Ivy League style is a versatile and practical style that blurs the lines between smart and casual.
It originated from the clothing worn by students at Ivy League universities in the Northeastern United States during the 1950s and 1960s, and is characterized by clean lines, classic colors, and a focus on quality materials and construction.
What sets Ivy League style apart from most other styles is its ability to be dressed up or down for a variety of occasions. A well-fitted pair of loafers or a classic leather strap watch can add a touch of sophistication to a casual outfit, while a navy blazer or a woven leather belt can dress up a more relaxed look. The emphasis on quality materials and construction means that investing in Ivy League-style pieces can lead to a longer-lasting and more sustainable wardrobe.
But beyond just the practical benefits, Ivy League style is a style that communicates confidence, sophistication, and professionalism. The look has historically been associated with the elite, educated, and successful, making it a style that exudes a certain level of class and taste.
Whether you’re dressing for a job interview, a wedding, or a casual weekend outing, Ivy League style provides a timeless and versatile aesthetic that can work for a variety of situations.
If you want to dress to impress, Ivy League style is a timeless and classic choice. Incorporating these 9 Ivy League style essentials into your wardrobe will elevate your style game and make a lasting impression.
01 A Pair Of Loafers
Loafers are an essential item for Ivy League style, as they perfectly balance smart and casual aesthetics. They are comfortable and stylish, making them perfect for any casual occasion.
Look for a pair with a classic penny or tassel design, made of high-quality leather and with a sturdy sole. They can be worn with chinos or jeans for a relaxed look, or paired with dress pants for a more formal setting.
02 Button Down Collar Shirts
Button-down shirts are a versatile and classic staple that are perfect for Ivy League style. They are a great option for blurring the lines between smart and casual and can be worn with dress pants or jeans.
Look for a shirt made of heavier-gauge cotton or linen and choose a slim or regular fit. They can be worn tucked in for a more formal look or left untucked for a relaxed vibe on the most informal of occasions.
03 A Woven Leather Belt
A woven leather belt is a stylish accessory that can add texture and interest to any outfit. It is an essential item for Ivy League style, and like many items on this list, its versatility means it can be worn with both formal and casual attire.
Look for a belt in a neutral color like brown or black, made of genuine leather and with a classic buckle.
04 Khaki Chinos
Khaki chinos are a versatile and comfortable option that can be worn in both casual and formal settings. They are a staple of Ivy League style and can be paired with a button-down Oxford shirt for a classic look or just a sweater for a more casual outfit.
Look for a pair that fits well and is made of thicker cotton. Steer clear of skinny fits and get something in a slim or regular fit with a generous rise.
Japanese retailer, Uniqlo, excels at basics and their slim-fit chinos are a great option if you don’t want to spend too much. They have a fit that will suit many men, are quite durable, and can’t be beaten on price. Check out our full review on these pants here.
05 A Navy Blazer
A navy blazer is an essential item for Ivy League style as it can elevate any outfit. It can be worn with dress pants or chinos, and it’s perfect for business casual events, dinner parties, or date nights.
Look for a blazer made of high-quality wool or linen.
06 A Wool Sweater/Sweater Vest
A wool sweater is a classic and timeless piece that can be worn with dress pants or jeans. It is perfect for layering during colder months, and its versatility makes it an essential item for Ivy League style.
Look for a crewneck or v-neck sweater or sweater vest in a neutral color like navy, grey, or black, made of high-quality wool.
07 A Classic Striped Tie
A classic striped tie is a timeless accessory that can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any outfit. It is an essential item for Ivy League style as it can be worn with a suit for a formal look or paired with a sweater and chinos for a more casual outfit.
Look for a tie in a classic color combination like navy and white or red and blue, made of silk or a silk blend.
08 A Classic Leather Strap Watch
A classic leather strap watch is a timeless accessory that can elevate any outfit. However, it is an essential item for Ivy League style and adds a touch of sophistication to any look.
Look for a watch with a simple design and a leather strap in a neutral color like brown or black. Avoid excessive embellishments or large watch faces for a classic and sophisticated look.
09 Polo Shirts
Polo shirts are a preppy staple that originated from upper-class sports like tennis and polo. Usually worn for casual occasions, they bring an element of sophistication that a tee shirt just can’t.
Look for a polo shirt made of high-quality cotton or a cotton blend, with a slim or regular fit. Classic colors like navy, white, or light blue are always a safe bet. Wear it with chinos for a smart-casual look or shorts for a more relaxed outfit.
In conclusion, Ivy League style is a timeless and classic aesthetic that is still relevant today. It’s a style that is characterized by its emphasis on quality and versatility.
By investing in a few key pieces like a great suit, loafers, button-down oxford shirts, a woven leather belt, khaki chinos, a navy blazer, a wool sweater, a classic striped tie, and a classic leather strap watch, you can elevate your wardrobe and look effortlessly stylish.
The beauty of Ivy League style is that it blurs the lines between smart and casual, making it an extremely versatile style that can be worn in a variety of settings. It’s a style that is rooted in tradition, but can also be adapted to suit modern trends.
Whether you’re a student, a young professional, or a seasoned gentleman, Ivy League style is a great choice for anyone who values quality, versatility, and timeless elegance. By incorporating these essential pieces into your wardrobe, you can create a classic and sophisticated look that will never go out of style.