Arts & Culture

Fashion through the ages of Dalhousie

Dive into the Dalhousie archives to see what fashions students sported through the years

Lord Dalhousie & Family Nov 6 1957We're getting the classic 50s silhouette here: a full skirt and cinched waist to accentuate an hourglass figure. Many women would wear knits with bullet bras underneath to create a thrusting shape in the bust area, à la the classic 50s “Sweater Girl.”Even the children look dapper, which is no surprise – the 50s were an era of acknowledging the adolescent as a demographic to be catered to, and much of the youth would dress up to go jive dancing.The mix of fabrics and fun patterns shown in this photo indicate that we are moving towards the 60s, when colours and fabrics were used to create outlandish styles meant to break fashion traditions.

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Frosh leader — Sept.14, 1964Although his fashion choices were most likely the result of some sort of whacky ’Frosh Week’ challenge, we can still appreciate the plaid, the stripes, and the other stripes.His casual hightop sneakers paired with his dress shirt and tie, create a totally whimsical feel – or maybe it’s the pinwheel. Also important to note – no crown in sight. “I AM THE KING,” he says.Sure, Freshman Leader. Sure.

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Progressive Conservative student societyNot quite a twin set but still quite match-y, Sheila manages to stay business casual in an A-line suit skirt whilst sporting a brooch. Her blazer also has elbow patches, which are most likely made of leather. Next to her, we see a wooly overcoat that is just oversized enough to scream, “Hey, I’m a Progressive Conservative and I’m into beat poetry.”

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Football Game - 1961Okay: These. Are. So. Cute. Where can I find these ‘D’ for Dal sweaters? Also, I am copying the tucked in look with the skinny belt and the white pants (second from the left) and nobody can stop me.

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Students in lecture — Sept. 25. 1961Forgoing comfort-clothes, the classic 60s Dalhousie lad went to lecture in suit and tie. Front and centre, we have a pinstripe overcoat with lots of pinstripes.

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Army recruitment, Oct 7, 1959Typical army uniforms and what looks like a Dalhousie emblem embroidered on a cardigan bearing our colours.

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Two Freshmen — Oct 9, 1957This shot looks very candid – but ultra glamorous – thanks to the light bouncing off Sue Starr’s short, curly, hairstyle. This sort of haircut reflects the trends of the time, inspired by 50s films stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Dorothy Dandridge.Alan’s suit features classic wide lapels and is most likely a light grey, or even white, which is unique to the era. Most men’s suits were worn with dress hats, such as the Stetson fedora.

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written by Serena Jackson
September 14, 2017 1:23 pm


When it comes to back-to-school outfit inspiration, there are resources everywhere: dozens of bloggers posting articles with stunning photography of minimalist book bags, Buzzfeed’s “11 Back-To-School Outfits That’ll Crush It On Social Media”, that one giant Sears billboard featuring Gigi Hadid in what looks like some sort of private school uniform from the early seasons of Gossip Girl…

If you’re like me, you have all of these images saved to a Pinterest board that makes it quite apparent how much of my time I’ve dedicated to bookmarking street style snapshots (a lot.)

Whether you take fashion cues from Gigi Hadid’s TMZ page or throw something together ten minutes before class, there’s no denying that students at Dal are a fashionable bunch – and we have the proof.

Here’s a dive into fashion throughout the years on Dal’s campus, featuring archived photos from old issues of The Dalhousie Gazette.





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