The following is the Fall 1936 response of Apparel Arts editors answering a question regarding the ideal wardrobe for a young man entering Princeton:
We would recommend first of all a hard finish worsted suit, preferably in blue. This might be in solid color, it might carry a white stripe, or a self-design, such as diagonal or herringbone, and should preferably be double-breasted. This is a suit to wear when going home for vacations, and for wear in town over week ends.
The next important suit would be a Shetland type tweed in brown or grey. This might be in diagonal or herringbone pattern, the model a three-button notched lapel, single breasted, easy-fitting coat with a center vent. This suit is ideal to wear on the campus, and the jacket may be worn with flannel trousers or the trousers with an odd sport jacket; it may also be worn to football games and on week-end parties of an informal nature.
Our next recommendation is an odd sports jacket. This can be a bold check, of heavy tweed, and should be made with a plain back with center or side vents; the model should be a three-button notched lapel single breasted coat. Some men prefer a half belt and a bi-swing back, but at Princeton the plain back is much more in vogue.
Next we recommend a pair of medium grey flannels to wear with the plaid jacket or with the herringbone jacket. You will definitely need these for general on-campus wear.
Another necessity is the dinner jacket; this may be either single or double-breasted in black or midnight blue, although our recommendation is the midnight blue, double-breasted jacket, preferably with peak lapels. This does not mean, however, that the shawl collar is not considered fashionable at the moment.
The tailcoat is also necessary at Princeton, although you will probably not need it your first year. However, after that it will prove indispensable.
As for coats, we recommend the reversible coat of tweed and gabardine; this is one of the most popular coats for university men today, and may be worn in any type of weather. If you don’t care for this particular style the double breasted camel’s hair coat or the single breasted tweed military collar coat is also recommended. In that case, you will also need a raglan sleeve fly front raincoat.
A double-breasted or single-breasted navy blue overcoat is needed for evening wear, as well as for week-ends in town.
A brown snap brim hat and derby will complete your hat wardrobe, except for an opera hat, which may be worn with your evening clothes.
As for shoes, we recommend for on-campus wear a pair of heavy brown brogues or brown reversed calf shoes. You will find that many students wear their summer sport shoes for on-campus wear. A pair of black shoes for your dark clothes, and a pair of patent leather pumps or oxfords for evening wear will complete your shoe wardrobe, except for a pair of hard-soled slippers or Mexican huaraches, which are now very fashionable at both Yale and Princeton.
Next you will need at least nine shirts - the majority of which can be Oxford collar-attached, with button-down collar or the widespread Duke of Kent collar. These may be in solid color, stripes or checks. It is desirable to have some broadcloth English striped shirts with white laundered stiff Duke of Kent collars for wear in town.
Your neckwear should include regimental stripes, Paisley type foulards and woolens, and checked neckwear; bow ties are also worn at school.
You will, of course, need two dress shirts, wing collar and black tie.
Wool hose in solid colors, plaids or horizontal stripes will be found most practical.
Crew neck, long-sleeved sweater in solid colors or a V-neck, sleeveless sweater will also be found very useful.
The Tattersall vest is worn by many students in Eastern universities.
You will also want a pair of string gloves and a white or pale yellow pair of gloves for town wear.
A plaid wool muffler is recommended, and for really cold weather and at football games, a double-breasted khaki trench coat, fleece-lined is excellent. This coat is quite inexpensive, but you will find it a most serviceable adjunct to your wardrobe.
Of course, you will need the necessary linens, which include handkerchiefs, pajamas, underwear, etc.
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