United States
Freshman’s “Beanie” Washington University
American universities used to have more mindless traditions than they seem to have today. One of those that has disappeared is the “Freshman Beanie.” These always came in an absurdly small size, sort of like a skull-cap, and the idea was that all first-year students were forced to wear them. The great sport for upperclassmen was to steal them—and the punishment for not wearing the beanie was to do some errand for the more senior student who caught you with a naked head. My theory is that the wild and woolly hairdos of the late sixties and early seventies did this tradition in since it was physically impossible to keep the goofy thing on without using a hairpin. The colors of this particular beanie are myrtle and maroon, which were Washington University’s school colors.