‘Seven Sisters Style’: Vintage Photos of Women’s Collegiate Fashion

Since its original publication in 1965, Take Ivy has gone on to become the Bible of preppy and Ivy League style. Even today, the book’s influence can be felt on the runways of Ralph Lauren and Gant, and it remains a must for any stylish bookshelf. While the Japanese photographers who created the book captured a perfect moment in American fashion, it has always remained a mystery why there wasn’t a female counterpart to Take Ivy, especially considering the existence of the always-stylish Seven Sisters colleges.

Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Radcliffe College, Smith College, Vassar College, and Wellesley College all started out as women’s schools (with Radcliffe and Vassar eventually going coed), and have long attracted some of the best and brightest students in America. Over the years, they have educated plenty of well-known artists, academics, activists, writers, and government officials, and as the new book Seven Sisters Style shows, the schools all have a long history of being the colleges of choice for some really stylish young ladies.

Researched and written by fashion historian and Vassar College Rebecca C. Tuite, Seven Sisters Style corrects a massive oversight by finally giving these seven colleges their own Take Ivy.

Vintage Smith College
Image courtesy of Rizzoli

Astronomy class at Smith College, 1929