The 1905 senior class formerly adopted them and the cords became, by custom, a garment specifically reserved for the seniors alone. In the early days the seniors of the School of Pharmacy were also banned from wearing them. Looking at the photographs in the Debris it is clear that female students did not adopt the tradition initially. Other elements of the tradition are the bowler hat or derby, first introduced in England in 1849, canes, vests, beards, and a sack coat or sports coat. Most of these seem to have been part of the tradition from the beginning; although the first image of a senior with a cane appears in the 1918 Debris and beards came into story much later.
A Cord Skirt worn by Susan Houston Fortune, Class of 1959.
Photo by Patrick Whalen