Apparently, when “Legally Blonde” was filmed on the Harvard campus (the last movie to be shot here), the production team wanted to use real Harvard students as the extras for the film. Unfortunately, the students weren’t “preppy” enough in appearance, so professional elites were carted in.
I certainly wouldn’t say that the dress here is more preppy that in Minnesota (except for the occasional young men who love to wear their navy blazers and khakis), but it is different. In general, I’m not impressed. Very short skirts, or billowy skirts that girls battle with to keep from flying up, or leggings worn as pants (not over a long tunic, just with a normal shirt…) are the norm for ladies, or at least the undergrads who populate the yard. The young men dress as casually/lazily as at any school, excluding some of the finely dressed men in my program (keep the cardigans and tweed jackets coming, comrades). However, the worst fashion sighting to date occurred one afternoon in Harvard Yard, while walking with some friends after class. Mid-discussion, my colleague stares off and says, “Is she just wearing a shirt?” And sure enough, she was. A men’s shirt, with no belt (which was the part that really got to me-pairing a belt with it would have looked like an attempt at an ensemble). In shirt, wedge heels and purse we watched her walk by, then, hyped up on caffeine we chased after her to get these investigative journalist shots (note: I was working with a cell phone camera at high speeds, but you’ll get the idea):
In light of this sighting in Harvard Yard, I find it especially entertaining that Harvard has licensed out their trademark phrase “Harvard Yard” to the Wearwolf Group, for them to sell a preppy clothing line in the name for the next 10 years. The agreement will bring in money that goes to undergraduate financial aid (hey, maybe the money they bring in can buy that girl some pants!). There’s some debate about the exchange perpetrating elitist Harvard stereotypes, read more here.
All this fashion gossip said, I have seen some seriously stylish and functional rain coats and boots, and after jealously slogging through a few rainy days I invested in a hooded Espirt double-breasted trench raincoat and some Sperry Top-Sider rubber boots. Now I can’t wait for some nasty weather to go play in!