Fashion for Freshmen
Dear freshman athletes:
Welcome to Division I athletics, where the level of competition is higher, the play more physical, and the game plans more complex.
Although some of you will make significant contributions this year, it is rare for a freshman to make an immediate impact on the playing field; generally, the first year is spent learning a new offensive system and backing up a more experienced upperclassman.
But making the transition from high school to college athletics is merely one of several challenges which freshmen athletes face at Harvard. The whole "culture" of college life requires an adjustment from previous expectations; high school status symbols have lost their meaning and classes just got a helluva lot harder.
We in The Crimson Sports Department hope to ease the trauma of this transitional period by offering some advice in one of the most important parts of an freshman athlete's life: fashion.
* The basics: gray DHA sweatshirt and pants. This comfortable, "ready to wear" line is one of the few status symbols at Harvard. Each fall, droves of unrecruited freshmen athletes head to Weld Boat House hoping to hang around the Harvard and Radcliffe crews long enough to pick up a pair of "grays."
The answer is simple: freshmen wearing DHAs immediately distinguish themselves from the rest of the class, forming an athletically elite group. The sweatshirt and sweat pants, which may be worn as an ensemble or separately, represent an instant "entree" into conversation with an attractive classmate--you immediately share something in common.
Certainly, the DHA's warm, fleecy interior provides ample reward in itself, but--as with most status symbols--the social implications which the fashion represents are the true dividends.
* Accessories: tattoos. Many athletes come to Harvard unmarked and leave looking like Dennis Rodman wannabes. Well, not really, but tattoos are certainly increasing in popularity (although most athletes--especially females--opt for a less in-your-face style). The inside of the ankle is prime real estate for the ladies, while guys prefer to decorate their biceps. Junior quarterback Jay Snowden leads the trend with "Snow" indelibly imprinted on his arm.
* Mode of transportation: bicycle. As the saying in most every 4th-grade pick-up football game goes, "Suckers walk."
The bicycle is the preferred mode of transportation for most athletes, including senior tailback Eion Hu, who has rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons. This season, thin-tired racing bikes are "out," due mostly to their instability on Cambridge's sandy streets.
Also, be on the look-out for a sleek helmet; we're one athlete fatality away from a fashion explosion in headgear. For the ultra-cool, follow senior infielder Peter Albers' avant-garde style and skateboard to practice.
* Haute couture (high fashion): Brine and STX apparel. With the success of the men's lacrosse team last season and the high percentage of Long Islanders at Harvard, Brine and STX mesh shorts are hot.
Brine "key chains," worn around the neck with keys and student ID dangling down your back (preferably underneath a sweaty t-shirt) are also "in"; senior Katina Lee, co-captain of the softball team, models the trend nicely.
Although we have doubtlessly overlooked several important fashion rules, this outline of the current trends in the world of Harvard fashion should help ease the adjustment of freshmen athletes into college. Good luck in the upcoming year--and remember: winning is always in fashion.