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More in this section College fashions uncovered

The clothing chronicles


Throughout the archive collections, delightful glimpses into students’ thoughts and feelings about their clothes and appearance can be found. Here is a cherry-picked selection, but many more remain to be unearthed!



At a Student Meeting, a Royal Holloway student made a proposal about shoe cleaning (RHC/AS/125/1).




The Principal of Royal Holloway made a suggestion about hair washing (RHC/AS/125/1).




To the delight of a Bedford College student, her new room-mate turned up with:

“No less than 5 dresses” (BC/RF/140/2) 




Bedford College students objected to wearing the College tie - find out why! (BC/AS/121/1).





RHC/PH/285/1/22; 1927-1931

Advice was given to a Royal Holloway student about what to wear in bed:

“I was told that I must have pyjamas by Gladys who told me that if you had to come down the fire escape you came down in a canvas shoot and that if you came down with a nightie over your head it would be very undignified!” (RHC/RF/132/6)






Dressing herself for Royal Holloway was an expensive business for one student:

“My school clothes and one summer dress would not suffice, so we went to London and shopped for two days to find day clothes, long dresses, sports clothes etc. at the lowest possible prices. I spent my life savings of less than £60 equipping myself; there was little left”. (RHC/RF/132/7).



Make-up was of little interest to this Royal Holloway student:

“We probably didn't wear make-up at all, although make-up wasn’t so common then in the well brought up. I did wear lipstick, rather sloshed on and not every day, only on special occasions would we bother”. (RHC/RF/132/3)


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