I went to a bar mitzvah once, a long time ago, where they handed out madras yarmulkas with little belts in the back. At the time I went to prep school and was wearing Brooks Brothers button down shirts, blue blazers and penny loafers, so I was mighty impressed by the liturgical fashion statement.
I eventually – and happily – overcame the obsession for bland Brooks Brothers and J. Press, but a new book, The Ivy Look by Graham Marsh and JP Gaul, has got me longing to return to those plaid bowties, Gant shirts, Paul Stuart corduroy vests and Van Huesen “Coloray” polos.
Even if you don’t hanker for the Ivy look, the Ivy book is a fine record of “Classic American Clothing” and the days when looking spiff was as neat as being hipster cool.