There’s an exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood that features an extensive collection of what they deem to be an Ivy League wardrobe. If you’re not familiar with the stereotype of what Ivy League students wear (and keep in mind that many — though not all — stereotypes are based in part on truth), then perhaps you haven’t come across a handsome young man walking around in pink pants. Or navy blazers with khaki pants (that are always pleated). And from Brooks Brothers. Or Nantucket reds. We bet you’ve seen young men wearing this kind of outfit as it’s a fad that goes back many years.
According to an article by Grace Patuwo on the Ivy League wardrobe in “The Yale Daily News,” “Widely regarded as an all-American look, Ivy League dressing actually had its origins in adaptations of the Englishman’s wardrobe at the turn of the 20th century. During the interwar years, the exhibit’s introductory inscription explained, Brooks Brothers and J. Press pioneered a redesign of British university-wear to outfit the young men of Yale, Harvard and Princeton; the designers reached college students through stores on their campuses. After World War II, this style of dressing expanded beyond the elite class as servicemen on the G.I. Bill diversified and democratized college campuses.”
Do you think Ivy Leaguers dress in an “all-American” way? Does it surprise you that the Ivy League wardrobe is inspired by the Englishman’s attire in the early 1900’s? Do you think this style of dress is conceited? We’re curious to hear your thoughts on the matter. If you attended an Ivy League school, would you start dressing like this? Or would you avoid fashions like this at all cost?
And while you’re here, check out our Ivy League Admissions Statistics.