Monday, December 14, 2009

The Bean Boot Project: Christian Chensvold of Ivy Style Guest Post

A lot of menswear sites, including my own, are all over the place.  Prep one day, workwear the next and maybe some European fashion house nonsense thrown in just for good measure.  While it's good to keep yourself open to options and pander to different tastes, there is something to say about someone who sticks to their guns.  Christian Chensvold is a guy who sticks to his guns.  Christian and his site, Ivy Style, know what they like and what they are good at.  Most importantly, Christian and his site do not compromise.  It's all in the name...Ivy Style.  Above all else, it's an appreciation of a specific attitude, lifestyle and, of course, style.  If you're a natural shoulder suit with 3/2 roll kinda guy then you may have found your new home away from home.  Ivy Style is not only the product of a concise aesthetic and vision, but the source of some of the best style writing you are ever going to come across.  Their recent article on "Japan's First Ivy Rebels" is just one example of how they are able to blend the historical and stylish into something truly special.

For his guest post Christian sent over a tale that can be best described as a transcontinetal romance; one that begins in breezy, shiny California and ends in the chilly, wet streets of New York City.

"I remember Bean Boots (at least the low-top version) from high school circa 1987. The fact that my high school was located in sunny California did nothing to curtail the popularity of certain preppy items during the '80s, and I seem to remember LL Bean's Gumshoe worn with shorts by the student government types during the month of May.

By the time I graduated high school I was already the clothes horse I am today, sometimes wearing ties to school just for the rebellious formality of it, but as a lower classman I'd looked at the duck-footed Bean shoes and found them laughably absurd. Of course, I was wearing pink Chuck Taylors at the time.

Fast forward 20-odd years, and now, freshly relocated on the rain and snow coast, I'm now the proud owner of a pair of Gumshoes. While the blue version is classic, I found the brown version a bit more understated and opted for it.

It'll be tempting to wear the shoes for my next class reunion. By then they should be well worn and weathered from a New York winter, and I'll be able to gloat that while it may have taken me 20 years to get hip to Gumshoes, at least I got them for their intended purpose."


[Note: Head here for the project's backstory. Also, If you are reading this and I requested a submission from you or if you would just like to participate please feel free to submit (contact via email). Your participation, as always, is still much anticipated and appreciated.]


  1. Those are gumshoes, not mocs and I think the blue are women's only. That may be a more recent development though.

  2. Nicholas- Christian relized his mistake and the article has been edited accordingly.

  3. The rubber mocs were quite popular when I was growing up back East. For some reason we called them 'duck boots.' I never saw them in England. In Manhattan banking circles in the 1990s few men wore them (older bankers typically wore some kind of gore-tex hiking boots under their suit and overcoat), but plenty of women wore them. I always thought of them as quintessentially East Coast--but in the last couple of weeks during the rain storms in CA I've seen two grown men wearing Bean rubber mocs with their suit!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.