by ronnie johnson
For most college students, our daily fashion consists of our favorite sweatpants, an oversized hoodie, some crocs, workout attire, just any athleisure wear. Unless it’s a special occasion or a night out, it's not that often that you might find the majority of college kids with a “fashionable” outfit on. However this wasn’t always the case.
In the 1950's there was a very popular subculture of fashion, referred to as “ivy league” fashion. And it looks exactly what it sounds like. It was fashion based on the attire of students attending prestigious American universities.
The type of clothing worn by these ivy league students were chinos, full button ups, cardigans, classy skirts, ties, collared short sleeve shirts, and fancy coats. If you couldn’t picture it already, just know it was very “preppy”.
And while this isn’t the type of fashion commonly seen now, it was very popular and sought after during the 1950's to mid 1960's. It became so popular, that this was the mainstream attire for the men of that time. The clothing stores were filled with ivy league clothing. The actors in the movies being made around this time were being dressed to fit this trend. Japanese clothing designers even made many trips to the U.S. to gather inspiration in attempts to replicate this ivy league fashion.
But this style wasn’t mainstream for too long. About 10 years, exactly. The decline began when hippie counterculture began to popularize. Ivy league fashion resembled that of wealthy college students, and even though this look did become heavily sought after, it was not too achievable for the majority working class. But the more casual dressing of the new hippie counterculture was more achievable as it involved less tailoring, cheaper fabrics, and more colors.
This new casual style quickly caught the attention of the youth and began to popularize throughout the 1970's, leaving mainstream ivy league style to be nothing more than a memory.