The first test was to get the scholarship, the second to be initiated into the fraternity, and the third to take the degree summa cum laude. But now there is a fourth test any complete Harvard alumnus must pass: the wardrobe. Strapped for cash – because of poor returns on investments, thanks in part, no doubt, to those high-fliers who went into Wall Street – Harvard University has commissioned a clothing line, summed up in that all-American adjective "preppy". There will be button-down shirts, sports jackets with crimson button-holes, and plaid with everything, all at a very pre-crash, Gordon Gekko, price.
Far from being welcomed with open arms, however, the new line has provoked an outcry among alumni who had hoped the days were over when the premier US universities behaved like closed clubs. Striped blazers, and the like, they object, send quite the wrong message about their alma mater. Oxford and Cambridge, before you take the sartorial plunge, take note.