Tag Archives: John Meyer Norwich

“The Origins of Preppy” Exhibit

Hello-Hello, welcome to a new week here at the Prepatorium.

We just share one topic today, a look at a new exhibit, “The Origins of Preppy: John Meyer of Norwich“.  Some readers will recall the brand, for those not quite as ancient seasoned (ahem) as your trusty scribe, John Meyer made the most fabulous clothing. Below, a print ad from the brand.

Elise Meyer Pinterest

Elise Meyer Pinterest

The exhibit is at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury (CT), more from the exhibit description:

The Preppy style was born on the campuses of America’s Ivy League colleges but it was manufactured using the resources of Eastern Connecticut. Origin of Preppy explores the style’s transformation from campus fad to innovative fashion by pioneering purveyor John Meyer of Norwich.

An installation from the show as well as the woman who created the grouping, Maddie Chapman.

Mattatuck Museum Facebook

Mattatuck Museum Facebook

I love both the John Meyer button and that tweedy blue and green fabric.

Elise Meyer Pinterest

Elise Meyer Pinterest

The exhibit has been put together by Elise Meyer, the founders’ daughter. More from the Norwich Bulletin:

The exhibit is more than just about the clothing trend that became the rage for the most fashionably dressed sporty women of America. For the Northeast and Norwich it was a demonstration of innovation , know-how and determination.

The Vintage Traveler blog shared some delightful John Meyer ads.

John Meyer via The Vintage Traveler

John Meyer via The Vintage Traveler

Is anyone else feeling a déjà vu vibe? The “I swear, I wore that!” reaction? In reality it is unlikely I wore any of the pieces shown here, they are from 1967 and 1968, a little mature for someone who was but a wee Princess at that time.

John Meyer Norwich via The Vintage Traveler

John Meyer Norwich via The Vintage Traveler

We return to the Museum’s description of the exhibit.

The John Meyer of Norwich label provided a certain status and confidence to stylish women from the 1950s through the 1970s. Meyer’s daughter, Elise, has compiled an archive of the groundbreaking businessman including photographs, stories and vintage clothing.

I enjoyed reading Elise Meyer’s blog post about what she learned in putting together the exhibit.
In the project I found profound lessons about hard work and inspiration, about strong communities, about decency and fairness, about American values, about American ingenuity, and most of all, American manufacturing.I learned the value of “good manners in behavior and in dress”, and how that makes everyone a bit more comfortable.
For some reason Ms. Meyer’s good manners reference resonated.
The Vintage Traveler’s perspective on the brand:
If you were around in the 1960s and early 70s, chances are you were in love with the clothes from John Meyer of Norwich.   In my little corner of the world, there were only two shops that carried John Meyer, and both of them were the best stores in town.  Not every girl was lucky enough to own clothes from John Meyer, but the influence of the brand was huge, and one could buy cheaper versions of their beautiful heathery tweeds at places like Sears.  As they say, imitation is the highest praise.
John Meyer Norwich via The Vintage Traveler

John Meyer Norwich via The Vintage Traveler

The Vintage’s Traveler shares a reaction to the exhibit as well.
…gives a good account of how many girls and young women were actually dressing in the period that is more associated with the mod look and then the hippie look.
Elise Meyer has a partial archive of John Meyer pieces on her Pinterest page, including this classic.
Emily Meyer Pinterest

Emily Meyer Pinterest

Remember the old style price tags?
Elise Meyer Pinterest

Elise Meyer Pinterest

I imagine a few of our pals in Virginia will also recognize the department store, Miller & Rhoads.  Below, three more styles, these date to 1966.
Elise Meyer Pinterest

Elise Meyer Pinterest

Bermuda bags.
Elise Meyer Pinterest

Elise Meyer Pinterest

There is even a Pin showing Barbie and Skipper in John Meyer of Norwich.
Elise Meyer Pinterest

Elise Meyer Pinterest

You my view Ms. Meyer’s Pinterest archive here. For anyone in the Waterbury vicinity this weekend, the Museum is hosting a party.
Mattatuck Museum Facebook

Mattatuck Museum Facebook

Don your Madras shorts and Lilly Pulitzer summer dresses and head down to the Museum, on the green in Waterbury for an evening of casual summer fun

Guests will have the opportunity to bid on fun summer experiences including creating your own ice cream flavor, being Museum Curator for a day, naming a martini at a local restaurant and much more.

It looks like a lot of fun. For more on the Fling, click here.

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion