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Cream, orange, and black striped cotton blazer, circa 1928.
Chipp, madras jacket, circa 1970.
Raccoon fur coat worn by Joseph Verner Reed, Yale Class of 1926 (father of donor).
From left to right: Harris Tweed ready-made brown cashmere sport coat, dyed spun, handwoven, and finished in the Outer hebrides of Scotland, 1975; Prince of Wales Glen plaid cashmere sport coat from W. Bill, London, tailored January 10, 1968; Prince of Wales Glen plaid cashmere sport coat from W. Bill, London, tailored March 6, 1972. All owned by Paul Press of J. Press.
Detail of navy blazer with buttons by J. Press. Probably 1970s. From the collection of Muffy Aldrich.
Brooks Uniform Company, black blazer with orange trim and 1923 Princeton University insignia.
Cream, orange, and black striped cotton blazer, circa 1928.

Cream, orange, and black striped cotton blazer, circa 1928.

Photo: Courtesy of the Museum at FIT

The Museum at FIT has a new exhibit opening September 14, 2012, running through January 5, 2013. Ivy Style, organized by Patricia Mears, pays homage to a classic style of dress known as the "Ivy League look." This style has existed throughout most of the 20th century and shows no signs of fading into the background. This exhibit looks at the inception of the style in the early 1900s across college campuses, its evolution, and its prominence today.

Focusing on three distinct periods ranging from the interwar years to the revival era, the collection presents over sixty ensembles in an Ivy league campus atmosphere. Almost entirely focused on menswear, the exhibit will feature athletic wear, letter sweaters, suits, class jackets, and more. Classic items such as tweed jackets and polo coats will be included from firms such as Brooks Brothers.

In addition to the classic Ivy league style, contemporary designs are included by designers such as Michael Bastian and Thom Brown who have each created an updated Ivy style.

Are you interested in seeing this exhibit? What do you think of the Ivy style? Do you think it will last another 100 years? What kinds of pieces do you hope to see represented in this exhibit?


Comments (4)

BLNM BLNM writes: Fit is just too many miles from me, but I would love to see the exhibit. My memories of clothes back in 1958-62 include buckles on the back waist of corduroy pants, shirts that were oxford cloth with buttons on the backs of collars as well as on the tips(something my husband hates. Men wore caps with buckles as well. And leather patches on elbows of tweed jackets. The "school" striped tie never has gone out of style. Blue jeans were at home wear, and tennis shoes were only for tennis. "Running shoes" had yet to appear on the scene. Isn't it amazing how clothes are more for comfort, now.
Posted: 2:33 pm on August 23rd

Serral Serral writes: Of course I will go. It's not my aesthetic, but it is a big piece of the evolution of men's fashion history. The tailoring techniques for many of the jackets and trousers are still used today. Alexander McQueen's first apprenticeship was with men's tailors and inspired some of the women's wear he made years later. Will it last? It is diffiicult to say. A man in a well cut blazer is a nice piece of eye candy, but fashion on the street is less and less formal and bowties are frequently considered quirky. I confess i would love a straw boater for myself -:)
Posted: 7:01 am on August 22nd

agapantha agapantha writes: I suppose it is possible that I could be less interested in this exhibit, but I can't imagine how.;) Ivy League men's wear is not my thing. Now a retrospective on western wear for men... that I'd go to see.
Posted: 1:56 am on August 22nd

VintageTailor VintageTailor writes: I would LOVE to see this exhibit, especially having just returned from two months in London, the capital of men's tailoring, a couple of weeks ago. I was agog at the smart shirts and jackets I saw in shop windows and in the City.

In London and in Bath I saw several men's informal summer jackets in bold-striped linen on the street and at vintage fashion fairs. I'd like to know whether that brilliantly striped blazer from 1928 hearkens back to fashions from Oxford, Cambridge, or English boarding schools. One would suppose Ivy League dressing would quote from British tailoring. (Well, I guess using Harris tweeds could hardly be more British.)

Part of me wishes I were a tailor's apprentice on Savile Row. I've greatly enjoyed other FIT shows; I think I'm going to have to plan a trip to New York before the end of the year to see this one.

Posted: 3:11 pm on August 15th

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