Welcome to The Ivy League Look

This blog presents a historical view through articles, photographs, reminiscences, and advertisements, of an American style of men's fashion of the mid-20th century known as "The Ivy League Look" or "The Ivy Look."

This blog will not present modern-day iterations of this "look"; it will be shown in its original context as an American style worn during this specific era. Author commentary will be kept to a minimum.

This is not a commercial site and links to commercial sites will not be posted.

June 17, 2009

Tiger Rags

A key aspect of student culture that changed with some frequency was personal appearance. Like their college peers elsewhere, young Princetonians were keenly responsive to national fashion trends for both youth and adults, particularly those emanating from New York clothiers, from which many of their fathers took their sartorial cues. But for the first six decades of the last century they also tried to fashion a recognizable "Princeton style," whose distinctiveness some popular magazines were all too ready to certify. In most aspects, however, these various expressions of Tiger fashion were widely shared with - if not borrowed from - other eastern colleges, especially their Big Three competitors in all things. The "Princeton Look" was in reality an "Ivy Look," which in turn was largely traceable to an eastern prep school template. Only when Princeton diversified its student body, when the numerical and social dominance of prep schoolers declined substantially in the 1960s and the attendant "cultural revolution" took adolescent fashion in strange new directions, did Princeton dress drift away from a single stereotype. A partial return to "preppiness" in the late 1970s could not prevent the new-millennial "Princeton Look" from resembling ever so strongly the sartorial heterogeneity of most American campuses.


The Making of Princeton University, James Axtell, 2006

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