132. Class Jackets


This cartoon, in which a Princeton alumnus attempts to put on his old class jacket in front of his wife and son (now a Princeton student himself), strikes a chord in all the Princeton alumni who proudly wear class clothing to Reunion events, no matter how much any garment might have “shrunk” in the intervening years.  Although class reunions had often adopted uniform costumes, members of the Class of 1912 were the first to adopt a senior “drinking outfit” of blue denim jackets and overalls, hoping to avoid beer stains on their better quality clothing.  The next year, the whole class donned white overalls and jackets called “beer suits” as a means of identification and solidarity.  By the 1920s, each class attempted to customize their outfits by adding specific designs that reflected the times and their experiences.  The overalls disappeared after World War II, but the tradition of senior class “beer” jackets has continued.  Students now submit designs and classmates vote on their favorite choice, with the most popular option then being produced and distributed in the spring to all graduating students. 

  • To learn more about class jackets, see icon #11.

  • To learn more about Princeton Reunions, see icon #10 and 11, and Café Vivian picture #54, 67, 112, and 119.

  • To learn more about Princeton traditions, see icon #1, 9, 10, and 11, and Café Vivian picture #9, 12, 23, 24, 86, 97, 112, and 116.

  • To learn more about student life at Princeton, see icon #1, quotation #7, 9, 18, and 22, and Café Vivian picture #9, 12, 16, 18, 23, 24, 45, 53, 79, 82, 84, 89, 92, 96, 97, 106, 109, 113, 115, 116, 117, and 129.