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Top Five: Harvard Winter Fashion Trends

Harvard's Graduate Student Council met in Lehman Hall to discuss a mental health survey and intramural sports.
Harvard's Graduate Student Council met in Lehman Hall to discuss a mental health survey and intramural sports. By Jenny M. Lu
By Chibuike K. Uwakwe, Crimson Staff Writer

Cambridge winter is in full swing, bringing with it temperatures well below freezing and early sunsets pressuring us to stay indoors as much as possible. Even though the towering trees in Harvard Yard are dead, the student body is thriving — at least when it comes to the winter wardrobes on display every day in the dining halls, libraries, and other nooks inhabited by students. If you look to your left and right, you’ll see trendy high-waisted jeans, oversized sweaters, chunky sneakers, and turtlenecks galore; however, a couple trends transcend these both in terms of novelty and sheer fashion.

If, while reading the trends already mentioned, you realized the outfit you planned to wear tomorrow isn’t actually that unique, don’t worry; it’s probably still fairly stylish (albeit rather basic). The key to a compelling fashion trend is its limited ubiquity. In other words, trends must abide by the Goldilocks principle: they should be popular, but not too popular. Here’s a list of the top five Harvard winter fashion trends that manage to achieve this balance of popularity on campus.

5. Gold Medallion Necklaces

A gold necklace? How could that be a trend? Yes, gold necklaces are nothing special in and of themselves, but they’ve managed to creep into men’s fashion at Harvard in a particularly distinctive way this winter. The flex kings on campus have collectively decided that throwing a golden lion’s visage around their necks is the epitome of fresh style. The downside of this choice is that accessorizing every single formal outfit with a gold medallion can quickly become predictable and mundane, especially when the medallion is paired with a basic turtleneck, which only leads to you serving The Rock sans the muscle. At the end of the day, no one can tell whether your necklace is authentic 24k gold from Cartier or cheap gold-plated platinum you snagged for 50 percent off on Amazon using a gift card you got for participating in a study at the Harvard Decision Science Lab. Either way, try not to wear it too often or its luster will fade.

4. Bleached Hair

Everyone loves to switch up their hair every once in a while, and bleaching is usually an easy way to do so. For some reason, stripping one’s hair of all its pigment looks strikingly good on anyone — well, at least on most people. If you went home over winter break and bleached your hair to try something new, cope with stress caused by the fall semester, or as a last-ditch effort to try and differentiate yourself among the masses, applause is in order. Although platinum blonde can be a great look, it takes an awful lot of maintenance to keep your hair from looking like a poor attempt at early 2000s frosted tips or a damaged orange ombré mess — all the more reason why the well-executed bleached hairdos on campus should be admired.

3. Moncler Color Pop Puffers

If you’ve spent more than five minutes on Harvard’s campus, you’re probably familiar with the infamous Canada Goose parkas donned by every affluent student within a five-mile radius. For those students who wish to be a little more inconspicuous about their wealth, Moncler provides a fashionable alternative with an arm patch that is a quarter of the size of its rival’s. Moncler’s brightly colored puffer jackets, with their luxury sheen, have become the new favorite of Harvard’s affluent. On any given day, you may see these jackets in a bright red, forest green, aqua blue, or bubble pink piercing through the sea of black parkas on campus. The desire to appear more subtle than their Canada Goose clad peers is quickly lost when students debut their obscenely bright colored coats, costing upwards of $1,200. Despite their exorbitant cost, Moncler puffers do serve as a nice pop of color to make a statement and elevate the composition of any outfit.

2. Cropped Wide-Legged Trousers

There is something so utterly chic about someone waltzing around in a pair of cropped, wide-legged trousers, shamelessly parading their shins across the Yard. Unlike the polyester gauchos that haunt the minds of girls who wore them in their middle school days, these trousers are versatile garments and quite appealing to the eye. They can be paired with practically anything, including lux mules or Vince slip-on platform sneakers. Get rid of those skinny jeans, burn your mom jeans, cut up your leggings, and get yourself a pair of cropped wide-legged pants before the trend is run into the ground. You heard it here first.

Arts Chair Allison J. Scharmann rocks "Cropped Wide-Legged Trousers," Harvard's second-hottest winter fashion trend.
Arts Chair Allison J. Scharmann rocks "Cropped Wide-Legged Trousers," Harvard's second-hottest winter fashion trend. By Amelia Roth-Dishy

1. AirPods Pro

It’s amazing how quickly AirPods Pro gained traction after their release. They were the newer, sleeker, and smaller version of their predecessors, and Harvard’s biggest Apple fans did not hesitate to cop them. Whether you chose to purchase a pair of AirPods Pro for the flex or because you genuinely wanted wireless earphones that produced a quality sound, capitalism still won in the end. And that’s coming from the owner of a pair of “archaic” 2nd-generation AirPods.

— Staff writer Chibuike K. Uwakwe can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @chibbyu.

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