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Following are complete transcripts of two newspaper articles that appeared in the September 9, 1965 edition of the Albert Lea Evening Tribune. (Albert Lea is a small city in southern Minnesota.) The first article contains general information about the clothes that were popular on college campuses that fall. The second one presents the results of interviews that were conducted with four students at Ivy League colleges regarding what the students there were typically wearing that year.

The articles are noteworthy because they contemporaneously describe mid-1960s college clothing through the eyes of the students who were wearing it. Also, both articles document the fact that, while traditional Ivy League attire still had a strong campus presence in 1965, the sartorial scene that year was tilting (though not yet precipitously) toward the non-Ivy side. Notice how each article mentions the popularity of wheat jeans and the acceptance of blue jeans "if you know when and how to wear them."

I found these articles buried deep within the ProQuest Newspaper Archives. This is probably the first time they have seen the light of day since they were first published 53 years ago. I have received permission from the copyright holder--the Albert Lea Tribune--to post the following transcripts. (I have to use transcripts because the articles are not linkable.)

Here we go--

From the Albert Lea Evening Tribune for September 9, 1965:

The first article is under the headline "Collegians Share Distinctive Dress."

Complete text of the article:

"College upperclassmen, of course, have no desire to be advised on what they should and shouldn't wear this season on the campus. But for millions of newly minted freshmen, it's a different story.

"Many will discover that the groovy threads they so proudly wore in high school (e.g., white socks, tight pants, continental coats with velvet collars, white-on-white shirts, etc.) should have been bequeathed to a younger brother because they are out, out, out on campus.

"To give members of the class of '69 a fashionable head start, we've asked college students throughout the country for their views on campus wear 1965. Though tastes vary from area to area, we can nevertheless offer these more-or-less authentic general tips:

"SUITS--Dark grays, blues and browns are standard. Wool is the favored material and the pattern can be herringbone, whipcord, cheviot. Anything unfinished and tweedy is fine. Style? Stick to the traditional natural shoulder, three-button jackets, pleatless trousers with belt loops and cuffs. One or two suits are sufficient.

"JACKETS AND SLACKS--A dark herringbone coat with straight flap pockets is basic. For a second coat, a navy blue or camel colored blazer is a good bet. Individualists may want to investigate the new double-breasted blue blazer. And forget about pocket emblems. Slacks can be of any type as long as they're not too tight, are cuffed and belted. Four or five pairs are adequate.

"TIES--Choose about 10 to a dozen ties and include printed paisley, challis and foulards, striped reps and club ties. Important: your ties should be at least 2 3/4 inches wide.

"SHIRTS--Make sure you have at least 10 long-point, button-down oxford shirts, preferably with locker loop and box pleat in the back and placket front. 'In' shirts this season seem to have button-down flap pockets. You should have a fair number of white shirts but remember to include a modest assortment of stripes, checks, and pastels (no lavender, please). Pick up a couple of tab-collar shirts for dressier occasions.

"CASUAL WEAR--Heavy cotton khaki pants and wheat or blue jeans have become practically traditional. Sweaters, too, cashmeres with crew or vee-necks. Stay away from sweaters with tricky collars. Regarding outerwear, three-quarter length corduroy coats are staging a comeback. Biggest thing is the fleece-lined suede ranch coat (the kind Mario Savio wore at Berkeley).

"SHOES--You just have to have a pair of brown penny loafers. Augment this basic with cordovan wingtips or plain black bluchers. Throw in a pair of tennis shoes (real tennis shoes) and you're all set in this department. In the sock department, wool sweat socks are fine for informal use, but if you put on a jacket and tie, dark over-the-calf socks are required.

"ODDS AND ENDS--A tan raincoat with zip-in lining is eminently useful. Forget about hats except in the rain.

"RUBBERS? [Galoshes]--Give them to your father.

"A final word: Beware of trick clothing styles. The college set isn't buying continental-cut clothing or the shaped look or crazy color combinations or fussy shoes. If you take the above hints, people may even think you're a senior."

End of first article.


The headline for the second article is "'Suave Slob' Look Sets Pace For College Male."

Here's the article:

"For better or worse, the Ivy League has been--and, no doubt, still is--the sartorial pace-setter for the American male college student.

"Long in the clutches of a handful of ever-so-popular New York haberdashers with strategically-placed branches near Ivy campuses, today's Ivy Leaguer looks pretty much as his father did when he was a practicing Ivy Leaguer.

"So I expected a rather routine discussion when I sat down with five bonafide Ivies (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia) who were brought to New York by Celanese as 'Datesetters' to comment on [men's college] fashions.

