It feels like I’m in college right now, trying to get my “term paper” on Ivy ready for Monday.
I’ve been working on a long essay for some time now, and one of the themes it explores is the casual nature of campus dress, even when from our point of view the students of the past seem extremely formal.
Take the film “So This Is College” from 1929, for example. In the preview available on Rotten Tomatoes the young gentlemen — students at USC — are noteworthy for the formality (from our point of view) of their suits and ties yet also their general disregard for their clothing. Look at the way the plop down on the lawn without a second thought, and the way one guy teases his roommate by standing on his laundry.
The film also shows the difference between the early days of the Ivy League Look and what is remembered as “Joe College” garb from the ’20s. While the raccoon coat trend may have begun at Princeton, some of the more rah-rah outfits, such as oxford bags, seem to have been more of a Midwestern state school look.
According to the Brooks Brothers book “Generations Of Style,” Brooks “refused to sell” oxford bags. — CC