarious. ;)

_________________
"Wearing a bow tie is a way of broadcasting an aggressive lack of concern for what other people think." - Warren St. John


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 Post subject: Re: Wearing the Ivy League Look since 1958
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:26 pm 
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It's Fall of 1960 and I'm an 18 year old Sophomore in College. I'm working part-time at my University's Ivy Store, Bruce-Ross. This season's Flannel blazers have just come into the shop. Mr. Ross has stocked a full size range of 3 roll 2 blazers in Navy and three sizes in deep Red. Mr. Ross has also purchased one 3 roll 2 white blazer and it just happened to be in a 42R. I MUST HAVE IT! He said that he purchased it on the expectation I'd want it... and that I'd be the only guy in the University who'd want one. He was proven right in that! But on the occasions I wore that white Blazer, I had DOZENS of guys asked me where I got it. When I told them it was Bruce-Ross, they went to the shop in droves... and bought Navy Blue ones!

Here's the White Blazer. in a cropped version of the annual picture of my Chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity:

Image

Pretty good Natural Shoulder look as well!

And here's the look, 58 years later:

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Tony, at J. Press made this Blazer for me. I love it!

Image
The Pebble grain loafers are by Allen Edmonds...


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...as is the pebble grain belt.
Here are my specs at ages 16 and 76:

Age:............16....76
Height:...... 6'0" 5'11"
Weight:.....167 lb. 175 lb.
Shirt size:..16.5x34 16.5x34
Trousers:....29Wx29L 34Wx29L
Shoes:........9.5C 9.5D
Hat:............7 3/8 7 3/8
Belt:...........30" 34"
Chest:.........42" 42"

The eight pound weight difference seems small for the change in waist, but that includes smaller biceps, thighs and calves. Life is good, but, at my age, I cannot defend myself as I might have in 1958.

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


Last edited by Billax on Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:57 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Wearing the Ivy League Look since 1958
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:54 pm 
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It's Fall of 1960. I'm a Sophomore majoring in Business and I have been invited to join a Business Honorary Fraternity. Here I'm leftmost on the Front Row, wearing a Blackwatch sport coat. Our bow-tied Professor and advisor sits next to me on my left.

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In 2018 I'm a bit more flamboyant than I was in 1960. Here is a 2018 picture of me wearing my current Blackwatch Sport coat.

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Like it or not, this is one of my favorite looks!

Somewhere in this set of pix, I need to get in my Kappa Sigma fraternity pin since it was a significant part of my college life. So, here it is:

Image

I still have three or four more pix of outfits from long ago and their current equivalents. Thanks for tolerating me in my then and now show!

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


Last edited by Billax on Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Wearing the Ivy League Look since 1958
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:15 pm 
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Such a great thread. Thanks for posting these, Bill!

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"Wearing a bow tie is a way of broadcasting an aggressive lack of concern for what other people think." - Warren St. John


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 Post subject: Re: Wearing the Ivy League Look since 1958
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:37 pm 
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Thanks for reading, Topsider!

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


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 Post subject: Re: Wearing the Ivy League Look since 1958
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:13 pm 
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I love seeing the crest on your blazer and your badge!

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Wearing the Ivy League Look since 1958
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:11 pm 
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Hey, Brian. Check your PMs. We Kappa Sigs have to stick together!

Bill

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


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 Post subject: Re: Wearing the Ivy League Look since 1958
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:04 pm 
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Thank you Bill, AEKDB!

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Wearing the Ivy League Look since 1958
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:33 pm 
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Tuxedos were a must in almost every college in the nation during the late 1950s and early 1960s! I've written earlier that my Pledge Father gave me great advice about tuxedos. In short form, he said, "Tuxedos will be required about four times a year – or more – during college. Do the rent versus buy analysis over four years and you'll agree with me that you should BUY a Tuxedo. HE WAS HUGELY correct. Every year my fraternity had a black tie affair. Every year each Sorority had a formal affair requiring Black Tie for the guys. Every year the University had at LEAST two formal dances. One could easily exceed four per year. My three Sons – from oldest to youngest – went chronologically from two formals a year, to one, to none.

Here are two pix of me at college formals:

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Two Kappa Sig jocks with the girls they would marry. My Football playing fraternity Brother and I– who ran track – wore sashes! I had seen them a few months before in Life Magazine on some European Royal. I thought wearing a sash to the Kappa Sigma 'Black and White', constructed of Silk gros grain in the Kappa Sig colors, would be very dashing! Still, I was uncertain enough about it, that I talked my fellow jock in wearing one, too. He agreed! I bought the three Silk grosgrain spools in Kappa Sigma colors. Then, I took them over to my college seamstress/laundress, told her what I wanted and to make two of 'em. She did her part perfectly, but I screwed up in having we dumb jocks wear them on the wrong shoulder! Turns out that almost all – not all but almost all – sashes are worn over the left shoulder. Of course, no guy in the fraternity had ever worn one – or seen one –before, so everybody thought the look was FAB!

And this one is of a show put on by students in the Textiles and Clothing major to name the best dressed male and female at the University.

Image

When you are a part time worker at the only Ivy Style clothing store within thirty miles of your college, you probably have a reasonable shot at winning. I did!

Here's a picture from last year... with both my middle Son and me, at a party calling for men in Tuxedos. If there is ANY doubt, I'm the old geezer on the left of the picture!

Image

Man, do I love wearing a Tux!

