– Mary L Wellington, Smith student class of 1916. From her poem The Wail of the Tailored Maid.
In honor of Back to School, I’m reading Seven Sisters Style: The All American Preppy Look, by Rebecca C. Tuite (Rizzoli, 2014). Seven Sisters refers to the seven liberal arts women’s colleges located in the Northeast United States and established between 1837 and 1889.
- Bryn Mawr
- Mount Holyoke
(Radcliffe and Vassar are now co-ed.)
In the early 20th century, the Seven Sisters students made great strides in getting away from the restrictions of fashion dictates, such as corsets. Borrowing from their male peers at Ivy League colleges, the young ladies adopted more casual and comfortable wear and eventually developed what is now called the Preppy Look. We all know what that’s like – Bermuda shorts, varsity sweaters, saddle shoes, Oxford shirts, plaid skirts. Preppy changes and evolves with each new generation but it retains its style identity and collegiate roots.
Happy Back to School!