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Ivy League bespoke.


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#1 carpu65

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 10:58 AM

Ivy League,the American vernacular sartorial language (at the least on the east cost).
Which are his peculiarities?

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"It is epitomized by the sack suit which is defined as being a 3-to-2 (3 buttons with the top button "rolled" back to reveal only two usable buttons) coat,with natural shoulders, without darts and with a single "hooked" vent.
The pants are typically cuffed and without pleats".

Well,despite Ivy league suits are for the most "off the rack",in past many clothiers,like Brooks Brothers,JPress,Chipp,and others offered to customers full bespoke (Brooks Brothers until 1976).

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Now which is technically the pattern for a bespoke Ivy league coat?
Why in your opinion darts are not in Ivy style,and without darts is possible give a good shape, or the coat will allways a bit like a potatoes sack (just "sack")?

#2 carpu65

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 11:15 AM

Here we have a 1959 Brooks Brothers bespoke suit:

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Here a 1955 Chipp bespoke:

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with this interesting detail:

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And here a modern Ivy bespoke from...Japan:

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http://tailorcaid.exblog.jp/

Japanese loves Ivy and they have a fine bespoke tradition.
These suits seem to me the better example of bespoke Ivy style;
coats are not potatoes sack,also without darts.

#3 carpu65

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 11:18 AM

P.S.
Another feature seems that in three buttons the stance between buttons are very high.

#4 I.Brackley

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 11:40 AM

Regarding the first picture (or rather graphic); is this to be taken that some examples of the breed were cut with a hook vent?

There is something charmingly unassuming and relaxed about the coats in these pictures. :hi:

Edited by I.Brackley, 09 February 2011 - 11:42 AM.

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#5 Jake K

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 03:08 PM

"Ivy League" and "Bepoke" aren't usually paired terms; the real genesis of Ivy are the old completely unshaped priest's sack frocks. This is all Brooks made for their first forty years of existence, probably. About as conservative and unshaped as it gets.
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#6 Sator

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 10:41 PM

Here is something that gives us a bit of insight into the Ivy League look:

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It comes from Bert Bacharach's book Right Dress - Success Through Better Grooming, New York, 1955.

Japanese admirers of the look often cite Bobby Kennedy as the epitome of the style:

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Notice how closely fitted the suit is. Japanese commentators also point out how the trousers are extremely shortly hemmed to the point the sock show when walking.

If you look at Republicans at the time, it is extremely noticeable that the clothes they wear are much drapier - in the sense of being more loosely fitted, like this British cartoon of a stereotypical rich American oil tycoon:

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You won't see Nixon wearing Ivy League styled suits.

I suspect that the Ivy League thing has something to do with the liberal thinking typical of many East Coast Ivy League university graduates. I wonder if their almost exaggerated close cuts are a reaction against the mainstream American culture of wearing their clothes on the easy side. Bill Blass in 1974 stated, for example, that most Americans wear their clothes "two sizes too big". Even today, RTW cutters say that they have to cut clothes for the American market on the easy side, otherwise they don't sell.

One book to grab while in print is the following book (by a Japanese author):

http://www.amazon.co...97254703&sr=8-2

#7 Nishijin

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 10:56 PM

It is possible, in bespoke and with the right cloth, to give some shape to the chest without the chest dart. We have seen recently this example from Voxsartoria's wardrobe :
http://www.cutterand...pic=1923&st=109

(I do not copy the picture here as it is very big).


But I don't think that it would be a good idea for Ivy League style. The way I see it, its sack coats are pretty shapeless, waistless. They are the remnants of the ancient american sack coat, which was quite boxy. In old French manuals, we have coats and overcoats cut in the "forme sac", which is patently the French version of american fashion, and are clearly designed to have no waist suppression at all.

Your japanese examples do not look Ivy to my eye (but I confess Ivy is not the style I know the best). There is a shape that looks more English than American, and more important the shoulders have too much structure. It is Japanese translation, not the real thing. Their trousers look OK.

Also, I see Ivy style mainly as 1950's style : broad chest, no waist suppression, close hips, high gorge, smallish lapels, but not as small as in the 1960s, and soft shoulders. Details more specific to the style than the period are button placement and pockets.


Is the waistcoat an Ivy thing ? I would have thought not. :Confused:
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#8 Sator

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 11:02 PM

BTW if you accept what Bert Bacharach has to say about the Ivy League look, the Brook Brothers Nr 1 sack suit isn't Ivy League - it actually pre-dates the Ivy League style by several decades.

#9 Sator

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 11:19 PM

"It is epitomized by the sack suit which is defined as being a 3-to-2 (3 buttons with the top button "rolled" back to reveal only two usable buttons) coat,


I prefer the British term for this - "button-two show-one lounge coat".

The reason for this is that the coat is just a standard button-two lounge coat but with an extra show button at the top.

#10 Sator

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 11:43 PM

Now here's an interesting comparison:

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#11 carpu65

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 01:17 AM

the real genesis of Ivy are the old completely unshaped priest's sack frocks. This is all Brooks made for their first forty years of existence, probably. About as conservative and unshaped as it gets.


A suit that have a one button-two show-one coat,with natural shoulders, without darts and with a single "hooked" vent,
and trousers cuffed and without pleats is "Ivy League",or is necessary also a shapless loose form?
In other words,an hypothetical Anderson & Sheppard (or Rubinacci)coat,undarted and with a single hooked vent could be considered "Ivy"?
P.S.
with a coat undarted is more difficult for the tailor give form and shape to the customer body?

Edited by carpu65, 10 February 2011 - 01:22 AM.