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


Last edited by Billax on Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Dinner Jackets
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:03 pm 
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It's Spring of 1959 and the Senior Prom at my High School has arrived. This is an evening event, but almost every guy is wearing a Dinner Jacket. I encourage all traditionally dressed guys to identify what's wrong with this picture!
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I am the leftmost guy in the second row of this picture and my date and dear girlfriend has her hand in the crook of my left elbow.

I am prepared for any white Dinner Jacket event, including the patent leather shoes...

Image

... but there are no Dinner Jacket events waiting for me!

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


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 Post subject: Re: Wearing the Ivy League Look since 1958
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:42 pm 
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I never tire of reading your reminiscences, Bill. I am emboldened to share something that I had published on the Salt Water New England blog quite a number of years ago (I know the author), so some folks may have seen it. But I hope those who have not will enjoy it.

CORNELL 1978

Thank heaven I left Cornell before the 1980 publication of The Official Preppy Handbook, in which the authors primly pronounced our university to be “out of the league.” Evidently the place was too diverse to cultivate the homogeneity required of an “authentic” preppy campus.

And it’s true, in addition to friends from Exeter and Lawrenceville, I was forced to fraternize with graduates of Peddie, Pomfret, and even a few kids from day schools in Maryland and New Jersey. My best friend and I both had a crush on a beauty from Baldwin, a notoriously artsy girls’ school outside Philadelphia. But her friendship with a tall, Byronic figure in our American Lit class who affected black turtleneck sweaters and round John Lennon-style wire rims was as predictable as it was heartbreaking. Most un-prep.

I was a member of Alpha Delta Phi, a national but relatively small fraternity founded in 1832 at Hamilton College. At Cornell, fraternities did not exist for the sole purpose of drinking beer and trashing your 1931 John Russell Pope-designed mansion, as portrayed in Animal House (which by coincidence was written by an Alpha Delt from Dartmouth). At a university where your chances of getting on-campus housing following freshman year were one in six, fraternities were one of the chief housing options. There were 48 of them.

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CHAPTER HOUSE

It was 1978 and so of course my group sported the garb with which the readers here are well acquainted. You trudged up Libe Slope to morning classes in a light snow, to an overheated classroom in McGraw Hall, to a drafty Uris Library carrel, and back to West Campus in freezing rain. Turtleneck under oxford shirt under crewneck sweater under down vest was a style born of necessity, not affectation. The affinity with L. L. Bean was as much practical as it was aesthetic.

We may have been the only fraternity on campus to dress for dinner. Most of us wore classic prep school attire: navy blazers or charcoal herringbone tweeds; blue jeans, jean corduroys, or khakis on the bottom; and a rep stripe, foulard, or club tie. The first Wednesday of the month was date night, when we dropped the jeans for khakis and replaced Top-Siders with penny or tasseled loafers. On date nights we also served wine, and invited a guest speaker from somewhere on campus. Once, my aforementioned buddy and I invited Jonathan Bishop, an English professor whose father, a poet, was the model for Thomas Parke d’Invilliers in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first novel, This Side of Paradise. The hoped-for Scott Fitzgerald stories were not, unfortunately, forthcoming—Professor Bishop had a fine sense of discretion, even under the influence—and as Lotharios my friend and I were unable to capitalize on his reflected glory.

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BROTHERS IN THE GREAT HALL

I'm sure more than a few parents were curious when their 19-year-old Alpha Delts came home during winter break in the market for a tuxedo. Twice a year we hosted Victory Club, a black tie, invitation-only gambling party in support of literacy that Playboy once called “the classiest party in the Ivy League” (high praise indeed). The event originated in 1918 to encourage the sale of Victory Bonds during the First World War. It was forced to go underground during Prohibition, and we of course encouraged its murky reputation.

We also wore black tie for our annual dinner honoring new initiates, and in the spring affected piece parts of black tie for Arts Quad Croquet, when we took our dates, who traditionally wore white dresses, to drink champagne with strawberries and play drunken croquet on the Arts Quad lawn.

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ARTS QUAD CROQUET

Through the eyes of memory, football Saturdays were always tweed jacket weather: cool, crisp, and sunny. We owned a 1930s fire truck and would all ride together up to Schoellkopf Field. We'd fill gallon jugs with apple cider fresh from the spigot at Cornell Orchards, top them up with rum, and take 'em into the games.

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FIRE TRUCK

Tailgating from his Volvo wagon outside the stadium, the quintessential alum was a stout man in a wool sport coat with the sort of large plaid that only J. Press seems interested in today, something just short of a horse blanket, an amiable fellow who clapped you on the back and lost no time pressing a drink into your hand. I miss that custom—the rapid and immediate proffering of the cocktail—which seems largely to have disappeared in this Puritan century.

It’s a funny thing about me and my cronies. For us, college was about growing into manhood; sophomoric antics notwithstanding, we aspired to be grown-ups. Our models, sartorial and otherwise, were our fathers and our friends’ fathers, those stout fellows, which sounds hopelessly square but speaks volumes about who we were. “There is the presence of a father…a force of counsel and support that would have carried one, well-equipped, into manhood,” John Cheever wrote in his journal. “One does not invest the image with brilliance or wealth; it is simply a man in a salt and pepper tweed, sometimes loving, sometimes irascible, and sometimes drunk but always responsible to his son.”

Forgive me if I tend to romanticize the past. Like many of my age, I am bewildered by what it means to be an adult in a culture dominated by the values of children. How are children to be shown the way out of childhood by parents who want to be children themselves? Richard Press, grandson of the founder of J. Press, has used the lovely phrase “generational continuity” to explain the longevity of the brand. My pastor prays, “God, you who are our dwelling place in all the generations.” May it ever be so

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THE AUTHOR, WINTER 1978


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