Sporting The Ivy League

The Hollywood Icons Who Made Elite Campus Style an American Classic

Iconic Hollywood stars Robert Redford, Steve McQueen and Woody Allen show us the enduring sartorial aesthetic of America’s elite Ivy League universities. From Take Ivy by Teruyoshi Hayashida to Donna Tartt’s bestselling novel The Secret History, the clean-cut look exemplified by chinos, corduroy jackets, buttoned-down shirts and loafers has been a cornerstone of elite American style since the 1960s. “It’s just really comfortable clothes—fairly democratic and classless,” says Graham Marsh, author of the forthcoming Hollywood and the Ivy Look. “Everyone can look good in it, whether you're 17 or 70.  It’s very forgiving.” Between 1955 and 1965 the informal Ivy uniform, epitomizing the alpha lifestyle of college athletics, social elitism and scholarly excellence, traveled cross-country from East Coast universities to be appropriated by West Coast Hollywood stars, before filtering into the mainstream. "These [movie stars] introduced it to the masses and made it cool,” says the book’s editor Tony Nourmand. He and Marsh reveal the essential components for an iconic campus look.
 
Alden loafers—The equivalent of Church’s shoes in England.
 
Corduroy or herringbone jacket—With Ivy styled jackets, you can mix it up; they look great with all kinds of trousers. They’re less formal than the English suit jacket.
 
Buttoned-down light blue shirt—Open at the collar and with no tie. Girls can wear this too, apparently.
 
Classic pair of Levis 501s—Chinos or even grey flannel trousers will work too.  
 
Knitted rep tie—Any color or pattern will do.

Hollywood and the Ivy Look is released on November 15th by Reel Art Press.

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