Richard Press’ event at the New York J. Press store on Wednesday was a delight. Photos and yes even video was taken, so stay tuned and I’ll post it just as soon as it’s ready.
In the meantime, one of the gentlemen who came up to me to introduce himself was a Princeton student who hails from Australia. He discovered a branch of our trad tree some years ago when the J. Crew/Rugby/Gant neo-prep trend was in full force. He’s now a graduate student and has graduated to “clothes that don’t fall apart,” as he put it.
The fellow has kindly dug up some articles of interest from the Princeton archives, which we can dissect one by one. First up is a piece from 1964, several years before the fall of the Ivy League Look, already lamenting the growing casualness of student attire. The piece is entitled “The New Ivy League Look: Informality Pervades Campus Dress.” The piece concludes, with emphasis added:
One reason is the influx of scholarship students that began after the war. Such students can hardly afford the extensive wardrobe that once characterized the Princeton man. A far-reaching effect of this trend is a form of reverse conformity which may account for modern dress. Explained one salesman: “I’ll be selling to an alumnus while his son is wearing a pair of pants his kid brother couldn’t fit into, because he doesn’t want to embarrass his two roommates on scholarship.” Not all students conform to the “Gray-T” school of dress which these students have introduced. But the current student goals seem to be comfort and security; as long as these remain, informality in all phases of dress will keynote the “Princeton look.”