• Tabitha James

Ivy Guys Are Hot.

(“Oh, a Hasty Pudding tie! Are you always hasty…?”)

Ivy guys are hot. I don’t mean guys who go to Ivy schools, or alumni. I mean guys who dress Ivy--3/2 sack suits and tweed jackets, beautifully baggy OCBD shirts, khakis or dark grey flannels, repp ties, shell cordovan gunboats…. sorry, I got distracted.

As with most things, the more you understand your strength, the better you use it. I’ve already noted that an Ivy guy need not have gone to an Ivy school, so it’s not the possibility of snagging a guy with inherited wealth or high earnings potential that’s making me behave like a schoolgirl. (And don’t lie, dear male reader, your 3/2 Chipp sack is designed to have an effect on me). It’s also got nothing to do with any subliminal association that traditional clothing might have with older, well-established men. It’s not Daddy issues that are making me lust for a man in Langrock. It’s the clothes themselves.

Why? Lots of reasons—but the first among equals is simply that they’re effortlessly masculine. Traditional suits, tweed jackets, flannel trousers, Oxford cloth shirts, Shetland sweaters—they’re all seriously rugged clothing that are built to last. They’re so confident in their ability to endure the slings and arrows of everyday life that that they don’t need to make a big deal about this. Sure, a horsehide leather biker jacket will be just as tough as a Harris tweed. But the man who wears it needs you to know this, betraying even in his swagger a kernel of insecurity. A man in tweeds? Quietly confident. That’s sexy—and even more so when dressing Ivy cuts against the grain of fickle fashion but the Ivy man just doesn’t care.

But it’s not just the hint of inner confidence that makes an Ivy man sexy. The demeanor that Ivy style encourages is sexy too. Speaking from personal experience it’s hard to be anything but confident and elegant in a well-cut pencil skirt, proper hosiery, and heels. I’ve noticed that suits and tweeds have the same effect on men. They know they look good, and so are more confident—and often witty. Even if wit doesn’t come naturally. This is way sexier than a James Dean scowl and bicep flex of a non-Ivy guy who’s trying oh-so-hard to impress.

Ok, so Chipp makes a man confident. But it’s not just the effect of Ivy clothes on the man wearing them, or that they look so damn good. It’s also the clothes themselves. Look, I’m a hopeless romantic. I want to snuggle up to my man on a windswept beach in Scotland or lean in to him while pausing to admire the autumnal colors of a Vermont wood. Snuggling into the warm masculinity of his Shetland sweater and tweeds is Heavenly. Getting razor burn from my cheeks rubbing against his hipster Gore-Tex jacket? No. (Does Gore-Tex actually give you razor burn if you try to snuggle up to someone wearing it? I have no idea. And there’s a reason for that!) And, yes, guys, we do think about scenarios like this. Do I want to smilingly lay my cheek on a man’s chest as he holds me close and I bask in the rough male kiss of hairy vintage Harris tweed? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Do I want to lay my head against someone in an ironic graphic t-shirt and come face to face with Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster? No. Because I’m not eight years old. Or a furry.

Now I’m on a roll I’ll let you in to a couple of other little secrets that will probably get my Girl Card revoked.

Ties. They’re hot. Partly this is again the projection of confidence. Partly it’s about where they point. (I’m not talking about your belt…) But mainly it’s because of the possibilities that they open up for flirting. They let me get physically close to you without knowing you very well. I’m not playfully adjusting your knot because it’s askew. I’m adjusting it because I want that small bat’s squeak of sexual tension that such intimacy between strangers can generate… and for you to know without a doubt that I’m interested in you. No tie? That’s a problem…. I am NOT fixing your buttons.

What about when we have started to get to know each other… very well? For the love of all that’s holy make sure you wore an Oxford cloth shirt the night before. They make fantastic impromptu dressing gowns—and I’ve been assured (a limited and socially acceptable number of times…) that they look seriously hot when worn alone. But for this to work Mercer & Sons are right—the baggier the better. Why? Two words: Boobs. Squeezing into some slim-fitting chest-hugging monstrosity just is not going to work. Especially since those shirts lack the….. “gappiness” that a baggy shirt can have and that can lead to impromptu morning after effects that are definitely approved of by both of us.

That’s a good image to leave you with.

See you next month,