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Ivy League is a style of men's dress, popular during the late 1950s in the Northeastern United States, and said to have originated on college campuses, particularly those of the Ivy League. The clothing stores J. Press and Brooks Brothers represent perhaps the quintessential Ivy League dress manner, the former with two of its four locations found at Harvard and Yale Universities (the Princeton branch closed in 1942). The Ivy League style was the predecessor to the preppy style of dress. The Ivy League Style 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) blazer without darts and a single "hooked" vent. The pants are typically cuffed and without pleats. It was also characterized by the use of natural fabrics, shirts with button-down collars, and penny loafers. In suits, the Ivy League style was promoted by clothier Brooks Brothers and included natural shoulder single-breasted suit jackets. In 1957 and 1958, about 70% of all suits sold were in the "Ivy League" style.
Controversially, in a recently revised form, a version of this style is sometimes promoted and marketed online (and elsewhere) as "American Trad" or simply "Trad," although there are marked differences between the two styles. 'Trad' is considerably narrower in scope than the original Ivy League style.
An American style known as preppy is similar to Ivy League but more juvenile. Preppie style is more colorful, especially in spring and summer. It was first popularized in the late 1970s as a return to Ivy League styles after a decade of more modern trends, but today Preppy differs from historic Ivy League in that it is a personal style rather than a general trend, and generally viewed as more youthful. Today Polo Ralph Lauren, Vineyard Vines, and J. Crew are the largest marketers of this kind of clothing, though each offers a wide range of styles.
The style was parodied in Clark Gesner's musical "The Ivy League Look".