If you're a fan of Teruyoshi Hayashida's seminal preppy-fashion playbook Take Ivy
, or Patricia Mears' Ivy Style
, you may have found yourself wondering what the ladies were doing while midcentury men were getting natty in Brooks Brothers tweeds, bucks, and beat-up chinos. Well, the answer to that question has finally arrived, in the form of Rebecca C. Tuite's Seven Sisters Style
, a beautifully illustrated, intensively researched celebration of the all-American preppy style pioneered by the women of the Seven Sisters Colleges — consider it a Take Ivy
for the distaff set.
The book is, of course, an easy sell to vintage obsessives and midcentury aficionadas — who are surely already taking notes on Seven Sisters' bermuda-shorts-and-blazer combos. But, the book holds fascination even for those not planning to pair a Shetland sweater with saddle shoes any time soon. While it may be easy to dismiss preppy style as the province of a certain era's elite, those women pioneered and codified a prim-meets-slouchy style of dressing that, for the first time, incorporated sportswear and borrowed freely from masculine style. It was a breath of fresh air after a decade of twin sets, crinolines, and kitten heels (which, to be fair, are represented here, too — dungarees don't exactly fly at the spring formal).
The Seven Sisters' style changed how all
women dressed and it became known the world over as inherently American. A lot of ink has been spilled in the past few years celebrating male Ivy style — Seven Sisters Style
is, finally, the companion piece we've been waiting for.
Watch the trailer video below, then click ahead for some of our favorite lady-prep looks.