At the start of the 60s the Ivy League look was at its height. The young hip kids that frequented basement jazz clubs, such as the Flamingo in Wardour St, took inspiration from the blue note record sleeves and American TV shows, such as Peyton Place.

The music of choice first of all was modern jazz, and the melody maker called the people that listened to this type of jazz ‘modernists’.

These individuals were mainly young, some still at art school, and wanted to be set apart from people who liked trad jazz, who in the main were scruffy bearded and unkempt, with long thick knit jumpers and second hand trousers!

The look these young men wanted was American and known as the Ivy Look.

The Ivy Look inspired not only jazz & RnB musicians but future presidents, stars of the stage and screen, as well as young ‘Modernists’.

Brook Bros of New York were early pioneers of this style!

The suits were normally 3 button and quite box looking, with the lapel pressed, so the jacket looked like a 2 ½ button.

It was the details of natural shoulders, two button cuffs, patch pockets etc that made them stand out and as the 60s continued, the jacket style became more waisted and tailored.

The Ivy League trouser was always flat fronted, with frog mouth or cross pockets.

Blazers and checkered sports jackets were also favoured, by young and old alike!

This look got its name from the Ivy League universities of the super power that was, and still is, the good old US of A.

If power dressing and status was important in the 80’s, it was nothing compared to the “I’m the Boss”, in control look of Ivy League clothing that made the wearer look like a million dollars, even if they only had 10 cents!

The suits were made without a dart front, but for today’s modern shape you can have a dart and still look like and early 60’s bluenote star or one of the cast of ‘Mad Men’.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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