Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A modern take on 'Take Ivy'


The annual rite of passage that is the return of collegians to their ivy-covered — and increasingly plate-glass — campuses begins later this month.

Fully commercialized for years now, the back to school season, which includes students returning to elementary, middle and high schools, is big business. It’s a time when na├»ve young ladies and gentlemen open up credit cards, borrow too much in student loans and lease increasingly lavish off-campus housing.

All of these facets of contemporary college life today are different from the early 1960s, when the seminal “Take Ivy” book, documenting the lifestyles of male Ivy League collegians, was published in Japan.

While many observations (“Professors wear either a dark suit or a sport coat, since they consider the campus their workplace”) have become irrelevant over the years, “Take Ivy” has retained a cult-like following not least because of its detailed style commentary and gorgeous street photography — in short, it is what F.E. Castleberry of Unabashedly Prep, along with a battalion of other #menswear-types, dream about at night.

The style documented in “Take Ivy” is just as in now as it was then. Unlike the faux high-prep of Polo Ralph Lauren, J. Crew or the late Rugby Ralph Lauren, this is the authentic Ivy-style that so many try to emulate.

One of the more interesting recommendations in the book was a “basic wardrobe” for incoming collegians that focused on both quantity and details.

The wardrobe suggestions, which were in line with campus dress codes at the time, including Yale University’s 20-point dress code regulations, advised students to have two suits, two sport jackets and even a shawl collar dinner jacket.

Unless you find yourself a member of the legendary Skull and Bones society, you’ll probably want something a bit more modern.

Revisiting the book’s “Ivy Wardrobe Directory” of recommendations, will publish its first-ever Collegiate Dress Code over the coming days and weeks.

1 comment:

  1. The sport coats pictured above are the from the Paul Press Collection featured at the Ivy Style Exhibit of the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC that premiered this past September.