In Thursday’s post about Brooks Brothers, some readers expressed horror at the pairing of tailored clothing with sweatpants. While I certainly made fun of the forced nonchalance of adding a pocket square to the mix, combining athletic wear with jackets and trousers gets to the very heart of how college men revolutionized the way the world dresses throughout the 20th century, as recounted in our recent posts about the work of professor Dierdre Clemente.
A gray sweatshirt worn with khakis and an OCBD is the main outfit in the 1956 prep school movie “Tea And Sympathy.” I can also visualize sweatshirts in the prep school movies “School Ties” and “Dead Poets Society,” and I’m sure they’re paired with tweed jackets, peacoats, or at least khakis and OCBDs at some point.
In contrast to the Brooks outfit, here are some marketing images from Ralph Lauren, which from the ’70s up through the Rugby years in the early 2000s has always juxtaposed traditional sports wear (flannels, tweeds, sweaters) with athletic wear.
An intrinsic part of Ivy/prep dressing, or sartorial sacrilege? I suppose it depends on whether or not you like working out.
Thanks to GS for assistance in image research. — CC