Memory Lane: A history of fashion on campus

(1928 Illio photo)
University of Illinois students have always embraced the latest fashions. Over the years, clothing and hairstyle trends on campus have come and gone … but the classic Illini Orange-and-Blue combo is here to stay.

(1952 Illio photo)

(1952 Illio photo)

1920s

The Roaring Twenties rang loud and clear at Illinois. Women swapped more conservative attire for tubular dresses and luxurious fur coats, topped off with bobbed hair or the signature “Marcel wave”—often covered by close-fitting cloche hats.

1950s

A variety of styles emerged in post-war America. At Illinois, female students flaunted tailored tops and pencil skirts, and wore their hair curled. Meanwhile, men sported the “Ivy League” look—khakis paired with button-up shirts and varsity jackets, and “Harvard clip” crew cuts.

(1976 Illio photo)

(1976 Illio photo)

1970s

Disco was born in the ‘70s, bringing with it wide-legged bell-bottom pants, butterfly collars, leisure suits, and form-fitting shirts and sweaters, often in bold colors and prints, and in silky fabrics. Platform shoes and feathered hair completed the head-to-toe look.

(1984 Illio photo)

(1984 Illio photo)

1980s

Eighties fashion allowed wearers to display their unique personalities. Styles ranged from preppy, pastel-colored polo shirts to vibrant, oversize sweaters to denim jackets and acid-washed jeans, and everything in between.