John Gavin as a small-town college professor in Tammy Tell Me True (1961).
I repeat: If academics in real life dressed anything like academics in the movies, they’d be one of the best-dressed occupational groups in America.
See also Parts I, II, and III.
There was a time when everyone in American academe dressed formally–students and faculty alike to the same degree. Post-WWII and into the early 1960’s students settled for preppy-casual while professors stayed in suits (for example of this, see Tom Ford’s 2009 movie “A Man Alone.” The 1970’s social revolution–“Defy Authority”– upended everything. Scruffy graduate students became scruffy assistant professors. Administrators took a deep breath, blinked, and dress codes died.
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