Take Ivy

In the late sixties, a forward thinking Japanese photographer traveled throughout the northeastern United States stopping at each of the Ivy League schools to document the style of the era. The resulting book, cryptically titled Take Ivy, is pure genius. The photo book was out of print until a few years ago when a small run was re-released, only to immediately sell out. I have tried to recreate the spirit of the book as best I can through these scans. Further proof that preppy / Ivy League style transcends time and trends.

More Take Ivy here.

Comments on “Take Ivy

    Russell Streeton May 19, 2008 @ 11:13 AM:

    The title comes from combining “Take Five” with Ivy League – Jazz being huge in Japan as well as Ivy style.
    Fantastic scans – Thanks.

    Paul Pincuson May 19, 2008 @ 12:43 PM:

    Incredible post.

    Do you know if Alibris / Argosy / Abebooks might have a copy of either edition? Do you know where I might secure a copy?


    Michael Williamson May 19, 2008 @ 12:47 PM:

    Dear Paul,

    I do not know how you would be able to find a copy. I’m sorry I can’t help you. Might be a good excuse to go to Japan though. A quest for Take Ivy…

    A Continuous Lean

    Paul Pincuson May 19, 2008 @ 12:57 PM:

    Sounds like a plan!


    TINTINon May 19, 2008 @ 2:32 PM:

    Thanks, Michael. Those are wonderful. I was on the Japanese site and saw some of the pics earlier. I have an APB out on that book. No doubt, it’llbe on Ebay soon. I love the Weejuns with the Bermuda shorts and long sleeve button downs. I still wear that all the time down here in EF EL.

    Laguna Beach Tradon May 19, 2008 @ 7:53 PM:

    Wonderful photos, thanks so much for posting them. Madras shorts, Ivy League haircuts, tortoiseshell specs, Weejuns in the rain. Excellent!

    Zacharyon May 19, 2008 @ 9:35 PM:

    Thank you for sharing. Like everyone else I’d love to get my hands on a copy of this book. Truly great photographs that really capture the spirit of Ivy.

    Russell Streeton May 20, 2008 @ 8:11 AM:

    I’d like the male edition of those “Ivy Illustrated “cartoon figures too just for fun.

    Any other fans of froth like that?

    Paul Pincuson May 20, 2008 @ 12:08 PM:

    Archivia Books on Lex. has suggested contacting nyinfo@kinokuniya.com re: securing a copy of Take Ivy.


    wmcon May 20, 2008 @ 5:46 PM:

    I’ve been trying to track this book down for months-now it looks like i’ll have even more competition!

    Russell Street-yep, those illustrated ivy books are fantastic, some of the art work can be found in the Japanese Free&Easy mags-esp in the most recent edition on ‘Cadet style’. I’ve only ever seen them for sale on Amazon.jp.

    Michael Williamson May 20, 2008 @ 6:09 PM:

    There is a Free & Easy “Cadet Style” post in the ACL hopper for next week…

    AAATon May 21, 2008 @ 4:23 PM:

    Are any of the above pictures from the University of Pennsylvania? I’m trying to identify all 8 schools, but can only positively identify a few of them from the photo context.

    Margareton May 21, 2008 @ 6:15 PM:

    So… was this before co-education, or what? Because what strikes me about these pictures, besides the fantastic preppy style, is that there are no girls. Off to do some Ivy research…

    Michael Williamson May 21, 2008 @ 6:19 PM:

    Dear Margaret,

    No conspiracy here. The photos are from a book about men’s style —which is why there aren’t many pictures of women. However, if you notice the picture with the yellow rain coats —that is a girl in the middle.

    A Continuous Lean

    Kyleon May 21, 2008 @ 7:52 PM:

    Awesome book! We did a feature on this in January with some more photos:


    Heavy Tweed Jacketon May 22, 2008 @ 6:55 PM:

    A copy of “Take Ivy” was just sold in Yahoo Japan auction (to a buyer in Japan) for 21,000 YEN (approx. $200 USD). Digging around a bit has also brought forth the hitherto unknown information (to me at least) that there was also a short “Take Ivy” film produced at the time of the original book. Does anyone know anything about the film?

    Jennyon May 22, 2008 @ 10:38 PM:

    Makes me want to get my hands on a classic yellow raincoat!

    Russell Streeton May 24, 2008 @ 6:52 AM:

    The film had a Jazz piano soundtrack by a Japanese Ivy buff.
    There is a theory that the book is just stills from the film.
    So far nobody knows for sure…

    JDon May 25, 2008 @ 11:34 PM:

    I’ve been trying to tack a copy of this book down for about a year now. Thank you for the scans.

    Puritain Sonon May 30, 2008 @ 3:32 AM:

    Leave it to the Japanese to buy up J.Press and soak up the remnants of Ivy culture before it fades away.