"Well, traditionalism still reigns supreme--with an interesting twist: the 'sophisticated slob look' is in, from the top of a very hairy head to the soles of neatly scuffed brown penny loafers.

"The big question put to the group was this: How can a naive, uncultivated freshman from Dubuque (Iowa) look as though he were born in a Brooks Brothers suit and was reared in the middle of Harvard Yard--even if he is actively matriculating at Midwestern University?

"Here are the official answers:

"Lance Maxwell (Dartmouth '68, natty in a gray glen plaid suit and regimental striped tie): 'He should be sure his hair is long and slightly messy in a well-groomed way. And his trousers better be cuffed. Wheat and blue jeans (uncuffed) are proper for casual wear. And he should have a collection of fabric and leather belts with big, brass harness buckles. Nobody wears colored sports shirts and everybody wears oxford-cloth shirts with buttondown collars.'

"Francois Demenil (Columbia '68, continental in a double-breasted blue blazer, black knit tie, gray slacks and Italian loafers): 'Sweaters are always handy to have--not the bulky knits, but tightly woven Shetlands. And they should be worn over a long-sleeved shirt with cuffs turned up over the sweater sleeve. Hats? Nobody, but nobody wears hats. Loafers, when the weather's right, should be worn without socks. The freshman should also have at least two tweedy sports jackets.'

"Allen Sparkman (Princeton '68, oozing traditionalism with a blue blazer, striped tie and button-down collar shirt): 'Permanently pressed slacks are a big favorite, as is the three-piece tweed suit. Camel hair polo coats are not as popular as they once were. It's better to have a dark, tweedy top coat. Beards are worn by a small minority of hippies. And ascot ties are worn very rarely.'

"Daniel Beller (Harvard '68, cool in a polished chino suit and, of course, striped tie): 'Very rarely are formal clothes worn. Casualness, in practically every circumstance, is the rule. I don't know of anyone who wears a tie clip, but silk pocket handkerchiefs add a nice touch to suits.'

"The Yale man (John Halpern '68) was having his picture taken at the time, so his views are not recorded, but the Ivies, as a group, feel that it's wise for the freshman to buy his clothes at a highly regarded campus shop, since trends vary slightly from campus to campus--even though the prices may be higher.

"Regarding that 'sophisticated slob look' which the men say is catching on: It doesn't mean that the aspiring tweed should remain unwashed and raggy, but rather that he should concentrate on being casual. Cut-off sweatshirts and blue jeans are still O.K., but the wearer had better know when and how to wear them.

"The Ivies apparently care little about national men's fashion trends like the 'shaped look.' The three-button natural shoulder suit with pleatless trousers is The Uniform, although some wild-eyed independents are wearing two-button suits with side-vented jackets."

End of second article.

· Registered
13,646 Posts
Awesome find and thank you for taking the effort to get approval to post.

Very funny to hear this:

"To give members of the class of '69 a fashionable head start, we've asked college students throughout the country for their views on campus wear 1965...."
When we know now that the real answer in '65 to the question was ignore Every. Single. Thing. we say now as the change in these next four years to clothes and, well, everything will be greater than the change in the past 40 years.

And "cheviot," really? I had to look it up to refresh my vague memory of it.

· (aka TKI67)
3,699 Posts
That was a lovely trip down memory lane, but one thing struck me: college students were kinder than high school students. In 1965 in Virginia broad statements about certain articles would not have flown. Your loafers might look like Weejuns, but if they weren’t Weejuns you were going to get some snarky comments. Ditto on Gant shirts and even on ties.

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"Allen Sparkman (Princeton '68, oozing traditionalism with a blue blazer, striped tie and button-down collar shirt): 'Permanently pressed slacks are a big favorite, as is the three-piece tweed suit. Camel hair polo coats are not as popular as they once were. It's better to have a dark, tweedy top coat."

January 1964: On my way to an interview with IBM.

Gray flannel 3 piece suit (with 6 button vest), Gant shirt with back loop and back collar button.


"Regarding outerwear, three-quarter length corduroy coats are staging a comeback."
This "Double Reverse" corduroy/blanket plaid reversible was my all time favorite in college... and in life!

And here's a photograph of the Siegel "Double Reverse" Stadium coat, as worn by the fellow third from Left in the picture below:

In years past, I have offered $300 for this coat in size 42R and in very good condition. Inflation louses up everything, so I will offer $450 for the Double Reverse in Size 42R and in very good condition!​
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