I love skateboarding, but hate the idea of dressing like a skateboarder. Obviously, in the contemporary scene that’s a bit of a non-issue; you can dress like Dylan (RIP) or you can dress like Lucien Clarke, you’re still a skateboarder. Ivy league, however, is not necessarily a look that lends itself to skateboarding. It’s slim, it’s sharp and it’s expensive.
Beyond Andrew Allen’s latest look there’s hardly even a hint of ivy in skate style, but it can be done without shredding through your best chinos and vintage Brooks oxfords. The hardwearing poly-cotton slack, an American menswear mainstay since the 60s, comes into it’s own once again, this time by skater favourite Dickies in their most ivy, slim & tapered 872 cut.
Next up, the t-shirt. Plain white or a grey marl is fine, but surf stripes are a West Coast style staple and a surf classic and so are automatically skate-ready. The M. Nii example below is USA made and hip as they come on the t-shirt front! I’ve thrown a blue Uniqlo OCBD in to the mix too. Oxford cloth is hardwearing enough to take a few falls and doesn’t look hideous creased so it’s a good choice if tees aren’t your thing.
The sweatshirt is an American sportswear classic (for the same reason, I’ve thrown a cheeky baseball cap in there…). Plain grey or navy are the only acceptable options. I like Champion Reverse Weave simply because of their history, but the Joe McCoy’s Ballpark sweats or Buzz Rickson’s offering are pretty rad (if a little on the pricy side for something you’re going to fall in a lot) too.
Shoes is kind of where this gets hardest. The classic CVO is both and ivy league and skateboarding staple, but canvas is just the worst to skate in. A pair of Vans Authentics will last you a week at best. Instead I’m pretty keen on the Rowley Solos from Vans. Based on Geoff’s favourite shoe, the made in USA Vans Era, it’s got a great profile and a suede toe to keep it durable. Ideal!