    Ruddigoreon June 3, 2008 @ 8:14 PM:

    Amazon Japan has a listing for “Take Ivy – ’85”. Was there a follow up to the book / movie following the publication of the Preppy Handbook?

    And will someone please reproduce the boat-neck “1968” sweater. I need it. Perhaps Ralph Lauren can do a “1967” version.

    chrison June 21, 2008 @ 7:47 PM:

    My dad has a sweater like that one, though it now fits pretty tight. They were given out instead of letter jackets back then, I believe. Now they give out a letter with the same cut with a large D on it. I have my class year sweater, but they are a different cut now.

    Dave '68on June 22, 2008 @ 1:31 PM:

    I would like the record straight. I have lost quite a bit of weight and now my Dartmouth 1968 numeral seater is not nearly as tight as my son’s above post would suggest. Great pics. Interesting that madras shorts, Weejuns and button down shirts are still standard casual attire for many of us.

    Edon August 10, 2008 @ 10:01 AM:

    Like seeing all the preppy shots of guys wearing loafers sans socks. I still wear mine like they did- heres to all the 60’s rebellion for not wearing socks with penny loafers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DFon August 16, 2008 @ 8:24 AM:

    I have been hunting down this book for over a year know and have not had much luck
    thanks so much for the scans

    Tim Eon August 22, 2008 @ 2:26 PM:

    Yet another one who has forlornly been attempting to track down this book, thanks again for the Scans.
    know Russel Street is, like myself London based as I have seen his name on one or two forum I habitually lurk, perhaps like me he laments (certainly this year!) that we cannot break out Madras shorts.

    A rather nice cagoule as well, far more suitable for our native climes. All in all, this for me captures the essence of casual Ivy League style at it’s best, how I wish I’d been born 60 years earlier and on another continent!

    John Pon September 1, 2008 @ 10:35 AM:

    Does it have an ISBN?

    Michael Williamson September 1, 2008 @ 10:41 AM:


    No it doesn’t. Of course, my book was a special reproduction, so maybe the original has a ISBN…

    Ronnie Jon September 30, 2008 @ 7:06 AM:

    I’ve seen one for sale at an japanese auction site, there’s 8 days left and the bid is currently 35.000 Yen.

    I of course dont speak och read japanese so there’s not a chance for me to get it there.

    Michael, i noticed that you wrote on the rugby site that you had another copy.
    If you do, please name your price…

    Oh, and PS, I’m sure you’ve all seen the VAN-JAC site, if notm check it out. DS

    missdkon November 18, 2008 @ 6:25 PM:

    These photos look so odd with no women in them! I used to live near Cambridge and it still looks very much like these pictures, but it’s filled with women. There are more women then men at Harvard!

    Wintersmithon March 30, 2009 @ 12:14 PM:

    Apologies for breaching etiquette with a body link, earlier. I’m a regular visitor to ACL so I really should have known better.

    It may sound silly, but I feel a little conflicted about selling this delightful book, and would feel a lot better if it went to someone who frequents some of the same sites I do, like ACL. I also wanted to let others who enjoyed “Take Ivy” know about how much the text of the thing rocks. You may not want to participate in the auction, but I hope you’ll get some enjoyment out of the text I’ve translated and included in the listing.

    Anyway, that’s my motivation for coming by and knocking on about this. I think the initial craze has died down, so hopefully, copies of Take Ivy will find their way to a greater number of hands, and the (translated, hopefully) text content will see as much dissemination as their companion photos.

    Toni B. Nakoon June 18, 2009 @ 5:30 PM:

    Oh my goodness. The first picture is Nassau St. directly across from Princeton University, I bet at the corner of Witherspoon. Best places to eat were P.J.’s Pancakes and Conte’s Pizza. Wow. 1968,69. Memories! I would love to see this book.
    Many of the archways look like Princeton.

    Alex J.on June 19, 2009 @ 1:42 AM:

    I am a Columbia student. Does anyone have Take Ivy pictures that are from Columbia? Or any pictures of Columbia from that period?

    Ironman Carmichaelon July 4, 2009 @ 1:15 PM:

    Just goes to show the world can’t resist clean-cut white college boys in Bermudas. (You could take a trip to Bermuda for what a copy of this book will cost you on the open market.) Beats those fatigue-patterned cargo shorts kids wear today with the silly drawstrings hanging down from the hems, or the polyester workman shorts which only look good on workmen, or the big floppy jeans worn down under the butt (obvious fashion statement: SPANK ME!).

    Too bad J. Crew went grunge. In its heyday (when Gap and Banana Republic and A&F also had distinctive styles and didn’t blend into each other), a J. Crew catalog could give “Take Ivy” a run for its money, and it was free to boot!

Comments are closed.