As you may have discovered by this time, Harvard Square is a myth. Triangular rather than square, it is filled with shops instead of Harvard. But this does not completely destroy the myth of Harvard Square, for these shops are among the most fascinating anywhere in the country. With a little practice and exploration, you will soon learn their mysteries. To help you in your ramblings, here is a quick guide to some of the major establishments.
Most Harvardians like to buy what they can at the Harvard Cooperative Society because of the ten per cent discount allowed on cash purchases by members. (It costs $1 to belong.) The discount makes it pay to purchase many standard items there. The enthusiastic summer student can "veritas" himself to death from tee shirts to sweatshirts to martini glasses and bathmats. They still have a good selection of marked down bermudas ($4-$8) and summer sports shirts.
Women should look first for their cosmetics at the Coop. Although the selection is limited to Eve Arden, Revlon, and Helena Rubenstein, it helps to get some things there for the discount. The best place in the Square for cosmotics, however, is the Brattle Pharmacy, 41a Brattle St. Knowledgeable clerks show complete lines of everything, and beauty consultants from various manufacturers make occasional visits. Conveniently located College House Pharmacy has lots of perfume and gum, and cashes checks, too.
(If the urge to cut your hair becomes irresistable, see Mitchell's at 1770 Mass. Ave. or Antoine in the Commander Hotel who offers a wash and set for $5. Mitchell's, with another location at 470a Broadway--near Burr Hall, does a fine job for $5.50.)
For women's sportswear and apparel generally, Touraine at the Brattle Square intersection is your best bet. It is the biggest store in the Square and carries reasonably priced sportswear and dresses by well-known manufacturers. Their swimsuit collection, including Jantzen, Catalina, Cole, etc., was reduced for clearance last Monday.
Swimming caps are required in the Harvard Indoor Athletic Building pool, and this necessity can be found at James F. Brine's, 1360 Mass. Ave., who sells unadorned white swimming caps for $1.39. Endorsed by me wholeheartedly, they actually keep some of your hair dry. The Coop has a limited stock of flowered caps for $1.25.
In the Swim
For men's swimming trunks, see J. Press, 82 Mt. Auburn. Both boxer and narrow leg styles in patchwork or plain madras are now reduced 20 per cent to $6.80-$12.40.
Due to a dearth of trunks, J. August, 1320 Mass. Ave., is out of the swim. For summer suits and sport coats, however, we recommend them highly. You will find their suits in poplin ($45) and dacron/wool ($85) stocked in a complete range of sizes. Brightly colored dacron/cotton bermudas go at $10, and for the more staid, they carry British linen walking shorts ($18). Calf suede desert boots, also from England ($15), are comfortable and popular.
At Sak's Fifth Avenue's 24th branch next to Elsie's, discover the natty ($30) seersucker sportcoat you need for these summer evenings.
For tennis and squash outfits and equipment, there is, of course, no place like the Tennis and Squash Shop, 67a Mt. Auburn. Tennis rackets are priced from $10-$40, and sneakers begin at $4.50. With many years experience in catering to the tennis and squash player, grads return there perennially for new equipment and repairs.
Another famous sporting goods center, in fact the oldest sports store in the country, is J. Brine's, 1360 Mass. Ave. Recommended by years of experience, they carry complete baseball, basketball and water equipment, and string their own tennis rackets in the store. Their general stock is the largest in the Square.
If you would like to see an authentic and conservative old-time men's shop, climb the stairs at 4 Linden St. to the atmospheric hideout of Duncan Macandrew, merchant tailor. Outfitting the distinguished and conservative in a manner reminiscent of Saville Row, this shop sells hand-knitted Harris tweed hose and the 1937 four-inch-wide necktie in an incredible collection of haberdashery.
The peripatetic female who wends her way up Mass. Ave. to number 1684, will find Adele Bragar's little shop excellent for basic items. She just reduced her shifts, shorts, blouses, and dresses in madras, seersucker, prints, and Irish linen. Bathing suits were marked down 20 per cent on Monday.