#12 MANSIE WAUCH

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 07:06 AM

As I understood it,'Ivy League' was a close fitting suit with narrow lapels, usualy a button three (all buttons fastened) very short sleeves, showing plenty of cuff, and as someone has already mentioned the trousers were cut on the short side. 'Bobby Darron' the sixties/seventies pop singer, had a tendency to wear this style. I might add, along with many more.

Edited by MANSIE WAUCH, 10 February 2011 - 07:07 AM.


#13 carpu65

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:03 AM

Some interesting links:

Brooks Brothers in 40s...well i don't call it unshaped.
http://www.askandyab...Brooks-Brothers
The silhouette is interesting and very different from 50s-60s "Ivy".

For history in pictures of Ivy look (yes,i am):

http://forums.filmno...pic.php?id=7856
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#14 Sator

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:11 AM

A suit that have a one button-two show-one coat,with natural shoulders, without darts and with a single "hooked" vent,
and trousers cuffed and without pleats is "Ivy League",or is necessary also a shapless loose form?
In other words,an hypothetical Anderson & Sheppard (or Rubinacci)coat,undarted and with a single hooked vent could be considered "Ivy"?
P.S.
with a coat undarted is more difficult for the tailor give form and shape to the customer body?


American tailoring has a lot of different themes running through it. The Ivy League style and the general trend towards an easier fitting, comfortable coat are actually at opposites ends of this spectrum. It also helps when you draft the coat off a classic American system like The New Mitchell System, which will give very different results from the unpublished Edwardian system of A&S or whatever Italian system that the particular cutter at Rubinacci uses.

I don't know of any UK, or Italian tailor who still leaves the front darts off their coats like the Americans do. It means you have to do more shaping with the iron. It's a little like leaving off the centre back seam of a coat. It can be done, but the cloth has to suitable for this treatment.

#15 Sator

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:19 AM

Brooks Brothers in 40s...well i don't call it unshaped.


The cutter at Brooks is going to do what every cutter does and alter his block patterns every season according to fashion. Some years they may go for a more fitted look, others they may stay with the easier cuts that traditionally sell best in the US market.

An easier cut doesn't have to be shapeless. If you take a close fitting coat and add a bit of ease equally everywhere, it will still have shape but with ease all over. It won't look as clean, but it can still have shape - like this example:

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Notice the way there is no front dart. This means that the check isn't disrupted by the dart. The cost is that front panel looks a little flat, especially at the chest. A tweed like this is probably the easiest to shape with the iron.

#16 carpu65

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 12:13 PM

Brooks Brothers from the past:

1930s Brooks Brothers double breasted (seems darted):



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1941 Brooks Brothers double breasted (the shape of the lapels seem deliberately archaic,like on a 1890s double breasted).



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Modern sketch for Brooks Brothers that depicts the 1930s-1940s Brooks double breasted:



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The last of Brooks,Wintrop Holly Brooks,in 1945 (note the double breasted,seems darted)



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At left a 30s Brooks Brothers double breasted,at right a 1969 Brooks Brothers DB blazer; note that the shape of the lapels is similar (with the peaks horizontal).

I don't see "boxy" unshaped sacks here:



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A 1940 tweed single breasted suit; i don't see "sack" (see the shoulder and the waist)



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Now some of interesting:

Tyrone Power, the film star, found this out when he was preparing for his role in The Razor’s Edge. He dropped in to see Mr. Brooks and asked if the store had some photographs which would give his studio’s tailors an idea of what the correctly dressed man wore in 1914. Mr. Brooks showed him a picture on the office wall of Yale University’s famed Whiffenpoof singing club, taken about that time. Power was delighted; the clothes were just what he needed.
“All right, young man,” Mr. Brooks told the actor as he led him to the door. “Take the elevator to the second floor, see one of our salesmen there, and buy our No. 1 sack suit. That’s what all of us have on in that picture, and it’s still sold at Brooks.”


And here some pictures of the movie,set in 1915, with the 1946 No.1 sack suit:



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Well,seem to me clear and evident that in 30s and 40s sack suit,undarted and with little waist suppression was only ONE among others models at Brooks Brothers,and not the main model like in 50s and 60s.

Edited by carpu65, 10 February 2011 - 12:15 PM.


#17 Jake K

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 03:08 PM

Carpu, I like all your photographs but my grandfather made a lot of his money in the 50s by... private label manufacturing "Ivy League" coats for the young men's shops in the college towns.

I have an archive of over 600 labels of different men's stores we made for. Some of them are extremely cool (like "Cool's Style Lab", a red label with a beatnik caricature on it).

To call anything Ivy League "bespoke" is just something that never happened in America, sorry. Brooks has always made more fitted models, during some decades more than others, but they don't typify Ivy League.

The modern Ivy League fitted-waist reinterpretation is something innovated by the Japanese and Thom Browne.

I don't have my NYC archives in LA, but I could flood this thread. The look was typified by a narrow shoulder, (almost completely) unshaped waist, and pegged trousers.

It was also important to the purists to pull what Americans call the "natural shoulder" for this look- the sleeve seam was completely pressed open, the sleeve head was minimal, and the true makers pulled the sleeve cap back on the press for a lengthy time to make sure it had no roping of any kind. If there was any roping or cap height, there might have been violence in the factory.
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#18 Jake K

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 03:27 PM

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In less words, this image is the "true" Ivy League coat.

Edit: It even has the very common 1/4" machine edge stitching of the period! Perfect research.

Edited by Jake K, 10 February 2011 - 03:41 PM.

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