The financially prosperous times of the 1950s sent kids off to college instead of war and the best way to prepare for your collegiate days was to dress the part in your Ivy-look clothes.
Madras plaid dress shirts with button-down collars, v-neck sweaters, and slim-legged chinos marked the college boy while slim sweater sets, pleated skirts, and sweet saddle shoes all but guaranteed a good girl entrance to the university.
Back then, a college-bound kid took pride in his conservative appearance. After all, it was quite an achievement to continue on to higher education. The square kids, in their neatly-Brylcreemed hair or pretty bow bouffant, were filling up on knowledge and going places.
Sears offered their own line of clothes, ‘Fraternity Prep’, guaranteed to make the boys look college-ready.
A crisp pair of chinos, paired with a buttoned-to-the-neck Ivy-look check shirt, a snappy cardigan sweater worn over top, and a pair of penny loafers prepared you for frat parties, panty raids, or whatever other shenanigans fraternity life might bring.
Unfortunately, girls weren’t given a ‘Sorority Prep’ line of clothing, but they did get the option to “look like mom” in crisp and fresh shirtwaist dresses by Kerry-Teen.
College sure was going to be swell . . .