Dressing up to party down

UC Santa Cruz throws 'Dress Like 1965 Day' to kick off year-long celebration of campus's 50th anniversary

Dress Like 1965 Day image
Photos courtesy of UC Santa Cruz Special Collections

It's time for people to head out to the nearest vintage store or rifle through their closets to channel their inner Twiggy.

In honor of its 50th anniversary celebration beginning this month, UC Santa Cruz is getting the party started on January 15 with informal 1965-style dress-up day on campus, harkening back to the days when Twiggy the supermodel wore cape-jacketed suits. This was the time when a bold fashion statement for women was showing up to work in pants instead of a skirt.

Dress Like 1965 Day takes place on campus from noon to 2 p.m. January 15 at Quarry Plaza, where a professional photographer will snap shots of the participants, who will vie for the honor of best outfit.

Meanwhile, people looking for inside advice may visit the 50th anniversary website or follow UC Santa Cruz social media channels for hot tips from alumna and Mad Men Co-Costume Designer Tiffany White Stanton (Kresge '03, psychology). Participants can share their "look" by hashtagging their photos #ucsc50.

The winners—chosen by Stanton—will be featured in the UC Santa Cruz alumni magazine and on campus social media channels. KZSC will be on site broadcasting live and spinning tunes from 1965.

On that special day, a Throwback Thursday, no less, UC Santa Cruz Dining Services will roll out special menu items based on 1965 classics, such as pigs in a blanket, Jell-O with Cool Whip, and Hurricane Punch mocktails.

Those who wish to emulate the vintage 1965 fashions should just keep in mind that the Summer of Love and wild hippie accessories and clothes had not yet burst upon the scene. Take it from Meg Zweiback (Merrill '69, politics), a pioneer alumna who entered UC Santa Cruz as a first-year student that year.

"That year, people were wearing conservative kinds of things," recalled Zweiback, who is now a pediatric nurse practitioner and author. "Right now, as I'm talking to you, I am looking at all the pictures of the girls and boys in the yearbook. All the girls are all in Peter Pan collars and cardigan sweaters. The girls had hairdos called flips—straight and curled up at the sides. There is no hint of anything other than just 'regular kids.' But that doesn't mean that they stayed that way throughout the 1960s!"

Gabriel Carlos ('15 Kresge, film production/art photography) is one of the students who is helping to get the word out. He is member of UC Santa Cruz Street Style, a collective of fashion fans, designers, and photographers who celebrate styles and attitudes on campus.

Carlos said the dress-up day will give all participating students an enjoyable and not overly difficult project. In fact, some UC Santa Cruz students can just go on wearing what they wear on any given day and still fit right in.

"It's really funny because the 1960s has a lot of influence over current street style," he said. 

Those who wish to complete their 1960s look could study archival photos from the early days of UC Santa Cruz, or just explore various fashion sites online.

In that part of the decade "there were a lot of polka dots, a lot of cat's eye sunglasses, and these kind of cotton-candy colors," said Carlos, adding that dress-up day participants could easily improvise the distinctive straight lines and "clean silhouettes" of the outfits.

"Women could pick up an oversized dress, cut down the sleeves, and put it over an undershirt," he said. "The styles are really accessible."