Take Ivy

Book review: Take Ivy


Just recently, I mentioned that as of August 31, the book Take Ivy would once again be available…

TAKE IVY- Book Cover

TAKE IVY- Book Cover

The publisher powerhousebooks was so kind as to forward us a book before it was launched. Originally, this book was written in 1965 by the authors Shosuke Ishizu, Toshiyuki Kurosu, Hajime Hasegawa and the photographer Teruyoshi Hayashida after they had visited the East Coast of the US. They intended to capture a portrait of the lifestyle of students at the eight Ivy League Universities: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Pennsylvania, Columbia, Dartmouth, Brown and Cornell. Although the book was published exclusively in Japanese, collectors and Preppy Style enthusiasts were willing to spend an excessive amount of money (sometimes up to $2000) for a copy of this book. Obviously, there was significantly more demand than supply. After many bloggers and the NY Times had written about Take Ivy, powerhousebooks decided to republish it after they gained the approval of the copyright owner of the 1965 edition – Hachette Japan.

Eventually, it was decided not only to reissue the book, but to reproduce it as precisely as possible. They used the same paper, binding, dustcover etc. as did the 1965 edition. The only exception was to translate the book from Japanese into English so anglo-Prep Style enthusiasts around the globe can now enjoy Take Ivy.


TAKE IVY-Students Rowing

TAKE IVY-Students Rowing

The book has four main chapters: College Life, College Fashion, Elements of Ivy“ and Take Ivy. While the first three chapters are heavily dominated by large pictures and brief explanations, the fourth chapter features more text and only a few pictures.

The first chapter shows how the students live, learn, bike or just walk to the dry cleaners and has its main focus on everyday student life. In the second chapter, the clothing habits and styles are analyzed more closely. Interestingly, even 45 years ago Ivy League students wore a tie and jacket only on Sunday when they went to church; they preferred to dress more casually for the rest of the week. Otherwise there are a number of noteworthy dress combinations represented, e.g. Madras shorts with a jacket and loafers.

TAKE IVY-University Style

TAKE IVY-University Style

In the third chapter the authors explore the elements of Ivy Style by looking at the surrounding architecture, music, haberdasheries…

The final chapter begins with a short overview of Ivy League University history, followed by an explanation of its traditions, sports, vehicles and clothing. Curiously, on page 128 and 129 you can find something like the ideal Ivy League dress chart; it accurately lists what garments, in what colors and patterns and in what quantity a student needs. He needs two suits and two sports coats; one must be a navy blazer. Sweaters must be made specifically from “Shetland wool, lamb’s wool, camel, or mohair” while sport shirts should feature stripes or the Madras pattern…

Ivy League Student Madras Shorts

Ivy League Student Madras Shorts

The following two pages list the 20 articles of the Yale Dress Code – most importantly it is noted that “Cotton socks for daily wear can also come in pink or blue.”


In my opinion this book provides some interesting pictures about the Ivy League style as well as some entertaining information. Please bear in mind that the picture quality is no better than it was in 1965 – as already mentioned above, this is a precise reproduction of the 1965 edition. Considering it currently costs $14.49 at amazon, you can hardly go wrong with buying a copy and judging for yourself.

Powerhousebooks made a short video flipping through some pages of the book:

You can find interviews with the publisher about Take Ivy here and there.

Photo and Video credit: powerhousebooks.
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  1. […] provided us with a preview copy which I’d like to share with you today.Last year, we reviewed Take Ivy, another book from the very same publisher, though interestingly today’s book Enduring Style […]

  2. […] hayashida et son appareil photo. est-ce qu’ils sont […]

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