Yesterday I read an interesting book entitle “Take Ivy,” which, upon first printing, sparked a fashion revolution among students in Japan.

 

Although printed for the first time in 1965, this collection of photographs contains significant relevance to menswear trends today.

 

Authored by Teruyoshi Hayashida, Shosuke Ishizu, Toshiyuki Kurosu, Hajime Hasegawa, “Take Ivy” documents the history of menswear in Ivy League Universities of the United States.

 

The term “Ivy League” stands for the eight oldest and most prestigious universities in North America; namely Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

 

The name “Ivy” originated in the 1930’s with sportswriter Caswell Adams for the ivy vines that cover many of the institutions’ buildings.

 

My first contact with an Ivy League was when I was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania, where I obtained a Bachelor’s in Russian and Chinese and a Master of Science in Educational Linguistics.

 

For a radically trendy Italian boy like me, I found the Ivy League trends rather stuffy and boring. 

 

But I must admit, the colors and mixtures of prints were definitely bolder than what you will find on Ivy League campuses today.

 

So, just what was the tradition Ivy League look?  For starts, the silhouette was slim, rarely baggy. 

 

Items included button down collars, polo shirts, varsity jackets, blazers, khakis or seersucker trousers, cardigan sweaters with bold numbers, Bermuda shorts, and loafers or dockside shoes.

 

Ivy League fashion can be associated with the “preppy” look, a term that originated in the 1950’s. 

 

Companies that cater to prep include L.L. Bean, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, and J. Crew.

 

 

Take Ivy from powerHouse Books on Vimeo.

Photo Copyright “Take Ivy.”

 
 
 
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