Holding Fast Against The Winds Of Change: University Of The South, 1969

It’s been well noted that the South has hung onto classic American attire better than any other part of the country. It’s certainly a region where traditions are deeply valued.

Which is why students at the University Of The South did not jump the Ivy ship en masse like their peers in the Northeast. These photos from the school’s 1969 yearbook were posted this morning by longtime comment-leaver “SE” to the thread on Richard Press’ post about his one-act play. They show that although the students were starting to grow their hair out a tad, their wardrobes had yet to change. Ditto for the faculty.

By the way, the top pic of the two boys sockless with jacket and tie is priceless. Great find, SE. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD


26 Comments on "Holding Fast Against The Winds Of Change: University Of The South, 1969"

  1. Marc Chevalier | February 22, 2017 at 12:43 pm |

    Pipes, pipes, and more pipes. (For tobacco, that is.) Alas, only the old faculty were still biting the briar.

  2. You’re most welcome.

    The era of the bold glen check-OCBD-club tie combo. Inspiring.

  3. And all the guys in the group shot are wearing appropriately un-cuffed high water pants. Very cool.

    CC: sometime during the 50-year look back to 1967 – the year the Weejuns died? – can we see some comparison shots of what Ivy/Southern college men were wearing 50 years before THEN (i.e, in 1917?

  4. Exactly, I was thinking that that’s precisely my favorite combo lately.

  5. I remember from a previous post that students at Harvard dressed the opposite of the student body at Sewanee. The hippie counterculture and summer of love adherents dressed in tie-dye shirts, bell-bottom Levi’s, and peace beads.

    Timothy Leary preached that to be fully human you have to “tune in, turn on and drop out.”

  6. @Mazama

    What, if I may ask, would you expect to see? The look hadn’t been codified yet, largely as sportswear (odd jackets, flannels, sweaters, etc.) had 10 more years to become part of the male wardrobe.

  7. It should also be noted that–as in many of these photos–students at Sewanee are also still encouraged to wear academic gowns to and from class. It doesn’t get much more “trad” than that!

  8. A southern college alum of this era (class of ’68?) recalls several great Ivy-peddling outposts in Chattanooga and Nashville.

    Apparently Shetland tweed (solid navy) blazers, complete with mill/weaver source stitched on the inside (Gardiner’s of Selkirk), were a thing. I plead ignorance about Gardiner’s and happily defer to those in the know.

  9. Dig the guy with the beard looking real out of place.

  10. The two pictured at the top could as easily be ’89 as ’69 (cigarette included).

  11. Nobody noticed the guy in the third picture reading a paper that says “Get dressed”?

  12. The first (top) pic– KA Order.

  13. Andrew, saw that but left it for you guys to spot, too!

  14. Just noticed that the guy in the third photo has a trolley car on his tie. Imma guessin’ it’s the famous Chattanooga Choo Choo.

    Can’t get enough of all the bold Glenn Plaid and houndstooth jackets. Very popular in Boston as well, for some reason.

    A very close family friend, Ila Lee, moved from Chatanooga to Boston in the 60s. I got to see the famous Choo Choo as a kid in the early 80s. Miss the nice people from Middle Tennessee a lot here in frigid Boston!

  15. @Paul

    I was thinking the same thing about 1986 in Virginia. I wore the same thing, smoked Dunhill Superior Mild or Kent King cigarettes and had a hell of a lot more and darker hair than I do now.


  16. What Paul said–good observation. I’ll take it a step further and suggest that 2019 (at Sewanee and similar campuses) will look a lot like ’89 and therefore ’69, just as ’99 and 2009 did. The recent urban hipster take on preppy/Ivy didn’t make its way to Southern campuses, where baggy khakis and cords, OCBDs, and Bean Boots remain de rigueur. Complete with shredded ball cap and fraternity belt.

    One could argue the late 60s and 70s amended Ivy/preppy in a few helpful ways. Farewell to the excessive narrowness and a welcoming salute to haircuts other than the crew and flat top.

  17. Don McCammon | February 23, 2017 at 8:13 am |

    The class of ’69 was my class, great memories. We had required chapel two times a week and had to complete 3 years of a language. Waring McCrady, the last true renaissance man, was my French teacher. I was on the golf team and we were the only team allowed to smoke. Thats where I learned about cigars.Thank you Sewanee. Don McCammon

  18. Charlottesville | February 23, 2017 at 10:00 am |

    Paul, Sacksuit and S.E. — Also true of Washington & Lee in the mid 80s. High-water Khakis, OCBDs and Topsiders or Weejuns were pretty standard. Jackets and ties were no longer required in classes by that time, but some of us wore them anyway. And smoking was permitted just about everywhere.

  19. Tony Jordan '69 | February 23, 2017 at 10:36 am |

    From the ads that accompany this piece it would seem the style has not completely fallen out of favor.

    Not mentioned here is the class of ’69 was the last before women appeared on campus, an action that would forever change the ethos of the University. So, essentially, what you’re looking at are the last pictures of a society that would, within months, cease to exist. The fellow with the buses on his tie is David Paschal brother of Doug Paschal who were both semi-legends in their time. Doug for his excellence in academics, a Rhodes Scholar, and all-round good guy; David for his personality and his ferocity on the football field. I knew running backs from opposing teams who would run out of bounds or sometimes just fall down to keep from being tackled by Dave Paschal. Doug was ’66 and David was ’67. He’s in the yearbook because he had come back as the assistant admissions officer. The pipe smokers are, in order: Dr. Brinley Rhys one of the most beloved professors on campus; Dean of the College Robert Lancaster; an instructor in the School of Theology whose name escapes me; and lastly Dean of Students (or was it Men) John Webb, a survivor of the Bataan Death March.

    Had the compliers looked a little more they could have chosen a picture of VC McCrady with his full bent hand-carved Dubliner.

    It truly was a magical place filled with larger than life characters like Harrison, Tate, Lytle, Cross, Gilbert, Boothead, Friendly Brinley, Abbo, Fathers Ralston, Wentz, Brettman, et populum who made it unique even among the Ivies and Southern pretenders. I will avoid references to Camelot and the Mists of Avalon but classically trained scholars may interpret the histories for what they are.

    • Dear Mr. Jordan,
      Twenty-two years ago I purchased a discarded book from your university library, “Runes: A Introduction” by Ralph Elliott via an Ebay auction. Inside was a book plate stating that the book was placed in the library by Dr. Brinley Rhys. It’s nice to have a face to the name I’ve wondered about for decades. May I ask, what subject(s) did he teach?
      Ed Dietrich
      New York City

  20. I have my tweed jacket I wore in 1965…and 1969.

  21. Really wonderful reflections. Many thanks.

  22. I wish we could go back.

  23. Why is their a baby in that Fraternity photo? Far left side.

  24. Great find. Reminds me of the glory days of Hampden-Sydney College in central Virginia, and I suppose would also be the case for many Southern colleges. Even today, it’s not uncommon to find many students and alumni in blazers, ties, and chinos at football games on The Hill.

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