No products in the cart.


No products in the cart.

Mastering the American Ivy League Old Money Look – Men’s Style Guide

This article is an in-depth style guide to help you achieve that coveted American Ivy League Old Money look.

With over three decades of experience in the fashion industry, we’ve seen countless trends come and go, but the Ivy League style has remained a timeless classic.

So, let’s explore how you can incorporate this refined aesthetic into your wardrobe and elevate your style game.

American Ivy League Style Origins

The American Ivy League style is rooted in the early 1900s uniforms of prestigious Northeastern United States preparatory schools and universities, such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.

Inspired by traditional British preparatory school attire, this style has evolved into a conservative yet refined way of dressing that reflects the Preppy subculture’s elitism and affluent lifestyle.

It’s all about embracing classic pieces, paying attention to detail, and exuding an air of sophistication.

Ivy League Wardrobe Essentials

To nail the Ivy League look, you must understand the core components: clothing, footwear, and accessories. Here are some must-have items:

The Royal Navy Blazer

A three-button, single-breasted navy blazer is quintessential in any Ivy League wardrobe.

Opt for a well-fitted blazer from brands like Brooks Brothers or Ralph Lauren for a polished appearance.

Wear it to corporate meetings, job interviews, or academic presentations to make a lasting impression.

The Oxford Shirt (OCBD)

The American adaptation of the traditional British polo shirt, the Oxford shirt is made from thick cotton Oxford cloth and features a button-down collar.

Pair it with a blazer for a classic Ivy League ensemble, or wear it independently for a more casual look.

Brands like Gant, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ralph Lauren offer excellent office settings and business casual dinner options.

Chino Pants

Straight-legged, flat-front trousers made from twill fabric are a staple in the Ivy League style.

Look for a versatile and comfortable option for chinos from brands like J.Crew or Gant.

Wear them to business-casual office events, weekend errands, or family gatherings for a put-together appearance.

Penny Loafers

Slip-on leather shoes with a distinctive slot on the front and penny loafers are a must-have for any Ivy League enthusiast.

G.H. Bass and Sperry offer excellent options that will complement your outfit perfectly.

Wear them to academic settings, semi-formal dinners, or business-casual office environments to add a touch of sophistication to your look.

Cable-knit Sweater

Wool or cashmere sweaters woven in ‘cable’ patterns – a raised, textured surface – are available in V-neck and button-up cardigan styles.

Brands like Ralph Lauren and Lacoste offer high-quality options for layering over an Oxford shirt during autumn gatherings, casual Fridays, or holiday dinners.

Classic Ivy League Style Example

Michael, one of my clients, a young entrepreneur, was invited to a prestigious business conference.

We worked together to create an Old Money look inspired by the Ivy League that would help him make a lasting impression at the event.

I got Michael to wear a perfectly tailored double-breasted navy blazer from Brooks Brothers, a crisp white Oxford shirt from Gant, khaki chinos from J.Crew, and a pair of brown penny loafers from G.H. Bass.

For an extra touch of original preppy style, I accessorized Michael’s Ivy League outfit with a subtle repp tie from Ralph Lauren.

The result was nothing less spectacular as Michael’s confidence (and look) landed him a significant business deal and many valuable connections.

Styling Tips

Having a well-curated selection of Ivy League staples in your wardrobe, you’ll be prepared for any event that comes your way.

However, you should consider some extra styling tips when trying to infuse your Ivy League attire with a classic, old-money feel.

Occasion is Important

When crafting your Ivy League-inspired outfits, it’s crucial to consider the occasion.

While a full suit might be appropriate for a formal event or a job interview, you can opt for a more relaxed look for a casual Friday at the office or a weekend outing.

Fit is Critical

Ensure that your clothing fits well, as the Ivy League style is all about looking polished and put together.

Invest in tailoring to achieve the perfect fit, as ill-fitting clothes can ruin the overall aesthetic.

Wear a Classic Color Palette

Opt for neutral colors like navy, white, khaki, and olive green, with occasional pops of color in your accessories.

This will help you create a versatile, timeless wardrobe that exudes old-money sophistication.

Use Layering

Combine a blazer, Oxford shirt, and sweater for a sophisticated, multi-dimensional look.

This is especially effective during colder months or for more formal occasions.

Subtle Accessories

A repp tie, needlepoint belt, or argyle socks can add a touch of personality to your outfit without going overboard.

Brands like Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren offer accessories that perfectly complement the Ivy League style.

Wear Quality Clothes

The Ivy League style involves investing in high-quality, timeless pieces that will last for years to come.

Don’t be afraid to splurge on well-made garments from reputable brands.

They will form the foundation of your old-money wardrobe.

Get Styled By the Pros

Still unsure how to take your American Ivy League Old Money look to the next level?

The VOU’s expert stylists are here to help, as our personalized styling packages will have you looking and feeling your best, no matter the occasion.

We’ll work with you to curate a wardrobe that perfectly embodies the Ivy League aesthetic, incorporating classic pieces from top brands like Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, Gant, and J.Crew.

Imagine walking into a room filled with confidence, knowing that you look like a million bucks.

With The VOU’s guidance, you’ll elevate your style game and discover how dressing well can positively impact your personal and professional life.

You deserve to look and feel your best – let us show you how, and trust me, investing in your style is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

With over twenty years of front-row fashion and styling events, collabs with haute-couture houses, and a PhD in Luxury Fashion, Laurenti is an expert in crafting personalized looks that depict old-money sophistication.

With years of expertise in high-end fashion collabs and a PhD in Sustainable Fashion, Ru specializes in curating eco-luxe wardrobes for the modern gentleman seeking understated refinement.

Similar Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.